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Installing Win7 OEM without external media


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If you're starting the installation from a currently working Windows installation, I've read that you can copy the contents of the Windows 7 installation media to the hard drive and run the installation from there (haven't done it myself though). You could use Daemon Tools to mount the ISO, or you can just use WinRAR to extract the files from the ISO.

If you are intending to start the installation from a clean boot, and not start it from within Windows, you could, I think, copy the files from the Win 7 installation media to a partition, mark that partition as active and bootable (you could probably use Gparted to do this, based on your info I assume you've heard of it before ;) ), and you should be able to start the installation from there. This is essentially the same thing that is done when you create a USB key, except you'd be doing it on your hard drive. If you're familiar with grub, you may even be able to use it to boot into the partition without having to set the partition as active and bootable.

My personal preference, though, is the USB key - it cuts the installation time on most systems to 15 minutes or less. Is there some particular reason you can't or don't want to use either a DVD or a USB key?

Edited by jrf2027
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