How To Create Bootable Windows 7, Vista, or XP USB Flash/Pen Drive Quickly

Users who have been struggling to follow our command prompt based install Windows 7 from USB flash drive and make bootable USB guides have a good reason to rejoice. Now you can create Windows 7, Vista, or the old XP bootable USB key with a few clicks. Yup, this is true. Read to know more!

win7 logo

Let’s begin the guide without wasting time. Just make sure that you have a pen drive with 4GB + capacity if you are making a bootable USB flash drive.

Requirements to create bootable Windows USB:

# Windows 7 or Vista ISO

# Pen drive with 4GB+ (2 GB is sufficient for XP)

# 15 Minutes of free time


1. Insert your USB flash/pen drive to your system and backup all the data from the USB as your USB drive will be formatted during the process.

2. Now download WinToFlash tool (free) from here.

3. Run the tool, and browse to your Windows 7, Vista, or XP DVD files (make sure that your USB drive letter is correct).


4. Click Create button to begin the bootable USB process. Wait for few minutes to see the bootable USB.

5. That’s all!

You might also like our how to make portable Windows 7 & install Windows 7 virtual box guides.



  1. SAM says

    I tried to make my usb bootable but on USB drive selection window I selected my local drive by mistake and continued. and my drive has been hidden or unallocated I can’t access my data now please help me out on this…

  2. Morbidox says

    This is the 2nd time I`m doing it . I installed my windows this way like 1 year ago and it worked just fine . Imma try this again , just wanted to make sure I don`t forget anything.

  3. warning says

    Do not download anything fom
    All software from the site contains a bunch of malware.

    And Trojans!

    File name:
    Detection ratio: 2 / 44
    Analysis date: 2012-12-18 00:57:52 UTC ( 7 timmar, 50 minuter ago )

    File name: Wintoflash_downloader_by_betterinstaller.exe
    Detection ratio: 9 / 43
    Analysis date: 2012-12-17 01:19:45 UTC ( 1 dag, 7 timmar ago )

  4. kamran azam says

    Doesnt show the iso files…

    and when i browse for directory in which i have saved windows xp fil.. then durin process..
    error says..failed to find…eula.txt…and bla bla bla

    help mee

  5. ity_bity_lilo_ME says

    Addition to clarify previous question:
    Live-drive , meaning, as for diagnostic use. Not to be used for installing Windows, but “running Windows-from the drive”.
    There are loads of tutorials for creating the live disks & USB’s but none for milti-boot (dual/triple boot).

  6. ity_bity_lilo_ME says

    I haven’t made this yet, but I’m going to after I finish typing, but I have a request.
    By using a larger USB drive like a 16GB, Can you make a Dual-boot, or even triple-boot,live-drive?
    Like Windows-7, XP and maybe Ubuntu or”?”.
    And if so , How?

  7. dirty indian -satish says

    idiots, it makes bootable Windows INSTALL on USB, not the system to run and use itself…pfff..

  8. Thibdey says

    It’s really useful for me, thank.
    Now I understand how to boot window from USB flash.

  9. George Michael says

    doesnt work, tried to start installation and error message about: hal.dll appeared

  10. sithrebel15 says

    YOu should update the guide the process has changed 🙂 Other than that thanks for the cool program

  11. sujan says

    i tried to download the tool………but its showin tat service is unavailable……….kindly advice…..

  12. Amit says


    I tried to make PEN drive bootable with the software but no luck. Even i have to face one more problem. Accidently i choose my another hdd 2nd partition (E). Had two partition (d and e)in the HDD. As soon as it started creating the image i realised that i have choosen wrong drive letter (hdd instead of PEN drive) and hence cancelled the process, since than i cannot see my partition in HDD. there is only one partition (E) shown to the disk. I lost partion D …
    i am using window 7
    was trying to create usb pen drive bootable for XP.
    i had two partition in 500 GB HDD .. 1 (D) -10GB and 2(e)-30gb and rest was unallocated. Now it is showing 465.76gb only with drive letter {E}.

