You might have difficulty believing this (considering that this blog totally dedicates itself to burning Blu-Ray and DVD). But, just like the mighty floppy, the day may come when we no longer use optical drives in our computers. Since you certainly won’t want to scavenge the planet for a working DVD copy to install Windows on your latest build (assuming we even do that sort of thing in the future), you should invest in newer, more contemporary solutions. What you must do is transfer your setup of Windows to a Windows Bootable USB. In other words, you will be installing Windows 7 from USB. Using this method, you’ll give yourself a virtual peace of mind that optical discs don’t offer. You will never again need to worry about losing the disc or scratching it. Instead, you will have your handy USB Bootable Windows kit right at your fingertips anytime you need using our easy to follow guide.
There are several ways to make a bootable USB for the Windows OS. We recommend using this neat software called WinToFlash. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on installing Windows 7 from USB with WinToFlash. By and large, you should know that the instructions below can also be adapted and used for Windows 8, Windows Vista, XP, and the 2003 version.
How does WintoFlash work?
As aforementioned, WinToFlash functions as a lightweight, booting application. This program allows you to quickly create a Windows bootable USB flash drive. It supports all editions of Windows in both 32-bit and 64-bit. It also supports all disc image file formats (.iso, .rar, .arj, .zip, .7z, .cab, and .dmg). You can select the type of FAT file system, the partition type, as well as the boot loader for the USB drive. Once you transfer the installation file kit to the USB drive, the software can also check the volume for file system errors. Novicorp, a Russian software developer created in 2009, designed the program.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown on how to use this software in order to create your very own WinToFlash bootable USB.
- Get your tools lined up. You’ll need (at least) a 4GB USB flash drive, a DVD with the Windows 7 installation kit (or an .iso image), WinToFlash, and WinRar (or a similar RAR extractor) if you plan to use the .iso image. You may download WinToFlash at this link.
- Install WinToFlash. Download it, save it to a folder of your choice, go to the folder, and extract the downloaded archive. Then, simply install the program by double clicking on the setup file. A message will pop up for Windows 7 users. Click yes, and proceed with the installation.
- Check and double check. Make sure you properly inserted your USB flash drive into your computer. If you plan to use an .iso file, make sure its contents are properly extracted and none of the files became corrupted. If you haven’t done so yet, extract the contents using WinRar.
- Make a bootable USB. During the setup wizard, the software asks that you provide a path to the Windows installation kit. Either specify a path to your CD/DVD drive, or to the .iso file you’re using. The setup is very simple and the wizard practically guides you through every step of the way. In the tab below, you must provide the path to your USB flash drive. Click ‘next’, accept the End User License Agreement, and finally check out of the message window that pops up. This notifies you that your target disk (i.e. your USB flash drive) will be wiped clean of all preexisting data.
- Almost done… Once the wizard finishes, simply click ‘next’ and ‘exit’. That’s it. You now own your very own Windows USB bootable flash drive!