How to manually create a Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive with Diskpart

Easy step-by-step guide to make a Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows Server 2008 R2 boot from a USB flash drive.

Complete section I and II and anjoy your bootable USB flash drive.

Section I (DISKPART):

  • Click on the Start button and type in Diskpart and press enter.

Type in the following commands:

  1. LIST DISK (locate your disk #)
  2. SELECT DISK 1 (disk 1 should be your usb stick)
  3. CLEAN
  4. CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
  5. SELECT PARTITION 1
  6. ACTIVE
  7. FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
  8. ASSIGN
  9. EXIT

diskpart make windows bootable from usb flash drive

Section II (Command Prompt):

  • Click on the Start button and type in cmd, now right-click on it and choose “Run as Administrator“.

Type in the following commands:

  1. D:
  2. CD BOOT
  3. BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 E:
  4. XCOPY D:*.* /S/E/F E: (copies the contents of the Windows disc to the USB drive, you can skip this step and copy the contents yourself from within Windows Explorer)

xcopy bootsect

Congratulations!, you just created a bootable Windows flash drive go ahead and try it out.

 

Some Additional information

If you would like Windows to ask you which version of Windows you would like to install during the installing, ie: basic/home/professional/enterprise you can optionally delete the following file from the USB Stick E:sourcesei.cfg.

windows 7 usb selection

 

***Some problems you may run into***

  • If you have a downloaed .iso file instead of the actual disc, you can use “MagicDisc” to mount the .iso file as a CD drive or burn the .iso file to a disk by using ImgBurn, take a look at my other post here “My Pic of the Top 10 Windows Applications”.
  • To be able to boot from this USB flash drive, you will have to make changes in your BIOS boot order to boot from the USB first.
  • Make sure you run the command prompt in the above steps as Administrator.
  • Click on Start > Computer and double check your drive letters for the CD drive and the USB flash drive as they may be different than what is shown on the screenshots.
  • When you attempt to run “BOOTSECT /nt60 E:” and get the below error, make sure you are running the same version of BOOTSECT.exe as your host operating system, if your current Windows 7 is 32-bit make sure you insert a 32-bit CD of Windows 7. The error that will show up. “this version of D:bootbootsect.exe is not compatible with the version of Windows you’re running…”

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