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Install Windows from USB thumb Drive?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok so i'm reading up some articles and guides on how to do that, since i want to install Win OS on a netbook and a small server PC i own, both of them not having an optical drive. I have tried such procedures in the past, but failed to boot up from usb drive every time. Now i see some new methods, but my main question is this... If i prepare the drive on another computer, will it still work on the ones i will be trying to install? I mean obviously the computers i want to install are new and dont have an OS on them so i cant follow the guides on the same systems. So if i prepare the drive and then insert it on the system i want to install will it be recognised as a bootable device?


First there's this manual way preparing the thumb drive on command prompt, and then there;s also MS own tool that allows you to do that. But AFAIK both set the bootsector for the drive. But are they setting it for the machine is currently on, or universally for every system it plugs in to? That's the step that confuses me...


http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-7vista-from-usb-drive-detailed-100-working-guide/

http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-create-bootable-windows-7-usb-to-install-windows-7-from-usb-flash-drive-using-windows-7-dvdusb-tool/
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post #2 of 7
No,

The boot sector is written to the drive itself so the BIOS can actually boot from it in the first place. Once you make it bootable, it'll work fine as long as the BIOS supports it biggrin.gif

It's not linked to the machine you set it on.

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post #3 of 7
The Microsoft tool will create a bootable thumbdrive that any machine can boot and install Windows from - it's just like booting from an optical disk.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
OK thanx, i just need to make sure. thumb.gif
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
OK i just did my first install from a USB drive. So can this be done the same way with Pre- Win 7/8 OS as well? Like XP-2k3 Server, Home server, even stripped down versions created with nLite and such, or is strongly a Win7/8 method?
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post #6 of 7
Once you make your drive bootable, all you have to do from then on out(for Windows at least) is unzip the contents of the .iso onto the flash drive. That'll be pretty much permanent unless you do something to make the drive un-bootable.
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post #7 of 7
Well

There are ways to install windows XP onto a thumb drive, this method *Should* work. It'll be down more to your sata drivers being spliced in.

Just don't use N-Lite to write the information to the USB stick, crack open the ISO using poweriso or something then copy the files out of there onto the thumb drive.

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