Installing Windows7 from USB

I finally figured out what was going wrong when I tried to install Windows7 from USB. I did the following:

I mounted the Windows 7 Beta ISO using Daemon Tools on a Windows Vista machine. I then followed the following steps for my 16GB USB key:

  1. I opened a command prompt with administrator access. I did the following commands:

    diskpart
    select disk 1     (that happened to be the disk number of the usb key, might be different for other people)
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    format fs=fat32
    assign
    exit

  2. I then copied the files from the mounted ISO image to the USB key using the following:
    xcopy e:\*.* /s/e/f g:\                   (E happened to be the virtual DVD drive, and G happened to be the USB key drive letter)

My problem is that in the BIOS for my P6T motherboard, there is not a separate option to boot from USB. The USB key has to be set to emulate a hard disk or CD drive, and that then has to be set to load before the real CD or hard disk drive.

I ran into another problem the second time I installed Windows 7 (I am on my third installation, as I tinker with the partition set up I wish to use). I had used the USB key on a Mac, and it changed something so the key was no longer bootable. I had to go to a PC and follow the steps outlined above all over again. Those steps take about 30 minutes to complete – no real big deal, since I can do other things in the meantime.

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