Create bootable USB stick for Windows 7 installation

Create a bootable USB stick and install Windows 7 from a USB drive using this guide.

Third party software doesn’t always work as it’s supposed to.

With this BootableUSB guide all you need is to ensure that your motherboard supports USB booting, and this is a common feature now for most computers.

This step by step guide works perfectly and doesn’t require any additional tools.

I used an 8gb flash drive, but anything => 4gb will work.

Requirements:
1) Windows 7 DVD install disc or ISO image
2) USB Drive (4gb+ faster the better)
3) Running Windows Operating system

Plug your USB drive into your PC / laptop:

Note: Ensure that any data on your USB stick is backed up before over writing it.

Either insert your Windows 7 DVD or extract the .ISO image to an empty folder on your hard drive.

Make a note of the USB drive letter, and (if applicable) the drive letter of your DVD ROM.

Open a command prompt with admin rights. (commands are not case sensitive)

Next type:

DISKPART

This loads the diskpart application we will be using for this task.

Then type:

LIST DISK

You should see a listing of your disks:

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: 

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          111 GB      0 B
  Disk 1    Online          931 GB  1024 KB
  Disk 2    Online         7633 MB      0 B
DISKPART>

The snippet above shows the 8gb USB drive is listed as DISK 2

You need to select the USB disk by typing:
(your USB Drive may have a different number, don’t follow exactly this text it depends on your usb drive)

SELECT DISK 2

You will get a successful response “Disk 2 is now the selected disk”

DISKPART> select disk 2

Disk 2 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART>

Next we want to completely erase the USB drive.

Type: (NOTE: before commencing this step, ensure you have selected the correct disk!!)

CLEAN

you will get a successful response ‘DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk”.

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

DISKPART>

After the drive is erased follow these commands (detailed below in list order) – you can also note the successful text responses from the OS as you enter each command.

SELECT DISK 2

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART>

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

DISKPART> active

DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

DISKPART>

FORMAT FS=NTFS

Formatting can take a little time depending on the size and performance of the drive / USB stick.

Next type:

DISKPART> ASSIGN

DISKPART> EXIT

(DISK PART will now exit)

Back at the DOS prompt:

Change to the drive / folder location of your Windows installation files. Mine wer in E:\Win_7\ so:

E:
cd \win_7\

Now change to the ‘Boot’ folder within the Windows installation CD:

E:\win_7\CD BOOT

You now need to make the USB disk bootable by writing the boot loader code:

BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 G:

(substitute “G:” with the letter of your now ready USB drive).

Now exit the command prompt and copy all the files on the Windows 7 DVD to the USB drive.

Once the copy process is complete you’ll be able to boot from the USB drive and install Windows.

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