    Please suggest.

  13. PEEWEE says

    wich version did you used? because the screenshot you posted is diffirend from my version.. and it asks for a license key.

  14. Stoyan says

    i want to insert Win XP in USB
    1. must be NTFS or FAT32?
    2. Quick erase is ok or no?
    3. Most important – which file must select – .iso or other file (because i select where is my .iso but not open it). Please give more info for the win xp

  15. jondank says

    Tried the automatic mode but that just copies the setup. I need a bootable USB and thsi tool does not do it for Win 7.

  16. jondank says

    Does not seem to work for Win 7. Win 7 was not in the drop down menu. Used Advanced method. Tried to create a bootable USB. Failed to create. Missing files.

  17. Rajesh says

    Dear admin, how to my office all pc ip and download
    otherwise how to stop my office 25 pc download for some site
    and how to lock facebook,twiter etc… site

    Please help

  18. smiegel says

    it seems to be working…. my cd drive wasnt/isnt working so this seems to be a great tool.

    thanks to the geniuses behind this website

  19. Dave says

    You can mount your iso. on a virtual drive such as virtual clone ect. then use the virtual drive as the source file.
    (tried and tested success on Win7)

  20. Johnson says

    @KC: You need to write the ISO to a CD first, and not just as a data CD which wont work. This can be done using Nero or similar. (I think windows comes with a program that can do this also).

  21. Johnson says

    For those that on boot up are having problems: Enter the BIOS and remove everything but the USB device from the boot list. Even if priority of USB was higher in boot order or I chose USB device on startup it still attempted booting from HDD which you do not want. Hope this helps a few

  22. KC says

    PLEASE HELP! I cannot get it to work! The WinToFlashTool program keeps saying incorrect windows source file location or something like that!
    I don’t know what is wrong.
    I downloaded the windows 7 recovery ISO file(s) and put it in my download directory and it’s NOT recognizing it or them somehow.
    Can somebody PLEASE HELP I am stuck trying to get my Windows 7 Netbook Restored to where it will boot again.
    Right now it won’t even boot!

  23. ppppp says

    not working with windows xp sp3

    i currently hv windows vista home basic installed
    nd i wished to install win xp sp3 but my cd/dvd drive isn’t working
    i used ur way by using wintoflash but it didn’t worked can u suggest a better way

  24. Hedeyatch says

    Hi, can u solve my problem, I want my USB can install both OS (XP & 7), i mean 1 usb can install 2 OS. so my usb have menu looks like this :
    1. Install Windows 7
    2. Install Windows XP

  25. masum says

    Thanks a lot…. very easy to use. I used several other tutorials, and this was the only one that worked. Installed Windows 7 Ultimate.but windows xp and windows xplive how to install now install please email.

  26. Menghong says

    I can not download the software “WindToFlash” to install in my computer. Please do it easy to knowledge

  27. Dev says

    Its really works…dude..First I tried with Windows XP SP3..Idoesnt work..after With Windows 7 Ultimate….and its a ultimate software

  28. Aravind says

    Hello…ur post was useful…But can u suggest mthds for booting the usb disk for Windows XP….cos no one hav suggested the rite thing for XP…hope u ll do…thnx in advance..

  29. Marina says

    Error: Cannot find device driver.

    “A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now.

    Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.”

    A need a help!!!!!!

  30. Ranjan says

    Tried WinToFlash but setup aborted shortly with message

    cannot find acpi.sys

    How this file left or not copied? I used same cd which i used to install at lest three time on same pic (cd r).

