With Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 recently going RTM, I’ve found myself installing them in quite a few different configurations. One configuration that I’ve recently ran into is installing it into a machine with no CD drive of any means. I know I could carry around a USB-based DVD drive but instead, I wanted to have a USB pen drive to install it from. After some research, I found that it was relatively easy to create such a tool!
- Either mount the ISO or insert the DVD for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 into your computer. Let’s say it’s at D:\
- Format your USB stick to FAT32 (I used default settings for everything via the Windows format tool). Let’s say it’s at H:\
- Run the following commands at a command prompt:
d:\boot\bootsect.exe /NT60 h: xcopy d:\*.* /s /e /f h:\
At this point, you should be able to boot off of your USB stick (pending proper BIOS settings on the machine you’re booting up from) and it will install Windows off of the flash memory! Easy as that! This has been done from Vista and Win7. I’m not sure about other OSes.
Updated: Thanks to Arktronic for identifying a missing command. Apparently my USB stick was made bootable previously and I didn’t realize that.[/edit]