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I am wondering what the quickest/fastest way to install Windows 7 would be?

I've read that you can make a bootable USB with unetbootin, or load the ISO contents to a separate partition/hard-drive and boot from there to install.

Then I seen a method using imagex to copy the files needed onto a new partition which can be booted from directly, it takes ~7 minutes + ~5 min for the initial boot... I haven't tried it yet but would like to know if anyone knows of anything faster?

If you could provide some instructions (step by step) would be great! The imagex method provides a good tutorial for example.

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I use WinToFlash and format the USB drive in NTFS and I install it in 15 min. That is not a long time I think also depend on the system specs. –  avirk Jun 13 '12 at 3:25

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It only takes 10 minutes. I will show you ways to install Windows 7 via USB.

We need:

  • At least 1 USB drive with 4 GB capacity, because Windows 7 at least takes 3 GB.

Manual Method:

  1. Plug in the USB flash disk.
  2. Press WinR, type cmd and click OK.
  3. Type diskpart and press Enter.
  4. Type list disk, press Enter and choose your USB flash drive. If you have only one USB hard drive, it's disk1.
  5. Type select disk 1 and press Enter.
  6. Type clean and hit Enter.
  7. Type create partition primary and press Enter.
  8. Type select partition 1 and press Enter
  9. Type active and press Enter.
  10. Type format fs = fat32 and press Enter.
  11. Type assign and press Enter.
  12. Type exit and press Enter.
  13. Insert the DVD disc of Windows 7 and copy all the contents of the DVD to the USB Flash disk.
  14. Booting your computer via USB, in the BIOS, make sure you boot through USB.

Automatic way:

  1. Download the latest version of the first program WinToFlash.
  2. Extract and run the file WinToFlash.exe
  3. Click the "Check" and run the Windows setup wizard transfer.
  4. Click "Next"
  5. Select the location and the location of Windows 7 USB flash disk. click "Next".
  6. Select "I Accepted the terms of the license agreement" and click "Continue"
  7. Click OK to begin formatting the USB stick and Windows 7 will automatically be copied to the USB stick.
  8. Click "Next" when copied, and boot your computer via USB.
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Formatting the USB tool longer than the installation - thanks for posting. –  SaultDon Jun 13 '12 at 19:40

ImageX is way to go for professionals.

Plenty of resources around on this process. One thing I do on my laptop is use ImageX to build a .vhd file on my second SSD and then update the bootloader to boot from a VHD – another very cool feature in Windows 7.

You can have a new system up and running in less than 15 minutes. Great for development and demo / testing.

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I think the quickest way to install 7 is from a flash drive. It's also pretty painless. I suggest an 8 GB flash drive since SP1 adds some meat to the base install. Plus that will give you room for other applications you might want to install on the image and keep the installs in a folder names !Apps

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