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(Tips)What to do with your USB flash drive: Install Windows 7

Installing Windows from a USB flash drive is more convenient and faster than optical discs. Plus, if you have a netbook or another type of computer without an optical drive, you don't have any other choice than to use bootable USB media. In part four of our "What to do with your USB flash drive" series, we'll show you how to configure your USB flash drive to install Windows 7. Here's how:

Step 1: Open a command prompt with administrator privileges by clicking on the Start button, then type cmd in the search box and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Step 2: At the command prompt, type diskpart to enter the diskpart utility.

Step 3: At the DISKPART> prompt, type list disk.

Step 4: Type select disk 4, where "4" is the number of your USB flash drive from the list.

Step 5: Type clean to clean the USB flash drive.

Step 6: Type create partition primary.

Step 7: Type active, to make the partition active.

Step 8: Type format fs=fat32 quick to format the USB flash drive quickly in the FAT32 file system.

Step 9: Type assign to have Windows assign a drive letter to the drive. Type exit to leave diskpart and type exitagain to close the command prompt.

Diskpart(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)

Step 10: Insert your Windows 7 disc into your computer and copy all the files to the USB flash drive.

That's it. Once the Windows 7 files have completed copying, insert your USB flash drive into a computer and boot it up to start the Windows 7 installation. Just make sure that the BIOS is set to boot the USB flash drive first. On some computers, you can press an F key to set boot options.

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