Windows 7 is really a great step forward for Microsoft and already, people are making a tremendous shift to it from XP and Vista. If you are using a net book or a PC without a CD or DVD drive, you are probably stuck, trying to figure out how to get this new operating system on to your machine. The good news is, it’s relatively simple and all you need is the Windows 7 (or Vista) install CD, a USB thumb drive and a free version of WinRAR.
- USB Flash Drive with no less than 4GB of space
- WinRAR, Free download at www.rarlab.com
- Windows 7 Install Disk
1. Format the Thumb Drive
With your computer turned on, plug in your flash drive. Click start and then type in the find box cmd.exe. Right click on it and then select Run as administrator. Next, type “diskpart” and then hit enter from the command line. Next type “list disk” to reveal all of the active disks on your pc, each having a corresponding number assigned to them. Type the following commands in order ensuring to hit enter after each command.
- Select Disk # (replace the # with the number corresponding to your flash drive)
- Create Partition Primary
- Select Partition 1
- Format FS=NTFS (This step make take several minutes to complete.)
- Assign (Be sure to take note of the drive letter assigned)
2. Create a Bootable Drive from your Thumb Drive
Insert the Windows 7 install disk into your optical drive. Right click on the drive letter and click “view files”. Create a folder on your desktop and copy all of the files from the Windows 7 install disk into the folder. Click start and then type in the find box cmd.exe. Right click on it and then select Run as administrator. From the command prompt, navigate to the folder you created on your desktop. It should be formatted similarly to “C:\Users\Username\Desktop\Foldercreated”. Once in the folder you created, type “CD Boot”. Next, type “Bootsect.exe /nt60 DriveLetter:” where Drive letter is the letter corresponding to your flash drive. After this has completed, the flash drive has been successfully turned into a bootable device. The next step is to move the install files onto the drive.
3. Load up the Install Files
Double click on your flash drive to open its contents up. From the desktop, open the folder you created with the Windows 7 install files in it. Copy the contents of this folder and paste them into the flash drive. Once this is done, you have completed the process of making the flash drive an installable medium for Windows 7.
4. Reboot your computer
With your newly created bootable flash drive plugged in, restart the machine you want to install windows 7 on. Enter your bios and change the boot order to try the flash drive first. Save your changes, exit and the process is complete.
With this guide, any machine can be upgrade to Windows 7. You may notice that installing from the flash drive is preferable, as it can be much quicker than the traditional optical drive method.