Install, Boot Windows from USB Pen, Thumb or Flash Drive
Normally, Windows is installed using optical media like DVDs and CDs but there are times when it is not possible to boot into the windows setup using disks probably because your DVD drive is not working or, if you are using one of those ultra-portable laptops, it is not there at all.
To overcome this problem, one can either use an external DVD drive and install Windows normally or create a bootable pen drive to install Windows whenever needed. In this tutorial, we will discuss about the latter and learn how can we create a bootable USB drive for installing Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. As installing Windows from a flash drive is much faster than from a CD/ DVD, such an installation will also save time.
This article assumes that your computer has a mother board which supports booting from USB drives. Most modern laptops and desktops support it. If you have bought your computer in the last 5 years, you do not need to worry about this.
- An empty flash drive with a storage capacity of 1GB for Windows XP and 3GB for Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
- Windows installation disk or Windows installation files stored somewhere on your computer.
Steps to create a bootable USB Flash Drive
- Download Win to Flash. The software is still in beta phase so it is possible that it has some bugs although I have personally faced none. The latest version of Win to Flash can be downloaded from the Win to Flash website. The latest version also supports Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. To avoid this tutorial from getting outdated, I would advise to download the software from the former link if you are not planning on using Windows 8 or 8.1.
- Extract the downloaded zip file to any folder on your desktop.
- Open the folder and run WintoFlash.exe by double clicking on it.
- Click Next, check I accept EULA, click Next and Next again. Wait for the software to load some ads, click Next and Next again.
- A welcome screen like one in the image below will show up.
Win to Flash welcome screen