Nowadays USB Flash drivers are very popular due to their size, durability, reusability, portability etc. What happens if your optical drive didn’t work or laptop hasn’t it and you want to install Operating System. Don’t worry! Here are some steps to make your Flash drive bootable and install Operating System easily and quickly.
- USB Flash drive of 4GB or 8GB. 4GB Flash Drive will be enough for Windows 7 but I’ve seen Windows 8 ISO image file larger than 4GB so 8GB Flash Drive will be required.
- Windows 7 or Windows 8 DVD or ISO image (downloaded ones). If you have ISO image file you need to mount the ISO image file using DAEMON Tools Lite or DVDFab Virtual Drive or WinCDEmu or any you know.
Step 1: Insert the USB Flash drive into the USB port, preferably empty or if you have data just backup it, later on it will be formatted on the process.
Step 2: Open the “Command Prompt” with Administrator permission. To get that navigate to Start->All Programs-> Accessories->Command Prompt (Right click on this and select ‘Run as Administrator’)
Step 3: On the Command Prompt type “diskpart”
Step 4: On the prompt type “list disk” e.g. DISKPART> list disk
This command will list all the attached disks to your system. The first one Disk 0 is your Hard Drive. Just check the size of the disk if you get confused. In this example Disk 1 in the 16GB USB Flash drive. On the prompt type “select disk 1” e.g. DISKPART>select disk 1
Step 5: On the command prompt type the following commands serially.
DISKPART> clean DISKPART> create partition primary DISKPART> select partition 1 DISKPART> active DISKPART> format fs=ntfs quick DISKPART> assign DISKPART> exit
Step 6: Insert the Windows 7 or Windows 8 disk on the optical drive or mount the ISO image file as a virtual drive and remember the drive letter in this example it’s “H:”
Enter the following on the command prompt
C:\Windows\system32>H: H:\>cd boot H:\boot>bootsect.exe /NT60 I:
(where I: is the USB Flash Drive)
Step 7: Now copy all the contents of the Windows 7 or Windows 8 disk to the USB Flash drive. Some antivirus program may deny copying some files to USB Flash drive so you may need to temporarily disable them.
Now one important configuration is left that’s on your system’s BIOS. During start up press “F2” or “DEL” or any key specific to your device, to enter BIOS mode. Look for “USB Boot” or “External Boot” or “Legacy USB Support” and enable it. Then change the boot priority to “USB Device” at first.