Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)

by Davies Lim

in Guides,How To

w7 logo  Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)This guide has step-by-step instructions on how to make sure Vista and Windows 7 install from a USB drive. I’ve tried many using “Install Vista from USB guide” but after downloading Windows 7 beta, the usual Kurt‘s method did not work for me , giving me some error stating there’s a partition boot error. I found a method which worked for Windows 7 so time to share! ^_^


1. Stuff we need
2. Why not DVD?
3. Instructions!
4. ALL done!
5. Which DISK?

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Stuff we need

- USB Pen Drive! or USB hard drive (at least 4gb)
- The windows image file (duh!)
- A motherboard supporting bootable USB drives (even my 4 yr old comp has it)
- A cup of coffee.Go to top

Why not DVD?

If you’re just the average user, installing for a dvd is just fine, but when installing Windows on multiple computers, it’s going to be annoying because the time spent waiting isn’t worth it. Installing via the USB 2.0 drives are so much faster than DVD’s and that’s my way to go from now on. Of course, keep the good ol’ DVD in case of emergency. I’ve cut down installation times from 40 mins to around 20 mins on my loyal AMD Opteron rig.

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1. Plug in your USB pendrive. You’ll see something like this in your My Computer
(i’m using an external 40gb usb drive, taken from my PS3 xD)

usbdrive Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)

2. Format the usb drive from cmd.
- From Start Menu  > Run > type “cmd”
- make sure you have Adminstrator rights!

3. Next we type in the set of commands. I will assume your USB drive is DISK 1. (Don’t know which disk? Read here)
- Type CLEAN
- Optional, you might this if can’t format. Type SELECT VOLUME #, just type LIST VOLUME beforehand
- Type EXIT

Now you’ll be back in CMD not DISKPART. Don’t exit CMD yet.

installwindowsusingusbdrive Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)Example

4. Extract or mount the image file, or insert the Windows DVD into your optical drive.
- If you have a Windows 7 or Vista DVD then insert into the drive and note the Drive letter
- If you have the image file then mount it or extract it.
- I have mine extracted into a folder on my C:

I’m going to assume your DVD drive is E: and USB drive is F:

- Type E: CD BOOT
- Type CD BOOT

installwindowsusbthumbdrive Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)

If you’ve extracted to a folder on your computer, the command is the same except;
- Type CD C:\Foldername\
- In my example is  CD C:\Windows7\

5. Copy the Windows files content into the USB pendrive.

- Type XCOPY E:\*.* /s/e/f  F:\

If you’ve extracted to a folder on you computer like me, then;
- Type XCOPY C:\Foldername\*.* /s/e/f  F:\

installwindowsfromthumbdrive2 Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)
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All Done!

Okay, now the USB drive is bootable!, make sure to change your motherboard’s boot sequence, usually press DEL, F1 or ESC at the bootscreen! Good luck!

Credits to: HOWTO: Install Windows Vista from a high speed USB 2.0 Flash Drive

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Which DISK?

When entered DISKPART, you might have many hard disk installed.
- Look for the correct disk size to decide which Disk is your USB drive.

installwindowsfromthumbdrive3 Install Windows 7 / Vista From USB Pen Drive (Bootable)

Davies Lim

Davies Lim is the owner of this website. He likes blogging and providing good content to people, so please consider subscribing. To find out more about him click here.

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