With the advent of the Mini Laptop in the Kenyan Market installing Windows 7 is not as simple as it used to be. The main reason for this is because most of these mini laptops do not have a DVD/CD drive. The consequence is that in the case that you require to re install your Windows installation you are forced to either connect an external USB DVD drive or connect the Hardrive to another computer(Not a mean feat ).
I was recently faced with this dilemma and I dint have the benefit of having an external drive. Being a long time Linux user, I figured there must be a way in which i can install Windows 7 via a USB drive. I resorted to trawling the internet and I came across some very interesting tools to overcome this problem.
I will highlight two tools that I found most useful:
Installing Windows 7 using a USB thumb drive.
Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool.
This tool is a Microsoft tool that allows one to create a bootable Flash drive from a Windows installation DVD. You can download this tool form this link.
This tool allows you to install Windows 7 on a USB flash from a Windows 7 ISO file. The tool is very easy to use. Once you install it,you need to plug in a flash whose capacity is greater than 4 GB. Point the tool to the ISO file and select the USB drive as the required Flash on to which you want Windows 7 installed. The installation steps are easy to follow and straight forward. The process takes about 15 minutes, though this may vary depending on the Specs of the Computer you are using.
A few pointers: Ensure that you backup important information on your flash since the process formats your flash. For those who are intending to do a 64 bit Windows 7 installation, use the tool on a 64bit machine. From experience creating a 64 bit installation using the 32bit version of the tool proved problematic.
Below is a screenshot of the tool:
At this point some might ask: What if you want to create a flash installation from a DVD? This brings me to my second tool:
Koala 1.0 is a neat software from freemodding-software. This is an Italian company. Koala allows you to make a bootable Flash drive from a Windows 7 installation DVD.
You can software from here. Unzip the package and install the software.
Ensure you back up your flash drive before you start the process. Koala take a while longer than Windows DVD/USB tool above due to the slower read speeds associated with DVD drives as compared to the Harddrive.
For these two methods, ensure you set the first boot devices as the USB drive in the Laptops Bios. The Computer bios can be accessed just before the default operating system loads.
I hope this will be helpful to most of you out there. Do you have a query? Or Do you know better tools that you would wish to suggest. Kindly drop a comment and air your view/Opinion.
Ensure you use Original Windows 7 software.