How To Install Windows 7 Using a Flash Drive or External Drive

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How To Install Windows 7 Using a Flash Drive or External Drive

You will need to extract the Windows Setup files to a drive before continuing any farther.

  1. Plug a drive with a minimum of 4 gigabytes of memory into a computer.
  2. Move any personal files off of the drive.
  3. Download the Windows 7 Setup ISO. An ISO file is a disc image. Note: This download may take a while, depending on your internet speed.
    • A list of download links is available here.
    • If the link to the website does not work, click here to download a list of the links.
  4. Download and install the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from this link.
  5. Once the ISO has finished downloading, open the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
  6. Select the ISO. On the Step 1 of 4Choose ISO file screen of the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, select the downloaded ISO file by clicking Browse, then click Next to continue.
  7. On the Step 2 of 4: Choose media type screen, choose USB device.
  8. On the Step 3 of 4: Insert USB device screen, choose the drive you want to extract the Setup files to, then click Begin copying.
    • If you receive an error that says Not Enough Free Space, click the Erase USB Device button, which will erase all of the files on the drive.
  9. Once Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool has finished extracting the ISO to the flash drive, your drive is ready to install Windows.
    • You may delete the ISO file now, as it is no longer required.

Clean Installation

A clean install is intended for users who want to freshly install Windows on their computer (by deleting all of the data on the hard disk and then installing Windows) or computers that do not have an operating system yet. (Note: Older computers may not be able to perform a clean installation with the drive.)

  1. Make sure the drive that Windows 7 Setup was extracted onto is plugged into the computer.
  2. Enter your computer’s BIOS. Turn off the computer that you want to install Windows on then turn it back on. When the BIOS screen appears or you are prompted to do so, press DelEscF2F10, or F9 (depending on your computer’s motherboard) to enter the system BIOS. The key to enter the BIOS is usually shown on the screen.
  3. Find your BIOS’s boot options menu. The boot options menu of your BIOS may vary in location or name from the illustration, but you may eventually find it if you search around.
    • If you can’t find the boot options menu, search the name of your BIOS (most likely located in the BIOS menu) online for help.
  4. Select the drive as the first boot device of your computer.
    • If your drive doesn’t show up as a boot device, then your computer doesn’t support it.
    • Although this method may vary among computers, the boot options menu is typically a menu of movable device names where you should set your drive as the first boot device. It can also be a list of devices that you can set the order of their boot on individually. Consult a manual or the internet for help if you’re stuck.
  5. Save the changes of the settings. Press the button indicated on the screen or select the save option from the BIOS menu to save your configuration.
  6. Shut off your computer. Either turn off the computer by choosing the shut-down option in your current operating system, or hold the power button until the computer powers off.
  7. Turn your computer back on. Your computer should enter Windows Setup.
    • If your computer asks you if you want to boot from a CD by pressing any key, boot from it. Windows Setup will load.
    • Important Information: If you receive a CD/DVD device driver missing error during Setup at any point, simply click Cancel on the error message which will return you to the Welcome screen. Once you reach the Welcome screen, un-plug the USB drive and plug in into another USB port on your computer, then continue with the installation.
  8. Choose your Windows Setup options. Once Windows Setup loads, you’ll be presented with a window. Select your preferred language, keyboard type, and time/currency format, then click Next.
  9. Click the Install Now button.
  10. Accept the License Terms. Read over the Microsoft Software License Terms, check I accept the license terms, and click Next.
  11. Select the Custom installation.
  12. Decide on which hard drive and partition you want to install Windows on. A hard drive is a physical part of your computer that stores data, and partitions “divide” hard drives into separate parts.
    • If the hard drive has data on it, delete the data off of it, or format it.
      • Select the hard drive from the list of hard drives.
      • Click Drive options (advanced).
      • Click Format from Drive options.
    • If your computer doesn’t have any partitions yet, create one to install Windows on it.
      • Select the hard drive from the list of hard drives.
      • Click Drive options (advanced).
      • Select New from Drive options.
      • Select the size, and click OK.
  13. Install Windows on your preferred hard drive and partition. Once you’ve decided on where to install Windows, select it and click Next. Windows will begin installing.

Upgrade

An Upgrade installation upgrades an older version of Windows on your computer (E.G. Windows Vista) to Windows 7.

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  1. Check to see if your computer is compatible with Windows 7. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor scans your computer to see if you can upgrade it to Windows 7. Download it here.
  2. Prepare your computer to install Windows.
    • Scan your computer for malware. Malware can prevent Windows from installing correctly.
    • Disable or uninstall any antivirus software because they may interfere with the Windows installation.
    • Uninstall some unnecessary programs to speed up the upgrade. You can install them after Windows 7 has finished.
    • Update Windows with Windows Update.
    • Delete some unnecessary files to speed up the upgrade.
    • Back up your hard drive in case the installation fails and you lose your files. (optional).
  3. Make sure the drive that Windows Setup was extracted onto is plugged into your computer.
  4. Start Windows Setup. Click Start →Computer, double click the USB drive that Windows 7 Setup was extracted to, and double-click setup.exe on the disc. Allow Setup to start.
  5. Click Install Now.
  6. Decide whether to install updates for Windows Setup. The updates are intended to fix known problems with Windows Setup and installing updates makes your installation smoother and more stable. To get updates, click Go Online to get the latest updates for installation (recommended). To skip updates, click Do not get the latest updates for installation.
  7. Accept the License Terms. Read over the Microsoft Software License Terms, check I accept the license terms, and click Next.
  8. Select the Upgrade installation.

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