Install Windows 7 with a USB Flash Drive

Summary : Give you a way to use a USB flash drive to install Windows 7.

Do you think upgrade your operating system with a USB Flash Drive is more convenient than you use a clunky external DVD Drive as the old way? Expecially when you use a laptop...Here, I will show you a way to install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive. We will take a look at some utilities that will allow you to easily create a bootable USB drive and copy Windows 7 to it.

Note: In fact, installing Windows 7 from a flash drive is to set up your flash drive so it becomes a bootable device with the OS on it. You need to prepare a minimum of a 4GB flash drive to give enough space to the installation files.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Download Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Note: Using Microsoft’s free utility is a quick and easy option to get the image on your USB flash drive if you have an ISO image of Windows 7. It requires XP SP2 or higher and if you’re using an XP machine you’ll need downloan .NET Framework 2.0, and Microsoft Image Mastering API V2. It seemed to work best if I formatted the flash drive as NTFS before using the download tool. But that could be because of the flash drive I used…your mileage may vary.


On the first step, just browse to the location of your Windows 7 ISO file and click Next.


Then select "USB device" which helps you burn the ISO to DVD as well if you need that option.


Choose your flash drive and click "Begin copying".


Now just wait for the process to complete. The drive will be formatted and files copied to the flash drive.


When the process is finished you will be able to see the files on the flash drive as you would if you opened the installation disc.

Now you can start the installation on any computer that allows you to boot from a USB drive.


Download WinToFlash

Another good easy utility to use is WinToFlash. Just follow through the straight forward wizard, and you’ll be ready to install Windows 7 from your flash drive in no time.


It offers different advanced features and tasks for other versions of Windows as well.


It’s as easy as choosing the location of the Windows installation disc and the USB drive. Here I choose the DVD is drive (E:) and the flash drive is (F:). They recommend to turn off your Antivirus to increase the process speed, but we had MSE running on our machine and it didn’t seem to affect performance at all.

Then you’ll need to agree to the Windows 7 EULA and click "continue".


Now just wait until the drive is formatted and the files are transferred over to the USB drive. (In our test it took around 10 minutes to complete over to an 8GB flash drive, so please wait patiently).

Now the drive is ready so you can install Windows 7 on your netbook or any other computer that supports booting from a USB drive.


Note: WinToFlash is still in Beta and doesn’t require installation to use.

Microsoft’s tool apparently became Open Sourced recently, requires installation, and a few other requirements like .NET Framework. Both of these tools are free and each one works a bit differently, so you’ll need to decide which will work best in your situation.

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