Installing Windows 7 from USB drive without using any software is the fastest way as far as only the installation of operating system is concerned. Generally, Windows 7 installation media is larger than 2 GB in size which needs a DVD to fit. So, if your computer does not have any optical DVD reader, you would face problem when installing Windows 7. In that scenario, the USB drive plays an significant role. To install Windows 7 from USB drive, you just need a USB drive having more than 3 GB of volume.
You might be reading several tutorials on “How to Install Windows 7 from USB Drive”. But, most of them, do not work properly. However, there are various ways to do it, here, I’m going to discuss how to install Windows 7 from USB drive without any software.
The first part describes how to prepare the USB stick through the command prompt for the installation of Windows 7.
Also read: Install Windows XP from USB Drive.
Requirements for preparing Windows 7 Installation USB disk:
- The first thing that you need is the Windows 7 ISO file. You can download it from the web or copy it from the Windows 7 installer DVD. In the second case, you have to copy the disk content in your USB drive using a computer which can read the DVD.
- A USB disk / flash disk with a memory greater than 3 GB.
- A computer running with Windows 7 or Windows Vista or later versions like Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and so on.
Advantage: It takes only 10-15 minutes while you install Windows 7 on your PC using a flash drive.
How to Prepare USB Drive to Install Windows 7 from USB
Preparing USB drive to install Windows 7 from USB or Flash Drive is pretty easy. Here, we’ve discussed a step-by-step guide for the installation of Windows 7 using a flash drive or any USB drive.
First Step: Insert the USB into the available port of your computer and wait for a while until the system detects it (if you are using the USB stick first time on your computer).
Second Step: Open the command prompt with ‘Administrator’ privilege (procedure: type ‘cmd’ at the start menu search box then right-click on it and choose ‘Run as Administrator’).
Third Step: Now, in the command prompt, type “diskpart” and hit the ‘Enter’ key. This should change the command base from your system drive to DISKPART. Then, run the following commands one-by-one.
list disk: This displays all the disks at your computer. Generally, there should be two disks in the list; one is your hard disk (Disk 0) and the another one is the USB disk (Disk 1).
select disk 1 (be careful*)
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=ntfs : You can also format the USB drive in Fat32 i.e FAT File System. You can also add an optional parameter like
quick at the end of this syntax for a quick format).
* Note: The set of commands assume that the USB drive is addressed as “disk 1”. So, check it carefully by doing a list by the command “list disk” before you clean it.
Now, the USB drive is ready to use for the Windows 7 installation purpose.
One drawback of this technique is that if you are applying this tutorial on Windows XP i.e. if you are using the command prompt in XP then it won’t work. The “list disk” command does not show the USB disk in the list. So, use Windows Vista or Windows 7 to prepare the installation media. Once you prepare the USB flash drive, follow the next steps to install Windows 7 from USB.
Installing Windows 7 from the USB Stick
Fourth Step: To get started, copy the content of the Windows 7 installer DVD into that USB disk.
In case of ISO file, just extract the ISO file in it. Once copied, you can boot your computer from the USB drive. Generally, your computer won’t boot from USB Drive. You need a small change in the BIOS settings to install Windows 7 from it. Setup the BIOS as follows:
Open the BIOS setup window (press F2 or F10 when starting your computer) and change the boot option according to the followings:
- Make the USB hard disk as the first boot option.
- Save the changes and exit from the BIOS setup window.
Your computer should automatically reboot and the installation wizard should appear. Now, you can follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation with Windows 7 at your computer.
You should keep in mind that the whole configuration to the flash drive to Install Windows 7 from USB can only be done with a computer which is installed with either Windows 7 or Windows Vista. If you do not have Windows 7 or later version in your PC, you can follow our another article Create multiboot USB drive to install both Windows XP and Windows 7 which is a platform independent technique.
Till now, I have discussed about installation of Windows 7 using Flash drive without any third-party software. The process is somehow lengthy and time consuming. Fortunately, there is few trusted software available in market to create a bootable Windows 7 installation USB.
But, before that, you need to create a Windows 7 ISO image either from Windows 7 installation DVD or you can download Windows 7 ISO file direct from Microsoft.
Use Windows USB/DVD Download Tool to Create Windows 7 Installation USB
Limitation: Exactly same operating system is required to your PC which ISO image you will use to create bootable USB for Windows installation.
1: Download Windows/DVD Tool on your computer. And run it.
2: Choose the Windows 7 ISO file. Then click “Open”.
3: Click “Next” when you are back on the step 1 screen.
4: Click “USB Device” on the next step i.e. choose media type screen.
5: Choose USB drive or any external drive where you want to put Windows 7 installation files. Blue refresh button will be useful to you if you plug the USB drive later to your PC.
6: Click the “Begin Copying” button and wait to create a bootable Windows 7 installation USB device. At first this tool formats the USB Drive then it copies the installation file and makes it ready for installation.
I have already mentioned thart this tool has some disadvantages while creating a Windows 7 installation USB flash drive. According to Microsoft, this tool only supports Windows 7 ISO image. But some geeks claim that they can successfully manage to create bootable USB for Windows 8 and 8.1 as well.
All-in-one Tool to Create Windows ISO image and Windows 7 USB Installer
gBurner is a tool which allows you create bootable USB or Flash drive so that you can install Windows 7 to your PC directly from any external USB device. Let see how to make use of it.
- Windows 7 Installation Dvd or ISO file.
- gBurner Software.
- A Windows PC.
How to Prepare Bootable USB to Install Windows 7 from USB Disk Using gBurner
- At first, download and install gBurner to your PC and run the application.
- Now, in the left pane of the gBurner software, you will find ‘copy’ option and just select ‘Make Image’ option from there. This option lets you create a standard ISO image directly from a Windows installation DVD.
- Choose the disk and output location and click ‘OK’. It will take some time to create a Windows ISO image file. (Note: You can bypass the above steps if you already have a Windows ISO image file.)
- Now, go to ‘Tools’ section and select ‘Write USB’ option from there.You need to run gBurner as administrator to access this option.
- Insert a flash drive or any USB drive to your PC. Now, choose the input image file location from your PC. And Choose destination USB drive from there.
- Choose the writing method as ‘Auto’.
- Finally, choose ‘OK’ button to write Windows ISO image to USB flash drive.
The process would take 10-15 minutes. And, after the total completion, the USB drive will be ready and you will be able to install Windows 7 from that USB flash drive.
See the video tutorial that describes “How to Install Windows 7 from USB Drive or a Pen drive”:
Don’t hesitate to write down your queries into the comment section regarding any problem when installing Windows 7 from the USB flash drive. We are happy to help you!