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Installing Windows 7 from an USB Drive

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You will need a computer with a DVD drive, Win 7 (maybe vista and xp works too) and a Win 7 Installation disc. I had one for my desktop. If you do not have a Win 7 DVD try Google. As far as I know you can download a Win 7 installer online or ask a friend. Just remember that you use your own product key. You can use a USB flash drive or an external USB hard disk with 5 GB of free space. Attach the USB device to the PC with the DVD drive.

Create bootable Partition

  1. Backup USB drive before doing anything else or use an empty one
  2. Go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management
  3. shrink the partition of the USB drive by 5 GB. right clicking in it and select the appropriate command (something like reduce size)
  4. format new partition to NTFS
  5. right-click in it and mark partition as active

Note if you want to keep nothing else on the drive you can just format it and mark it a active. Above steps can be helpful if you want to but it on a external HDD that already has data on it.

Copy Data to USB Drive

Simple. Just copy & paste the whole Win 7 Installation DVD over to the above created Partition.

Final Words

Depending on the device you are using, there might be some additional steps needed like if you want to use UEFI only instead of BIOS on certain laptops. See this guide as example for further info. It is also advisable to download the Win 7 SP1 installer and install it immediately after the basic installation (assuming your Win 7 DVD does not already contain SP1). You will also need to determine how you can force the netbook/laptop on which you plan to install Win 7 to boot from the USB drive. In case of the Thinkpad X220 you need to press F12 at startup. Please refer to your devices manual or use google.


Written by kienerj

October 26, 2011 at 22:03

Posted in Operating Systems, Windows

Tagged with ,