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Installing Windows Vista and/or Windows 7 from USB Flash Drive Rate Topic: -----

#1 RandomlyKnighted   User is offline

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:30 PM

Note: This tutorial is generally used for laptops such as Netbooks that do not have a CD/DVD drive. When following the steps below, it should be done on a computer that has a CD/DVD drive.


  • A Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation disc
  • USB Flash Drive - 4GB minimum (Note: You can no longer buy a flash drive smaller than 4GB from any major retailer such as Wal-Mart, Staples, or Radioshack. They are no longer sold.)

Alright so let's get started. First plug your flash drive into the USB port and move any files you may have on it to another directory on your computer. Next go to the Start Menu and type cmd into the search box. Right click on the command prompt icon and select Run as Administrator.

Follow the steps below to properly format your flash drive:
  • Once the command prompt has opened type DISKPART and press the enter key.
  • Next type LIST DISK into the command prompt and press the enter key. Using the chart find your flash drive. Notice the disk number of the flash drive. For example, if you only have one hard drive connected to your computer and only one flash drive plugged into your computer then it should be Disk 1.
  • Next select the disk by typing SELECT DISK plus the number then press the enter key. For example, SELECT DISK 1 or SELECT DISK 2.
  • Type CLEAN into the command prompt and press the enter key.
  • Type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY into the command prompt and press the enter key.
  • Type SELECT PARTITION 1 then press the enter key.
  • Type ACTIVE then press the enter key.
  • Type FORMAT FS=NTFS then press they enter key. This step may take several minutes. I believe for my 4GB flash drive it took about 15 minutes.
  • Once the format has completed, type ASSIGN into the command prompt and press the enter key.
  • Next type EXIT and press the enter key.

We're not done with the command prompt yet so don't close it out completely. Insert your Windows installation disc into the computer. For the next part of the tutorial I'm going to assume that your DVD drive is drive D as most computer's set them up that way by default. I'm also going to assume that your flash drive is Drive F.

Pull the command prompt back up and type
D: CD Boot
into the command prompt then press the enter key. Remember if your DVD drive has a different drive letter then replace the D: with your drive letter.
Next type
into the command prompt then press the enter key. Remember that your flash drive may not be set to drive F: so replace F: with the correct drive letter. This line that you just entered allows you to boot from the flash drive.
Finally close the command prompt and copy the contents of your installation disc to your flash drive.

You have just set up your flash drive to be able to install Windows. Just restart your computer and go to your boot options and select boot from USB drive. Now say for example you did this for Windows Vista, if you wanted to change to Windows 7 just delete the files off the drive manually and then copy the contents of the Windows 7 installation disc to the flash drive and you're ready to install it. No need to go back and do all the other steps since you just deleted the files and didn't format the flash drive.

I hope this helps! Happy installing!

This post has been edited by RandomlyKnighted: 19 September 2011 - 12:11 AM

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