July 19, 2010

292 words 2 mins read

Windows 7 USB install

Even since Vista, Microsoft has made it possible to install Windows via USB drive.  This is extremely useful for those of us that have MSDN and download ISOs direct.  It is also very helpful for those trying to install on a netbook or other optical-less machine. The main problem is that it has been a pain in the ass to setup and prep the USB drives. Guess what? Not any more.

Introducing the "

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool".  Microsoft realized that making a simple tool to do all those complicated steps would make it much more attractive for non-technical users to install Win 7 onto their machines.  Using the tool is dead simple:

  • Download it
  • Install it
  • Run it
  • Step 1 will ask you for an ISO file, select what you’ve previously downloaded
  • Step 2 will ask you if you want to do USB device or burn a DVD, do USB
  • Step 3 will ask you for the USB drive.  I suggest something fast and at least 4 GB.  My preference is the Cruzer Titanium, I have a keychain of 4 of them for different OS’s.
  • Allow it to wipe out your USB drive (this means erase everything) and copy the files
  • Done!

At this point, you’ll have a USB drive ready to install Windows 7 on any machine you should desire.  If your USB device is fairly speedy, you’ll notice it installs much faster than off a DVD (that is, if you install Win 7 a lot).  Personally, I prefer to install everything off of USB as it saves me from burning off a one use Frisbee (seriously, at a penny a DVD, who keeps these things for more than one use?).  Better for the environment and all that jazz.