Installing Windows 7 from a flash drive

By | March 10, 2011
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Installing Windows 7 from a flash drive – faster and more convenient

Did you know you can install Windows 7 from a flash drive? Putting the Windows 7 installation on a USB flash drive has a couple of big advantages:  A flash drive is more portable than a DVD, and Windows 7 will install much faster from a flash drive than it will from a DVD because the data transfer rate is much faster.. Plus having the Windows 7 installation disk on USB flash drive enables you to install Windows 7 on computers that don’t have a DVD drive – like a netbook computer for instance.

It’s really easy to transfer the contents of the Windows 7 DVD onto a USB flash drive. But you must be careful to copy all of the files on the DVD and make sure your flash drive is properly prepared. First make sure there’s nothing on your flash drive you want to save. If there is, move it to your hard drive or to another flash drive – or burn it to a CD or DVD. You’ll need a clean flash drive to make a Windows 7 installation flash drive.

Once you’ve got your flash drive and it’s free of files and other things you want to keep – follow these steps to make an installation flash drive for Windows 7:

* First, you’ll need the DiskPart utility on the system you’re using to prepare your flash drive. DiskPart is a free disk partitioning utility that is most likely already installed on your Windows computer. If you can’t find it on your system, you can download DiskPart here.
* If you’re using Windows Vista you can start the DiskPart utility by typing diskpart in the search form at the bottom of the Start Menu.
* Then run the list disk command to check the status of your drive.
* Now run select disk 1 where the “1” is actually the corresponding number of your USB drive.
* Run clean.
* Once the flash drive is clean, you can run create partition primary.
* Now make the partition active by entering active
* Then you need to set up the file system as Fat32 by running format fs=fat32 quick (quick meaning you want to perform a quick format which is faster than a full format and will work fine for this process).
* Entering the assign command gives the USB drive a drive letter, making it easy to access from Windows Explorer
* Then you can copy everything from the Windows 7 installation DVD onto the USB key – the easiest way to do it is good old drag and drop.
* Now you’re done – and you can insert the flash drive into the computer on which you want to install Windows 7.
* Now boot the system – and the installation will start. It will be much faster than installing from DVD but otherwise the installation will proceed as it normally would.

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