Bootable USB Drive Recipe

One of the questions we have been getting in the first few dates of the Windows 7 Tour in Ireland is about making a bootable USB Drive to install Windows 7 from. For those that don’t know how to make a bootable USB key, here is the recipe:

Creating a bootable USB device:


DISKPART> list disk

Select the USB device from the list and substitute the disk number below

     when necessary

DISKPART> select disk 1


DISKPART> create partition primary

DISKPART> select partition 1

DISKPART> active

DISKPART> format fs=fat32

DISKPART> assign


xcopy X:\*.* /s/e/f Y:\

where X:\ is your mounted image or physical DVD and Y:\ is your USB device

Now all you need to do is plug the device into your target box's USB slot and boot it. This may require hitting F10/F12 to load the one-time boot menu and selecting the USB Key.


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Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Will, nice talk last night in "foyle area city"… Just a quick note on dual booting my vista laptop – I used the above recipe to get the 4Gb win7 stick turned into a bootable one, then used the Dave Northey Diskpart shift F10 trick during install to create a vdisk for win7install.

    So now I have a nice manageable 20Gb win7 vhd to play with, with the rest of the machine slogging it on vista.

    Dual boot is a good in theory, but…:

    win7 Hates vista Trash..

    1) Windows 7 always thinks my vista recycle bin (on the vista boot disk) is corrupt and needs emptied – and when I reboot in vista, after emptying the ‘corrupt’ bin, now, in vista, same thing: its trash is corrupt and needs emptied.

    2) win7 and vista duke it out in ownership battles. The vista disk is read only for win7 as its owned by an unknown vista user. And if I give win7 ownership, vista hates me when I try and boot under vista… I could give "everyone" ownership under vista and hope this is enough for win7, but feel like this is a bit of a security risk. ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I was just wondering, is it possible to do this with a partition that is NOT active?

    The reason for this is that I have a Linux Live CD dumped to a USB partition, and I want to put 7 in the second partition I made, and use Linux’s bootloader (so the Linux partition is currently marked active).

  3. Thirunavukarasu says:

    Its Very useful to me thanks

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