Friday, 3 January 2014

How to Install Windows 7 from USB - part 2

2.    Turn the USB Key into a Bootable Device

Insert the Windows 7 install DVD into your drive, and view the files that it contains. Copy all of the files here to a folder on your Desktop. We put the disc contents in a folder named “Windows 7”


Go back to your command prompt, running it as an Administrator. Using the “CD” command, find your way to the folder where you extracted the ISO files. Your command line path should look something like “C:\Users\USERNAMEHERE\Desktop\Windows 7\”.

Type the following commands:

CD Boot (This gets you into the “boot” directory)
Bootsect.exe /nt60 L: (where ‘L’ is the drive letter assigned to your USB key from the previous step)


Bootsect infuses boot manager compatible code into your USB key to make it a bootable device.

IMPORTANT: If you’re currently running 32-bit Windows Vista or 7, Bootsect will only work if you use the files from the 32-bit Windows 7 install disc. The Bootsect executable from the 64-bit version will not run in 32-bit Vista.

3.    Load the USB Key Up with the Install Files

 

Copy all of the extracted ISO files into the USB drive. You don’t need to do this from the command prompt. Just drag and drop the files from the “Windows 7” folder into the drive using Windows Explorer.

Your USB key is now all ready to go! Plug it into your target system and make sure you enter the BIOS (typically with F2 or F12) to temporarily change the boot order to allow booting from the USB key before your primary hard drive or optical drive. On the next restart, your system should automatically begin speedily loading setup files off of the USB key and entering Windows 7 installation.


[Editor's Note: This article was originally posted as "How To: Install Windows 7 Beta from a USB Key!"  It has been updated and reposted for the official launch of Windows 7 on Thursday.]