Installing Windows 7 using usb thumb drive

Hi everyone,

Those days gone when we used to carry floppy disks to copy small documents, text files here and there. Now, we prefer USB thumb drives or pen drives for copying documents, multimedia files. Over the last few years USB drives have been quite cheap to buy. And these days when we have operating system size grown into GBs we have to burn the DVD disc every time we want to install the OS. But using USB thumb drive we install Windows 7 without wasting any DVD disc. Many of us who try different builds and format the machine often; for such users installing from USB drive is peace of mind. No need to burn the DVD every time. Also, the netbooks are getting very common for eg. Asus Eee PC. As netbooks don’t have built-in DVD drive, installing from USB drive is the most convenient option than hunting for USB Optical drive.

So, what do we need to install the Windows 7 from USB drive ? A USB thumb drive with capacity 4 GB or more and of course Windows 7 DVD media. Right now we have Windows 7 Beta build 7000 having total DVD media sizing just over 2.4 GB.

Let’s start by pluggin the 4 GB USB thumb drive.

Open the elevated command prompt with administrator privileges and type the following commands.


C :\Windows\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7000
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: AVIRAJ

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          149 GB      0 B
  Disk 1    Online         3834 MB      0 B

DISKPART> select disk 1

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.


DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> format fs=fat32 quick

  100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

DISKPART> active

DiskPart marked the current partition as active.


Leaving DiskPart...


Now, just copy the files located on Windows 7 DVD Media.image

Make sure in the BIOS you have selected USB Boot option. Otherwise you won’t be able to boot from the USB thumb drive.

Next step, plug in the USB thumb drive into the notebook or netbook, where you want to install Windows 7. It will boot from the USB thumb drive. Installing from USB drive improves installation time vs installing from DVD Media as optical media is lower that USB.

Using this same USB thumb drive you can install Windows 7 on any computer that supports booting from USB. And now on you won’t be wasting the DVD disc for burning any new build of Windows 7. Just replace the media files on the USB thumb drive and install the OS. :)