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  • Windows 7

    Install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive

    Installing Windows 7 from a USB flash drive has several benefits. First, it's probably the easiest way to install the new OS on a machine with no optical drive. Second, it's a handy way to install the operating on multiple machines. And third, it actually makes the installation process go faster.

    To get started, you'll need a USB flash drive that is big enough to hold the contents of the Windows 7 DVD. A 4GB or larger drive should work just fine.

    Now a word of warning, this procedure will completely reformat the USB flash drive, so make sure that you back up any data that you have on the drive before you begin.

    Next, the systems on which you want to install Windows 7 must be able and configured to boot from a USB flash drive. Most new systems will have this capability, and the operation can usually be configured in the BIOS or by simply pressing a certain key during bootup. You'll need to check your specific hardware in order to be sure.

    Before we can transfer the Windows 7 files to our drive, we need to make it bootable. This is where the DiskPart utility comes into play.

    The DiskPart utility is a command-line version of the Disk Management MMC snap-in and is designed to allow you to manage disks, partitions, or volumes from within scripts or directly from a command prompt. DiskPart can be used in Vista or in Windows 7 to configure a USB flash drive to be a bootable device.

    So first, connect your USB flash drive to a computer on which you will be preparing the drive. I'll be using a Windows Vista system.

    Now, locate the command Prompt shortcut on the Start menu, right-click on it, and select the Run as Administrator command. Then, respond appropriately to the UAC.

    Launch the DiskPart utility by typing DiskPart on the command line. You should now see the DISKPART prompt.

    Locate the USB flash drive using the List Disk command. The List Disk command should identify the USB flash drive -- you can verify that it's the right one by looking in the size column.

    Once you identify the drive number of your USB, you will need to set the focus of the DiskPart environment on that disk. (This is an extremely important step. Make sure that you select the correct drive or you could accidentally destroy valuable data!) In the example, the USB flash drive is Disk 5, so I'm going to use the command Select Disk 5.

    Now that your USB flash drive has the focus, you need to remove all the partition or volume formatting information from the disk. To do that, you'll use the Clean command. When it's done, you should see a success message.

    You'll now issue the Create Partition Primary command to create a primary partition on the disk.

    After you create the partition, you'll see a success message and the focus will automatically shift to the new partition.

    If instead of the success message you see an error telling you that there is insufficient free space to create the partition, try running the Clean command again. If you still receive this error message after rerunning the Clean command, run the Clean All command. This should allow you to run the Create Partition Primary command successfully.

    Once the focus has automatically shifted to the new partition. Use the Active command to mark the partition as active, which will essentially allow the BIOS to recognize that the partition is a valid bootable system partition.

    Now you're ready to quickly format the drive and set up the file system. You can use either FAT32 or NTFS, but as FAT32 seems to better handle people yanking their USB drives out of the computer instead of first stopping them, I recommend FAT32.

    So I'll use the Format fs=FAT32 quick command, which is the typical way to format a USB flash drive. Once the drive is formatted, you'll use the Assign command to allow the drive to be assigned a drive letter.

    The USB flash drive is now ready. At this point, you can use the Exit command to exit the DiskPart environment and then close the Command Prompt window.

    Now it's time to copy the Windows 7 files. Just open Windows Explorer, access the Windows 7 DVD, select all the files and folders, and then drag and drop them on the USB flash drive icon. Keep in mind that the copy operation will take a while to complete.

    Once you've copied the files, you new Windows 7 USB drive is ready to go. And, installing the new operating system is a snap. Just boot the system from the USB drive and the installation procedure will begin, just as if you were using the DVD.

  • #2
    Download Windows 10

    Download Windows 10

    Create Windows 10 installation media

    To get started, you will first need to have a licence to install Windows 10. You can then download and run the media creation tool. For more information on how to use the tool, see the instructions below.

    Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC

    Follow these steps to create installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) you can use to install a new copy of Windows 10, perform a clean installation, or reinstall Windows 10.

    Before you download the tool make sure you have:
    • An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply).
    • Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
    • A blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space or blank DVD (and DVD burner) if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.
    • When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you are told the disc image file is too large you will need to use Dual Layer (DL) DVD Media.

