How To Repair Windows 7 From USB Flash Drive (Repair Without Installation DVD Disc)

One of the best features of Windows 7 is that it lets you create a repair disc so that you can use it when you encounter problems with the installation. You can use this recovery disc to access system recovery options.

 repair windows 7 from usb flash drive

We have already covered how to create a system repair disc in Windows 7. Unfortunately, Windows 7 doesn’t allow you create a bootable USB flash drive. So, in this guide, we will show you how to create a bootable Windows 7 recovery USB flash drive.

 

The procedure is simple and pretty much similar to our how to install Windows 7 from USB flash drive guide. And the best thing is that you don’t need Windows 7 installation DVD to create this recovery USB drive.

Method 1:

1. Type create system repair disc in Windows 7 Start menu search box and hit enter.

 repair windows 7 from usb flash drive wihout installation disc

2. In the resulting dialog-box, select your DVD drive. Insert a blank DVD into the DVD drive and then click Create disc button to start creating Windows 7 repair disc. Wait for a few minutes to complete the burning task.

 repair windows 7 from usb flash drive wihout installation disc 1

3. Once you have Windows 7 repair disc, you can now create a Windows 7 recovery USB drive. Plug your USB flash drive and make sure that you have no data on the USB drive as we are going to format it.

 

4. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges. To do this, type CMD in Start menu search field and then hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Alternatively, go to All programs, Accessories, right-click on Command Prompt and then select Run as administrator.

 repair windows 7 from usb flash drive wihout installation disc 2

5. In the command prompt, you need to execute the following commands.

Type DISKPART and hit enter.

 repair windows 7 from usb flash drive

Now, type LIST DISK and press enter to see list of disks attached to your computer. In the next step, you need to select your USB flash drive that you are using to create system recovery drive (in this example, we are selecting Disk 1).

 repair windows 7 from usb flash drive guide

From now on, type all the following commands one by one and then hit enter (again, please make sure that you are replacing the DISK 1 with your Disk number).

SELECT DISK 1

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS

(Format process may take few seconds)

ASSIGN

EXIT

repair windows 7 from usb flash drive guide

6. Now, insert the previously created repair disc and copy all the contents (contains three items) to the USB flash drive. You have just created a bootable Windows 7 recovery USB drive. Good luck!

repair windows 7 using USB flash drive

Method 2: Users who don’t like to burn a DVD can refer this method.

1. Download Windows 7 Recovery Disc ISO file.

 

2. Follow the procedure given in step 4 and step 5 (under Method 1).

 

3. Extract the ISO file contents using WinRAR or 7-Zip to your USB flash drive to create your USB recovery drive.

 

4. Before you restart your PC, you might need to enable USB booting feature in the BIOS settings.

 

5. Good luck!

Comments

  1. Jim says

    The instructions worked like a charm for creating the bootable USB. However I have run into an issue when trying to use it to boot. The windows boot manager screen comes up and tells me windows failed to start. Put in the install disk (i don’t have one…I have a windows recovery USB I made when the computer was new). I’m trying to recover from a catastrophic hard drive crash where I had to replace the hard drive all together. It looks like \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe is missing
    status 0xc0000001.
    I’m a little confused and could use some help.

  2. Zul says

    I can not enter the windows at all… I stuck at [ bootmgr is compressed ]….
    How can I fix it? I don’t think I can even reach the command prompt… I can only start and restart repeatedly…. Please help me….

  3. hayden says

    format fs=ntfs diskpart has encountered an error the parameter is incorrect,..

  4. Yingtong Li says

    If you can get a copy of the Windows 7 Repair Disk ISO (ask a friend or search for a torrent *cough*), you can partition the USB (search GParted) on a Mac and extract the files just fine.

  5. Eric Chang says

    Hello. Recently, my brother broke his computer. It wasn’t able to boot properly, so he gave up and bought a new computer. I was looking forward to restoring it and making it my own. However there are 2 problems. 1. I don’t have a restore disk. 2. I could use these instructions, but I have an iMac, and it appears you need a Windows computer to get this done. Help?

  6. Anne-Laure says

    Thanks. It saved me. I could’nt boot my laptop from the CD drive and now everything is OK
    Anne-Laure

  7. chiet97 says

    I’m broken my windows 7 notebook few days ago. And it’s say file “winload.exe” crush or something…
    I don’t have the recovery disc, so i have to use this method.
    After formating my removable storage, what is exactly location files should i put.
    Please tell me what files do I need to put inside my removable storage?
    And after put all the files, what i need to do?

  8. Richar danda Richest says

    Thank you so much. I really had a hard time trying to revive my crushed hp mini laptop. However, instead of formating using the cmd which takes long, better use usbformat:-
    It formats faster

  9. jeff says

    The link provided in step 1 of method 2 is not the Windows 7 Recovery ISO, but some Linux thing that I do not trust. Waste of $$$ – fix the link or be upfront about what the linked ISO is..

  10. Nathan says

    I have a question, what do I do next? Sorry for being a COMPLETE idiot but I do not understand how to use it. Also, can I use this to return my PC to factory state and if so, how?

    Thanks in advance

  11. Minh says

    Thanks so much!!!!! You’re my life saver! This works like a charm\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

  12. ali says

    Thank you for this offer of good help to protect my pc
    this is very helpful and practical
    best regards
    ali

  13. somemail@somewhere.c says

    For me this did not work.

    The system tries to boot from the pen but givens an /boobt/bce file error.
    And then it asks you to insert the installion cd instead, because whatever it failed to read the boot information from the pen.

  14. Brad says

    I just managed to make this work with windows 7 USB/DVD tool – no need to go through the cmd hassle. This guide should be ammended with this advice, just like the install windows 7 from usb was.

    Just download a system restore disk .iso from the internet and select it in windows 7 USB/DVD tool. It will perhaps complain that the iso file is not valid. If so use a free tool like gburner, go to properties menu and make sure only UDF is checked. Then save the .iso file. Now you will be able to open it in Microsoft official usb bootable tool. Tada, simple and aeasy.

  15. Brad says

    Can this be used in combination with the official windows 7 USB/DVD tool? So instead of having to prep the USB with cmd tools you just use the user friendly tool from microsoft?

  16. abhi says

    Hi all,
    After reading through the entire post I still have the following doubts.
    Firstly, does downloading the Windows 7 ISO and transferring it to the usb works for the windows 7 starter editions too??
    Then, after creating this bootable usb, can i remove the recovery partition from my HD??
    And finally, will the above mentioned USB(after its creation) be able to restore my system if i completely remove windows OS??
    Thanks in advance.

  17. Jeffrey says

    This was unbelievably awesome. After spending way too much time trying to get UNetbootin to create bootable Windows ISOs, this took less about ten minutes. I guess Windows begets Windows.

  18. Anna says

    Hey PJ – you have to have Windows 7 in some format. However, if you don’t have access to a CD because Win7 isn’t working, you have easily download the ISO, format the USB drive (which you can do in XP, so that wasn’t a problem for you) and then move the files over to the USB. Once you have done that, you could restart the computer and use your shiny new bootable USB to fix your Win7. Just saying – the command prompt works no matter what kind of Windows you are using…. and since you have a dual boot system, obviously you know how to get around a computer enough you should be able to get to the command prompt without a search box. lol

  19. PJ says

    This article only helps if you actually CAN get into windows 7 already!? Step 1: “Type create system repair disc in Windows 7 Start menu search box and hit enter.” .. what?? FAIL. I CAN’T GET INTO WINDOWS 7! How can I access the windows 7 Start menu search box if I can’t get into windows 7??? Thankfully I have a dual boot system with xp so I can still use my pc to write this heart warming response to your unhelpful article. Nothing personal, but this didn’t help at all.

  20. ahmed says

    i did what was written but when i finshed and closed command prompt when i try to open my flash drive “please inset a disk into removable disk (F),, is there anyway to restore my flash drive back !?

  21. pau16 says

    when i boot it from a flash drive but i get stucked in a black screen with a blinking cursor at the top left of the screen. what will i do? please help

  22. Scorpion says

    I got this Recovery. But when I load it, The System recovery option is stuck. I cannot get to the next step. Please help.

  23. Caerd says

    This worked like a charm on a Windows 7 netbook where I trashed the MBR installing a Linux dual boot, but did not have a portable DVD to boot the netbook.

  24. Henry says

    I blindly followed these instructions and I am now waiting for my usb drive to format, I’ll point out that you can save yourself 5-20 mins(depending on usb size) by doing a quick format instead of a full format.

  25. vicky says

    I downloaded it, added it into my USB flash drive, but I do not really understand what I am supposed to do next. :/
    Can someone help me out?

  26. Ian says

    This really helped me out after I used GParted to repartition my hard drive, after which Windows wouldn’t start. If I’d have looked up what to do, I would have known what was coming, but I’ve never been one for instruction manuals. Anyway, thanks a lot!

  27. dave says

    although one disk can repair either version, the recovery environment won’t let you launch the installer for the other version. i would like to have one pen to be able to install either

  28. dave says

    This looks bang on. However, is there an easy way to put both the 32-bit and 64-bit repair disks on the pen, and then choose between at boot?

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