24 February 2012

How to create a USB Install disk for Windows

This can be used for Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 32 Bit DVD / ISO size is 2.66GB approx
Windows 64 Bit DVD / ISO size is 3.51GB approx


Minimum size USB stick: 4 GB
Original Windows DVD or ISO file
DVD drive
PowerISO to mount ISO files

There are 4 methods to create a USB install of Windows

1. Diskpart
2. WinToFlash
3. PowerISO
4. Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

Method 1 - Using The Diskpart Utility

The original article from Microsoft is here with no screen shots


Diskpart can also be used for hard drives or USB keys, and also when windows displays the message " windows is unable to format the drive"

It may seem like a long and tedious way of doing it this way, but you only need to do this once unless you only have one USB key that you use for every thing

I have had more success of booting and installing from a USB key using diskpart instead of WinToFlash, I have had 3 machines that would not boot from a usb install that WinToFlash created

By clicking on the screen shot it will be magnified, to go back to the article, click the back function in your browser

First of all the original Windows DVD needs to be put in to a DVD drive of a PC that has Windows running on it, if it is an .ISO installation file you have instead of a DVD, this needs to be mounted using software like PowerISO

Mounting an .ISO file with PowerISO

1. Browse to the folder where the ISO file you require is located using Windows Explorer

2. (1) Right click on required ISO file
    (2) Click on PowerISO
    (3) Click on "mount image to drive [X:] < no media >"
         substitute X for drive letter that is
         the PowerISO virtual drive
         [F:] in my case

How to use Diskpart

1. Click Start>Type cmd in the Search programs and files box

2. Right click on cmd and click Run as administrator

3. Type > diskpart

4. Type > list disk

5. Type > select disk 2 - Be CAREFUL which disk you select.
    USB keys are usually the last one listed and have the smallest size

6. To check you have the right disk selected
    type > list disk, the disk you have selected
    will have an asterick beside it

7. Type > Clean

8. Type > create partition primary

9. Type > select partition 1

10. Type > active

11. Type > format fs=fat32

12. Type > assign

13. Type > exit

14. Type > xcopy X:\*.* /s/e/f  Y:\

Substitute X with the drive letter of your DVD drive or
the drive letter the .ISO file is mounted to

Substitue Y with the drive letter for
the USB key

15. The files will be copied from the DVD or
ISO file, this will take a while, at one stage it may
seem it has stalled, leave it, it will finish

16. Type > exit > return / enter

Method 2 - Using WinToFlash


2. Select > Advanced mode

3. (1) Click on drop down arrow
    (2) Select Windows version
    (3) Click on Run

4. (1) Select drive where Windows DVD or ISO file
         is located
    (2) Select drive where USB key is located
    (3) Click Run

5. Click > I do accept the terms of the
license agreement and click Continue

6. click > Continue



9. When 100% is reached - Click OK to exit wizard

Method 3 - Using PowerISO


Method 4 - Using The Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool


Any comments and suggestions are welcome, please leave below

If you are using the "Anonymous" option, please include your name

1 comment: