Windows 7 bootable USB installer howto

Published on May 23 2016

Modern computers support booting from an external USB drive, in most cases the installation is much faster and the bonus is you have a nice portable usb stick which will never get scratched or damaged.

You will need:

  1. PC running Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  2. Windows 7, 32/64-bit (depending on the system) installation disk
  3. USB drive with at least 8GB of free storage

Preparing the USB drive:

Please note all commands are executed with the return/enter key.

  1. Open command prompt as administrator - Click Start > All Programs > Accessories
  2. Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. With the command line interface now open, run diskpart utility by typing diskpart at the command prompt then press Enter.
  4. Locate your USB drive disk number by executing list disk which returns a list of disk drives found, make sure the correct disk is selected during the following procedure.

Command promt example:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7600
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: USER1-PC

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          465 GB  1024 KB
  Disk 1    Online            8 GB     8 GB

DISKPART>

Make sure the correct disk is selected before running the following commands:

The following procedure wipes all data from disk 1..

select disk 1
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active

Formatting will take some time, depending on the capacity of the USB disk

format fs=NTFS
assign
exit

The disk now contains a clean active partition formatted with the NTFS and is ready to be made bootable.

Make the USB drive bootable:

Insert Windows 7 setup disk into the DVD Rom drive.

While still at the command prompt navigate to the windows installation files on the DVD Rom by running the following commands:

Where d: is the drive letter of the DVD Rom drive:

d:

then:

cd boot

Where e: is the drive letter of the USB drive run:

bootsect /nt60 e:

and exit from the command prompt.

Copy Windows files:

Finally copy all the files from the DVD rom drive and paste to the ROOT USB drive partition.

You are now ready to install Windows 7 from USB flash drive.