Install Windows 7 Without USB or DVD Without Upgrading!

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Introduction: Install Windows 7 Without USB or DVD Without Upgrading!

About: Not even a fan of Aerosmith, it's just a username.

How to CLEAN Install Windows 7 directly from Hard drive – NO DVD or USB needed!!

For example, you have a netbook or desktop that you want to install Windows 7 onto, but can’t use DVD or USB for whatever reason (or don't want to, like me). This method will allow you to boot and install Windows directly from the hard drive. This guide involves plugging the hard drive into another working computer, preparing the hard drive, placing it back in the system, and installing Windows as usual.

This guide will work for Windows 7 and Windows 8.  I have a Windows 8 instructable, but it's essentially the same guide with some Windows 8 pictures.  This guide will not work for Windows Vista - I have an instructable for that.

Part 1: Preparing the HD with Windows 7 setup files.

- Connect the hard drive to another working computer.
- Format the hard drive to NTFS (Quick format works fine; multiple partitions also work).
- Copy the following from your Windows 7 disc:

    Boot
    Sources
    Bootmgr

Part 2: Making the HD bootable

Using Windows XP, Vista, or 7, open CMD as Admin (Windows key + R, type CMD, hit Enter)

Enter the following commands, (replace X with what applies to your hard drive):

diskpart
list disk
select disk X
list partition
select partition X
active
exit
X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X:

(See picture for example)

Exit and shutdown.

Note: If you’re working on a 32-bit system, and you want to install 64-bit Windows, you may get problems trying to run the last command (X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X:).
Solutions:

    Use a computer with a 64-bit version of Windows

OR

    A little trick that worked for me: If you have a 32-bit Windows 7 disc, you can copy bootsect.exe from that and replace the 64-bit one (boot\bootsect.exe).

Part 3: Booting and installing Windows

Place the hard drive back into the target machine. Make sure that the BIOS is configured to boot from the hard drive. If you did everything correctly, you should see “Windows is loading files” and setup will load (really fast, too, because it's loading from the hard drive). Install Windows as usual (but don’t format your drive this time in the installer – otherwise it will erase the Windows 7 setup files too!).

Part 4: Final steps/housecleaning

We’ll have to quickly edit the boot menu once Windows is installed.

In Windows 7, hit the Windows key + R. Type msconfig, and hit Enter.
Click to the Boot tab at the top.
Click 'Windows Setup (\windows)', and hit Delete.
Click OK.
Click 'Exit without restart'.

And lastly, delete the ‘Sources’ folder from your hard drive root (this will free up 2-3gb).


I hope this helps some people out.  Feel free to comment :)

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189 Comments

Made an account just to comment! This works people, thoroughly explained and still works on windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit, I installed a 64 bit from a 32 bit PC and like you said, I wasn't able to do the last step (X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X), but it seemed to work without it! It is difficult to obtain media devices around where I am so this method was perfect for me. Thank you Steven Tyler, you're a legend...

Hello, need help if possible. I am trying to install win 7 on a SSD 128GB. Its connect to my PC via a USB drive case. upon entering the last line part 2 "X:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 X:" I get the error message

"This tool can only be run on systems booted using a PC/AT BIOS. This system was booted using EFI ot some other firmware type."

any help would be greatly appreciated as I can not boot from USB and there is no DVD drive.

Thanks so much works perfect!

I had to fix the MBR on the disk from another Windows computer because I was running a linux distro on it earlier and it had a GRUB MBR in place:

bootsect /nt60 X: /mbr

Worked fine otherwise.

Thanks!

/boot +/sources are folders but bootmgr is a file on root of Win7 CD/DVD

bootmgr win7 CDsinin ana klasöründe bir dosyadır, dosyayı da diğer belirtilen klasörlerle kopyalamalısınız ama klasör içine değil diskin ana(root) kısmına, yani window explorerla o diski tıklayıp açtığınızda klasör isimleri ve bootmgr dosyasını görmelisiniz

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601

DISK - Display a list of disks. For example, LIST DISK.

PARTITION - Display a list of partitions on the selected disk.

For example, LIST PARTITION.

VOLUME - Display a list of volumes. For example, LIST VOLUME.

VDISK - Displays a list of virtual disks.

DISKPART> pls help me getting this error

Awesome work sir ... I have no words to thank you. Ihvbeen trying this from last 8 hours. Your mathod worked fine in first attempt. Thnx a lot ??

My laptop display is broken. I use an external monitor. I cannot use the normal install of windows because the external monitor activates when windows starts and i cant see the first steps of the normal install procedure.Will this procedure work for me ? I mean are there any menus or next buttons that i must push before the external monitor get signal ? Thank you

HOW CAN I CHANGE WINDOW 7 32BIT TO 64BIT WITHOUT USING CD OR USB.

PLZ HELP ME

Man, you made my day!, your instructions works like a charm with my Windows Server 2008!!

hmmm cannot "activate" the partition. Cmd prompt tells me "the selected disk is not a fixed MBR disk. The active command can only be used on fixed MBR disks".
Anyone has any idea of what the issue is? I mean, I guess it's that the disk is not "fixed MBR" but I don't know what this means :D Thanks a lot.

1 reply

I know this is 2 months late but if it helps it stands for Master Boot Record, it's the standard form for windows hard drives. to convert a drive to a fixed MBR open cmd as admin and do;
diskpart > list disk > select disk x > clean

then open disk management, initialize your disk, create a new volume, select MBR and format as NTFS

i need a way to setup windows 7 as:

http://vitinhquan7.info/cai-win-7-tu-o-cung/

WOW! Worked with no issues. Thank you very much!

Two thumbs up for you!

You sir... are a legend... 6 hours of me trying to figure this out and an angry mrs.. and your handy 32bit solution worked 1st time...

I appload you!

Thanks ;)

when bootsect.exe command I get error: couldnt map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects: Eri

1 reply

missed a point... cmd command should be given as administrator. then it works.

Whoever you are sir, I applaud you, never do I write feedback but this is certainly worthy. After receiving a laptop with supervisor locked boot configuration and no chance of know password, I was completely stumped. This method has allowed me to install a nice fresh edition of OS on new hard drive with having to send laptop to Toshiba for unlock. Many many thanks A* from me!