Microsoft re-releases Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Microsoft has re-posted the USB/DVD download tool after it was discovered it contained GPLv2 code.

Installing Windows 7 on a netbook can be a daunting task. The lack of DVD drive can make even the most skilled geek feel inadequate and mortal. The only real way to plug external data into a netbook is via its USB ports. Now these handy lil' ports would be great, assuming Windows 7 actually came on bootable flash drives. Sadly, Microsoft hasn't decided to take that route. Instead, you're stuck scratching your head, googling (or binging, whichever) the best way to turn your flash drive into an installation disc.

Preparing a flash drive for use as an installation disc isn't as easy as simply copying over all the files from your Windows CD. First you have to format it, then create a primary partition, make it bootable, and then finally, copy over all the files from your installation CD.

With Windows 7, Microsoft has decided to change all this. As pointed out on Tom's Hardware, Microsoft has officially released a Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. This open source program will make the process of installing Windows 7 on a netbook much easier than described above. Once you have a Windows 7 ISO file on your computer, plug in a USB flash drive (4GB+ should do), run the tool, and follow the instructions. Once the tool is finished, you'll have a working, bootable, Windows 7 USB drive.

Download: Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

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I have been doing Vista/Win7 on USB sticks like this:
diskpart
list disk
sel disk 1
clean
cre par pri
sel par 1
act
format fs=fat32 quick
ass
exit
xcopy d:\ e:\ /e

allfive6 said,
Stupid question why not just use a USB DVD rom like i did it seems the easiest ?

Because USB sticks are small and easy to keep in your bag but the biggest advantage is speed. You can load Win7 in 10mins... to the desktop.

allfive6 said,
Stupid question why not just use a USB DVD rom like i did it seems the easiest ?

A lot of us don't have a USB DVD drive though. While most people do seem to have a USB memory stick.

Crucestech said,
What size of a usb would you need to just a have a bootable os install of Windows 7 for this

From the article:

(4GB+ should do)

Excellent tool, great idea. It can be annoying to find the right tool to make your USB key bootable with the ISO, especially when you're not used to that procedure.

I disagree - XP is the standard for most netbooks. MS is pushing Windows 7 as it specifically caters for lesser technology in terms of speed. XP doesn't

Wiggz said,
I disagree - XP is the standard for most netbooks. MS is pushing Windows 7 as it specifically caters for lesser technology in terms of speed. XP doesn't

Windows 7 runs fine on netbooks. I took a hit of about 40 minutes of battery life in return for a state-of-the-art modern operating system that has all the convenience of my desktop Windows 7.

My USB drive is bootable. Has been since Vista, I must have configured it and forgot I even did! That said this is a very handy tool!

I used my external hard disk drive and I never had a problem. I mean... Netbook users should have an external drive. Or it's just like having an ice cream with a fork!

Umm... it works fine as long as the netbook is cold enough?
Or are you saying that the netbook will melt long before you get it to your mouth, and drip through the prongs on the fork and stain your nice dress pants?

I don't really understand that analogy. I also happen to use a netbook without an external drive. I have a couple of USB keydrives, but so far, anything bigger than 4gb transfers just as easily over the network.

Luis Mazza said,
I used my external hard disk drive and I never had a problem. I mean... Netbook users should have an external drive. Or it's just like having an ice cream with a fork!



This also works wonders with *legacy laptops* in the netbook role (unlike true netbooks, they have genuine P4 processors - usually Northwood - but no DVD drives and USB 1.1 ports; flash drives rock, but DVD drives suck due to transfer-rate issues). Also, have you looked at the *cost* of external DVD drives, especially compared to USB thumb/flash drives?

cyberdrone2000 said,
Umm... it works fine as long as the netbook is cold enough?
Or are you saying that the netbook will melt long before you get it to your mouth, and drip through the prongs on the fork and stain your nice dress pants?

I don't really understand that analogy. I also happen to use a netbook without an external drive. I have a couple of USB keydrives, but so far, anything bigger than 4gb transfers just as easily over the network.

Well, like you said, it's just an analogy and means that you can have fun with a netbook without an external hard disk, but you could "eat" more or have more fun with a hard disk, or a "spoon".

How old are you? Because you're making me look like 12.
lol

Indeed, they didn't really have a choice. The code that was stolen (the whole reason this is news) was GPL code, so it was either that, or face legal action, and I'm sure they already have all their lawyers working overtime anyway. In this case they've taken the path of least resistance and given away the code under the GPL (like they are legally bound to do).

Good for them (... and good for us too :D)

MS doesn't specifically like the GPL v3 license. It's 50/50 on v2 though. And it's fine with the Apache license really. It's not like the GPL is the only open source license out there.

They don't have a choice in this case, the code that was plagiarised was GPLv2 code, which means that the rest of the code must also be published under GPLv2, as per the licence terms

well there were online guides already out showing how to make a bootable usb version of windows. good to have an official microsoft tool though.

I'll tell you the weirdest thing. I have a Dell Mini 10v, and as soon as I got it, I installed Windows 7 using a USB Keydrive and a guide I found on google.

After a while, I heard about all this hackintosh stuff, and that the Mini 10v was essentially the perfect OS X netbook, so I gave that a go (to great success).

Eventually, I decided to put Windows 7 on (I missed One Note), and repeated the steps using the same guide on Google, and the same USB Keydrive... but it didn't work. It just didn't want to boot off the USB Keydrive properly.
Every time I tried to boot off the USB Keydrive, it started a network boot. Even with the network boot option disabled completely in the BIOS. It was the weirdest thing, and it drove me absolutely insane for a couple of days. I must have formatted and partitioned that USB Keydrive at least a dozen times. I tried quick format, fat32, dvd-sized partition, the windows XP bootloader (/nt52), and all permutations thereof.

Then a friend remembered all the hoopla about the Windows 7 USB tool and the GPL violation, and suggested I try it... lo and behold! It works!

Moral of the story: Microsoft's provided tools are frequently better than command-line fuddling based on a guide posted on a guy's blog you found using Google.
Real moral of the story: Hackintoshing is fun, but you'll come crawling back to Windows eventually.

noob tool!

j/k...makes everything a little simplier although i just have a couple of thumb drives sitting there waiting to be used at a whims notice

Very handy utility!! Much easier than dealing with a DVD. Another utility that's handy and does a similar job is called WinToFlash.

Both the MS util and WinToFlash belong in your super hero toolbelt o' gadgets.