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Windows 7: Laptop with no DVD drive

23 Nov 2009   #11
grkgus

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I used this method to install and works.


Required:
  • USB Flash Drive (4GB+)
  • Microsoft OS Disk (Vista / Windows 7)
  • A computer running Vista / Windows 7
Step 1: Format the Drive
The steps here are to use the command line to format the disk properly using the diskpart utility. [Be warned: this will erase everything on your drive. Be careful.]
  1. Plug in your USB Flash Drive
  2. Open a command prompt as administrator (Right click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”
  3. Find the drive number of your USB Drive by typing the following into the Command Prompt window:
    diskpart
    list disk

    The number of your USB drive will listed. You’ll need this for the next step. I’ll assume that the USB flash drive is disk 1.
  4. Format the drive by typing the next instructions into the same window. Replace the number “1” with the number of your disk below.
    select disk 1
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    format fs=NTFS
    assign
    exit
    When that is done you’ll have a formatted USB flash drive ready to be made bootable.
Step 2: Make the Drive Bootable
Next we’ll use the bootsect utility that comes on the Vista or Windows 7 disk to make the flash drive bootable. In the same command window that you were using in Step 1:
  1. Insert your Windows Vista / 7 DVD into your drive.
  2. Change directory to the DVD’s boot directory where bootsect lives:
    d:
    cd d:\boot
  3. Use bootsect to set the USB as a bootable NTFS drive prepared for a Vista/7 image. I’m assuming that your USB flash drive has been labeled disk G:\ by the computer:
    bootsect /nt60 g:
  4. You can now close the command prompt window, we’re done here.
Step 3: Copy the installation DVD to the USB drive
The easiest way is to use Windows explorer to copy all of the files on your DVD on to the formatted flash drive. After you’ve copied all of the files the disk you are ready to go.
Step 4: Set your BIOS to boot from USB
This is where you’re on your own since every computer is different. Most BIOS’s allow you to hit a key at boot and select a boot option.
I used these instructions to get my new Dell Mini 9 laptop loaded with Windows 7 (the PDC bits). HTH.






Creating Bootable Vista / Windows 7 USB Flash Drive at Kevin’s Blog


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
23 Nov 2009   #12
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Pretty much the same as this Greg:

USB Bootable Vista Installation Flash Thumb Drive - Vista Forums

Except it is an HD.

Similar to the previous poster - works fine from an HD.



Yes, if you install to another partition - 7 boot critical files will be on the Vista partition , and you will get a dual boot menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #13
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post
Hi all--

I'd like to clean install W7 from my portable HDD, but since I can't boot from USB, was wondering what options I might have.
Any insight is appreciated.
Perhaps I need to mention this...

Edit: The bootsect /nt60 i: doesn't work for me; the error message I recieve says that access is denied and so won't boot from the USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Nov 2009   #14
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you read the posts you would see it explained how you can boot from usb.

See post 3.

You don't have to - it's up to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #15
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
You can install windows fine from an external USB HD.

Just need usb boot capability. No need for a flash drive.
Hi there
I think the OP can't boot from a USB drive which is the cause of the problem.

However I'd attack this from a DIFFERENT perspective.

It's actually VERY EASY to change the DVD drive on most laptops and a new one only costs around the same as a larger usb stick - certainly not a lot more.

If you think the laptop is worth it then get a new DVD drive.

There is another relatively unconventional solution - your Laptop might be able to boot from a Network card / LAN device -- if it does then get your image on to the remote LAN device and boot.

For changing the DVD drive have a look here - It's an ACER but 99% are similar.
How to replace hard drive and DVD drive in Acer Aspire 3610 laptop >> Inside my laptop

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #16
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes. I know he can't natively boot from usb - that's why I posted up how he can - post 3. He can use his external HD - no need to buy a flash drive.

Changing the dvd drive is also a very good idea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #17
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Pretty much the same as this Greg:

USB Bootable Vista Installation Flash Thumb Drive - Vista Forums

Except it is an HD.

Similar to the previous poster - works fine from an HD.


.
I was treating the external just like my flash drive installer/toolbox, formatting primary/active and then loading in the files, but could never get it to boot. I want to keep other files on it like I do my flashstick (in folders amongst the Win7 loose files) but I even tried creating a separate partition for the Win7 install files and external would never boot. Research seems to point to the need for a boot manager on multi-partition USB's. Is that what PLOP does?

What I didn't try yet is the UltraISO bootable tab which allows writing ISO to USB drive. Will give that a try. Can I keep files in with the ISO or does it need sep partition? If sep part how do I get to other partition's files when plugged?

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #18
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 

These are great Q&A.

SIW2? My GRUB fails from USB, error code 17, after installing PLOP.
Jimbo? A replacement DVD drive, for this laptop, costs $243; not an option. But your boot from network is an interesting consideration. I just have no idea of how to accomplish it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #19
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuentes View Post

I'm also curious as to how W7 can overwrite the Vista partition while installing itself...on the same Vista partition. But I'm sure these are just old DOS fears.
It does this by copying and expanding files before restarting back to installation setup.

I run installer files>Setup from desktop all the time when DVD drive is bad, either overwriting or to another partition.

If done to another part it will create a dual boot menu Win7/Vista.

Later we can help you delete Vista and extend Win7 into that space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2009   #20
Fuentes

7 HP & ULT
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Later we can help you delete Vista and extend Win7 into that space.

Read my mind Greg.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Laptop with no DVD drive




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