Why install from an USB stick?
You can easily install Windows 7 the default-way (from a bootable dvd), but why choose for the easy way if you can install it from an USB stick. If you want to install Windows 7 on a netbook probably the only way to install it is via an USB stick. I really prefer install Windows 7 from a DVD, because you don’t have to burn another dvd when a new build arrives :-). Another thing to choose for an USB installation : You can easily add additional files (or installations) to your usb stick, as long there’s space enough!
What do I need?
There are just three things you need:
- PC with USB boot-support (just a modern pc that is)
- Windows 7 installation files
- USB stick with at least 4 GB free space
What steps do I need to follow?
Just follow the steps below to create your own bootable Windows 7 USB stick.
- Plug in your USB
- Open Command Prompt with admin rights (Start –> enter cmd –> press CTRL-SHIFT+ENTER and just click Yes at the UAC prompt
- Run Diskpart by typing diskpart and press enter
- Now type List disk (and press enter). My USB stick is Disk 9 in the screenshot below. Just enter the next commands (from step 5) where I assume that your usb stick is also Disk 9. If your USB stick is Disk 2, just use Disk 2 instead of my Disk 9!
- Enter the following commands just one by one, each followed by Enter:
- Select Disk 9
- Create Partition Primary
- Select Partition 1
- Format FS=FAT32 (depending on the size of your USB stick this can take a moment)
- Now copy the entire content of your Windows 7 DVD (or Windows 7 source folder, if you extracted the ISO) to the root of your USB stick. At the end you should see the following content on your USB stick.
- Now we still have to make the USB stick bootable.
Note: If you are currently running a 64-bit OS and the source (on the USB stick) is 32-bit, you can’t run the following command. Just be sure the source (on the USB stick) and the currently running OS are of the same type!
- In the Command Prompt (which you didn’t close, I hope) type P: (followed by Enter)
Where P: is the drive letter of your USB stick!
- Type CDBoot followed by Enter
- To create a bootsector on the USB stick now enter Bootsect /NT60 P: followed by Enter.
When you receive a message which looks like mine (in the screenshot above) then you can boot from your USB stick.
- Reboot your pc and change the boot order (in the BIOS) if needed, so the USB stick is first in the boot order.