Windows 7 – install from USB drive

Install Windows 7 from a USB stick – easy right? Just download the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool and follow the incredibly easy steps. Well that didn’t work for me and apparently quite a few others. Interesting as Microsoft was “forced” to make the tool publicly available after it was revealed Open Source code was used to create it. I would have thought such a simple tool would have worked extremely well. But of course from bad comes good! First the error below and then the command line alternative which worked perfectly and we learn something to boot!

Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool

Error: “We were unable to copy your files. Please check your USB device and the selected ISO file and try again.” I reformatting my 8gb USB thumb driver from the OS several times, moved my Windows 7 Profession 64bit ISO from a network share to local disk and shortened the name of the ISO. No luck. Well that was fun. Not.

Windows7 USB/DVD Tool - Unable to copy files

Solution: Format your USB drive as FAT32, extract your ISO using 7-Zip (Open Source File Archiver), copy the Windows 7 installer files to your thumb drive.

Detailed instructions – Fire up the command prompt and follow these steps from Ars Technia
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/12/-the-usb-flash-drive.ars/2

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