How to make a bootable USB flash drive Windows 7 or Windows 8
There was an excellent article on the Microsoft website on how to make a bootable USB flash drive with a Windows 7 distribution, but unfortunately it disappeared. Here I tried to recover this article. By the way, in the same way, I managed to make a bootable USB flash drive with the Windows 8 distribution. To create a bootable USB flash drive, you only need a Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation disk or a disk image, a Windows computer and, in fact, a USB flash drive of a suitable size (the size must be larger than the size of the installation disk).
Why do I need a bootable USB flash drive with a Windows distribution? It’s simple — to install Windows on a computer. For example, if you need to install Windows on a netbook and you do not have an external drive, or if you have an iso image and do not want to mess with disks. So let’s get started.
Prepare a flash drive
Before creating a bootable flash drive, you need to format it. Please note that formatting will erase all data on the flash drive.
1. Connect the flash drive to the computer.
2. Open a Command Prompt with administrative privileges (Start menu -> All Programs -> Accessories, right-click on the Command Prompt application and select Run as administrator).
Launch Command Prompt with administrator privileges by selecting «Run as administrator»
3. In the command prompt window, type and execute (Enter key) the following commands:
The window will display a list of drives installed on your computer. Find your flash drive in this list, to do this, check the size of the flash drive with the size in the list (in the example in the image — Disk 1).
Determine the number of your flash drive
4. Now format the flash drive by sequentially entering the commands below, where X is the number of your flash drive obtained in the previous step (in the example in the image — 1):
select disk X
create partition primary
select partition 1
ATTENTION! Check that you are specifying a number specifically for the flash drive. Otherwise, if you enter an incorrect number, such as the hard disk number, you will erase all data from it.
Format the flash drive
Create a bootable flash drive
Now you can move on to creating a bootable flash drive. For this:
1. Insert the Windows 7 boot disk into the DVD drive or mount the image.
2. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges.
3. Go to the root directory of the Windows 7 installation disk. To do this, run the following commands, where D is the letter of your DVD drive or emulator DVD drive:
Navigate to the root directory of the Windows 7 installation disk
4. Enter and apply a command that will create a boot section on the flash drive and add the boot code, where F is the letter of your flash drive.
bootsect /nt60F :
Add the Windows 7 boot code to your flash drive
To complete the creation of a bootable flash drive, copy all the files from the Windows 7 installation disk to the flash drive. For this:
1. Through the “Computer” window, find and open the USB flash drive and DVD drive with the Windows 7 installation disk.
2. In the DVD drive window, select all the files contained on the disc, right-click on any of the files and select «Copy».
3. Go to the window of your flash drive, right-click on an empty space in the window and select «Paste».
4. Wait for the files to finish copying.
5. After copying the files, you can use your flash drive to install Windows 7 on your netbook. To start the installation process, you only need to boot the netbook from a flash drive.
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