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How to Create a Bootable Windows 7 USB or Vista USB Drive ?

Open the command prompt with admin rights. Type cmd in Start menu search box and hit Shift+Ctrl+Enter.
To keep things really easy, if you see text in upper case, it means this is what you type into the command prompt (you don’t need to type in upper case).

bootable windows 7 usb
bootable windows 7 usb

Next type

DISKPART

this loads the diskpart application we need to proceed

Then type

LIST DISK

the image above shows our 32 GB USB drive is listed as DISK 2

so you have to type

SELECT DISK 2 (your USB Drive may have a different number, don’t follow exactly this text it depends on your usb drive)

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

bootable windows 7 usb
bootable windows 7 usb

Next we want to clean the USB drive

Type:

CLEAN

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

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

SELECT DISK 2 (or what number your USB drive has)

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS

Formatting can take a little time depending on the size of the drive, our 32GB unit took about 10 minutes to format – you will see a percentage readout until it is finished.

bootable windows 7 usb
bootable windows 7 usb

Next type:

ASSIGN

EXIT (DISK PART will exit)

Type D: CD BOOT (substitute the “D” if necessary with the letter of your Windows 7 DVD drive)

then key

CD BOOT

then

BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 E: (substitute the “E” if necessary with the letter of your now ready USB drive) – we are telling the system to create a boot sector file on the USB drive.

bootable windows 7 usb
bootable windows 7 usb

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

Once this step is finished you’ll be ready to boot from this drive, all you need to do is configure your motherboard bios setup to boot first from USB rather than hard drive or optical drive. If you don’t know how to do this, refer to your specific motherboard manual or search the internet.

Now, Windows 7 installation should take between 40% and 60% of the time it does from the DVD disc.

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