How to Install Windows 7 from a USB Stick

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Helmer Zandbergen is a Dutch IT pro who wrote an excellent article that explains how to how to install Windows 7 from a USB stick in 11 easy steps.

All you need is a PC with USB boot-support (any modern PC), Windows 7 installation files, and a USB stick with at least 4 GB free space.

I used this method to install Win7 on my new Asus Eee PC 1000HE netbook and it works great!

  • Plug in your USB stick
  • Open Command Prompt with admin rights (Start –> enter cmd –> press CTRL-SHIFT+ENTER and click Yes at the UAC prompt)
  • Run Diskpart by typing diskpart and press enter
  • Now type List disk (and press enter). My USB stick is Disk 2.
  • Enter the following commands, where I assume that your USB stick is also Disk 2. If your USB stick is Disk 5, just use Disk 5 instead of my Disk 2! Enter the following commands one by one, each followed by Enter:

Select Disk 2


Create Partition Primary

Select Partition 1


Format FS=FAT32 (depending on the size of your USB stick this can take a moment)



  • Now copy the entire content of your Windows 7 DVD (or Windows 7 source folder, if you extracted the ISO) to the root of your USB stick.
  • Now we still have to make the USB stick bootable. Note: If you are currently running a 64-bit OS and the source (on the USB stick) is 32-bit, you can’t run the following command. Just be sure the source (on the USB stick) and the currently running OS are of the same type!
  • In the Command Prompt (which you didn’t close, I hope) type P: (the drive letter of your USB stick) followed by Enter
  • Type CD\Boot followed by Enter
  • To create a bootsector on the USB stick enter Bootsect /NT60 P: (your USB drive letter) followed by Enter.
  • Reboot your PC and change the boot order (in the BIOS) if needed, so the USB stick is first in the boot order.