10 Tools To Install Windows Faster Using a USB Flash Drive

6. Universal USB Installer / YUMI

USB install support for: Windows Vista, 7 and 8.

yumi universal usb installer

Universal USB Installer and YUMI are similar programs from Pendrivelinux.com, looking and working in a similar way. The main difference is YUMI has support for installing multiple ISO images onto a USB flash drive and Universal USB Installer can install one ISO image at a time. They both have options to install and also download a number of Linux operating system images and repair CD’s along with direct USB installer support for Vista, 7 and 8. These two tools are one of the few that is able to install Kon-Boot onto a USB. All you have to do is select which Windows to install from the Step 1 drop down (near the bottom), locate the ISO and choose the USB drive to install to. Formatting is optional. The YUMI interface is slightly more complicated due to the multiboot options. Both tools are entirely portable.

Download Universal USB Installer | Download YUMI


7. UNetbootin

USB install support for: None officially, Windows Vista, 7 and 8 worked for us.

UNetbootin

UNetbootin is a very popular tool for downloading and installing Linux distro’s onto USB. Although a lot of people try to use it for installing the Windows setup onto USB, the program doesn’t officially support this and it seems a look around the internet reveals there are as many failures as successes. We ran quick tests to install Windows Vista, 7 and 8 ISO’s to USB using UNetbootin and it seemed to work IF you format the flash drive to NTFS beforehand. Just select Diskimage and browse for the ISO file, then choose your USB drive. Because the other tools here are designed to work with Windows by their developers, it’s recommended to try them before UNetbootin.

Download UNetbootin


8. RMPrepUSB

USB install support for: Windows XP, Vista, 2008, 7 and 8.

RMPrepUSB

RMPrepUSB is quite a comprehensive tool and can look a bit complicated to use compared to most other USB installers. Unfortunately, although the website can be a great resource for tutorials on various ways to put windows setup files onto a USB drive, it also can be quite difficult to find your way around. If you’re confident or experienced enough, there are a number of useful features such as multiple bootloader options, several fixes and tweaks to help with compatibility, a backup and restore function, a speed tester and also a size tester which can help detect fake sized USB flash drives. RMPrepUSB runs you through a series of 6 steps to create the install Windows USB, the small help window will offer tips on the best options for your particular operating system. Installer and portable versions are available.

Download RMPrepUSB


9. Koala

USB install support for: Windows Vista, Server 2008, 7 and 8.

Koala

Koala is a small and portable utility that can get Windows Vista, 7 and 8 setup files onto USB stick, but does have a limitation which is only support for copying the files from drives and not ISO images or folders. You can however mount an ISO using virtual drive software such as Daemon Tools and do it that way. Simply make sure you have Windows inserted into some form of drive, plug in the USB flash drive and press the Scan buttons for both Source and Destination which should find your devices and populate the boxes. Then press Start to begin the process and wait for your USB Windows installer to be created. Koala needs the .NET Framework v2.0.

Download Koala


10. The Manual Way Using DiskPart

USB install support for: Windows Vista, 7 and 8.

This last method is for the Command Prompt lovers out there and uses the Diskpart tool built into Windows to prepare the USB flash drive for the files. This should be used with care because you could easily wipe the wrong drive and lose data if not selecting the drives correctly. This method was tested and confirmed working on Windows Vista, 7 and 8. You obviously need to press Enter after typing in each command.

1. Insert your USB flash drive.

2. Press Win key+R, type cmd.

3. Type diskpart.

4. Type list disk, then identify the disk number for your USB flash drive. You MUST be very sure to find the correct number or you’ll end up formatting the wrong drive later on. If you have only one hard drive, then normally your USB flash drive will be disk 1.

Diskpart List Disk

5. Type select disk [disk#].

6. Type clean.

7. Type create partition primary.

8. Type select partition [disk#].

9. Type active.

10. Type format fs=ntfs quick.

11. Type assign.

12. Type exit.

DiskPart Steps 5 -12 in Command Prompt:

diskpart bootable usb

13. Insert the Windows installation DVD disc, mount the ISO or open it with 7-Zip, or locate a folder containing the Windows files, and copy everything from there onto your USB flash drive.

Boot up your computer with the USB flash drive. As with all these tools, you will need to go into your BIOS and make sure it is set to boot from USB devices, or press a key such as F11 or F6 etc while the BIOS screen is visible to select the boot device. If you got it right, you should now be able to load and install Windows from your USB flash drive.

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