Those days gone when we used to carry floppy disks to copy small documents, text files here and there. Now, we prefer USB thumb drives or pen drives for copying documents, multimedia files. Over the last few years USB drives have been quite cheap to buy. And these days when we have operating system size grown into GBs we have to burn the DVD disc every time we want to install the OS. But using USB thumb drive we install Windows 7 without wasting any DVD disc. Many of us who try different builds and format the machine often; for such users installing from USB drive is peace of mind. No need to burn the DVD every time. Also, the netbooks are getting very common for eg. Asus Eee PC. As netbooks don’t have built-in DVD drive, installing from USB drive is the most convenient option than hunting for USB Optical drive.
So, what do we need to install the Windows 7 from USB drive ? A USB thumb drive with capacity 4 GB or more and of course Windows 7 DVD media. Right now we have Windows 7 Beta build 7000 having total DVD media sizing just over 2.4 GB.
Let’s start by pluggin the 4 GB USB thumb drive.
Open the elevated command prompt with administrator privileges and type the following commands.
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7000 Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation. On computer: AVIRAJ
DISKPART> list disk
Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt -------- ------------- ------- ------- --- --- Disk 0 Online 149 GB 0 B Disk 1 Online 3834 MB 0 B
DISKPART> select disk 1
Disk 1 is now the selected disk.
DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.
DISKPART> create partition primary
DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.
DISKPART> format fs=fat32 quick
100 percent completed
DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.
DiskPart marked the current partition as active.
Now, just copy the files located on Windows 7 DVD Media.
Make sure in the BIOS you have selected USB Boot option. Otherwise you won’t be able to boot from the USB thumb drive.
Next step, plug in the USB thumb drive into the notebook or netbook, where you want to install Windows 7. It will boot from the USB thumb drive. Installing from USB drive improves installation time vs installing from DVD Media as optical media is lower that USB.
Using this same USB thumb drive you can install Windows 7 on any computer that supports booting from USB. And now on you won’t be wasting the DVD disc for burning any new build of Windows 7. Just replace the media files on the USB thumb drive and install the OS. :)
Custom install or upgrade saves your old windows files....in a file on you c:\ called
If its there, chances are you can still recover some of your data, otherwise you'll need to get a data recovery software and an extra drive and probably some cables depending on how savvy you are.
How do you install Windows XP via Flash Drive without using third party?
I am not sure about offcial supported way of installing Windows XP from USB Drives, but there are several guides available on different sites that helps you install Windows XP from USB Drives.
How do you make a usb flash drive bootable for XP
Same response like my previous, I am not sure about offcial supported way of installing Windows XP from USB Drives, but there are several guides available on different sites that helps you install Windows XP from USB Drives.
Well a nice post with simple guidelines, but you can make this more easily by using a tool called WinSetupUSB, you can visit
www.alittlegeek.com/how-to-make-multiboot-usb-with-windows-7-xp-livexp-and-linux for more detail and full walkabout and video guideline. This article also describe how to make windows seven/xp and live xp multiboot usb disk.
@alittlegeek Thanks much for the feedback. Readers will definitely read the comments and hopefully it will be useful for them.
my usb drive is not getting detected in diskpart ... when i enter list disk
I like your post, but i have 2 questions.
1st : what if we have windows xp installed, and we want to create windows 7 usb installtion drive. BCoz diskpart--->list disk wont detect removable drives in XP.
2nd : you missed to make the usb drive bootable.
e.g bootsect.exe nt/60 (drive letter of usb disk)
Thanks for the feedback. In case you are creating the USB on Windows 7 machine, you do not need to run bootsect command. In the diskpart I have run the "active" command, which will make sure that the USB has active partition that will boot the WinPE using BOOTMGR.
In case you need to create bootable USB Device then I would recommend using "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool." It is available to download from store.microsoft.com/.../ISO-Tool and works well on Windows XP.
Thank you very much, keep up the good work
Thanks for the nice reference for loading os from usb. do you know how to install image.wim from usb drive.
my name pratik
i wanna use my pendrive as bootable device
& i wanna install windows 7 using by my pendrive.
i using ur tips step by step but my pendrive is not display in list disk. but my pendrive is detect in windows ok.
so how can i do this plz sit rply me.
Try this utility to create bootable USB stick http://wudt.codeplex.com/
I tried this but when I tried copying the files (windows server 2008r2) from the dvd to the usb drive I got "invalid MS-DOS function." I found on another site that to get around this you can select all files on the dvd and send them to a compressed folder on your desktop, then open the compressed folder and copy those files to the thumbdrive. stupid but it works...