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How To Install Windows 7 From A USB Key

Usually when you need to install a fresh copy of windows 7 or Vista, you insert the DVD, restart you computer and begin the process but what if you want ti install windows on a notebook with no optical drive? Well don't worry you can do it by using a USB key, this is how you can do it (It is very important to follow step-by-step)


1- 4GB USB Key
3- Windows 7 installation disc

Let's Begin

1- Plug in your USB key and back up any data stored on it
2- You need to format the USB before proceeding
3- After format process is done click Start and type cmd in the search field
4- When cmd.exe appears, Right-click > Run As Administrator

5- Type diskpart and press Enter (to enter the Disk Partition command line tool)
6- Type list disk and press Enter (to reveal a list of all your active disks each of which is associated with a number. Make a note of which one is your USB key, based on the capacity. In our screenshot below, our USB drive is Disk 6 (8GB)

7- Type Select Disk # and press Enter (Where # is the number of your USB disk. We typed Select Disk 6)
8- Type Clean and press Enter (removes any existing partitions from the USB disk, including any hidden sectors)
9- Type Create Partition Primary and press Enter (Creates a new primary partition with default parameters)
10- Type Select Partition 1 and press Enter (Focus on the newly created partition)
11- Type Active and press Enter (Sets the in-focus partition to active, informing the disk firmware that this is a valid system partition)
12- Type Format FS=NTFS and press Enter (Formats the partition with the NTFS file system. This may take several minutes to complete, depending on the size of your USB key.)
13- Type Assign and press Enter (Gives the USB drive a Windows volume and next available drive letter, which you should write down. In our case, drive L was assigned.)
14- Type Exit and press Enter (Quits the DiskPart tool)

15- Insert your Windows 7 install DVD into your drive, copy all of the files inside it to a folder on your Desktop. We put the disc contents in a folder named Windows 7

16- Run cmd as administrator again (like in step 4)
17- Now you need to locate the folder on your desktop holding the windows 7 content by using cmd. to do this follow me step-by-step
18- Right-click > Properties on your Windows 7 folder on your desktop

19- Near the location label is the path of your folder as shown in the picture above C:\Users\YOUR USERNAME\Desktop
20- Now back to the cmd, type cd\ and press Enter
21- Type cd users and press Enter
22- Type cd YOUR USERNAME and press Enter (you should enter your username, let's say the path of your Windows 7 folder is C:\Users\Geek Tutor\Desktop, then you should type cd geek tutor in this step)
23- Type cd desktop and press Enter
24- Type cd windows 7 and press Enter (replace windows 7 with the folder name that you chose earlier)
25- Type CD Boot and press Enter (This gets you into the boot directory)
26- Type Bootsect.exe /nt60 L: and press Enter (where L is the drive letter assigned to your USB key from previous steps)

Important: If you’re currently running 32-bit Windows Vista or 7, Bootsect will only work if you use the files from the 32-bit Windows 7 install disc. The Bootsect executable from the 64-bit version will not run in 32-bit Vista.

27- Now you need to copy all the files from the folder on your desktop (in our case Windows 7) and paste them into your USB Drive
28- Now your USB is ready, plug it into the target computer and don't forget to change the boot order by accessing the BIOS settings (by clicking F2 or F12 while booting). You should reorder the boot order by putting the USB as first device, now save the settings (click F10 then Yes) and restart your computer. The loading will start if you set the order in the correct way

Note: Some computers don't support booting USB drives first

This tutorial uses cmd.exe to create a bootable USB to install Windows 7/Vista, you can find many ready applications that will do all the above steps.
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