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How to install windows from a flash drive

In this article, I will answer the three most popular questions that arise for PC users who decide to install Windows 7 or Windows 8, 8.1, 10 from a USB flash drive for the first time.

How to install Windows from a USB flash driveHow to make a bootable USB flash driveHow to boot from a USB flash drive
Recently, the issue of installing Windows from a USB flash drive has become especially relevant. The share of so-called netbooks is growing rapidly in the computer equipment market. Compact netbooks not equipped with an optical drive are mobile and very convenient.

Everything would be fine, but what if there is no DVD drive? In fact, the absence or malfunction of the drive does not mean that you cannot install Windows or any other operating system. This problem has a simple solution: you need to write the installation files to the USB-stick and install from it.

The process of installing the operating system from a flash drive is much more convenient and faster. Why waste time and money buying a drive if you have a USB drive at home. In addition, there is no guarantee that you will be able to burn the Windows image to disk the first time, respectively, this is an extra cost. All we need is a USB flash drive of 4 GB or more.

How to install windows from a flash drive
In fact, the process of installing Windows from a flash drive is no different from installing Windows from a disk. One difference is the media, in this case, the USB drive from which the installation will be made. To do this, we need to create a bootable USB flash drive. Below is written how to do it. Accordingly, before installing Windows from a USB flash drive, you need to transfer all important data from the partition to which you intend to install the system, usually Disk (C :), to another partition. Also do not forget to prepare the drivers in advance. Nowadays, when a computer is used for payments, I recommend immediately installing the correct antivirus. And, to completely close the installation issue, Adobe Flash Player (follow the link for a guide on how to do this correctly).

How to make a bootable flash drive?
There are plenty of ways to prepare your USB flash drive for subsequent installation of the operating system. I decided to dwell on the most reliable and proven method: through the command line. You can also read about creating a bootable USB flash drive in this article, it also describes a very simple and popular way to create a bootable USB flash drive in Windows 7 and Windows 8 using WinSetupFromUSB.

It is suitable for preparing a flash drive with the subsequent installation of Windows 7, and for installing Windows 8 (Windows 8.1). Do not be confused by the abundance of screenshots and the apparent complexity of this method. This is not so, soon you will see for yourself. This method allows you to create a bootable USB flash drive directly from the Windows 7 operating system itself. Let’s get started.

Attention: to install Windows from a USB flash drive, you will need to format it completely, accordingly, all stored information on it will be deleted, so copy important files to another drive in advance.

In this case, we will prepare a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 7, but in the same way you can make a USB flash drive with Windows 8 (8.1).

First, insert the USB flash drive into the laptop and run the command line. To do this, click on the Start → Run menu or the Win + R key combination with the display of the dialog box, where we type cmd and click OK.

A dialog box appears that looks like this.

In this dialog box, the administrator will need to enter a series of commands, which I will give a little below, and always confirm the action of the commands by pressing the Enter key. Let’s get started. For convenience, commands can be copied here and pasted into your dialog box.

Enter the diskpart command and press Enter:

Now you need to list the storage devices, for this we enter the list disk command and press Enter:

Disk 0 with a size of 232 GB → this is my hard drive, we do not need it, but Disk 1 with a size of 29 GB → this is my flash drive. By the way, if your flash drive is 4 GB or 8 GB, then do not look for exactly that size, as a rule, the system can show 3822 MB or 7640 MB, respectively.

Be careful!!! 1 → this is my disk number. If you have a flash drive number 2 (respectively, Disk 2), then enter the command select disk 2. This is crucial, otherwise you can easily erase the entire hard disk.

Since the flash drive I have is Disk 1 (I remind you, you may have a different number), enter the command select disk 1 and press Enter. Disc 1 is selected.

We enter the clean command, it cleans the selected disk, and press Enter:

Next create partition primary command and press Enter.

The specified section was created successfully. Next – select partition partition 1 command and press Enter.

Next, enter the active command and press Enter.

It is necessary to format the flash drive in NTFS format. Let’s get started. Enter the command format fs = NTFS and press Enter. We are waiting for this to take some time. For the impatient, there is a format fs = NTFS QUICK command.

When formatting is completed, we issue the assign command and the flash drive is automatically assigned a letter, in my case (J).

It remains to complete the work. Enter the Exit command and press Enter.

The most interesting thing is behind. By the way, this is how our flash drive in the system now looks like: Removable Disk (J :).

Now copy all the files from the disk with the Windows distribution to the USB flash drive. If you have an ISO image with a distribution, then I recommend using the DAEMON Tools Lite utility.

Install this utility, select the iso image with Windows and double-click the left mouse button, the image is mounted, then you need to open the folder to view files.

Now all these files are simply copied to a previously prepared flash drive.

You can use the utility 7-Zip. Launch the utility and select the ISO-image with Windows, click on the “Extract” button and select the USB flash drive.

That’s all. Our bootable USB flash drive with Windows 7 is ready to install. If you did everything correctly, running the setup file located in the USB flash drive directory will open the Windows installer.

Go to the next step. Now we need to boot the computer from the USB flash drive and start the installation of the Windows 7 operating system.

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