Windows 7 install from USB Flash

The other interesting thing about the Windows 7 beta install on the netbook is that it does not have a DVD drive. So instead I installed it from a USB flash drive which was a surprisingly simple exercise:

1. Write the ISO file to DVD or mount the image.

2. Format the flash drive FAT32 on a Vista machine using the GUI or diskpart.exe

I chose to run diskpart.exe:

Type “List Disk” to show you the available disks, my flash was disk 1

Type “Select Disk 1” to choose the disk to format, be sure not to get this wrong.

Type “Clean” to overwrite the partition table.

Type “Create Partition Primary” to create a new partition

Type “Select Partition 1” to select the partition you just created

Type “Active” to mark the partition active, without this the partition wont boot

Type “Format FS=FAT32 Quick” to quick format the partition using a FAT32 FS

Type “Assign LETTER=X” to optionally assign a drive letter, I chose X:

Type “Exit” to quit diskpart.exe

3. Copy all the files from the Windows 7 ISO image to the now empty flash drive.

And you are done, besides of course removing the flash drive and booting your target machine with it.