How to install Windows XP / Vista / 7 from USB Stick / Flash Drive

Here’s how to create a Windows XP, bootable, USB key. This is very useful especially persons using Netbook or in the case that your PC is not equipped with a DVD/CD player or its is out of order.

Creating your bootable USB key:
First of all, you will need:
A USB key (capacity:1 or 2 GB;)
A Windows XP CD ( official version )  or an ISO image of Windows XP
A PC with a CD player and a USB key
And this software WinSetupFromUSB : http://www.datafilehost.com/download-109e97af.html [Used in this article]

If you need spcial drivers or you want to create a slipstream / unattended / shrinked version of Windows XP then you'll have to use Nlite.

Another good software is WinToFlash http://wintoflash.com/home/en/

If you’re trying to install Windows 7 on a netbook, Microsoft is making things even easier. Just use the Windows 7 USB tool.

It will also require that:
Your USB key is bootable. 
Your machine can boot your USB key (see in the BIOS).
Your key is fast enough to avoid delays during installation of the OS.


HP Format Tool

Steps to Follow:

  1. Select your Windows Source, it could be a CD / DVD and / or in case you don't have a ROM Drive then an ISO image that is mounted on a virtual drive. You can use image softwares like UltraISO, PowerISO or MagicDisk for mounting an ISO image. 
  2. Select your target USB Drive, be very careful and double check your selection. If your USB doesn't show up in the list you can try hitting the refresh button and then go on the small arrow just to the left and select the USB key that you'll be using to boot XP.
  3. In 'Force Target Disk Type', select 'Removable'.
  4. Use HP Format Tool to format your flash drive and format it in NTFS File System, this speeds up the data read significantly at the Text Mode part at the start of installtion of Windows XP.
  5. If everything goes as planned and I hope it does, you can Hit the 'Go' button Wait for the copying procedure. Then close the software (you are informed when the copy is complete) and your USB will be created.

Optional: You can use UltimateBoodCD, Windows 7 / Vista / Recovery ISO, PartedMagic or any other linux distribution ISO too. This will make it a multi boot USB.

Installing XP

For the first time when you'll connect your bootable USB to your PC / netBook, you may have to change the boot order in the BIOS, so that your computer can boot from the USB Flash drive. All the latest desktops / laptops / netBooks have the ability to boot from USB Flash Drives and there is a Quick Boot Menu too. It could be F12, F2, F9 or DEL button, so figure out yourself this part. Just make sure the USB is already attached. :)
Steps to Follow:

OK, So right here, I'm assuming that you've successfully booted from your USB Flash Drive and you'll be presented with the following screen.


Select 'First part of Windows XP Professional setup', this will start the text mode installation procedure.

Complete this part untill the 'Copying of Files to your Hard Disk' and RESTART your PC. Boot again from the USB but now Slect the 2nd Option.

Select 'Secondpart of Windows XP Professional setup', this will start the graphic mode installation procedure.

Complete this part, you maybe presented with the following screen too. Just keep it as it is and Press ENTER.

Now your Windows XP is installed with your USB key! I tried to make this as easy as possible. If theres still any problem, you can hit me @bithack3r and I'll be glad to help you.

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