Today I replaced my main hard disk in my workstation. This is not something I am usually worrying about because installing Windows 7 is pretty straightforward.
But this time is different: on my latest computer, I didn’t plug any optical drive reader. Why not? Well because it’s heavy, loud, consumes power even when idle, and is pretty much useless… except today.
Here I’ll present the trivial solution that I found.
The first time I installed Windows on this computer I tried using Unetbootin, but to be honest I’ve encountered mixed results with this tool over the years:
- On some ISO images it just fails while creating the bootable USB stick ;
- In many cases everything seemed to work just fine, except that the USB stick wasn’t bootable, or made me experience random errors during installation ;
- And of course, in some rare occasions, I had everything working fine ;
I did read a lot about Unetbootin difficulties with some cheap USB sticks (most of mine are), but to be honest I didn’t care much: using that tool always seemed random to me.
Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool
While looking for some « new tool » to help me with the USB installation, I found out that Microsoft did, in fact, release a specific application for my use case. More surprisingly, the tool is free and available for download without any kind of Microsoft-Hotmail-Passport-enabled account here.
After installing the tool, you will need to locate your ISO file (mine comes directly from the MSDN):
Click Next, and choose « USB device » as target:
You will be asked on which USB device you’d like to copy the installation files:
After that you will need to wait for a while for the data to be transferred.
That’s it! Your bootable USB stick should be ready (remember to eject it properly, just in case).
Using the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool is very easy, it makes installing Windows 7 via an USB stick a trivial task even for beginners.