How To: Install Windows 7 Or Windows 8 From USB Drive [Detailed 100% Working Guide]

This guide works 100% for Windows 7 and Windows 8 unlike most of the guides out there. I have seen many sites/blogs that have “Install Vista from USB guide” but either with incomplete steps or not working guide. I have also seen some guides that don’t’ use proper commands in this guide. After spending many hours I have come up with this 100% working guide to install Windows 7 and Windows 8 from USB flash drive.

Bootable USB drive

I just did this method on one of my friends machine and installed Windows 7 and Windows 8 . The main advantage is that by using USB drive you will be able to install Windows 7 or Windows 8 in just 15 minutes. You can also use this bootable USB drive on friend’s computer who doesn’t have a DVD optical drive.

The method is very simple and you can use without any hassles. Needless to say that your motherboard should support USB Boot feature to make use of the bootable USB drive. And if your PC doesn’t support booting from USB, you can still install Windows from USB by following our how to install Windows 7/8 from USB drive even if your PC doesn’t support USB boot feature.

How to install Windows 10 from USB drive guide might also interest you.

Requirements:

  • USB Flash Drive (Minimum 4GB)
  • Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation files.

Follow the below steps to create bootable Windows 7/Windows 8 USB drive using which you can install Windows 7 or Windows 8 easily.

Procedure:

Step 1: Plug-in your USB flash drive to USB port and move all the contents from USB drive to a safe location on your system.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt with admin rights. Use any of the below methods to open Command Prompt with admin rights.

*Type cmd in Start menu search box and hit Ctrl+ Shift+ Enter.

Or

*Go to Start menu > All programs > Accessories, right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

Step 3: You need to know about the USB drive a little bit. Type in the following commands in the command prompt:

First type DISKPART and hit enter to see the below message.

Bootable USB Drive

Next type LIST DISK command and note down the Disk number (ex: Disk 1) of your USB flash drive. In the below screenshot my Flash Drive Disk no is Disk 1.

Step 4: Next type all the below commands one by one. Here I assume that your disk drive no is “Disk 1”.If you have Disk 2 as your USB flash drive then use Disk 2.Refer the above step to confirm it.

So below are the commands you need to type and execute one by one:

SELECT DISK 1

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS Quick

(In the above command, replace NTFS with FAT32 if your system supports UEFI)

(Format process may take few seconds)

ASSIGN

EXIT

Don’t close the command prompt as we need to execute one more command at the next step. Just minimize it.

Bootable USB Drive

Step 5: Next insert your Windows7/Windows 8 DVD into the optical drive and check the drive letter of the DVD drive. In this guide I will assume that your DVD drive letter is “D” and USB drive letter is “H” (open my computer to know about it).

Step 6: Maximize the minimized Command Prompt in the 4th step.Type  the following command now:

D: CD BOOT and hit enter.Where “D” is your DVD drive letter.

CD BOOT and hit enter to see the below message.

Step 7: Type another command given below to update the USB drive with BOOTMGR compatible code.

BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H:

14

Where “H” is your USB drive letter. Once you enter the above command you will see the below message.

Step 8: Copy your Windows 7 or Windows 8 DVD contents to the USB flash drive.

Step 9: Your USB drive is ready to boot and install Windows 7 or Windows 8. Only thing you need to change the boot priority at the BIOS to USB from the HDD or CD ROM drive. I won’t explain it as it’s just the matter the changing the boot priority or enabling the USB boot option in the BIOS.

Note: If you are not able to boot after following this guide means you haven’t set the BIOS priority to USB. If you got any problem in following this guide feel free to ask questions by leaving comment.

Update on Jan 11, 2012: If you find this guide difficult to follow, please use the easy-to-use guide to create a bootable USB to install Windows 7  or Windows 8 using official tool.

This guide works 100% for Windows 8/8.1 as well. Make sure you follow all steps correctly and launch the Command Prompt with admin rights (as given in the guide) to avoid errors. Good luck!

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Comments

  1. EDJAHMAN says

    Thank you for the guide!

    It was exciting using DOS commands. I haven’t used them in such a long, long time!

  2. CampinGoDance says

    I have already a soft copy of windows 7 and i don’t have optical DVD drive so im looking for USB installation of windows OS how should i continue to step 5 when i don’t have both DVD drive and DVD\CD of windows OS 7-8 .

  3. Lien Le says

    Regarding to grendel54 says
    July 31, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I can do everything but when i get to…

    Step 7: Type another command given below to update the USB drive with BOOTMGR compatible code.
    BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H:

    It says…

    “Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects:
    Access is denied.”

    ???

    Answer: Go to Start menu > All programs > Accessories, right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator. Then followed step 7 again, it will work.

  4. ntop says

    after i try to boot i get it to but when i start to install and it says i need a driver for my dvd drive and i dont know the make of my laptop to even get a driver. is there an alternative route around this?

  5. Varazir says

    Is there a way to have both win7 and win8 installation media on the same USB drive and you get a boot up menu when you boot up the drive ?

