Windows 7 can run on machines with lower specs than required for Windows Vista, and many users are actually finding it runs better than Windows XP on lower spec machines. It’s also ideal to run on newer netbook machines, but unfortunately many of these do not include a DVD drive so how do you install windows 7 on a machine without a DVD drive?
I spent yesterday researching this exact problem and I managed to install Windows 7 on my LG X110 netbook in around 20 minutes using a 4GB USB Drive. Setting up the USB drive to install Windows 7 was fairly easy in the end, and the installation was quicker than a DVD drive, so this method is perfect if you want to install Windows 7 quickly on several machines.
How To Install Windows 7 From A USB Drive
- Find a standard 4GB USB Drive and plug it into your machine
- Click Start in your enter ‘cmd’ in the run field. Once cmd is open type in ‘diskpart’ and a new window will open
- In the new diskpart window type:
- ‘list disk’ : This lists all the disk drives attached to your machine
- Look for your USB drive and note the number and then type: ‘select disk #’, where ‘#’ is your USB disk number
- then type ‘clean’
- then type ‘create partition primary’
- then ‘select partition 1’
- then ‘active’
- then ‘format fs=fat32 quick’
Once you’ve finished these steps you then need to copy your Windows 7 files to the USB. To do this you have to mount your Windows 7 ISO as a virtual DVD. Doing this is easy:
- Install MagicDisk (free)
- once installed, right-click on MagicDisk in your system tray click on ‘Virtual CD/DVD-Rom’, select your DVD drive
- then ‘Mount’ and in the dialog window that opens up, select your Windows 7 ISO
- Now in windows Explorer, click on your DVD drive and you should see all the Windows 7 Files. All you have to do now is copy and paste all the files to your USB key and you have a Windows 7 USB Installation Stick!
- Install the stick in the PC you want to install Windows 7 on and boot up. Remember to change your bios to allow booting from USB
If you follow the steps above then you should have no problems installing Windows 7 from a USB key. But if you do, leave a comment below, or even better visit the Windows 7 Forum for even better Windows 7 support.