Want to install Windows 7 from USB flash drive? Here is complete and 100% working guide to install Windows 7 without CD / DVD. It involves series of commands to format the USB as NTFS and make it bootable. Follow the simple process below:
Step 1: Gathering and Preparing Resources
First of all, you will need Windows 7 installation files (ISO or otherwise) and a USB Flash Drive where you can copy these files later on.
- You can copy files from CD/DVD. If you haven’t got the CD/DVD drive, you can download Windows 7 files from the web.
- Get a USB Flash Drive (4GB at least)
- Backup any data you have on USB Flash Drive as you’ll have to format it.
Step 2: Prepare the USB Flash Drive
Now you need to prepare the USB flash drive using DISKPART utility. In most cases, DISKPART will be already installed otherwise you can download it from here. First you need to connect USB to the computer and then start command prompt (Go to “Run”, type cmd and hit enter. When command prompt starts, enter following commands one by one. Note that commands are NOT case sensitive.
Tip: You can also copy and paste commands one by one. Ctrl+V shortcut won’t work in Command prompt; you can instead right click anywhere and click “paste”. Here are commands:
- DISKPART (Starts DISKPART Utility)
- LIST DISK (Lists all the disk drives with their unique disk number). From here you need to note the disk number of your USB.
Tip: You can figure out the disk number of attached USB from disk size and free space that will be shown with LIST DISK command.
- SELECT DISK 2 (Where 2 is the disk number of your USB). This will select USB for further operation in DISKPART.
- CLEAN (will format the drive)
- CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY (will make a primary partition)
- SELECT PARTITION 1 (will select the primary partition)
- ACTIVE (will activate/enable primary partition on USB)
- FORMAT FS=NTFS (will format the primary partition on USB as NTFS file system. Format progress will be shown in percentage).
- ASSIGN (will assign drive letter to the USB)
- EXIT (will exit the DISKPART)
Step 3: Get the Windows 7 installation files from CD/DVD or Mounted ISO
You need to copy Windows 7 installation files along with files that make the CD/DVD bootable. For that you either need Windows 7 DVD / CD or you need to have (or create) ISO image of installation files. Mount the ISO image as a drive, note the drive letter. If you are using CD / DVD, use optical drive letter instead. Now move to command prompt again and execute following commands:
- E: (will move command prompt to drive E, where E: is drive letter of DVD / CD or of mounted ISO image virtual drive)
- CD BOOT (will enter the boot directory)
- BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 F: (where F: is the drive letter of USB flash drive. This command will copy bootcode to USB flash drive)
- Now copy complete installation files on USB drive, on root not inside any folder. If you used an ISO, extract it to USB.
Step 4: Booting with USB and starting Windows 7 Installation
Now you have done all the hard work. Let’s move ahead and install Windows 7 from USB.
- Keep USB connected and restart your computer.
- Boot from USB. You will need to change the boot order to make sure USB is your first boot device. For this you need to enter system setup (Usually any of keys from F6 to F11 will take you to setup).
Once USB is selected as primary boot device, your computer will detect bootable USB and will begin Windows 7 installation. That’s it!
Once you have installed Windows 7, you may want to download Windows 7 themes from our collection.