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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 :)
<p>Thank you, it helped me install win7 on my laptop.</p>
<p>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!</p>
<p>thank you very much, i have try all kind of installation, no one could tell me how to boot a dead laptop, except you, cross my heart, from now on this is the only way i will use to intstall new softyware, THANK YOU !!</p>
<p>Thanks a lot. This works very well. I installed Windows 8.1 64 bit, the trick of using 32bit bootsect.exe worked great. I did not have to perform a cleanup as I used a separate partition for the Windows 8.1 installer. Instead of booting directly to Windows 8.1, I land on a Windows 8.1 startup screen where I can select either Windows 8.1 or the Windows 8.1 setup. That is an unexpected but very cool feature in Windows. I do not know if Windows 7 or 10 will do this, but I am going to install Windows 7 the same way.</p>
<p>if you want to download windows 8.1 click <a href="http://www.MicrosoftStoreinc.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.MicrosoftStoreinc.com </a>download. Great works by my exeprience to recommend.</p>
<p>Steven you're awesome !</p><p>I don't post really often, but you saved my day, much thanks !</p><p>I was trying for hours to install Win7 on a new Skylake config with only USB3 ports, and I didn't managed to add the USB3 drivers to my Win7 iso. You're solution was my last option, and it worked ! Awesome !</p>
<p>Thank you so much simple yet effective method and worked after trying for 2 days to repair a formatted hdd on a notebook. </p>
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<p>Thanks a bunch..You really saved my time. Cause for any reason I can't boot from my usb. Thanks a lot.</p>

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More by StevenTyler:Install Windows 8 directly from Hard drive – NO DVD or USB needed! Install Windows Vista directly from Hard drive – NO DVD or USB needed! Install Windows 7 without USB or DVD without upgrading! 
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