Manually Create Bootable Windows 7 Installation USB Flash Drive

Manually Create Bootable Windows 7 Installation USB Flash Drive
warning   Warning
Using this method:

  • You can only create a 64-bit Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive if your current Windows 7 installation is also 64-bit.
  • You can create a 32-bit Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive if your current Windows 7 installation is 32-bit or 64-bit.

1. Plug the USB key in.

2. If AutoPlay opens a pop-up for the USB key, then just close it.
NOTE: Make note of what the drive size is for the USB key for use in step 6 below. You can also open Computer (step 19) to see what the drive size is to. For example, mine is 3920 MB. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-computer.jpg

3. Open a elevated command prompt.

4. In the elevated command prompt, type diskpart and press Enter. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step1.jpg

5. In the elevated command prompt, type list disk and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Make note of what disk # your USB key is listed as to use in step 6 below. You can also look for the drive size (step 2) of the USB key to help ID the disk number. For example, mine is listed as Disk 1 here for the 3920 MB disk.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step2.jpg

6. In the elevated command prompt, type select disk # (your USB disk #) and pressEnter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: For example, my USB key is listed as Disk 1, so I would type select disk 1and press Enter.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step3.jpg

7. In the elevated command prompt, type clean all and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Changed to “clean all” instead of “clean” to be more thorough.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step4.jpg

8. In the elevated command prompt, type create partition primary and pressEnter. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step5.jpg

9. In the elevated command prompt, type select partition 1 and press Enter. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step6.jpg

10. In the elevated command prompt, type active and press Enter. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step7.jpg

11. In the elevated command prompt, type in the command below to format the USB as NTFS or FAT32, and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This may take a few moments to finish formatting the USB key.

Note   Note
You can substitute Windows 7 within quotes in the commands below with whatever name (drive label) you would like to have displayed for the USB drive instead.FAT volume labels

  • Volume labels can contain as many as 11 characters and can include spaces but no tabs.
  • Volume labels cannot contain the following characters: ? / \ | . , ; : + = [ ] < > “
  • Volume labels are stored as uppercase regardless of whether they contain lowercase letters.

NTFS volume labels

  • Volume labels can contain as many as 32 characters.

format fs=ntfs label=”Windows 7” quick

OR

format fs=fat32 label=”Windows 7” quick

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step8.jpg

12. If AutoPlay opens a pop-up for the USB key, then just close it. 

13. In the elevated command prompt, type assign and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This will assign a new drive letter to the USB key. Make note of the new USB drive letter to use in step 22 below. For example, mine is now H.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step9.jpg

14. If AutoPlay opens a pop-up for the USB key, then just close it.

15. In the elevated command prompt, type exit and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This will exit you from DiskPart from step 4.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-step10.jpg

16. Close the elevated command prompt.

17. Insert your Windows 7 installation DVD into the DVD drive.

18. If AutoPlay opens a pop-up for the Windows 7 installation DVD, then just close it.

19. Open the Start Menu, right click on the Computer button, and click on Open.

20. Right click on the DVD drive (ex: E: ) that has the Windows 7 installation DVD in it, and click on Open. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-open.jpg

21. Highlight all of the contents, right click on the highlighted contents, and click onCopy. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You will need to copy all of the files and folders on the Windows 7 installation DVD to the USB key.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-copy.jpg

22. Go back to Computer, right click on the USB key drive (ex: H ), and click onPaste. (See screenshot below)

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-paste.jpg

23. The contents of the Windows 7 installation DVD will now start copying over to the USB key. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This may take a few moments to complete.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create-copying.jpg

24. When finished, you can close the Computer window and unplug the USB key.

25. You now have a Windows 7 Installation USB key.