Use a USB Key to Install Windows 7—Even on a Netbook

Use a USB Key to Install Windows 7—Even on a Netbook: “Use a USB Key to Install Windows 7—Even on a Netbook


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Putting the Windows 7 installation on a USB thumb drive has a few advantages—a small USB key is much more convenient for carrying around than a DVD, the OS will actually install much faster, and you can use a USB key to install Windows 7 on systems that do not have a DVD drive, such as a netbook. In fact, you can even install Windows 7 on netbooks that have fairly modest hardware. Dennis Chung, an IT Pro Evangelist at Microsoft recently posted a video demonstrating how easy it is to prepare your thumb drive and use it to install Windows 7. Here’s a quick look at the process:

* First, you’ll need the DiskPart utility on the system you will use to prep the thumb drive. This is a free disk partitioning utility that is likely already installed on your Windows system. If not, you can download DiskPart here.
* Launch the DiskPart utility by typing diskpart at the Start Menu.
* Then run the list disk command to check the status of your drive.
Video
Dennis Chung, an IT Pro Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrates how easy it is to prepare a USB thumb drive and use it to install Windows 7.

* Now run select disk 1 where the ‘1’ is actually the corresponding number of your USB drive.
* Run clean.
* Once the thumb drive is clean, you can run create partition primary.
* Now make the partition active by entering active
* Then you need to set up the file system as Fat32 by running format fs=fat32 quick (quick, of course, specifies that you want to perform a quick format to speed up the process).
* Entering the assign command gives the USB drive a drive letter, making it easy to access from Windows Explorer
* Then you can copy everything from the Windows 7 installation DVD onto the USB key (a simple drag and drop will do).
* Now you can insert the thumb drive into the system you want to install Windows 7 onto and boot the system. The installation will now proceed as usual—but faster.

For a demonstration of this, check out the video by Dennis Chung.


Tip by Matthew Graven, a Senior Editor of TechNet Magazine.” 

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Below are the highlight commands:
DISKPART
LIST DISK
SELECT DISK 1 (if disk 1 is the disk you want)
CLEAN
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
SELECT PARTITION 1
ACTIVE
FORMAT FS=NTFS can be (FORMAT FS=FAT32 Quick)
(Format process may take few seconds)
ASSIGN
EXIT