Operating System

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install Windows 7 on USB Flash Drive

Installing Windows 7 on USB flash drive is not a simple process, but still some people want to know how to install Windows 7 on USB flash drive. Here in this article, there are few methods presented to install Windows 7 on USB flash drive, which takes some easy steps to follow.

How to Install Windows 7 from USB?

To install Windows 7 from USB, you need to prepare for the installation. To prepare for it, you should move the Windows 7 setup files onto a flash drive or any other USB storage and then boot it to get the Windows 7 installation process began. It is necessary to prepare the USB device and then copy the Windows 7 install files to it appropriately before it will work.

What you need for installation listed below:

  • A windows 7 ISO or DVD
  • Connect to a computer with Windows 7, 8, 10, Vista or XP, and a DVD drive if you have a Windows 7 DVD
  •  A 4 GB or larger flash drive

Ways to Install Windows 7 from a USB

Prepare a USB drive for installation which takes around 15 to 30 minutes depending on the speed of your computer and the edition of Windows 7 you have on DVD or ISO format.

You can begin with step 1 if you have a Windows 7 DVD or you can start with step 2 if you have a Windows 7 ISO image.

Step 1: Make an ISO image file from the Windows 7 DVD. If you know how to do it, just do it, if not follow the tutorial below:

How to Make an ISO from a DVD, BD, or CD Disc?

  1. Download BurnAware Free, which is a free program to create an ISO image from all types of CD, DVD, and BD disks.

BurnAware Free works in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of those operating systems are supported.

Note: BurnAware have two versions of ‘Premium’ and ‘Professional’ both of which are not free, but the ‘Free’ version of it is completely able to make ISO images from your discs, which is the aim of the tutorial. You should just ensure that you chose the download link from the BurnAware Free area of their website.  

Tip: In the case that you used BurnAware Free before and you didn’t like it or it didn’t work, you can use some other ways to create an ISO from a disk.

  • Install BurnAware Free using the executing the burnaware_free_[version].exe file that you downloaded.

Note: In the case that you see one or more Optional Offer or Install Additional Software screens during or after installation, you can ignore or deselect any of the options and continue.

  • Run BurnAware Free. You can do it from the shortcut created on the Desktop or automatically through the last step in the installation.
  • Click on Copy to ISO from the Disc Images column.

Note: You can see the Copy to Image tool in addition to the BurnAware Free window.

Tip: Perhaps you may see a Make ISO icon under the Copy to ISO one, but you don’t like to choose it for the specific task. You can use the Make ISO tool for making an ISO image from a collection of files you choose like your hard drive or another source.

  • Select the optical disk, drive you plan on using from the menu at the top of the window. In the case that you have one drive, you will only have one option.

Tip: You can make ISO images using discs that your optical drive supports. For instance, if you have a DVD drive, you can’t make ISO images from BD discs since your drive can’t read the data from them.

  • Choose Browse.
  • Go to the location you want to write the ISO image file, and give the soon-to-be-made file a name in the File name text box.

Note: Several gigabytes of data can be hold by optical discs and it will make ISOs of equal size. If you want to save the ISO image, just ensure that there is enough room on the drive. If you have a free space, thus, select the best location like your desktop to make the ISO image.

Note: If you want to move the data from a disc onto a flash drive, you can boot from it. You should know that an ISO file onto a USB device will work as you expect. In some situations like installing Windows from a flash drive, you should do something extra to make it work.

  • Select Save.
  • Insert into the optical drive you chose in Step 5 the CD, DVD, or BD disc that you want to create the ISO image.

Note: the disk you inserted may start depending on how AutoRun is configured in Windows you have in your system.

  1. Click on Copy.

Tip: When you see the message of ‘There is no disc in the source drive’, select OK. Then, try again in a few seconds. Perhaps the spin-up of the disk may not have been completed in your drive, thus, Windows cannot recognize it. The disk is clean and undamaged.

