July 23, 2009

Easy Bootable USB for Installing Windows 7 to Netbooks

I’ve done two Windows 7 installations on my netbook (an eeePC 900) – Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 RC. Both times involved creating a bootable USB drive with the Windows 7 files to use as the installer. My little netbook does not have a DVD drive and I don’t own an external DVD drive so a bootable USB drive was the only option, well – the only sane option. The documented steps are better now than they were then, but it still took several hours just to prep the USB drive. I had to use 2 or 3 separate utilities that I didn’t already have installed on my PC so I had to hunt them down and install them. I found that I had to flip between 2 or 3 different sets of directions to do everything that I needed for my individual scenario. It was really a pain in my rear but in the end (no pun intended) everything worked out well. Side note: I try not to say “ass” anymore because the baby repeats everything, so “rear” has become a normal part of my vocabulary.

Fortunately technology continues to evolve and in a few short weeks/months there is now a much easier way to create a Windows 7 bootable USB drive: http://on10.net/blogs/sarahintampa/An-Easy-Way-to-Create-a-Bootable-USB-Drive-for-Windows-7/. Or a Windows Server 2008 or Vista bootable USB drive even.

I have not tried this little utility yet, but if it is as easy to use as has been described then it will be an answered prayer.

Select your USB drive, select the DVD/ISO, Click Go. Really? Arghhh. You kids have it so easy these days. Back in my day we had to walk up hill, both ways, in the snow, …

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