  31. bharat varshney says

    hey admin ,
    whenever i start my laptop it says serial number not found , ans start with windows downloading files after that it comes to dos prompt windows and gets restarted ,, isthre any solution to it

  32. bharat varshney says

    hey admin,
    i need to install windows 7 from a usb as my dvd writer is not working,, , i went through your guide but i have only 4 gb pen drive , could u suggest me that some boot files which can be skipped

  33. shuvo says

    i am installing xp with usb flash drive but can not install windows 7.i am using 3.76 GB take 1st boot,copying file but not take 2nd boot and not completing windows 7 setup.what’s problem?thanks

  34. Jimmy says

    it works =) very nice program.
    Just follow the settings and i’ll work.
    reinstalling w7 on my laptop atm (:

  35. Polo says

    Can you reformat your flash drive back to normal, if i do not need the bootable format.

    I have Windows 7 Ultimate SP1

    If anyone knows how to fix a Windows Update fail that occasionally freezes and must have a ‘hold down’ power off. I hope the recovery will work.

    Thanks you if anyone can fix my problem!!!!!!

  36. Nilim says

    when transefering windows setup to pendrive a message , saying Error while getting AD , whats the problem say plz.

  37. Balaji says


    i am trying to install win 7 on sony vaio due to OS corrupt.
    i created bootable usb (format asmentioned above(default), not ntfs)

    after plugin, laptop halts to use usb, i see usb is egtting used for couple of seocnd(40xsecs) and then just black screen and a letter ‘j’ at lefttop corner 🙁

    waiting very long (1 hour) but no fun..

    please let me know, do we need to use default format as win2usb takes or need to change,
    let me give a try and see if it makes any changes.

    pls let me know your feeback admin.

  38. Bdub says

    Might want to mention in your guide that you need to extract the .iso file to a folder. 😉

  39. Nikhil says

    Hi All,

    I need help. While using Wintoflash I direct my XP CD to the source file and USB drive as the destination file. It allows to boot in the normal way, but after the installation when the system restarts it says “HAL.DLL” not found or is corrupt.

  40. MOIN KHAN says

    Thanx. its work quick and easy…. in my pc..
    my operating system is xp,,,,, and really to thanks for that the solution…….

    Moin Khan

  41. Silx says

    tried to install xp with this method, hanged like hell while making the bootable stick, then took about 9 hours to copy files which i got to 50% until it said there’s a file missing..

  42. manish says

    Hey,somebody help me!!!!i have sony vaio windows 7 laptop.My laptop atacked by virus,so i need to reinstall the windows 7 using usb flash drive as my laptop dont have cd rom.could someone tell me what to do,from scratch,i m really lost…..

  43. Michael says

    Error: Cannot find device driver.

    “A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now.

    Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.”

  44. asif says

    i m getting errors like LBA & CHS NOT FOUND afer i try to boot it from bootable usb i have windows7 in it dont know what to do

  45. farhat says

    thanks dude its working and 1 more problem my 8500 3d card when i turn on my pc there are lines and box on screen some1 told me that update bios for 3d card but how?

  46. Kamal says

    I tried but my all data is lost and unable to make the same. And all drive is become a single drive
    pls… Help me.

  47. william cruz says

    hey im having trouble trying to do this i want to create a bootable usb and for it to install windows xp at the same time…I downloaded the WintoFlash but after that i have no idea what i have to do.

  48. Patrik says

    If ur boot restarts over and over again after done whit the ntfs installing on hdd then u shuld try to take out usbpendevice and put it back into computer after corekt startup

  49. andrea says

    I would like to know if changes to files to this Windows on USB pen are permanent after quitting or not. With linux on usb pen changes can be permanent. Thanks.

  50. ChriizZ says

    It works like a charm, Installing Windows 7 LITE on my acer aspire a101 😀 thank you 😀

  51. jon says

    Win2flash is great, but it can’t (and I quote the title of this post…) “How To Create Bootable Windows 7, Vista, or XP USB Flash/Pen Drive Quickly”. It can only make a bootable install disk of Vista, win7 or XP. Also, the following isn’t true…and I quote the author again) ” Now you can create Windows 7, Vista, or the old XP bootable USB key with a few clicks. Yup, this is true.”