    Check a few things on the PC where you want to install Windows 10:
    • 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU). Youíll create either a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 10. To check this on your PC, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for System type.
    • System requirements. Make sure the PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10. We also recommend going to the PC manufacturer's website for additional info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
    • Language in Windows. You'll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 10. To see what language you're currently using, go to Time and language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel.
    • Edition of Windows. You should also choose the same edition of Windows. To check what edition you're currently running, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for Windows edition.
    • Microsoft Office products. If you just purchased a new device that includes Office 365, we recommend redeeming (installing) Office before upgrading to Windows 10. To redeem your copy of Office, please see Download and install Office 365 Home, Personal, or University on your PC. For more information, check How to upgrade to Windows 10 on new devices that include Office 365.
      If you have Office 2010 or earlier and choose to perform a clean install of Windows 10, you will need to locate your Office product key. For tips on locating your product key, check Find your Office 2010 product key or Enter the product key for your Office 2007 program.

    Using the tool to create installation media:

    1. Select Download tool now, and select Run. You need to be an administrator to run this tool.
    2. If you agree to the license terms, select Accept.
    3. On the What do you want to do? page, select Create installation media for another PC, and then select Next.
    4. Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10.Select which media you want to use:
      • USB flash drive. Attach a blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space. Any content on the flash drive will be deleted.
      • ISO file. Save an ISO file to your PC, which you can use to create a DVD. After the file is downloaded, you can go to location where the file is saved, or select Open DVD burner, and follow the instructions to burn the file to a DVD. For more info about using an ISO file, see Additional methods for using the ISO file to install Windows 10 section below.

    5. After the installation media is created, follow the steps below to use it.
    6. After completing the steps to install Windows 10, please check that you have all the necessary device drivers installed. To check for updates now, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates. You may also wish to visit your device manufacturerís support site for any additional drivers that may be needed.

    Using the installation media you created

    Before you install Windows 10, itís a good idea to save any work and back up your PC before you start. If you used the media creation tool to download an ISO file for Windows 10, youíll need to burn it to a DVD before following these steps.
    1. Attach the USB flash drive or insert the DVD on the PC where you want to install Windows 10.
    2. Restart your PC.
      If your PC does not automatically boot to the USB or DVD media, you might have to open a boot menu or change the boot order in your PC's BIOS or UEFI settings. To open a boot menu or change the boot order, you'll typically need to press a key (such as F2, F12, Delete, or Esc) immediately after you turn on your PC. For instructions on accessing the boot menu or changing the boot order for your PC, check the documentation that came with your PC or go to the manufacturer's website. If you do not see the USB or DVD media device listed within the boot options, you may need to reach out to the PC manufacturer for instructions for temporarily disabling Secure Boot in your BIOS settings.
      If changing the boot menu or order doesn't work, and your PC immediately boots into the OS you want to replace, it is possible the PC had not fully shut down. To ensure the PC fully shuts down, select the power button on the sign-in screen or on the Start menu and select Shut down.
    3. On the Install Windows page, select your language, time, and keyboard preferences, and then select Next.
    4. Select Install Windows.

    Additional methods for using the ISO file to install Windows 10

    If you downloaded an ISO file for Windows 10, the file is saved locally at the location you selected. If you have a third-party DVD burning program installed on your computer that you prefer to use for creating the installation DVD, that program might open by going to the location where the file is saved and double-clicking the ISO file, or right-click the ISO file, select Open with and choose your preferred DVD burning software.

    If you want to use the Windows Disk Image Burner to create an installation DVD, go to the location where the ISO file is saved. Right-click the ISO file and select Properties. On the General tab, click Change and select Windows Explorer for the program you would like to use to open ISO files and select Apply. Then right-click the ISO file and select Burn disc image.

    If you want to install Windows 10 directly from the ISO file without using a DVD or flash drive, you can do so by mounting the ISO file. This will perform an upgrade of your current operating system to Windows 10.

    To mount the ISO file:
    1. Go to the location where the ISO file is saved, right-click the ISO file and select Properties.
    2. On the General tab, click ChangeÖ and select Windows Explorer for the program you would like to use to open ISO files and select Apply.
    3. Right-click the ISO file and select Mount.
    4. Double-click the ISO file to view the files within. Double-click setup.exe to start Windows 10 setup.


    • #3
      How to Install Windows 10 from a USB Flash Drive

      Upgrade to Windows 10 If you don't want to loose data: