Netbook computers are fast becoming mainstream products. To cut weight of the portable devices, its now becoming a common practice by vendors to ship portable computers (Laptop / Notebooks) with smaller screen and without any optical (CD / DVD) drive.
Ever since we have stepped in to the broadband edge, people are finding it easy to stream or download (purchase) movies / music / software online rather than buying physical copy of it. Hence lack of an optical drive is not causing any major issue for day to day computing.
However, there is one major section of computing, which requires an optical drive as must. That is, the phase of installation of an (OS) Operating System. Although, most of the time, any new netbook (ASUS EEEPC / Acer Aspire One / 7″ / 10inch / 11″ screen based products) / notebook / laptop would come with an pre-installed OS, but there are certain situation, where we may find you self in need of upgrading or installing the OS (let’s face it, Windows installations do get wrong sometime), where as, many Netbooks are coming without any OS or with Freedos or Linux, in which an user may feel to put his own OS.
So how can you install Windows on a Computer / Netbook / Notebook / Laptop which doesn’t have an optical (CD / DVD) drive ?
There are couple of options, like,
- Using an external USB based optical (CD / DVD) drive
- Network deployment installation
- Installation via USB / flash / pen / thumb drive
Up-till now, Microsoft didn’t have any official method or way for supporting the USB installation method. If someone wanted to do so, had to do via many complicated guides on How to install Windows via USB drive or how to create bootable installation USB drive.
However things are about to change with Microsoft releasing a tool called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
What is Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool ?
It is a tool which can either create a bootable installation DVD or USB drive of Windows 7 from an ISO image of Windows 7.
How to use Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to create a bootable installation USB / pen drive and install Windows from it ?
The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool requires a PC running Windows XP / Vista or Windows 7. You can download the tool from here.
The installation is pretty straight forward, simple few clicks and you have the program installed and ready to be executed.
Using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
- Click the Windows Start button, and click Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool in the All Programs list to open the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool.
- In the Source File box, type the name and path of your Windows 7 ISO file, or click Browse and select the file in the Open dialog box.
- Select USB to create a copy on a USB flash drive or DVD to create a copy on a DVD disk, then click Next.
- If you are copying the file to a USB flash drive, select your USB device in the dropdown list and click Begin copying. If you are copying the file up to a DVD, click Begin burning.
Hey its open source by the way..
Developers may find this very interesting as the product is open source and available under GPL.