Installing Windows 7 Without Using DVD/USB Drive [Method 2]

If you are regular reader of IntoWindows, you probably have come across our “How to install Windows 7 Using USB Drive” article, a very detailed guide to install the latest Windows 7 from a USB flash drive. But, what if you don’t have a DVD or USB to install Windows 7? Here is our solution.


So you can continue this guide in keeping these three points:

# By using this guide you will be able to Install Windows 7/Vista, if you don’t have a DVD drive as well.

# You can also use this guide if you don’t have a 4GB USB stick. If you have a 4 GB+ USB drive then try out my “Install Windows 7 using USB drive” for a quick installation.

# We are not using either CD/DVD drive in this guide so you can even use this method to install this method for Netbooks.

There are two ways to install Windows 7/Vista without using A DVD or USB. The first one is using VPC (Virtual PC) and the second one is mounting an ISO file using free tools like Daemon tools or Virtual Clone Drive.

Also read: how to clean install Windows 10 from USB

Method 2: Installing Windows 7 without using a DVD or USB via direct method

In this method we install Windows 7 on a clean partition like the normal DVD boot method. Only change is we don’t use a DVD drive in this guide. Please follow the below instructions carefully and don’t skip any steps to make things quickly!

Step 1: Download the Windows 7 ISO files from Microsoft. I hope you have already downloaded one.

Step 2: Download and install Virtual Clone Drive from here.

Step 3: Firstly, go to the directory where you have saved Windows 7 ISO file. Right-click on the ISO file, select Open with and then select “Mount files with Virtual Clone Drive” to mount your ISO file.

 Open with

Step 4: Go back to My Computer (or Just Computer) and then double-click on the Virtual Clone Drive icon to start Windows 7 installation process.

Install Windows7

Yes, you are installing Windows 7 without a DVD or USB drive!

Step 5: Next, follow the normal Windows 7 installation procedure to finish the installation. Windows may restart during the install process. Worry not, everything will go fine.

You can also refer my “Windows 7 installation procedure” guide if you have doubts about the installation.

Below is the another way of installing Windows 7 without using a DVD or USB:

Method 1: Installing Windows 7 Without Using a DVD or USB via Virtual PC method



  1. ARIF ULLAH says

    Using Virtual Clone Drive, I have mounted Windows 7’s ISO. It then installed Windows 7 perfectly, on the primary partition; in other words, I don’t have any other partitions and it installed Windows 7 as the only OS.

    If you’re hesitating as to whether this will work for you, it most likely will.

  2. ross says

    After installing windows defender 32-bit offline into my pen drive (2GB), all files in my pen drive wiped out!

  3. Corrine says

    YES!! Finally someone who explains it well!! I’ve been looking like a mad woman everywhere on how to do this, finally someone who seems to know what he’s talking about!! Thank you so much! I will now proceed to install windows 7! (Because I finally get it!) *does happy dance*

  4. Mark says

    I’d like to create a USB flash Win7 recovery-install device. However, However, I don’t have any Win7 install DVDs, as my copy came pre-installed on a laptop. Lenovo says their create “factory recovery” won’t work on a USB stick, only on an external DVD/hard-drive. The factory recovery drives on the laptop have only *.wim files. Running the recovery program produces 4 *.swm files on the external media. Any way to create a flash install from all this?

  5. Alex says

    Works !
    I mounted the ISO onto the Virtual Clone Drive (Daemon tools also works) running on Win XP and installed Win 7 (32 bit) on a different partition. If the installation successfully finishes the stage one (copying files) of the entire process, you should not have any problem at all. After this, it restarts and continues on its own to stage two (expanding files), from here on everything happens in the Win 7 environment and the mounted ISO is no longer accessed nor needed. Couple more restarts and its done.

  6. Chris says

    Would it be possible to install windows 7 to a windows created software raid using this method?

    Would that work?

  7. Wan says

    Can I use this to download windows 7 from scratch over my already existing windows 7 os on this notebook?
    I don’t need a partition then right?

    I want to use the key of my already existing windows 7 os when I do so.

    Thanks for your answer.

  8. david says

    Sure you can install over windows xp, however you would need service pack 2 or higher version of windows xp to install. I would recommend win to flash software for installing windows 7. It will make the pen drive bootable and you would not have the dirty installation which this method would do.