  1. You should wait when the ISO image is created from your disk. The progress will be appeared through watching the Image progress bar or the x of x MB written indicator.
  2. After completing the ISO creation process, you see the Copy Process Completed successfully, the time BurnAware finished ripping the disk.

Note: The ISO file can be named and located whenever you decide.

  1. Now, you should close the Copy to Image window and the BurnAware Free window. Now you can remove the disk that you used form your optical drive.

How to Create ISO Images in MacOS and Linux?

It is possible to make an ISO in MacOS with tools which are included. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Disk Utility. To do so, follow Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Open File.
  3. Select New Image.
  4. Choose Image from [device name].
  5. Name the new file.
  6. Choose where to save.

Note: You can also change format and encryption setting.

  • Select Save to make the image file.
  • Choose Done when finished.

When you see the CDR image, you can convert it to ISO by the command below:

If you want to convert the ISO to DMG, you should execute the from the terminal that you have on your Mac.

In both cases, replace, path, originalimage with the path and filename of your CDR or ISO file and path convertedimage with path and filename of the ISO or DMG file whenever you want to make it.

For Linux, you should go to a terminal window and execute the following, then replace dev, dvd with the way of your optical drive and path, image with the filename and the path of the ISO you are making:

If you want to use software to make an ISO image instead of the command line tools, you can try Roxio Toast (Mac) or Brasero (Linux).

How to Get the Windows 7 ISO You Created onto a Flash Drive?

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Download Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
  2. Execute the file and follow the instructions.

Note: This program, which can work in Windows 10 through Windows XP, it will correctly format the USB drive and also it will copy the contents of your Windows 7 ISO file.

Note: You can pick the en-US.exe download for the English edition of this tool.

  • Start the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program. You can find this option in the Start Menu, on your Start Screen, or on your Desktop.
  • Select ISO File Screen.
  • Click on Browse.
  • Locate and select your Windows 7 ISO file.
  • Select Open.

Note: If you want to download Windows 7 directly from Microsoft, check the ISO image where you want to store downloaded files. If you made an ISO file from Windows 7 DVD manually, so it will be wherever you saved it.

  • Click on Next when you back on the step 1.
  • On Step 2, select media type screen, and select USB device.
  • Insert USB device screen on step 3, and select the flash drive or external hard drive you want to put the Windows 7 installation files.

Tip: In the case that you didn’t plug in the flash drive or other device you are using, in this stage you can do it. Select Refresh to see it in the list.

  1. Click on Begin Copying.
  2. Click on Erase USB Device if it says Not Enough Free Space window. Then select YES to confirm it.

Note: If you do not see this option, it means that the flash drive or external hard disk is empty.

Important: Any data that you have on this USB drive will be removed as part of this process.

On step 4, when you create bootable USB device, you should wait for the program to format the USB drive and after that you should copy the Windows 7 installation files to it from the ISO image you prepared.

Note: You can see the Status of Formatting for a few seconds, and then you can see Copying Files which takes around 30 minutes or even longer, depending on which edition of Windows 7 the ISO file you have and how fast your computer, USB drive, and USB connection is.

Tip: Sometimes the percentage may remain on one or more percentage for a long time, so don’t worry since it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong.

  1. In this part, you see Bootable USB Device Created Successfully, with a Status of Backup Completed.
  2. Close the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program. Now you can use the USB drive to install Windows 7.
  3. Here, you should boot from the USB device to begin the Windows 7 setup process.

Tip: If the Windows 7 setup process doesn’t start whenever you want to boot from the USB drive, you may need to make some changes to the boot sequence in BIOS.

16. Now you have installed Windows 7 by USB.

How to Install Windows 7 on USB with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard?

It is a professional third party management tool which takes a few steps to make install Windows 7 on USB drive. There are some steps to prepare before installing Windows 7 that presented below:

  1. It is essential to prepare a USB larger than 13 GB. Since all the data will be deleted, thus make sure you have backup of your information on the USB.
  2. For creating a brand new system, you should download Windows 7 ISO file.

