Tonight I had a DVD with Windows 7 that used to work, but it wasn’t anymore. So I pulled out my trusty USB stick with a bootable copy of Windows 7 on it … alas that drive had gone through the wash a while back and finally kicked the bucket. I was determined not to strike out 3 times, so I decided to make a new USB bootable device. The steps are pretty easy to create a USB stick that boot up the Windows 7 setup from an ISO image, so I figured I would share the love.

  1. Grab a a Windows 7 ISO image and extract it to a folder (not on the USB stick)
  2. You can use a lot of programs, many of them free, to extract from an ISO. I use 7zip.
  3. Grab a 4GB USB stick
  4. Format the USB stick with NTFS using the “quick format”. (You can do this via Windows Explorer)
  5. Open a CMD prompt (run it as administrator)
  7. Select the volume for the USB stick. First enter LIST VOL to show the list.
  8. Then enter SELECT VOL x where x is the volume number from the list
  9. Mark the volume as active by entering ACTIVE
  10. Enter EXIT to quit the DISKPART command line (but do not close the CMD prompt window)
  11. In the CMD prompt window, go to the location where you extracted the Windows 7 files on your computer
  12. Go into the BOOT folder
  13. Type BOOTSECT /NT60 <drive letter>: where the drive letter is the USB drive.
  14. Example BOOTSECT /NT60 G:
  15. Copy all of the files you extracted for Windows 7 to the USB stick
  16. On the computer you want to install Windows 7, go to your BIOS and make sure that boot from USB is enabled and in the correct position in the boot sequence.

Once all files are copied to the USB stick, you can plug the USB stick into a computer and boot from it to run Windows 7 setup.

Hope this helps!