A couple of years ago, during the days of Windows XP and Vista to be precise, we all used to use traditional CDs and DVDs to install Windows operating system. Post the release of Windows 7 Beta in January 2009, a number of tools started appearing on the web to create bootable USBs that help you install Windows 7 from a USB drive.
Microsoft also released an official tool, a few weeks before the release of Windows 7 RTM to the public, called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to help end users create bootable Windows 7 USBs from ISO image files. Tools like Rufus and WinUSB Maker are capable of creating bootable USB compatible with both tradition BIOS and new UEFI systems.
But there might be situations where you have Windows 8.1 ISO file but don’t have a USB drive to prepare and install/re-install Windows 8.1 from a USB drive. Thankfully, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 can be installed from your phone’s memory card as well.
These days, almost all of us own at least one smart phone and most of these smart phones, barring iPhone, support Micro SD memory cards. So finding a memory card isn’t a hard task, and since all of us carry our phones everywhere, we can quickly move the SD card data to a PC, prepare the bootable memory card, and then install Windows from the memory card.
In this guide, we will show you how to create bootable Micro SD memory card and use it as the bootable media to install Windows 8.1 from the same. Follow the given below instructions to prepare your Windows 8.1 bootable Micro SD card and then install Windows 8.1.
Preparing Windows 7/8.1 bootable memory card is fairly a simple job and you need to follow the same procedure that you followed to create Windows 8.1 bootable USB drives.
NOTE 1: Memory cards, other than Micro SD, can also be used to prepare bootable media and then install Windows from it.
NOTE 2: Before using the Command Prompt to prepare the bootable media, I tried the popular Rufus tool to make memory card bootable but it failed. Other similar tools out there might help you in preparing the bootable memory card but we’re going to use the 100% working instructions provided in our how to install Windows 7/8/8.1 from USB guide to prepare Windows 8.1 bootable memory card.
Step 1: Remove the Micro SD memory card from your phone and attach it to your PC either using built-in or an external memory card reader.
Step 2: Back up all data from your memory card to a safe location, as we’re going to format the memory card which will erase all data from the card.
Step 3: Open elevated Command Prompt. To open the Command Prompt with administrator rights, type CMD in the Start screen or Start menu, and then simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys. You can also refer to our how to open Command Prompt as administrator for detailed instructions.
Step 4: In the elevated Command Prompt, execute the following commands:
Press Enter key.
Press Enter key.
Notice the disk number of your memory card. For example, in the above picture, my memory card’s disk number is 1.
Step 5: Next, type the following commands one after another and press Enter key after tying each command.
Select Disk 1
In the above command, replace “1″ with your memory card’s disk number that you have obtained in Step 4.
Create Partition Primary
Select Partition 1
Format Fs=NTFS Quick
Don’t close the Command Prompt yet.
Step 6: Next, mount your Windows 7/8.1 ISO file to get a drive letter for the mounted drive. If you’re on Windows 8/8.1, right-click on the ISO file and then click Mount. And if you’re on Windows 7, please go through our how to mount an ISO file in Windows 7 guide for detailed instructions.
Step 7: Execute the following three commands:
G: Cd Boot
Where “G” is drive letter of the mounted ISO file
Bootsect.exe /NT60 F:
In the above command, replace “F” with the drive letter of your Micro SD memory card. That’s it! You can now close the Command Prompt.
Step 8: Finally, copy all files (including hidden, if any) from the virtual drive (ISO file mounted drive) to your memory card. Your bootable Windows memory card is now ready.
Step 9: Turn on the PC on which you would like to install Windows from the bootable memory card, connect the bootable memory card, boot into BIOS or UEFI, re-arrange the boot order to bootable from memory card/USB and restart the PC to see Press any key to boot from CD/DVD message on the screen.
Press any key to begin loading necessary files and installing Windows 7/8.1 operating system. Good luck!
NOTE: Should your PC doesn’t show memory card in the BIOS/UEFI and doesn’t support booting from a memory card, you can put back the memory card (after preparing the bootable one) into your phone, connect the phone to your PC using a supported cable and then restart your PC to boot and install Windows. It worked on our PC, at least.