Windows 7 Installing from a USB Pen Drive


Super Moderator
Staff member
Installing from a USB Memory Stick.

Most people associate Netbooks with the need to use a Pen Drive as the installation source because Netbooks don't have a CD/DVD drive but it works perfectly well on Desktops too.

Using a Pen Drive to install any of the following operating systems XP/VISTA/Windows 7 is blindingly fast when compared to installing from the traditional CD/DVD.

To install Window 7 from a Pen Drive you will need to have

1. A 4GB Pendrive formatted to FAT32

2. A machine with a DVD burner onboard.

2. The Windows 7 ISO Image burned to Disc (or the Disc itself once released)

3. A Product Serial Key (Available from Microsoft)


Insert the source disc (Win 7 DVD) into you DVD drive (allow to auto start then close it).

Insert your Pen Drive into one of your USB ports (wait for it to be detected & note its drive letter).



Type cmd & click OK

At the command prompt type the following string and hit the return key.

xcopy d:\*.* p:\*.* /e /f

Be patient, this will take a bit of time but when finished you will have a bootable Pen Drive with all the Windows 7 files onboard.

Note: The above string is based on the assumption that your DVD drive is D:\ & your Pen Drive is P:\

You will need to substitute d: & p: with the correct drive letters for your own situation.

Now you can set you machine to boot from the USB drive, depending on machine type (this can vary) you can do it in the BIOS or by choosing the Boot Menu option at startup (if your machins supports such a menu).

Now it will boot to the Windows 7 Welcome/Setup screen and you install in exactly the same way as you would had you booted from the DVD disc :)

Last edited: