You might have once in your geeky-life faced a situation when your CD/DVD ROM might have given up on you and you needed to install Windows urgently. Well that happens to me a lot since I don’t use DVDs and don’t even own a DVD ROM anymore. The other scenario can also be how now a days when people do custom builds they don’t even consider adding a DVD ROM in their build as everything is going digital (well I wouldn’t), but to boot up the system they sure need to install Windows right?
Well there are few alternatives that can help you get over these kind of situations and the best part? You won’t even need a DVD or a DVD ROM.
Have you ever installed an OS with a USB stick? This guide will tell you how to setup a bootable USB which functions as a bootable disk which means during the system start up, when you select the bootable USB in the boot menu, the USB would function as the respective disk you would insert in the DVD drive. In our case we would be using a bootable USB drive with Windows setup in it, which means it would react as the Windows installation disk.
Here is everything you will need to create a bootable Windows USB Stick.
1) A USB device about 4GB in size minimum, I would go at least 8GB if you are doing Windows 7 or Windows 8.
2) An ISO of Windows XP/Vista/7/8 or even Linux/Ubuntu.
3) Ultra ISO.
Before getting into the steps, you should know that Ultra ISO is not the only tool that can make a bootable device, there are quite a lot of them, but we will be using Ultra ISO as it’s quite easy, also used for image burning and you might be already familiar with it.
Coming down to the steps, once again just like the shortlist of stuff needed, there aren’t many steps that you’d need to go through. And I’ve managed to get all the process summarized in five (5) short steps.
Step 1) Download/Install Ultra ISO:
To grab yourself a copy of Ultra ISO, simply click here. Then it’s just few simple step of Next>Next>Install>Finish. I’m sure you should be able to install the program on your own also.
Step 2) Opening The ISO:
It’s quite a Child’s play now after you’ve installed the Ultra ISO, in my opinion the whole tutorial seems to be a child’s play. Well once the program is installed, open it, click on the “Files” tab on the top bar, then select “Open” and browse towards the directory where your ISO is located and open it.
In my case it’s E:\Windows 7. You can use older or latest version of Windows as well.
But remember, if you are on Windows Vista or newer versions of Microsoft OS, you should open Ultra ISO with “Run as Administrator” option, or otherwise the next step won’t work.
Step 3) Making A Bootable USB:
Now that the ISO is loaded in the home screen, plug in your USB/pen drive (Should be at least 4GB or above). Once the USB has been loaded, go to the “Bootable” tab in top bar and select “Write Disk Image”.
A New window should open now and what you need to do next is nothing but click at the “Write” button and it will start making the Bootable USB. But remember to back up any and all Data present on USB as this would require you to format your USB completely.
Note: Formatting the USB in NTFS should boost up the process but not necessary.
Step 4) Wait:
Nothing important to do in step 4 except waiting. Of course it’s going take a while before the process is completed. Meanwhile you can enjoy a cup of tea or play games or whatever you would like to do.
Step 5) Reboot And Install:
Once you see the “Burn Successful” message in message tab, your USB is all set and ready for the Windows installation (Yeah you’re done!). If you want to install Windows on the same PC, all you need to do is just reboot and select the “USB” in boot menu from BIOS and install windows as you would from a DVD.
If you want to install Windows on another System, no problem just plug the USB in your preferred system, select the USB in boot menu from BIOS and you are ready to go. This might be the easiest way you would come across on making a bootable device, there are still quite a few alternatives but we can’t cover all can we? Well there’s no need to when you can go the easy way.
Hope this tutorial might help you in near future. And if you liked this tutorial, don’t hesitate to ask for more tutorials and remember to share it with your friends who don’t like DVD ROMs ;).
Just a short note, in case you are wondering that you should install Windows because your Windows files are corrupted and re-installing might solve this problem, try updating your drivers and installing the latest version of DirectX, .Net Framework and VCredist, that might solve most of the “Missing .dll file” and other errors. Also if you have a corrupted Windows that won’t boot you may be able to recover it with a Windows PE USB Boot stick which you can create for free from Macrium Reflect if you don’t have a Windows ISO to turn into a Boot USB and you don’t have a DVD of the original Windows OS to do a repair option.