How to Reinstall Windows on Your PC Using a PSP

Introduction: How to Reinstall Windows on Your PC Using a PSP

When your Windows OS develops some serious problems or if you want to update your existing operating system; the best and most reliable option is to do a clean install.
Back up your data, wipe your hard drive and install Windows from scratch.

Reinstalling Windows usually involves digging up that Windows disc that came with your PC. However, some computers now ship without the installation disc or will come with a recovery disc that will reinstall bloatware (unnecessary programs and free trials). The best option is a fresh copy of Windows and then install the programs you need.

If you don't have the Windows disc, no problem! It's possible to make your own with a blank CD/DVD or using a flash drive.
However there is also a third method using a PSP and Memory Stick Pro Duo Card.

The method outlined in this instructable is effective and legal. Using the PSP method will make no difference to your Operating System or System Performance than using the original disc, so if you have a PSP handy and and are looking a bit of fun, give it a go!

This method will also work with a Mobile/Smart Phone with an external memory card slot and USB capabilities. 

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Step 1: Equipment Required

Items you are going to need:

- PC which requires a Windows OS reinstall
- Second PC (if you a performing an OS reinstall for a non-working PC)
- Sony PSP
- PSP charger
- USB to Micro-USB Cable
- Memory Stick Pro Duo (with at least 4GB)
- Notepad & Pen (for any notes)

Step 2: Backup

An important note is that reinstalling Windows will wipe all your personal data; so a backup will be required.

- Back up all personal data, files and documents to external media (e.g. external hard drive)
- Note your Windows product key (should be on a sticker affixed on your PC [ as shown above] or in your PC documentation)
- Note any product key's for other programs you have purchased such as Microsoft Office
- Make a list of programs you have installed

Step 3: Download Windows OS

You will need to download the ISO file for your version of Windows. For this instructable, we will be reinstalling Windows 7 Home Premium.

Thislink is to a page with the Digital River downloads which is a licensed distributor of Microsoft software. The downloads are each over 3GB so a memory card of at least 4GB will be required.

**Please note that your product key will only work with your edition of Windows so ensure you download the right version of Windows!

Step 4: Make the PSP Memory Card Bootable

Turn on your PSP and insert the Memory Stick Pro Duo. Ensure that the PSP charger is plugged in if the PSP is not fully charged.

Connect your PSP to your PC via the USB cable and put the PSP in USB mode by selecting >Settings >USB Connection

On your PC, run command prompt as administrator.


This will launch the disk partition program. Then type:


You should be able to identify your PSP via this list (as shown above where DISK 1 is my 4GB PSP [3816MB]).
Ensure you check which Disk is the PSP as it may not be Disk 1 on your system.

Next run the following commands to make the memory card bootable.

select disk1 (PSP Disk Number) <ENTER> 
clean <ENTER>
create partition primary <ENTER>
select partition 1 <ENTER>
active <ENTER>
format fs=fat32 <ENTER>
assign <ENTER>
exit <ENTER>

Now your memory card is bootable.

Step 5: Transfer Install Files

The ISO file that was downloaded in Step 3 is a disc image. In order to use this ISO file; it must be mounted to a virtual drive on your PC. As shown in the picture above, mounted in virtual Drive (F:)

If you are unsure how to do this; try this helpful article on Mounting an ISO.

Once the ISO is mounted, copy all the files to the memory card.

Step 6: Boot to PSP

Insert the memory card with the OS install files to the PSP. 

Connect the PSP to the PC (that requires a Windows OS reinstall) via the USB cable. Then put the PSP into USB Mode by selecting >Settings >USB Connection

You must now change the Boot Priority of your PC. This will ensure that the PC decides to boot to your PSP with the OS install before booting to the Hard Disk or CD/DVD Drive.

To change the Boot Priority; you must access the PC BIOS.

Restart your PC and during start up, your PC will display one of the following messages to access the BIOS :

-Press [key] to enter setup
-Setup: [key]
-Enter BIOS by pressing [key]
-Press [key] to enter BIOS setup
-Press [key] to access BIOS
-Press [key] to access system configuration

Once you have pressed the relevant key and accessed the BIOS; go to >Boot >Boot Priority (as shown above) and change the Boot Priority to Sony "PSP" as Priority 1.
**Take a note of your previous Boot Settings to change it back after you have completed the Windows OS reinstall.

Now save the changes and restart the PC. Your PC should now boot to the PSP.

Step 7: Install Windows

The following screen should appear during the setup. Once the files have loaded, the Windows Splash screen will load and you are now ready to reinstall Windows OS on your PC in the same procedure with the Windows Install disc.

If you have not reinstalled Windows OS before; follow this helpful step-by-step guide.

Once the reinstall has finished, take the PSP out of USB Mode and remove from the PC.

**Please note: Remember to change your Boot Priority back to its previous setting after reinstalling Windows

You have now successfully reinstalled Windows OS using a PSP!

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    6 Discussions


    Very helpful tips,
    I will use the same to solve issues of my company Indiaaccess Servers and Hostasp Servers
    Thanks for your info


    5 years ago on Step 7

    Is there a way to do this from ubuntu 14.04? I have the windows 8 license on my computer, so all in need is to know how to make psp bootable.


    6 years ago

    can use any gadget, use mass storage in sd cards & others, good idea

    Gerard Keenan
    Gerard Keenan

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    If the gadget has a usb cable with usb mode/pc mode (or recognises when you connect to pc) then yes it is possible :) I'm currently working on a few variations on this for uploading.
    If you are feeling adventurous, sure make a system image & backup and give it a go!