Ways to Install Windows 7 to USB External Drive

After preparing the things above, follow the steps below to Install Windows 7 on USB external drive:

  1. Download the AOMEI Partition Assistant.
  2. Plug in the USB drive to a USB computer and make sure it is detected by the PC.
  3. When you see the USB drive appeared in the AOMEI Partition Assistant, select the Windows to Go Creator in All Tools.
  4. Click on Windows to Go Creator.
  5. Select the first option which is Create Windows to Go for Personal Computer.
  6. Hit Next.

Note: If you want to install Windows on Mac, you should click on the second option.

  • Select Create Window to Go with System Disk/ISO.
  • Choose the Prepared ISO file.
  • Hit Next to continue.
  • Choose the USB drive you have prepared.
  • Select Proceed.

After finishing the process, you should use the new created bootable USB drive to install any Windows PC and make it the portable version of Windows 7.

As can be seen from the screenshot, the USB flash drive, which is used to install Windows 7 is an MBR disk. It means that it can install only the computers with Legacy Boot Mode available. For booting UEFL boot mode computers, you need to convert it to GPT disk without losing data.

The AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard not only can install Windows 7 on USB drive, but also it provides great features like Migrate OS to SSD without reinstalling the Window, Merge Partitions and Resize Partition without losing data. 

How to Create a Windows 7 To Go USB Drive by Hasleo WinToUSB?

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Connect the USB drive to the computer.
  2. Download, install, and run Hasleo WinToUSB.
  3. Select Windows To Go USB.
  4. Click on Select Installation Source.
  5. Select Browse Image File.
  6. From the open dialog box, choose Windows 7 Installation ISO File as the installation source, or Select a CD/DVD drive with a Windows 7 Installation DVD which is inserted as the installation source.
  7. In this part, Hasleo WinToUSB scan and lists installable operating systems.
  8. Choose the edition of Windows that you want to install.
  9. Click on Select Destination Drive.
  10. Choose the destination drive from the pop-up drive list.
  11. You can click the button for the program to recognize the drive if Hasleo WinToUSB recognizes the drive correctly.
  12. Select the partition scheme and installation mode you want to use, and you can specify additional drivers or you can enable BitLocker to encrypt the Windows To Go external hard drive according to your needs.
  13. Select Proceed.

Tip: If you choose Keep the Existing Partition Scheme, before this step, you need to manually prepare partitions for Windows To Go.

  1. After selecting Proceed, you can see a pop-up asking you whether you want to format it to continue, so select Yes if you are sure.
  2. WinToUSB starts installing Windows to the destination drive.
  3. It takes some time to install. After installation restart the computer and change BIOS to boot from the USB drive.
  4. Windows 7 normal installation starts up, and you must complete all the installation steps.
  5. Now you can install programs, copy files, etc.


Some users want to install Windows 7 on USB flash drive but they don’t know how to do it. Here, in this article we presented all the possible ways to do so. Have you ever wanted to install Windows 7 on USB flash drive? Which method did you choose to do it? Share your ideas with us.

Reyhane A

Reyhane is an author and technology enthusiast who has a passion for writing about Windows tips and tricks. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Reyhane always had an interest in technology, which led her to pursue a degree in computer engineering from the University of Tehran. After completing her studies, Reyhane began working as a software engineer, where she gained a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of technology. She soon discovered her love for writing, and began sharing her knowledge with others through her blog. Reyhane's blog quickly gained popularity, and she became known as an expert in the field of Windows tips and tricks. Her articles are known for being clear, concise, and easy to understand, making them accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of technical expertise. Today, Reyhane continues to share her knowledge with the world through her blog and YouTube channel, where she provides tips and tricks for Windows users to help them optimize their computer's performance and get the most out of their technology. In addition to her passion for technology, Reyhane enjoys traveling, photography, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an avid reader and is always on the lookout for new books to add to her collection. Reyhane's dedication to her work and her love for technology have made her a respected figure in the industry, and she continues to inspire and educate others through her writing and online content.

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