How to create a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive

Tagged: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, Technology
Source: Ars Technica - Read the full article
Posted: 6 years 45 weeks ago

The USB flash drive has replaced the floppy disk drive as the best storage medium for transferring files, but it also has its uses as a replacement for CDs and DVDs. USB drives tend to be higher in capacity than disc media, but since they are more expensive, they cannot (yet) really be used as a replacement. There are reasons why you would, however, choose a USB device over a DVD disc, and bootable software is definitely one of them. Not only is it faster to copy data such as setup files from a USB drive, but during usage the access times are also significantly faster. Therefore, installing something like Windows 7 will work that much faster from a USB drive than from a DVD (and of course, is particularly useful for the PCs without an optical drive; this isn't something we should just leave for the pirates to enjoy).

This guide will show you two different ways to create a USB flash drive that works just like a Windows 7 DVD. In order to follow this guide, you'll need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of free space and a copy of the Windows 7 installation disc...



Andreas Hofer
Andreas Hofer's picture
Joined: 10/31/2009
Posts: 121

Good article. Using the MS tool is a good way, however if you are working on an OS X, Linux or Solaris PC, you won't have that option. In that case just format the drive to "FAT32" and copy the whole content from the DVD to your flash drive. Nothing else needed. Worked for me with alpha, beta, rc and release of Windows 7. Btw installing from a decent flash drive takes about 12~20 minutes depending on speed of your hard and flash drive.