Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So I have got Win7 Ultimate (32-bit) installed and running on my C: drive. Now I want to install Win7 Ultimate (64-bit) on my D: drive. Both C: and D: are NTFS.

The tricky thing is that my machine's DVD drive is malfunctioning and I don't have any USB drives readily available. I do have Win7 (64-bit) in the form of an ISO image on my disk. Is it possible to setup Win7 (64-bit) on my D: Drive directly from this ISO (by maybe extracting it to a folder) without using any DVD or USB drives?

share|improve this question
You either need either boot from an optical disk or a usb based storage device. You will be unable to boot from a .iso file. – Ramhound Nov 12 '13 at 14:20
You are essentially asking the same as this question, except worse because you don’t even have direct access to the files. Your best bet is to “burn” the ISO to a DVD+R / DVD+RW / flash-drive and install from that. However, you can also extract the files from the ISO, then either use the complicated method I linked to on that page, or just burn a disc/drive. – Synetech Nov 12 '13 at 14:30
@Synetech - He can't use his DVD drive. – Enigma Nov 12 '13 at 14:36
@Enigma, they can use another system for the DVD+R/W, or an external drive, or just stick with the flash-drive. – Synetech Nov 12 '13 at 14:49
Assuming he didn't already have another DVD drive he could use which is what it sounds like, that would be the best non-free solution. He says he has no USB drives readily available but if he were able to obtain one for free that would be another free option. His desire, as I understand it, is to avoid both DVD an USB solutions at least for the time being even though those are the most proper solutions. – Enigma Nov 12 '13 at 15:05
up vote 1 down vote accepted

No not in the general sense. You can't just extract a Win7 ISO to install it.

One thing you could do is to install Win7 through a virtual machine (VMWare) onto a physical disk and then try booting the D drive outside of the VM after the install is finished. The results may not be ideal but it should work to an extent. It is an entirely unsupported method and unorthodox but may be your only solution outside of setting up a PXE install or buying a new DVD drive (you could get a new drive for ~$20 or less).

I also cannot vouch that this works as I have not tried it. As mentioned in comments, you are going to run into a potentially unworkable driver re-initialization problem since none of the device drivers will be the same. If Win7 cannot recover from this on it's own, you may be out of luck.

I've done this successfully with Ubuntu and can switch between virtualized and full hardware booting.

The simpler and cleaner method however is to get a external USB DVD drive or USB flash drive and either burn Win7 to a disk or set up the flash drive to be a bootable Win7.

share|improve this answer
You could install Win7 through a virtual machine (VMWare) on a physical disk and try booting the D drive outside of the VM after the install is finished. The results may not be ideal but it should work to an extent. Bad idea. When Windows is installed, it installs drivers and configures countless settings based on that hardware. When they boot on the physical machine, Windows will detect that it is being run on a completely different system. Activation aside, it will attempt to reconfigure, but will almost certainly end up failing. Also, they would lose the 64-bit install on a 32-bit VM. – Synetech Nov 12 '13 at 14:51
I am well aware and agree that it is not a good idea. It is just one of few options. I believe the visualization is on a BIOS/Hardware level to an extent and I believe you can still install 64-bit on a 32-bit VMWare install ( & ( – Enigma Nov 12 '13 at 14:58
Thank you everyone for the invaluable pieces of information. – dotNET Nov 13 '13 at 2:29
@dotNET, so what happened? You marked this as accepted; did you do this? Did it work? Were there any problems getting it to work? If so, how did you work around them? – Synetech Nov 15 '13 at 23:48
@Synetech: The VMWare method was way too complicated. I acted upon the advice to buy a cheap USB pen drive (got one for $6 :)) and then used Microsoft's tool for transferring Win7 setup onto the USB and making it bootable. Worked like a charm for me. – dotNET Nov 17 '13 at 5:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .