Install Windows 7 from USB Key
I finally figured out a way to get Win 7 installed from a USB key. Here’s how.
What You Will Need
- Windows 7 ISO
- 4GB or greater USB Key (thumbdrive, whatever you call it)
- Working Windows Installation (I did this using Win XP)
- Download and install the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. If you’re using XP like I did make sure you install all the required software to use it.
- Run the tool. Browse for your ISO file and click next. Then browse to your USB key and click next. Then let it run.
- After it copies your files you will have a bootable USB key that you can boot off of and install Windows 7.
- If you are going to use a different bit ISO than what you are currently using (eg. Running WinXP 32 and making a Win7 64 bootable USB drive) you need to copy the correct bootsect.exe program to the directory where you installed the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. That means you need to have a Win7 32 ISO as well. Copy the bootsect.exe (It’s under /boot on the ISO) to the directory and then let it run. If you don’t do this the tool will try to use the program from the ISO and since you are running the wrong architecture it won’t work.
Did I mention installing from a USB key is much faster than from a DVD? I installed Windows 7 on an average box in about 10 – 15 minutes.