I came across a decent blog post about formatting a flash drive to install windows vista/7 etc from. Thanks to Kevin’s Blog. for this info. I have completed all the steps on my 8G generic-ish drive and will copy the OS files over now.. Thanks!
- USB Flash Drive (4GB+)
- Microsoft OS Disk (Vista / Windows 7)
- A computer running Vista / Windows 7
Step 1: Format the Drive
The steps here are to use the command line to format the disk properly using the diskpart utility. [Be warned: this will erase everything on your drive. Be careful.]
- Plug in your USB Flash Drive
- Open a command prompt as administrator (Right click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”
- Find the drive number of your USB Drive by typing the following into the Command Prompt window:
The number of your USB drive will listed. You’ll need this for the next step. I’ll assume that the USB flash drive is disk 1.
- Format the drive by typing the next instructions into the same window. Replace the number “1” with the number of your disk below.
select disk 1
create partition primary
select partition 1
When that is done you’ll have a formatted USB flash drive ready to be made bootable.
Step 2: Make the Drive Bootable
Next we’ll use the bootsect utility that comes on the Vista or Windows 7 disk to make the flash drive bootable. In the same command window that you were using in Step 1:
- Insert your Windows Vista / 7 DVD into your drive.
- Change directory to the DVD’s boot directory where bootsect lives:
- Use bootsect to set the USB as a bootable NTFS drive prepared for a Vista/7 image. I’m assuming that your USB flash drive has been labeled disk G:\ by the computer:
bootsect /nt60 g:
- You can now close the command prompt window, we’re done here.
Step 3: Copy the installation DVD to the USB drive
The easiest way is to use Windows explorer to copy all of the files on your DVD on to the formatted flash drive. After you’ve copied all of the files the disk you are ready to go.
Step 4: Set your BIOS to boot from USB