    In order to boot the bootable install usb (so you can now install the chosen OS, not run it as the post mistakenly states), you must disable the quick removal setting on it first, and set it to performance. You also have to format the said usb key with NSTF. Once you’ve done all that, just chossing your OS imagefile won’t work either. The imagefile must be extracted first.

    So if you want what the title says (a bootable Windows OS on a usb key) you’re out of luck. But if you want to be able to install “FROM” a usb key, Win2fLASH should work if you follow the author’s instructions plus set the usb to performance, format it with NSTF and extract your OS installation imagefile before you try to select it.

    What may happen after you do all of this (remembering to change the boot priority or choice to USB-HDD in Bios…), can be harrowing. Instructions are very ambiguous and not all BIOS’s will follow even these instructions. The only advice here is to email Win2Flash support and see if they can’t clean up the boot gui and maybe add an english, clear and concise txt help file concerning what it is you have to do when trying to boot from your USB. If you utilize the poke, push and madly press method (trial and error, and try again ad finitum) then it is most likely you will hit on something that will actually have you running the install OS from your USB. I recommend that you write down everything you do exactly, as you do it if you use the aforementioned, crazy method. I used it and didn’t write anything down. I may never be able to duplicate running the install from my usb again. But it did finally work, after tons of research, modifications and “poking”. For some it will go nicely, but for most it won’t go without blood sweatr and tears.

    Win2Flash staff>>>write clearer boot gui, include ALL prerequisites in posts like this and include a txt help file at least…that speaks to all of the above.

    When it works though….very cool, especially with these ridiculous netbooks that are fast becoming dustcollectors because of inept programmers and careless companies.

    *I had absolutely no problems installing Win 7 and a truckload of problems installing Win Xp pro sp2. Win7 should not be installed on netbooks with internal ssd drives as it “grows” via the side by side (winsxs directory) very quickly to consume an 8 gig completely…and it cannot be moved or bypassed. Just a thought.

  52. ChrisNova777 says

    why am i the only one who seems to always get this stupid BCD ERROR everytime i boot no matter which flash drive i use… @#$%#@$%@#$

  53. silverfall says

    Hi all.
    I used “Novicorp WinToFlash 0.6.0011 beta” in windows XP and prepared a 8GB Imation nano USB drive(once with XP and then with windows 7). When I boot from the USB drive it shows “Searching for boot record from usb RMD-FDD – OK” and the computer stucks. I don’t know why this happens if someone can, please help me.
    Thanks a lot in advance.

  54. anil says

    sir,my PC boot from pendrive but when I want to instal win xp after option if you are agree I press F8 after this it does not work

  55. RR says

    **** Works well.. Took a while to create the Bootable USB drive, but worth the wait. Installing on a DELL D430.. Thanks heaps mate.. Great Work.. 🙂 ****

  56. punit chauhan says

    novicorp software is really very – very good.
    its easy to play.
    easy to understand , what we want to do,
    its a easiest way to boot your pc by usb.

  57. rankin says

    wicked…how long Ive been waiting for some think like this..had enough trouble doing it other ways,which failed..this done it for me first time o m g,,,its great.worth doing people

  58. Jaiveeru says


  59. Simran says

    If it doesn’t work, try another soft “WinSetupUSB” equally good, where “WintoFlash” failed 3 times!

  60. AD says

    Working perfect… super post… and great tool provided. I’d donate some if I was rich but accept my acknowledment for now.


  61. asd says

    ho ho y! i try this sh@@ abd runs great even the recovery console!!! thanks!! this site rulezzzzz~~~~!!!!!!

  62. asd says

    oh! and i forgot to mention that i search a way to run the recovery console from usb cause i do not want to format for a simple issue that could be fixed with rc.

