Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Note: This guidewill only work within Windows Vista or 7. 1. Format Your USB Key
Plug in your USB key and back upany existing data stored on it. You'll need to format the key before you canmake it a bootable device. Open up a Command Prompt as anAdministrator. You can do this by finding the cmd.exe in yoruWindows/System32 folder, right-clicking the executable, and selecting "Run asAdministrator". Alternatively, type CMD in the Start Menu search field andactivate the Command Prompt using Ctrl + Shift + Enter. You should be underc:\Windows\system32 (assuming your Windows partition is the C drive). Type"diskpart" in the command line to enter the Disk Partition command line tool,which lets you format and create partitions on active disks. Type "list disk" to reveal a listof all your active disks, each of which is associated with a number. Make anote of which one is your USB key, based on the capacity. In our screenshotbelow, our USB drive is Disk 6 (8GB). Next, type the following commands,one at a time: Select Disk # (Where# is the number of your USB disk. We typed "Select Disk 6") Clean (removes anyexisting partitions from the USB disk, including any hidden sectors) Create Partition Primary(Creates a new primary partition with default parameters) Select Partition 1(Focus on the newly created partition) Active (Sets thein-focus partition to active, informing the disk firmware that this is a validsystem partition) Format FS=NTFS(Formats the partition with the NTFS file system. This may take several minutesto complete, depending on the of your USB key.) Assign (Gives theUSB drive a Windows volume and next available drive letter, which you shouldwrite down. In our case, drive "L" was assigned.) Exit (Quits theDiskPart tool)2. Turn the USB Key into a Bootable Device
Insert the Windows 7 install DVDinto your drive, and view the files that it contains. Copy all of the fileshere to a folder on your Desktop. We put the disc contents in a folder named"Windows 7" Go back to your command prompt,running it as an Administrator. Using the "CD" command, find your way to thefolder where you extracted the ISO files. Your command line path should looksomething like "C:\Users\USERNAMEHERE\Desktop\Windows 7\". Type the following commands: CD Boot (This getsyou into the "boot" directory) Bootsect.exe /nt60 L:(where 'L' is the drive letter assigned to your USB key from the previous step) Bootsect infuses boot managercompatible code into your USB key to make it a bootable device. IMPORTANT: Ifyou're currently running 32-bit Windows Vista or 7, Bootsect will only work ifyou use the files from the 32-bit Windows 7 install disc. The Bootsectexecutable from the 64-bit version will not run in 32-bit Vista. 3. Load the USB Key Up with the Install Files
Copyall of the extracted ISO files into the USB drive. You don't need to do thisfrom the command prompt. Just drag and drop the files from the "Windows 7"folder into the drive using Windows Explorer. Your USB key is now all ready togo! Plug it into your target system and make sure you enter the BIOS (typicallywith F2 or F12) to temporarily change the boot order to allow booting from theUSB key before your primary hard drive or optical drive. On the next restart,your system should automatically begin speedily loading setup files off of theUSB key and entering Windows 7 installation.
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