How to create a bootable USB flash drive Windows 7 – 5 ways

A bootable Windows 7 flash drive is an image of the operating system recorded on a USB flash drive, with which the OS is installed on a computer. When creating a bootable USB flash drive, an ISO image of the Windows operating system is written to a removable device.

A bootable USB flash drive may be needed in situations where the PC has problems with the operating system. Because of this, the computer may malfunction or not boot at all.

The most rational option for solving serious problems in the operation of the software is to reinstall Windows. The Windows 7 operating system needs to be reinstalled to start from scratch.

Two types of bootable media are used to install Windows: an optical DVD or a USB flash drive. The system image is loaded on a PC from an installation DVD inserted into the drive, or an ISO image of a Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive inserted into the computer’s USB port is used.

Creating a bootable Windows 7 flash drive has its own nuances, depending on the BIOS used on the device – BIOS Legasy or UEFI, and the type of PC hard drive – MBR or GPT.

On most old laptops and stationary PCs, the old BIOS (BIOS Legasy) is used, and on computers with UEFI, users installed Windows 7 on their own. The user can first find out which partition style: MBR or GPT is used on this PC.

Before installing the system, you should pay attention to the fact that the Windows 7 ISO image does not support USB 3.0, because this standard was introduced after the release of this OS. Therefore, a bootable USB flash drive with the “seven” must be inserted into a USB 2.0 port.

On modern computers with UEFI and GPT disk partitioning, you can only install a 64-bit version of Windows 7. In order for the Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive image to boot on a PC, you must disable the “Secure Boot” mode in UEFI, which blocks booting to a PC from external media. In some cases, you will need to enable the Legacy Mode (CSM) emulation mode in the BIOS, which is used for compatibility of older operating systems with UEFI.

To create a bootable flash drive, you will need an ISO image of Windows 7. Owners of legal copies of the OS can download the system image file from the official Microsoft website at the link: https://www.microsoft.com/ru-ru/software-download/windows7 . This method of obtaining the system verifies the product key. In other cases, users will have to search the Internet for a Windows 7 image.

To create a bootable Windows 7 flash drive, you need a program that writes the system image file to a USB drive. You can create a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive without the help of a specialized program. With this method, a bootable USB drive is created using the system’s built-in tools.

This guide contains instructions with which you can make an image of a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive in different ways.

How to Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive in Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Let’s start our review with the official program created by Microsoft, designed to burn Windows 7 to a USB flash drive or DVD. The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool creates a flash drive for use on computers with older BIOS and MBR.

Follow the link to read more about using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool .

The free Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool creates a bootable flash drive in 4 steps:

  1. Step 1. Selecting an ISO file. First, click on the “Browse” button to add the Windows image to the program, and then click on the “Next” button.
  2. Step 2. Click on the “USB device” button to choose to create a flash drive.
  3. Step 3. Select the drive letter of the USB drive, click the “Begin copying” button.

In the windows that open, agree to clean up the flash drive from the available information that will be deleted.

  1. Step 4. The bootable flash drive is being created. Once the process is complete, “Bootable USB devise created successfully” will appear with a green status bar.

Creating an image of a bootable Windows 7 flash drive is completed, close the program window.

How to create a bootable Windows 7 flash drive in Rufus

Using the free Rufus program, you can create a bootable Windows 7 disk on a USB flash drive. The application supports the creation of bootable flash drives for both hard disk partition schemes.

In Rufus , a bootable Windows 7 flash drive is created as follows:

  1. In the “Device” field, check if the correct USB flash drive is selected.
  2. Click on the “Select” button, add the Windows 7 ISO image to the program.
  3. In the “Partition scheme” field, select “MBR” or “GPT”, and in the “Target system” field, the parameters “BIOS (UEFI-CMS)” or “UEFI (non-CSM)” will automatically change.
  4. Click on the “Start” button.

Once the burning process is complete, the Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive is ready to use.

How to create a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive in WinSetupFromUSB

The free WinSetupFromUSB program is designed to create bootable and multiboot flash drives. In the first case, there is one operating system on the USB disk. In the second case, the flash drive hosts several different operating systems.

The WinSetupFromUSB program does not require installation on a computer and is launched from a folder.

In the WinSetupFromUSB program window, go through the following steps:

  1. In the “USB disk selection and format tools” section, check the correct selection of the USB flash drive.
  2. Check the box “Auto format it with FBinst”, select the file system for the flash drive “FAT32” for “UEFI” and “GPT”, or “NTFS” for “Legasy BIOS” and “MBR”, respectively.
  3. In the “Add to USB disk” section, in the “Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 / Server 2008/2012 based ISO” field, select the ISO image of the system.
  4. Click on the “Go” button.

Bootable Windows 7 flash drive in UltraISO

Now we will see how to create a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive in UltraISO. In the UltraISO program , you can make a bootable USB flash drive that works on a PC with BIOS or UEFI.

A bootable Windows 7 flash drive via UltraISO is written as follows:

  1. Run the program as administrator.
  2. Enter the “File” menu, click on the “Open …” item to select the Windows image.
  3. From the “Boot” menu, select “Burn Hard Disk Image…”.
  4. In the “Write Disk Image” window, you need to specify the settings:
  • In the “Disk Drive” field, check that the external USB drive is selected correctly.
  • The Image file field should display the path to the original ISO image of the operating system.
  • Recording method: “USB-HDD+”.
  1. Click on the “Format” button to clear the flash drive from previous files.
  2. Click on the “Burn” button to create a bootable USB flash drive.

Bootable USB flash drive Windows 7 ISO without using programs

The user has the ability to create a bootable USB flash drive without using third-party programs. All you need is an ISO image of Windows 7.

For a PC with UEFI and GPT, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Format the USB flash drive to the FAT32 file system.
  2. Open a 64-bit ISO image of Windows 7 using an archiver.
  3. Copy the entire contents of the image to a flash drive.
  4. A bootable Windows 7 UEFI flash drive has been created.

The process of creating a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive for a computer with BIOS and MBR is carried out using a system tool – the Windows command line. Creating a flash drive takes place in two stages.

Run command prompt as administrator. First, using the DiskPart utility, you need to create bootable media. In the command line interpreter window, run the following commands in sequence:

diskpart

list disk

select disk X (X is the disk number of the flash drive displayed on the command line)

clean

create partition primary

select partition 1

active

format fs=NTFS QUICK

assign

exit

Next, you need to mount the ISO image of Windows 7 using an emulator program, for example, Daemon Tools Lite, or insert an installation DVD into your computer’s drive. We need to copy the files to the flash drive from the ISO image.

On the command line, run the commands:

CHDIR X:boot (X is the disk number of the Windows 7 image)

bootsect /nt60 N: (N is the drive number of the flash drive)

XCOPY X:*.*N: /E /F /H (X is the disk number of the ISO image of Windows 7, N is the disk number of the USB drive)

After the files are copied, you will have a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive created without the help of third-party software.

Article Conclusions

A bootable Windows 7 flash drive is required to install the operating system on a computer from an external USB drive. The user can create a bootable Windows 7 flash drive using the programs: Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool, Rufus, WinSetupFromUSB, UltraISO, or using the system’s built-in tools.

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