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I have Windows Vista and I have an ISO for Windows 7 Ultimate. Is it possible for the upgrade to complete if I just run the disc as a mounted ISO in my Vista install? Or do I actually need to burn a DVD?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can use Microsoft's special tool to use a USB stick : wudt

The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool allows you to create a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file on a USB flash drive or a DVD. To create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive, download the ISO file and then run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. Once this is done, you can install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or DVD.

The ISO file contains all the Windows 7 installation files combined into a single uncompressed file. When you download the ISO file, you need to copy it to some medium in order to install Windows 7. This tool allows you to create a copy of the ISO file to a USB flash drive or a DVD. To install Windows 7 from your USB flash drive or DVD, all you need to do is insert the USB flash drive into your USB port or insert your DVD into your DVD drive and run Setup.exe from the root folder on the drive.

Note: You cannot install Windows 7 from the ISO file until you copy it to a USB flash drive or DVD with the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool and install from there.

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Mounting ISOs can be a bit tricky, since it's possible that the mounted ISO could get unloaded at some point during the install. It's probably fine, but if you want to be safe, what I would do (I've done this before and it works fine) is extract the contents of the ISO to the hard drive (use 7zip or something similar), then run the setup.exe from wherever you extracted the ISO's contents to.

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This is possible and the easiest way if you only want to do an upgrade, but personally the way I would do it (especially if you want to do a fresh install) is just to get a large USB stick and copy the entire DVD to it and make it bootable.

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