  6. satyanarayana says

    F:\boot>bootsect.exe /nt60 f:
    this version of F:\boot>bootsect.exe is not compatible with the version of windows you’re running.
    check your computer’s system information to see whether you need a x86 (32 bit) or x64 (64 bit)
    version of the program, and then contact the software publisher.

  7. Rusty says

    I want to run windows 7 on my new windows 8 computer can I do this? And/or run it from my old hard drive connected to my new computer? Thanks.

  8. john A says

    So tiring and complicated procedure with a dozen of steps! I didn´t even try ; there are a USB install progrmas with just one click or two….thank you anyway.

  9. JOSH says

    so, i cant find where i went wrong but i cant complete step 7. the usb is seen as a MBR and not a drive(so no H:) someone have any thoughts on this

  10. so says

    Is it possible to add two versions of windows 7 on the same usb flash drive? Like x86 and x64, both on same flashdrive? I mean, with some kind of bootmenu… Thanks!

  11. Kyle says

    Hey. Followed every step without any issue but when I try to boot from the USB I the message “BOOTMGR missing” any help would be great

  12. Kyle says

    Hello. Completed every step without issue but when booting from the USB first message I get is BOOTMGR missing.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  13. David says

    This doesn’t work if you booted UEFI, which is the default under all modern computers running Windows 8. This is the source of all the people complaining about “This tool can only be run on systems booted using a PC/AT BIOS” errors.

    The information is helpful, but you should state the issue with Windows 8 at the beginning in order to steer people towards other solutions.

  14. SolidSonicTH says

    Works for Windows 10 as well, lol.

    Not that I really had any doubt since things have been pretty standard since Vista.

  15. Adeyemi Oluwaseyi says

    I use the command in step 4 FORMAT FS=NTFS several times and it keeps giving me “100% completed Disk has encountered an error: the parameters is incorrect. see the system Event log for more information”… Please what do I do next or what may be the problem, and what is the solution. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks

  16. Raza says

    Thanx admin for this informative post. I tried this and made up to a successful boot from flash…but im facing problem during installation of windows…when system gets restarted during windows installation, it starts a fresh installation again. (Procedure of windows installation starts from the beginning) .Need Help on how to get rid of that.
    Regards Raza.

  17. victor says

    What must I do when I’m trying to boot de cd its says: this version of E boot is nt compitable with the version of windows you are ruunning check your computer system information

  18. Ken says

    What should I do when my version of windows is an iso file, & my PC doesn’t have a CD drive?

  19. WILL says

    HOW TO SOLVE???

    E:\boot>BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 F:
    This tool can only be run on systems booted using a PC/AT BIOS. This system
    was booted using EFI or some other firmware type.

  20. George says

    YES! Excellent fix to my BOOTMGR missing error. I was able to install Windows 7 using a USB flash drive successfully. Thank you!

  21. Chris says

    In step 7, after typing BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 F: I got “This tool can only be run on systems booted using a PC/AT BIOS. This system was booted using EPI or some other firmware type.”

    Could you please state how to get around this?

    I could see you got the same post earlier this year by Mario

  22. says

    sir thanks
    this the only method which i have found use full and correct.
    i have installed windows 7 successfully on my Samsung note book.
    again thanks

  23. grendel54 says

    if you are getting “Access is denied” on step 7…you need to run Command Prompt as administrator.

    in windows 7…you can go to your apps…type in cmd right click on command prompt and click run as administrator.

  24. grendel54 says

    I can do everything but when i get to…

    Step 7: Type another command given below to update the USB drive with BOOTMGR compatible code.
    BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H:

    It says…

    “Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects:
    Access is denied.”

    ???

  25. MARCELO says

    Como seleciono a partição?
    Quando digito “ACTIVE” a resposta é “nenhuma partição selecionada.
    Perdoe a ignorância, não entendo nada de DOS e estou a dias tentando formatar meu net.
    as outras formas com softwares já tentei e não deu certo.
    Eu ditito tudo isso abaixo? Incluindo “Criar partição principal e selecione partição 1?
    ELECT DISK 1

    LIMPO

    Criar partição principal

    Selecione a partição 1

    ACTIVE

    FORMATO FS = NTFS
    Obrigado pela paciência.

  26. MAHESH says

    my computer doesnot show pendrive in the list (DISK LIST) command. only the HDD is shown. give me the solution

  27. Matas Danisas says

    Even though I know something about computers, I didn’t understand any of the sentences in this tutorial. Can anyone help???

  28. Brian Kincaid says

    Even us old school IT Vets can learn a thing or two :) Thanks for the DOS walkthru, big help. Formatting a drive for my son’s laptop and his CD just took a dive. Great work here.

  29. Alexander says

    The bios wouldn’t recognise my USB DVD-drive, so this was a great work-around. Thanks a bunch for the guide. Simple, straight forward and I like that there’s no extra software to download either.

  30. Kiel says

    Thank you, this one works for me, im able to create windows 8.1 usb bootable installation.

  31. Huy says

    Hi! Thanks for the post!

    In step 7, after typing BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 F: I got “This tool can only be run on systems booted using a PC/AT BIOS. This system was booted using EPI or some other firmware type.”

    Help please!

  32. Mario says

    thanks for your help now I wonder how to get back to the old situation because i can see usb on my pc

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