Install Windows Vista and Windows 7 from a USB drive. Install Vista-Windows 7 from USB Flash Drive
*Please note: Depending on your Windows Install disk or images size, you will need a USB drive that matches or exceeds the install size. Example: A retail Windows Vista SP1 disk is 4.3gbs in size, you will need a USB larger than 4gb.
*These instructions were written on a Vista machine, same rules apply in XP versions except you do not have to open the Command Prompt as the Admin.
•StartAll ProgramsAccessories, Right click on command promt and choose Run as administrator
•At command line type diskpart and hit enter
•At DISKPART command, type list disk
•It will show you a list of all available mountable disks on your computer. Be very SURE you are choosing the correct drive, so you do not wipe the wrong disk.
•Type select disk 1
•Then type clean
•Type create partition primary
•Type select partition 1
•Type format fs=fat32, it will then count up the percentage to 100%
•Then type assign, Now please verify the drive letter assigned to your USB drive in your my computer drive list.
•You will now be back at the command prompt. This is where you will type the xcopy command to copy the contents of the vista or windows 7 disk to your USB drive. In my case, I have a windows 7 ISO or CD image that is located on my local C: , I will extract the iso using WinRAR to a directory located on my C: . If you burn this image to a disk, you will point the xcopy command to the drives letter. Example, if your DVD-ROM is D: and your USB is E:, you will type xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\ (without quotes)
•I have the extracted iso in a folder located at c:\Windows7. I will type xcopy c:\Windows7\*.* /s/e/f e:\ (without quotes) This will then start the full copy process of the install files to your USB drive. Please wait for this to complete, and show ### File(s) copied, and place you back at your command prompt. You can now type exit and close the cmd window.
•It is now time to install the operating system from the USB drive. Please reboot the computer with the USB drive in the PC. Most newer PCs and laptops made within the past 3-4 years will have the ability to boot to a USB flash drive. Two main ways to do this. One, if your first initial boot screen has the option for a boot menu, sometimes when hitting esc or f9, depending on your computer, use the boot screen to show available bootable hardware. Two, go into your BIOS settings, by hitting f1 or Del, again depending on your computer, and setting the BIOS to boot to the USB drive by setting the boot order. Now if you choose to set the BIOS boot order after the FIRST restart on the install, you must set the hard drive as the first boot device in the BIOS. If you do not, you will then boot again directly into the install USB to start all over. If you have option 1 available, this is only temporary, and it will set it at the first time and revert back to the previous settings after the install restarts itself.
•Install the OS, leave the USB drive in through the whole install.
***I used a Patriot Xporter XT 4GB Flash drive for my install medium. This is a high speed USB drive, and when using other USB drives, your results may vary. Results in speed, and motherboard boot compatibility.
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