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How To Install Windows 7 Faster Using USB Flash Drive

19 August 2009 No Comment

DVD drive cannot read the disc or if there is any scratches on the Windows installation DVD, and it is more convenient to carry around your USB flash drive rather than a DVD disc. Moreover, a lot of new compact small laptops or desktops doesn’t even have a CD/DVD drive. Other than that, you can even save useful software setups such as Firefox, Windows Live Messenger, 7-Zip, Orbit Downloader and etc into the USB drive so you can install them once Windows installation has been completed.

I will show you two ways (manual and automatic) on how to install Windows 7 using your USB drive.

Before we start, make sure you have at least a 4GB USB flash drive. Windows 7 installation files takes up around 3GB of space.

The manual way
1. Insert your USB flash drive.
2. Hit WIN+R, type cmd and click OK.

3. Type diskpart and hit ENTER

4. Type list disk, hit ENTER and identify the disk number for your USB flash drive. You MUST be very sure of this or else you’ll be formatting the wrong drive later on. If you have only one hard drive, then normally your USB flash drive will be disk 1.

5. Type select disk 1 and hit ENTER

6. Type clean and hit ENTER

7. Type create partition primary and hit ENTER

8. Type select partition 1 and hit ENTER

9. Type active and hit ENTER

10. Type format fs=fat32 and hit ENTER

11. Type assign and hit ENTER

12. Type exit and hit ENTER

13. Insert the Windows 7 installation DVD disc and copy everything from the DVD to your USB flash drive.

14. Boot up your computer with USB flash drive. You will need to go into your BIOS and make sure it is set to boot from flash devices. If you got it right, the Windows 7 installation should load from your USB flash drive.

The automatic way
There is a software called WinToFlash that does everything above automatically. All you need to do is run the program, set the location of the Windows 7 installation disc and the destination of your USB flash drive.
WinToFlash install Windows 7 from USB
1. Download the latest version of WinToFlash
2. Extract and run WinToFlash.exe
3. Click the big check button to start Windows setup transfer wizard.
4. Click Next
5. Specify the locations of Windows files and USB drive then click Next. The Windows files path if the drive letter of your DVD drive and the USB drive is the drive letter of your USB flash drive.
6. Select “I Accepted the terms of the license agreement” and click Continue.
7. Click OK to start formatting your USB flash drive and the files will be automatically transferred from your Windows 7 install disc to your USB flash drive.
8. Click Next when finished copying and boot up the computer with USB flash drive. You will need to go into your BIOS and make sure it is set to boot from flash devices. If you got it right, the Windows 7 installation should load from your USB flash drive.

Your computer hardware specification plays a part on the time taken to install Windows. I managed to complete installing Windows 7 from USB flash drive with only 17 minutes and my desktop’s specification is Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz, 2GB ram, 7200RPM 160GB SATA hard drive and MSI 945P Platinum mainboard. When I time installing Windows 7 using DVD, it took 22 minutes. So on my desktop computer, it is 22% faster installing Windows using USB flash drive compared to DVD.

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