How to Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive

The purpose of this guide is to prepare a USB Flash Drive with the installation files of Windows Vista™ or Windows 7™. Most netbooks do not come with a CD/DVD drive and therefore installing or upgrading to a new operating system is always a challenge. The guide is divided into two parts, the first part talks about the preparation of the Flash Drive and the later talks about how to copy the installation file content on to the Drive for installation.

Preparing The USB Flash Drive

  1. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 1.jpg

    1
    Most Flash Drives available in the market will work. When choosing a drive for the preparation we should remember two key points:
    • The Flash Drive should have a decent read/write speed
    • The size of the drive should be at least 4GB
  2. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 2 Version 2.jpg

    2
    To prepare the USB Flash Drive, we need access to a computer running either Windows Vista™ or Windows 7™. Insert the Flash Drive in the computer and wait for the computer to recognize the drive.
  3. 3
    Click START > All Programs > Accessories
  4. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 4 Version 2.jpg

    4
    Right click on Command Prompt and select “Run As Administrator”
  5. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 5 Version 2.jpg

    5
    In Command Prompt, type DISKPART
  6. 6
    Type LIST DISK
This command will list all of the disks on your system. Be sure to choose the correct disk. For example, If you are using a 4GB flash drive. Select the disk with the size of ~3822MB.

[WARNING! ALL DATA ON THE DISK YOU SELECT WILL BE LOST! MAKE SURE TO BACKUP ANY DATA YOU WISH TO KEEP!]
Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 6 Version 2.jpg

  1. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 7 Version 2.jpg

    1
    Type SELECT DISK X [Replace "X" with the appropriate disk number ]
  2. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 8 Version 2.jpg

    2
    Type CLEAN [ A successful clean will prompt the message “Diskpart succeeded in cleaning the disk” ]
  3. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 9 Version 2.jpg

    3
    Type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
  4. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 10 Version 2.jpg

    4
    Type SELECT PARTITION 1
  5. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 11.jpg

    5
    Type ACTIVE
    • By following the above step we have just created a USB Flash Drive capable of booting from the system BIOS.
  6. 6
    Copying The Installation Files
The next step is to copy the files from the Original Windows Vista™ / Windows 7™ disc. Before we copy the content of the disc to the Flash Drive, we have to make sure that the drive is ready to accept files. In the same Command Prompt that we have used in the previous step, type the following commands
Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 12 Version 2.jpg

  1. 1

    • Type FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK [ When it reaches 100% you are ready to move to the next step ]
    • Type ASSIGN
    • Type EXIT to get out of DISKPART Command Utility
  2. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 13 Version 2.jpg

    2

    Now your Flash Drive is ready for the files. Insert your Windows disc into your drive. In my case, my Disc Drive is I: drive and my FLASH Drive is J:
  3. Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive Step 14.jpg

    3

    Type XCOPY I:\*.* /S/E/F J:\ [ This Command needs to be typed in the same Command Prompt that we have left open after Diskpart.
    • If your Drive letters are correct, after several minutes you will get a message saying the numbers of files successfully copied to your FLASH DRIVE

Comments