When it comes to installing an operating system, OS, on a computer, there are two possible solutions for home users.
The first one is by purchasing a DVD with the OS and installing it from this, but since the birth of the netbook, the DVD/CD-player has been removed to make them even smaler.
So how do you install an OS on a computer that doesn’t have a DVD-player?
The anser is to install it from an USB-key. Unfortunately you can’t really buy a USB-key with Windows 7 to install from, at least it’s very hard to find one.
In this guide I will show you two possible ways of creating your own USB-key with the files needed to install Windows. In both cases the USB-key will be erased, so make sure you have a backup of all your files, if there are any.
What you need:
- A USB-key (At least 4Gb)
- A DVD or ISO-file with the OS
- A computer running Windows XP or higher
We will start with using the tool provided by Microsoft. This is the easiest way to create your USB-key.
All you need to do is to download the tool from Microsoft from here: Windows 7 USB/DVD
When the software is installed all you need to do is to open it from the desktop and you will be presented with the following window:
Browse to your ISO-file and click on “Next”. (If you don’t have an ISO-file you can download one here that will give you a 90 day trial)
On the next screen, choose if you wan’t to create a DVD or USB, in our case pick USB.
The last step is to pick your USB-key that you wan’t to copy the files to. To minimize the risk of choosing the wrong one, make sure only one is connected to your computer. When you have selected your USB-key, click on “Begin copying”.
WARNING! THIS WILL ERASE YOUR USB-KEY! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP OF ALL YOUR FILES ON THE USB-KEY!
Now, this was the easiest way of creating your key. The other way of doing it is a bit trickier, but not hard.
If you have made your ISO-file from a DVD yourself, the above step is not guarantied to work. (You might get a message saying the file is not valid)
What we need to do now is to do what the tool above does for us ourselfs.
Start with plugging in your USB-key to the computer and start a command prompt, as administrator, by klicking on start and typing cmd.exe. Right click on the ressult and pick “Run as administrator”.
In the prompt, type “DISKPART” (Without the quots) and press enter. Either a new window will appear, or it will be opened in the same.
In diskpart, type the following, and press enter after each step:
- LIST DISK (This will show you all connected drives, including your harddrives. Note the number shown before your USB-key. I will call it “X”)
- SELECT DISK X
- CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
- SELECT PARTITION 1
- FORMAT FS=NTFS
The next step is to make the USB-key bootable. Insert your DVD or mount your ISO file. (I’m using daemon-tools to mount my ISO-files. Download from here)
When this is done, open a new cmd as administrator, described above and type the following:
- D: CD BOOT (Where “D” is your DVD-drive with the Windows DVD/ISO) and hit enter.
- BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H: (Where “H” is the driveletter of your USB-key)
The last step is to copy all files from the DVD to your USB-key. After this you are ready to boot your computer from your newly created USB-key!