Making a Bootable USB with Windows 7
Tonight I had a DVD with Windows 7 that used to work, but it wasn’t anymore. So I pulled out my trusty USB stick with a bootable copy of Windows 7 on it … alas that drive had gone through the wash a while back and finally kicked the bucket. I was determined not to strike out 3 times, so I decided to make a new USB bootable device. The steps are pretty easy to create a USB stick that boot up the Windows 7 setup from an ISO image, so I figured I would share the love.
- Grab a a Windows 7 ISO image and extract it to a folder (not on the USB stick)
- You can use a lot of programs, many of them free, to extract from an ISO. I use 7zip.
- Grab a 4GB USB stick
- Format the USB stick with NTFS using the “quick format”. (You can do this via Windows Explorer)
- Open a CMD prompt (run it as administrator)
- Run DISKPART
- Select the volume for the USB stick. First enter LIST VOL to show the list.
- Then enter SELECT VOL x where x is the volume number from the list
- Mark the volume as active by entering ACTIVE
- Enter EXIT to quit the DISKPART command line (but do not close the CMD prompt window)
- In the CMD prompt window, go to the location where you extracted the Windows 7 files on your computer
- Go into the BOOT folder
- Type BOOTSECT /NT60
: where the drive letter is the USB drive.
- Example BOOTSECT /NT60 G:
- Copy all of the files you extracted for Windows 7 to the USB stick
- On the computer you want to install Windows 7, go to your BIOS and make sure that boot from USB is enabled and in the correct position in the boot sequence.