Installing windows 7 from USB stick

Its long time I posted something to my blog. I thought of posting something useful. Like every one else I was following up with the Windows 7 development at http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/. And I was pretty sure that the windows team is going to come back with a great OS after Vista. It has happened in the past like XP after Windows ME. Once I heard there is a beta version available I wanted to get my hands dirty with the new OS fresh from the lab.

I have a Dell latitude D810 which is a capable laptop. But I don’t have a DVD burner so that I can burn the image and install it straight forward. So the only available option was to get it installed somehow through an 4GBUSB stick. Already I had tried Fedora  10 with the same USB stick so the boot sector was filled with syslinux. Here are my steps.

Steps

  • I already had 3 NTFS partition. I cleaned up one partition with 20GB and backed up all the data.
  • First format the USB stick as FAT32(which will wipe the entire data.)
  • Extract(I used winrar) all the files in the installation iso file to the USB stick.
  • Now stick is ready It has to be made bootable.
  • I am more comfortable with grub since its pretty simple. Follow the steps 1 to 4 given in Hiren bootcd http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd-on-usb-disk.
  • In the USB stick open the menu.lst file and add an entry for the windows 7 as follows.  menu
  • Now USB stick is ready. Put the usb stick in to an usb port and reboot the machine.
  • While booting enter the boot menu and set usb device as the first device.
  • Now once you save and exit. The machine boots to the grub screen.
  • Choose the windows 7 option. The setup starts. After copying all the setup files it will ask for a reboot. Now the usb stick is no more required.
  • Remove the stick and reboot the machine. The windows 7 installation is a breeze. It will go through without a hitch. i installed the OS in the empty NTFS partition(Since we cannot install the OS on a USB stick).
  • After installation once you enter into windows goto Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update and enable auto update.
  • The wireless, ATI graphics and sound card drivers were downloaded and installed by the windows update automatically.
  • The only problem reported was with my microsoft VX1000 webcam. I downloaded and installed the vista driver but it somehow crashes the OS.
  • That’s it windows 7 is ready. Goto microsoft.com and register your copy by participating in the beta program.w7
  • Hope this helps somebody.
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