How to Install Windows Vista from a Bootable USB Flash Drive

We previously discussed How to Install Windows XP from a bootable USB Flash Drive . Here is a tutorial on How to Install Windows Vista on your PC from a USB Flash Drive. In order to do that, first you need to make a bootable USB drive and load the vista operating system files on that. This is very much useful to  install vista on your computer without an Installation CD / DVD .

 install vista from ub flash drive

Making a bootable Windows Vista installation USB drive is far simpler than doing so for Windows XP because the utility is built into the operating system and can be deployed from the Command Prompt itself. All you would need is

  • A computer running the Windows Vista OS,
  • The original Windows Vista installation DVD and
  • At least a 4 GB USB flash drive.


How to make your own Windows Vista bootable USB Drive :

Step 1: Start Windows Vista, insert the pen drive into the computer’s USB port. Start Command Prompt,  type ‘diskpart’ and press [Enter].

Step 2: Type ‘list disk’ and press [Enter]. Carefully note down the USB flash drive’s disk number listed here. In this case it would be ‘Disk 1’

Step 3: Type ‘Select disk 1’ and press [Enter]. Here the Diskpart utility is instructed to choose the disk 1 as the drive to be worked on.

 list the  different disks, select and execute commands

Step 4: Type ‘Clean’ and press [Enter]. This command clears out all the information of the volumes, partitions, boot sectors and the MBR from the USB flash drive.

Step 5: Type ‘Create partition primary’ and press [Enter]. This command will create a primary partition on the USB flash drive.

Step 6: Type ‘Select partition 1’ and press [Enter]. This command instructs  the Diskpart utility to select the newly created partition.

create primary partition and make it active

Step 7: Type ‘Active’ and press [Enter]. This command will make the current partition (primary) active to enable the USB flash drive to boot from.

Step 8: Type  ‘Format  fs=fat32’ and press [Enter]. This command formats the selected drive partition using the FAT32 file system.

Step 9: Type  ‘Assign’ and press [Enter]. This command assigns a drive letter to the newly formatted partition. As there is no drive letter specified in the command line, the next available drive letter is assigned to the drive.

Step 10: Exit from the Diskpart utility using  the ‘exit’ command and pressing [Enter]. Now insert the Windows Vista DVD in the optical drive and type the command ‘xcopy e:\*.* /s /e /f F:\’ and press[Enter]. This command will dump all the contents of the Windows Vista DVD onto the USB flash drive.

use xcopy to copy vista  files to flash drive

Your USB drive is now ready to install Windows Vista on any computer. Just set the boot sequence in the BIOS of the system to boot from the USB, insert the USB flash drive into the computers USB port and turn on the computer. Follow the regular installation for Windows Vista.

Note: Installing Windows XP or Windows Vista  from a USB flash drive is much faster as compared to  installing from a CD/DVD. A high-speed flash drive would make a difference.

Check out the tutorial on How To Install Windows XP Over Vista

Also check out Our articles on Windows OS like Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.


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