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How to Install Windows 7 using just a USB Drive

Updated on August 31, 2010

This one I have tried on my brother-in-law's netbook that, today, is a Windows 7 happy user and he doesn't own a DVD drive.

Hands at work:

  1. You need to have an USB drive that fits Windows 7 (aprox. 2,5GB);

  2. Have your USB drive connected and properly detected with a drive letter, access Command Prompt (cmd) and run DISKPART;

  3. At DISKPART prompt, run LIST DISK to identify your USB drive;

  4. Write down the number DISKPART gave to your USB drive. Run SELECT DISK n (where  n is the drive number);

  5. From now, all command refers to the USB drive. Run CLEAN to eliminate any partition and volume info;

  6. Create a new primary partition running CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY and activate it with the ACTIVE command. Now BIOS will recognize your USB drive as bootable;

  7. Format your partition with FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK or FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK;

  8. Once formatted, run ASSIGN to give a letter to your USB drive;

  9. Finally, copy all content from Windows 7 DVD to the USB drive and restart your computer. Try to boot from USB (each BIOS has its way to do it) and follow Windows 7 Setup normally, as if it was from DVD and believe me: it will be a little slower but much faster that other Windows versions (XP, 2000, etc).

Few words:

  1. Command Prompt (cmd)

  2. DISKPART

  3. LIST DISK

  4. SELECT DISK n (n = USB drive number)

  5. CLEAN

  6. CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

  7. ACTIVE

  8. FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK or FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK

  9. Copy  DVD to USB drive

  10. USB boot

Bye!

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