Installing Windows From USB With FlashBoot

Usually Windows is installed from DVD disc, but these days it's much more convenient to install operating system from USB thumbdrive. At lot of modern hardware does not even have a builtin DVD reader/recorder. With FlashBoot, you can install Windows from USB, and so avoid using external USB DVD reader/recorder for Windows installation.

This article explains how to install Windows from USB thumbdrive or USB HDD using FlashBoot. Step by step guide.

Contents

1. Preparing USB thumbdrive

Get USB thumbdrive. Fast one (USB 2.0 device) is recommended. Minimum capacity is 8Gb.

Download and install FlashBoot. Demo version will suffice.

Step-by-step guide follows:


1) Run FlashBoot, click Next

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Welcome
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Welcome

2) Choose CD -> USB in Main Menu

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Main Menu
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Main Menu

3) Choose CD/DVD drive or image file and click Next

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Specify Source
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Specify Source

4) Choose "Convert Windows Vista installation CD" from the scenario list and click Next

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Choose Scenario
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Choose Scenario

5) Choose target USB disk (flash, HDD) or image file and click Next

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Specify Target
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Specify Target

6) Enter volume label or leave it as is and click Next

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Formatting Options
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Formatting Options

7) Check summary information and click Next

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Summary
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Summary

8) Wait for process completion

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - In Progress
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - In Progress

9) USB disk is ready for use. Click OK to exit

Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Completed Successfully
Install Windows from USB with FlashBoot - Completed Successfully

2. Setting up BIOS to boot from USB thumbdrive

Follow this guide.

3. Running Windows installation from USB thumbdrive

Windows installation goes as usual, except in some rare cases you can encounter the following error:

   A required CD/DVD device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk,
   CD, DVD or USB flash drive, please insert it now.

   Note. If the windows installation media is in the drive, you can safely
   remove it for this step.

Screenshot of this error:

Windows Installation Error - A required CD/DVD device driver is missing
Windows Installation Error - A required CD/DVD device driver is missing

In this case please reboot, enter BIOS setup and put USB mass storage devices to USB-HDD boot mode. (USB-ZIP / Superfloppy / whatever else would cause this problem).

If it still doesn't work, here's another advice.
When Windows is asking for driver, just click Cancel. You will be brought back to the welcome screen. At the welcome screen, remove your USB drive, insert it back to different USB port. Click Install Now again. The installation process will be like usual.

This problem happened to all new version of updated Windows 7 installer. This is probably because of the failure of Windows installer to retain its detection to the USB drive. It lost the connection, and became confused, don't know where to find the USB drive it used to read before.

When we re-insert the USB drive, Windows installer will detect the USB drive back, and continue like usual.

4. Versions of Windows this article applies to

This article applies to all versions of Windows after Windows XP: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows 10 (both 32-bit and 64-bit editions), as well as equivalent Windows Server operating systems.