  63. asd says

    hi there! i do not know if this program work but i will try it now and i will tell you the results!
    the only sure thing is that i tried everything about booting from usb and some guides works smoothly but i want the easiest way….those bootsectors drive me mad!!!

  64. Chris says

    Save yourself a lot of headache and just grab the trial version of UltraISO. Make your ISO and “Write” it back to the USB device.

    You can use it as FAT32. I haven’t tried NTFS. After slugging at this for almost 3 hours, this is what worked.

  65. makesh says

    it didn’t working…………….
    just showing black screen while booting window in dell insprion 1525 lap…
    what i do must, plz reply my mail…………

  66. Greg says

    Version 0.6.0005 beta with Windows XP SP3
    I’m using this in Windows XP. First the screen shots do not look like what is posted on this site. The real problem (like the gentlemen earlier) is no matter what I select, I get “Incorrect Source of Windows files” What I am really trying to use is a Paragon set of files that would have been used to create a backup CD that doesn’t work on my laptop. So I am directing the Windows source path to a directory that includes boot folder, sources folder and bootmgr. ISO file is not visible in this program ( unlike the tutorial shows ). Since that didn’t work, I attempted to direct toward C:\WINDOWS (I do not have Windows XP DVD). Any help here?

  67. Shuhao says

    WOW this works just so you guys who don’t have a dvd version of window 7 just use daemon tool lite to mount the iso files than browse in the letter and boom your all set.

    All you need is a Window 7 DVD or ISO file and a USB flash drive.

  68. psycracy says

    Wait… some Sticks do NOT work! Check DISKPART from
    CMD.EXE to see if your Stick is bootable. I have 3 Sticks:

    2 of them worked, while 1 doesn’t.

    + check NTFS format where 4+ Gb are available.

  69. psycracy says

    It just works.

    You need the install files of Windows (either CD, DVD or ISO)

    If you have ISO you HAVE to EXTRACT the actual files…

    What could a dumb USB Key do with an .iso file?

    Once done, you can install Windows from USB. No CD needed.

    Enjoy yo’netbook, with XP naturally ; ]

  70. Rakesh Solanki says

    Thanks for this tip, I was great headache for me before read your post. but you solved my problem, thanks again.

  71. Click says

    Thank you so much for your nice application.
    First I did as the tutorial above to USB key, Success and Next I did with my External Hard drive, The big problem is launch. I select one of my Partition. and the I click create. I wait a while and the the program Merge my External hard drive. All my one year work data lose, and all my Brother and sister Wedding lose, Every thing on my hard drive is lose. Do someone have any solution for this problem, Could I recover my file back?All very importance for me.Hope to see the solution.

  72. karan says

    thanxxxxxxxxxxx… awesome work and nice software…
    worked for me…my cd drive was not really helped me a lot. thanks..

  73. Josse says

    Just so it’s been said, you’ve got to extract the .iso-file to a folder, and specify that folder as the “Windows files path”.. Before I did, I got the error message “Incorrect source windows file”, like someone else did. I suggest using WinRAR to extract the .iso.

  74. crismic says

    thank you awesome works for me n my gf

  75. Fareed Jaffar says

    One question. Is it possible to utilize (WinToFlash) tool to install WIndows 7 on an external USB Hard Drive and boot from it? I have Acer ASPIREONE netebook with only 8 GB capacity and thought that this might help me overcome this issue.

  76. brandon says

    This is great! I was struggling with diskpart not working in XP, and downloaded MBRwiz, and that wasn’t working, and was following all sorts of guides and such and this does it all in one click, and works!

    Got my windows 7 files onto the thumb drive and made it bootable in under 5 minutes, now its installing on my netbook no problem! thanks a ton!

  77. Nix says

    Ok sussed it.

    When I went to GDISK (in DOS) to wipe the drive it came up with a message saying “Fixed disk 3 has partition(s) that extend past the end of the disk”.

    So I wiped ther drive and then used FDISK and FORMAT and checked GDISK and there was no error.

