How to Deploy Windows 7 from a USB Drive

How to Deploy Windows 7 from a USB Drive

It is possible to copy Windows 7 images to a USB flash drive and install Windows 7 onto a PC from it. This also applies to the Windows Vista, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 product families.

 This topic is a how to.
Please keep it as clear and simple as possible. Avoid speculative discussions as well as a deep dive into underlying mechanisms or related technologies.

 

The simplest method is to copy the DVD files or extract an official ISO. It is also possible to use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to customize an image and deploy this via USB drive.

End users could use Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. Please ensure that the USB flash drive has a minimum capacity of 4GB.

Basic Overview

  1. Using diskpart:
    1. Clean USB drive
    2. Create primary partition
    3. Format partition as NTFS
    4. Set partition as active
  2. Copy DVD files or extract official ISO onto the drive
  3. Boot PC from USB and install

Diskpart Commands

This process will prepare the USB drive for the Windows 7 disk files. In normal Windows GUI format tool, the Allocation Unit Size must be set to 4096 bytes. This works with some USB drives and fails in some USB drives. Therefore, diskpart is used.

Please note: This will delete all data on the drive, so ensure all files are backed up before continuing.

  1. Open the command prompt
  2. Type: diskpart
  3. Type: list disk
  4. This will show all connected disks, their disk numbers, connection status and disk size
  5. Using the sizes, determine which disk is your USB drive and remember its disk number (i.e. Disk 2)
  6. Type the following commands: (where X is the disk number of your USB drive)
    1. sel dis X
    2. clean
    3. cre par pri  
    4. active
    5. format fs=ntfs  Quick
    6. exit

Once the disk is formatted and prepared, you can copy the Windows 7 installation files onto the disk, whether this is from the DVD, ISO or a modified image.


For Deploying Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB Stick

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee731893%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

Video on the same topic

Video on how this is done on Edge - http://edge.technet.com/Media/Installing-Win7-using-a-USB-Stick/.



See more

Use a USB Key to Install Windows 7—Even on a Netbook - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535816.aspx



See Also

 



Other Languages

This article is also available in the following languages:

Italian (it-IT)

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 7 and 8 and type the answer here:
  • Post
Wiki - Revision Comment List(Revision Comment)
Sort by: Published Date | Most Recent | Most Useful
Comments
  • Richard Mueller edited Revision 29. Comment: Removed zero in <a name> tag in heading in HTML so TOC works properly

  • Fernando Lugão Veltem edited Revision 26. Comment: removed (en-US) from the title

  • Mr M R WEBB edited Revision 25. Comment: Correction to Instruction 6 had an invalid parameter (NOT   format fs=fat32  Quick Format)

  • Luigi Bruno edited Revision 20. Comment: Edited article's title and tags list. Added the "Other Languages" section.

  • Luigi Bruno edited Revision 19. Comment: Added the "How to" Wiki Message Template.

  • M.Abdelhamid edited Revision 18. Comment: Add Tags

  • Nevin Janzen edited Revision 17. Comment: Tags Edit

  • Ed Price MSFT edited Revision 11. Comment: Removing those messages because they mess up SEO and the intro text displayed in search results.

  • jakobbg edited Revision 8. Comment: Added a note tag, added punctation.

  • DChung edited Revision 6. Comment: Added a Video link to Edge on the same topic

Page 1 of 2 (13 items) 12
Wikis - Comment List
Sort by: Published Date | Most Recent | Most Useful
Posting comments is temporarily disabled until 10:00am PST on Saturday, December 14th. Thank you for your patience.
Comments
  • Gerard Boyers [MSFT] edited Revision 1. Comment: +commands

  • Ed Price MSFT edited Revision 2. Comment: Added "How to" template.

  • Ed Price MSFT edited Revision 4. Comment: Added a "See Also" link.

  • DChung edited Revision 6. Comment: Added a Video link to Edge on the same topic

  • jakobbg edited Revision 8. Comment: Added a note tag, added punctation.

  • Ed Price MSFT edited Revision 11. Comment: Removing those messages because they mess up SEO and the intro text displayed in search results.

  • Very concise and easy to understand.

  • If adding a customized wim file that is greater than 4gb. then the usb should be formated ntfs.

  • Great!!

    Very simple.

    Tks

  • This method also works for the Windows 8 Developer Preview.

  • It is a very good article. I Hope it will even works with W8..

  • yep yep - i just tried on the win dev 8 on stick

  • Very useful article!

  • Thanks Ed

    Great Artical

  • Consider that not all USB, work correctly with the application, store.microsoft.com/.../ISO-Tool. In some models, do not burn well, I comporbado USB 5 marks. In contrast with Diskpark there is no problem. A greeting. John.

Page 1 of 3 (41 items) 123