Thursday, March 27, 2014

Installing Windows From USB Drive

Good afternoon and hope everyone is in good health and spirit. As you might already know that optical disks have become less popular this days and often times people don't even have an optical disk drive in their system.  So what can you do if you want to install an fresh copy of windows in your system? Well that's what I'm going to show you now.

What we will need?

1. An 8GB(or more) Flash drive
2. A licensed copy of Windows (Normal Or .ISO file)
3. Around 30 minutes for making boot-able drive and 30 minutes for installation.(might take much less with faster drives)
4. Windows 7 USB DVD Tool. (Free and only needed for easy method)

How to make it boot-able :

 I have two options for you, both of them are easy the second one is arguably easier.

Method 1 : The Geeky method!
Method 2 : The Easy method!

First the method 1, the geeky method! 

1. Hook up your USB drive into any of the USB ports of a system that is running a Windows 7/8/8.1/10 32/64bit. Make sure the USB Drive is empty or transfer all your necessary information out of it.

2. First step we will need disk partition manager but for this method first we will need to launch the Command Prompt. You can type CMD in the start menu to locate it. Make sure to click on the Run As Administrator.


In windows 7.


In Windows 8.1.

From the command prompt launch Disk partition manager by typing Diskpart and hitting enter.



3. Now Type List Disk to get the list of connected disks.


Now this might look different in your system depending how many drives are connected. In my system Disk 3 is an 8GB USB drive as you can see from the size.

4. Now we will select the proper USB Drive. To do this type Select Disk #
# stands for numeric digit, which will represent the proper USB drive.

WARNING: MAKE SURE TO SELECT THE RIGHT DRIVE.




5. To remove existing hidden sectors and partition type Clean and hit enter.



6. After cleaning type Create Partition Primary to create partition with default parameters.




7. To focus on the newly created partition type Select Partition 1 and hit enter.




8. To set the partition in focus in active just type in Active and hit enter.




9. Now to format this partition with NTFS just type Format FS=NTFS and hit enter. FS stands for file system. ( This process might take a good amount of time, be patient)




10. Now you will need to assign a new drive letter, just type Assign and hit enter.



As you can see a new drive letter O is assigned.

11. After Assigning New Drive letter just hit exit to exit from Disk Partition.



Now for the next step we will have to make the pen drive boot-able.

12. I'm going to make this process a bit easier.All you need to do is just go to your the directory where you have kept your installer files and  locate the folder Boot. Enter in there and you will see a file named bootsect.exe (.exe might not show depending on your configuration). It looks like this



12. Now take a look at your command prompt and see the directory name.

Which is in my case C:\Windows\System32



Now copy that Bootsect.exe file from your windows installation media and paste it in here.



13. Now get back to the command prompt and type in Bootsect.exe /nt60 O: ( Remember it might not be drive O for you.)



Command prompt will let you know if its successful or not. As you can see here it has succeeded in making the drive boot-able. You can exit the command prompt now.

14. One last thing copy everything from the windows installation media to this boot-able USB Drive.

 
and you are good to go!

NOTE:  

1. You could have just used the command prompt to reach the folder too but copying one single file is pretty simple so I have used that method.

2. It is better to have the normal installation files rather than the .ISO file as windows 7 won't mount them by it's own, you need some sort of applications that can mount .ISO files.





Now method 2, the easy method

1. Go to this link and download Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool.
Don't worry about the virus, It is completely safe.

2. Just install the software and Launch it.





3. Now in the first step you will have to select the ISO. So select the ISO file of windows.



4. Simply Click next. Now you will see multiple options like whether it will be copied on a USB or DVD. Just click the USB Device



5. Now select proper USB device and begin copying. If it wants to erase everything let it erase.



And you are done!

In this method however it is better to have the .ISO file as it works with this type of file only. If you have the normal installation files you might need an application that can make .ISO files.

Now safely remove the USB drive and hook it up to the system in which you want to install this operating system. Start the machine and boot from this USB device.

(  After turning on your system you will have to enter into the UEFI/BIOS to change the boot device to USB device, or you can press function key to directly boot from USB, in gigabyte board it is F12, It is also F12 for the test Toshiba Laptop I have in my hand)



Once you have selected the device you will be able to install windows from this device.


Some Spacial Notes:

A. If you can't boot from your USB, check the couple things.

1. Usually it is better to use the USB2.0 port as often times slightly older models might not have proper driver for USB3.0 on the boot menu. For newer system however you might have to do the opposite.

2. Sometimes in modern systems you might have to turn on Legacy Boot to boot from such devices.


B. If you have a USB drive of certain size and it is showing much less than that.

Say if you have a USB drive that has a capacity of 16GB and all you can use is like 100MB then chances are that space is there but on a different partition which it won't show. To get rid of this problem just follow the Step 1 to 10 of the Geeky method and it should work.

So that is pretty much it! Hope it has helped and Good luck.

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