    Went back into WINDOWS and ran WinToFlash again and then back to GDISK in DOS to check the status of the drive and sure enough the partition error was reported.

    So i wiped and reformatted again and went back to WinToFlash again but this time instead of usibg the default File System of FAT32 LBA, I changed it to FAT32 CHS.

    Once complete, went back to GDISK in DOS again and this time there was no error reported for the drive.

    The USB is a 4GB Lexar JD Firefly.

    Not sure what the difference is between CHS and LBA – something to do with drive size maybe – but I thought I’d post and update for others to be aware of this.

    I’ll keep an eye on my usb stick to see if it still gets corrupted or not.

  78. craig says

    ive followed the instructions, all seemed fine. changed bios to boot ‘removable device’ first….

    when i start the asus eee pc 4g it says ‘reboot and select proper boot device…’

    any ideas?

  79. Nix says

    I was also able to use the tool to create a bootable USB version of my GHOST 10 cd by selecting the create from PE option and then poiting to my GHOST 10 cd.

    Boots from the USB heaps quicker than windows.

    One thing I have noticed is that if I use the USB in windows and then ‘Safely Remove’ it, it becomes unbootable and I have to re-copy NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM from the CD to the USB.

    Although I’m not sure that’s what’s happening as I plug it in at work and ‘Safely Remove’ and then when I get it home sometimes it seems to have become corrupt.

    I know I initially played around with Lexar’s Bootit utility so maybe I’s left some setting on the USB incorrect, but I accidentally managed to wipe my hard drive using Bootit (must have pointed to the wrong drive) so I’ve been reluctant to use it again.

    Might need to use GDISK that comes with Ghost to wipe the USB totally clean and start from scratch.

  80. TB says

    Windows 7 Boots up from my usb drive but after i select install it says:

    G:\Sources\install.wim not found. G happens to be my DVD drive.

    Any clue why it trys to search my dvd drive and my floppy, i noticed my floppy light came on too.

    Does the pen drives title need to be labled correctly?
    my pen drive happens to be J drive

  81. Nix says

    Ok, tested last night and was able to create the USB from a DELL Windows XP MCE SP2 OEM DVD and it let me boot from the USB stick too and I went into the repair console – didn’t try an an actual windows install yet.

    I tried using the .iso file but couldn’t get that working but noticed in your screenshot that it mentions PE file source whereas I was trying to use it as Windows File Source – maybe I’ll try that again tonight, although I’m not sure a non PE iso can be used.

  82. Yianni says

    Thanks a lot…. very easy to use. I used several other tutorials, and this was the only one that worked. Installed Windows 7 Ultimate on an Asus EEEPC 1005HA from 4GB flash drive.

    Thanks a lot…. very easy to use.

  83. Hawksie says

    How about installing the os onto the usb?
    how would i make my usb a local disk drive so that i can install win7 on it

  84. BreakeR says

    “Incorrect source windows file”
    Im using windows xp 64bits and i keep getting this error.
    any solution?

  85. admin says

    Since the tool was not working fine to most of the users, we have edited the post with a new tool. We hope this works fine. We apologies for the inconvenience.

  86. raus says

    I am having the same problem as Shawo. I am trying to install it on my netbook which currently has Windows XP.

  87. admin says


    First, you can’t use this guide to create a live XP. Second, please mentione the OS on which you are trying to create bootable USB. Finally, do you get any error while copying contents to USB?

  88. pawan says

    dear all

    i done all ur above instructions (Unetbootin)
    i m unable to boot this method, i inserted the 2gb pen drive in the system and set the BIOS setting boot from usb hdd and it boot but not ahead to run, automatic boot run again and again please reply soon how can i run live winxp through pen drive

    Thanks and regards

  89. Shawo says

    It didn’t work. It just shows a white screen ‘UNetbottin’ Then a line ‘Default’ but nothing is happening.

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