Microsoft Announces Help for DVD-less Netbook Win7 Installers

Microsoft previously announced (or rather, trumpeted) that unlike Windows Vista, Windows 7 would run just fine on a netbook, thank you. But what about the fact that most netbooks are DVD-less? Well, there's an app for that, to steal a line from Apple.

Microsoft has released the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. This tool will allow you to take the ISO image for your Windows 7 install, and turn it into a bootable flash drive image.

Once that's done, the netbook's BIOS must also be modified to set the boot order so that the USB drive is first on the list. It's pretty simple to be honest.

Just remember that, according to Microsoft's site, this isn't a general purpose tool designed to turn any ISO into a bootable flash drive image. While we haven't tried it ourself, Microsoft is pretty clear that this can only be used with a Windows 7 ISO. Of course, we've heard that kind of "certainty" before.
Via:  Microsoft
Tags:  Microsoft, Windows 7, USB
3vi1 5 years ago

You can't turn just _any_ ISO into a bootable image, because the ISO needs to contain the drivers for everything needed to run your PC. A normal Windows application ISO would be #%@! out of luck, because there would be no Windows kernel/user dlls for the application to call.

Since there's no problem with re-distributing the OS, Linux has been running from thumbdrives for years in this same manner. Many Linux LiveCDs have a command or menu option that allows you to copy the entire LiveCD to a thumbdrive (which it makes bootable). For the distros that don't, it's still usually pretty easy: see for instructions on how to put all the popular distros on a thumbdrive.

Marco C 5 years ago

If you burn the ISO to a DVD, manually create a bootable thumb drive of sufficient size, and simply copy the Win 7 DVD over, that works too.  I had Win 7 installed on my first-gen EeePC without issue.

3vi1 5 years ago

Looks like Microsoft pulled the tool, after claims that they included GPL-licensed open source code without following the license (i.e. they didn't provide the rest of the source, and they added legalese restricting its use).

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

It's not hard to do and with the surge of netbooks there are a ton of tutorials online.

digitaldd 5 years ago

Me, I just use unetbootin works with windows, and many many *nixes.

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

[quote user="digitaldd"]

Me, I just use unetbootin works with windows, and many many *nixes.


I use this all the time. Never though about using it for windows.

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