  9. Ravi says

    The method two will work properly untill computer restarts but when it restarts the software virtual clonedrive will be disabled so it will not work after it restarts. May be ur computer must need disk or usb at that time. because installation of os is not complete and older os was formatted by u. So, try this method on ur risk. It may work or not for ur machine b’caz its all depended on bios setup. So,plz take care using method 2.

  10. teknik says

    copy whole mounted win7ult dvd on d: (not c:)
    type in cmd:
    reagentc /boottore >NUL (restart automatic)
    in winRE go to comman prompt and type

  11. Rob says

    Ok, followed the steps for formatting my external hard drive, in the process of doing that as we speak. I have the win7 iso file on my computer. i have daemon tools if that helps. I do not have a win7 bootable disc or cd/dvd drive. i have a hp mini which has win7 already on it. tryin to boot win7 from usb on my bro’s laptop that has vista on it. i made the mistake of formatting the recovery drive on his laptop and now it won’t boot vista, it tells me that the boot mgr is missing. Am I completely SOL? How do I mount the win7 iso file onto the usb external hard drive and make it bootable for his laptop? Making the usb bootable steps helped out a lot, thanks.

  12. Mike says

    To do a CLEAN install, booting into the Setup (PE) environment on a computer with no DVD and no usb boot options do the following.

    1. Prepare the drive. You can take the primary hard drive out of the computer and using an external adapter and another functioning computer create your partition, make sure it is active.

    2. Extract the contents of the installation ISO to the root of the HDD you just created the partions on. You now have a HDD with a primary, active partition and all of the files from a windows 7 DVD which will be bootable.

    3. Install the HDD back in the target computer. Boot, install windows.

    4. Cleanup, use EASYBCD to remove the setup entry from teh boot menu and remove all setup related files and directories from the root of C:

  13. Farhan says

    This method can only work when your upgrading your vista to windows 7. if you follow this method and choose custom installation then windows 7 install on your system drive and files of your previous version of windows copied to folder named “windows.old”. So this method is not useful and you need a DVD or USB drive to install a clean copy of windows.

  14. Karan says

    Hi Guys,

    This method works perfectly, I prefer using Virtual Clone Drive, as Daemon Tools doesn’t seem to be compatible with Win. 7 Download the .iso file, mount it using V. Clone Drive and start the installation process, everything will go perfectly. I’ve upgraded my PC to Win7 from Vista both x64 using this method. Good Luck!

  15. musthafa says

    Worked perfectly for me, though I used Alcohol 120% which i already use. Mounted the iso file and ran the setup and installed into a new partition and it ran smoothly with no hiccups.
    Thnx for this awesome article. You save me some trouble.

  16. Nathan says

    I just figured out how to do a home network between my netbook and desktop. Now I’m using the DVD drive on my desktop to install 7 on the netbook. It wasn’t hard to figure out and its going along very nicely.

    The only bummer was that I’d have liked to repartition my hard drive but you can’t do that if you start the install while windows is running.

  17. Answer says

    Why would you want that? Every Mac got a DVD-Drive…

    Mac OS X Doesn’t work on a PC, except for the hacked, illegal version, wich is very unstable.

    Why? Because the OS is locked to Certain Hardware.
    If It detects other hardware then those in a Mac, it will cancel the installation.

  18. SoftwaresLoaded says

    Hi, Nice Tutorial, Bigup to you..

    But i was wondering if we can install MAC OSX without using USB/DVD

    Can you please direct on how to install MAC OSX with just an .iso file.??

  19. Stacman says

    “That’s your fault pal.

    You should’ve read the entire thing, and created a partition.”

    That’s right! Make a new partition, format it, and install the new OS on it. If you try to install on the C partition your mounted image will go away upon formatting and installing the new files. By making a new partition and installing there you can later wipe the C partition and reclaim the space.

