You’ll need to mount your .ISO file or have the DVD of Vista or 7 in your DVD drive. I recommend Daemon Tools Lite to mount the .ISO file and if you are using Windows 8, it brings native .ISO mounting, just right-click and mount it.
Let’s start by formatting our USB flash drive!
- Make sure you are on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
- The fast way would be to quick format it to FAT32, if you know how to do it go ahead and ignore the rest of the steps below and run the xcopy command, it might just work for you. I noticed some usb drives are picky though.
- Start -> Run -> type cmd or open the command prompt as you usually would
- Type in diskpart
- Type in list disk to check the number of your USB flash drive
- Once you know the number of the USB flash drive type in select disk followed by that number. Example: select disk 2
- Type in clean
- Then create partition primary
- Then select partition 1
- Then active
- Then format fs=fat32
- And then assign
- And to finish exit
At this point your USB drive is formatted.
The final preparation step is to copy the installation files to your flash drive, this can be done by running the following command:
xcopy A:\*.* /e/h/f B:\
PLEASE NOTE: A:\ is the drive you want to copy the files from, which means that it is the mounted .ISO or your DVD drive letter. B:\ is the letter of the USB flash drive your formatted, where you want to copy the files to.
If you prefer to not see the file names being copied replace /f with /q. More can be found here.
That’s it! Don’t forget to set your USB flash drive as first boot device when installing from the USB drive.