Install Windows 7 from Bootable USB Drive
If you ever wondered how can you make your Windows 7 installation process faster or more convenient (in my case convenient as I don’t have a DVD drive in my laptop, I replaced it with extra HDD), you will be happy to know that it is possible to install Windows 7 from a bootable USB key.
Cesar has documented the process here.
I would like to add to the process documented above. In my experience, I did not have to do Step 1 mentioned above. I decided to skip it and see how it worked. I had a working USB key so I just removed all contents and performed Steps 2, 3 and 4.
I have been using this process since release of Windows 7 Beta so I had to do step 2 only once. Every time I got new build, I just removed all files and replaced from new DVD ISO.
Also, since I don’t have DVD drive, you may be wondering how did I copy files from DVD to USB. Well, I just mounted the ISO using Slysoft Virtual CloneDrive. There are many tools available to mount ISO files. Feel free to use one that best suits your needs. I settled on Virtual CloneDrive as it was the only one that worked on Windows 7 x64.
If you have installed Windows 7 Beta or RC, it’s time to upgrade to RTM. If not, what are you waiting for?