  20. Imtiaz383 says

    Oye dude. Sorry to interrupt. Before i proceed to the final stpe of installing windows 7, i have a 15Gb usb drive(Actually my Phones drive) and was wondering to not make the same mistake screwing my computer that lost its boot manager after it failed installing Windows 7 at the final step. So i thought to make a Recovery disk, rather than a dam Drive that is costly buying 16 of them of high capacity, my phones Drive is 15gb….i use it for all the types of cmd commands you give for making it into drives and stuffs..and all was successfull…but this time, i need something better and backup of my windows. SPACE REQUIRED: 8.75GB’s. Location: External simplest result i could think of is, Cloning my usb drive into a DVD drive JUST like the “Virtual clone drive” that cloned a space of memory into ROM and DVD. So now, can you help me make my PC vista 32bit “Toshiba Recovery Wizard” identify my USB(phones drive lol) as a DVD drive?????Please reply me in mail fast, because i’m running out of holiday i thought i could try out the new system in multi-boot.

  21. Challu says

    wow…..this method rocks…i was using XP on my HP mini 1129TU and i just installed the Virtual Clone Drive in XP, then copied the iso to my c drive in XP, and mounted it…ad clicked on istall and seleted “Customs” Method….it got installed seamlessly on the same partition…and i have no issues…in the last 6 hours…

    Thanks for the wonderful tip.


  22. Rob says

    Method 2 works great, I hooked up my external HDD with the installation files on it and installed on an empty partition of my netbook. I now have dual boot XP and W7 :D.

    You indeed have to make sure you install it on a different partition than the one with XP. Mounting is not necessary, you can also extract the files out of the .iso file and place them in a folder on your XP partition.

    I’m already thinking about throwing XP off my netbook and using W7 only!

  23. shyam says

    Will this method work for installing win 7 my mounting the image on XP ?? mine is not working..its giving me a error “Windows Setup cannot find a location to store temporary files.To install Windows,make sure that a partition on your boot disk has 685 MB of free space.” even when my C: drive (XP) is still 21GB free.Also the drive where I want to install win 7 is 58GB free.

    So what’s the problem ??

  24. Richard says

    For those trying to install a 64 bit Vista/Win 7 OS from a 32bit OS – It can’t be done by this method. The setup files and suport utilities on the 64 bit DVD are complied to be run from a 64 bit windows OS only.

    Therefor the only option is to do a clean install generally by booting from a DVD or alternativly from a usb stick as per tweakwindows other excellent and simple guide:

    Incidentally, if your computer bios supports it, you can use the exact same method as the usb stick guide to boot from a memory card reader via a memory card (such as a SD card). I used this method to put win7 RC on my Eee 900 using a 2 gig SD card I had lying around.

  25. Hari says

    Thanks a lot for the instruction. It did not work for the first time, but second time I tried, it worked perfectly. May be first time I opened several application, may be that could be the reason.


  26. Dennis says

    I installed Windows 7 Build 7100 from an XP partition onto another blank partition and method 2 worked wonderfully. When I tried to install Windows 7 Build 7100 64 Bit version the same way (on a 64 bit computer) I always get an error saying I am trying to install an incompatible version of the OS. Do you know what is wrong? Can it be done? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

  27. Ricky says

    Yo, what do u do when u have to restart? my PC just freezes on where it stopped, like the periods still go which means its downloading. is that only cuz the upgrade is slow, or is it because i need the DVD or something?

  28. admin says

    Jamie, as you have tried four times already, I don’t say that you have been doing something wrong. You are doing everything correct but it seems you DVD which you are using to copy files to USB stick might be the culprit.

  29. admin says

    Hi John.

    It’s sad to know that this method is not working for you. But, it doesn’t mean that this method doesn’t work. I have been installing all the builds of Windows 7 using the same method and also with the same tool. This method works 100% as there are many users who have installed Windows 7 using this method itself.

  30. John says

    Hello everyone never try method 2 it doesnot work. it doesn’t work because once the installation process restarts it does not work. i have tried it in both daemon tools pro and virtual drive clone. it doesn’t work. Don’t bother trying.

  31. John says

    Can someone help me. Has someone tested installing windows 7 with virtual drive clone. ( when i tried the virtual drive did not boot after restart) can some one help?

  32. Alec Dawson says


    That’s your fault pal.

    You should’ve read the entire thing, and created a partition.

  33. Alex says

    Hello, thanks for this very useful guide! I did all of the steps and my files were all transfered to Windows 7. Now, when I want to switch back to Vista, what exactly do I have to do so that I don’t have to reinstall everything over again?

    Thanks in advance!

    – Alex

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