Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Booting Windows 7 and 8 from USB

We now live in an era where CDs are no longer relevant and a USB drive is way more useful than it should. And this is awesome, I no longer need a bunch of different CDs around to install different versions of different OSs, all can be done with one drive. But some companies (specially Microsoft) are not keeping up with this, there is no Windows-USB-Ready-to-boot, instead you need to download a software to do this (the Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool works like a charm). The problem is that I don’t want to do this for all my 5 versions of Windows, and if a new version comes I need to wipe my drive just to create a USB-Bootable OS… it’s annoying. So I found a practical solution.

I know nothing about modifying boot files, leave that to the pros, but I guessed that the files responsible for the booting were these:

USB Installation working

This is a Windows installation already booting from the USB, so I took an .iso Windows installation, remove the files and replace them with the ones I already had…

Worked like a charm. Let me explain. Download this file, extract it. Inside you’ll see the following files:

Replace the original files with these

Put them into your Windows installation, like the first image. If you don’t want to delete the original files, rename them or save them somewhere else. That’ll do the trick, and should work with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.

A side note, the boot folder I uploaded is in English, meaning that the boot menu will be in English, but if you’re installation is in another language this shouldn’t be a problem.

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