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Install Windows 7 from USB using XP


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Well I am trying to install 7 from my USB pen-drive(4gb). I am currently using XP and I have googled on how to install it from usb; but the problem is most of them are using the diskpart method and one particular command is giving the problem(list disk) as in XP my removable disk is not shown, so I am not able to select it.

Here is the link to the guide I saw: http://garyshortblog.wordpress.com/2009/01...re-one-netbook/

The rest are almost the same so I haven't got anything to work for me.

So I just want to get windows 7 setup started from my pen-drive and I want to install it on a separate partition(dual-boot with XP). My laptop can boot from USB so that's not a problem.

Thanks for any help.

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Using XP's diskpart utility will never work. You'll have to use Vista's diskpart utility. The reason is in the way they create the MBR. XP puts ntldr in the MBR and hence, when you start up, it's say missing ntldr.

Vista uses bootmgr, the same as Windows 7.

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Or use any way to make the USB stick bootable, than use MBRFIX:


MbrFix /drive <num> /partition <part> fixbootsector

bootsect.exe with the /nt60 option

For the record, the MBR was and is "OS agnostic", the invoked loader (either NTLDR or BOOTMGR) is in the bootsector.

Since it is possible to use the "install XP from USB" method to install Vista and Server2008, it should also be possible to use it for Windows7: :unsure:



(edited wrong info)

Edited by jaclaz
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Hey guys... I have figured it out how to do it and have installed Windows 7 from my USB flash drive (4GB). The total time to get to 7 desktop took only 15 mins which I think was very impressive. So I'll tell you how it worked out for me.

Since I was using XP and diskpart was not showing my flash-drive in 'list disk' command; I used the Hitachi Micro Driver inf to make it fixed and it solved that problem.

Step 1 - I used the guide here: http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html. Go down to "On flash drive only the first partition works" and follow the instructions there to make your flash-drive fixed.

Step 2 - Open the command prompt and type the following commands:


list disk

select disk # (# is the number which is your flash-drive you see from the 'list disk' command)


create partition primary

select partition 1


You cannot use the format command in XP's diskpart so I used HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool to format my pen-drive. I used Fat-32 format (as i think my laptop can't boot from NTFS USB) and didn't use quick format. It just takes less then a minute.

Then go back to command prompt and type:


exit (to exit diskpart but not the command prompt)

Now you can mount the Windows 7 ISO using Daemon tools(or similar) and extract all files to your flash-drive.

The go back to command prompt and move to the boot folder of Windows 7 ISO(and not the boot folder in the pen-drive). For example I used Daemon tools so for me it was simply I:\boot

Type this command:

bootsect /nt60 <drive-letter>

For me it looked like: I:\boot> bootsect /nt60 k: (k was my flash-drive)

Step 3 - Now you are all set to restart and boot from your USB(don't forget to write down your Windows 7 key if you haven't ;)). As the comp starts you can either go to boot options and select USB Storage Device or change the boot order in BIOS to boot from USB first. Then it should boot to Windows 7 setup and do its work. Since I was dual-booting I chose custom install and installed it on a separate partition. After it says it need to restart, you have to boot from the hard-drive and not from usb. So change the boot order back to your HDD if you need to. Then it will do the rest of the setup and you are done. Now whenever you start you get the option to start Windows 7 or earlier version of windows.

Well this worked out for me and hope it does too for any who is in a similar situation. I am going to explore Windows 7 for now.

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Any particuar reason why you don't install from DVD? It's far easier...

I installed mine by mounting the DVD .ISO from Microsoft with Daemon Tools, starting the setup process in XP and installed to a new partition. Would that not be even easier? Worked fine for me, very quick to install, roughly about 15 minutes if that.

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I did think about what you said but I was not sure if that was the proper way and didn't want to risk my XP installation and other files, so I took this long way. Anyways this will help me if I want to install 7 over XP later using USB pen-drive.

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bootsect.exe with the /nt60 option

For the record, the MBR was and is "OS agnostic", the invoked loader (either NTLDR or BOOTMGR) is in the bootsector.

Yeah, I get mixed up with the terminology. Thanks for correcting.

And yes, bootsect would "fix" the bootsector so that it loads bootmgr since vista is v 6.0 instead of loading ntldr.

However, the process of formatting in Vista does this (changes the bootsector to load bootmgr) without any "fixing" involved; whereas, the process of formatting in XP changes the bootsector to load ntldr.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Although there have been quite a few ways listed already now i wish to put in mine as well since i consider it fairly easy and it also helped with a peculiar situation you may encounter. HP already knows of a situation where you would format your pendrive with diskpart in vista and then try to boot from that drive. the bootprocess would then get stuck at post after the optical drives are accessed, right when the bios tries to access the pendrive. HP aknowledges this special situation only for two of their desktop-pc models and their own Pen Drives. However, i am running an AMD based system, which is realised on a gigabyte motherboard (GA-MA790GP-DS4H) which shows exactly the same behaviour. so all Diskpart-Methods would never work and i thought for a long time its my stick until i bought a new one. So i had to work out why.

This i still have no answer too, but i found a method to get the pendrive to boot within this situation nonetheless. I found it by just fiddling around with things, by chance so to say.

it basically is the method described by the topic-starter thegr8anand except completely replacing the Diskpart method with the aforementioned HP USB Mass Storage Format Tool. Its short and simple. AND it works on XP too.

Do as follows:

1: create a bootable DOS Floppy (real or virtual if you have no floppy or download an image)

2: Start HP tool, select the Pendrive in question, select Quick Format, select Dos startup disk, point the tool at A:\ for the DOS Files or to the Folder where u have them downloaded to, then format

3: go to Pendrive, delete DOS System Files (u dont need them, they are just put in by the tool because it made a dos disk)

4: get bootsect.exe from your Win7 Disk, start it right from disk or put it in \system32 so u can use it from everywhere, goto CMD, launch bootsect.exe with the command /nt60 <DriveLetter>: (put in the letter of your pendrive), press enter, done.

5: copy over contents of the Win7 Disk to your pendrive

6: reboot, install (oh yes boot from the pendrive has to be set up in bios maybe, i forgot to mention THAT one lol)

so why is it now that DiskPart creates a bootable USB Disk that won't boot on some machines but not on other?

And why does the HP Tool create one that will?

I want to know that tiny little difference. I want to know that really badly. So if someone understands that process and has an idea - please share your thoughts!


Diskpart reference by MS:


Bootsect reference by MS:


The HP Tool (also known as SP27213.exe or SP27608.exe):


What HP says about the problem, that some Pendrive/Bios combinations won't boot:


Everything thats necessary to get your Pendrive done as a bootable DOS Disk (you still need to fix the bootsector to be NT60 compatible afterwards with bootsect.exe!):


hope i could help a bit. sorry for the lengthy post.


i have written down a complete guide with both methods, currently available in german only, for those that are interested. Will translate it later on maybe. get it from the attachment if u please.


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