Is there a way that I can do this? I'd appreciate any help / pointers.
3good question, i doubt that someone will come up with something. but why do you want to do this? usbsticks works well ...– akiraJan 23, 2011 at 7:33
@Akira: In the past I have had a computer that met the requirements for Windows 7 (except a DVD drive), yet didn't boot from USB. Then again, I would have just popped in a DVD drive for the installation itself.– oKtosiTeJan 23, 2011 at 11:57
How about this solution instead: superuser.com/questions/42263/…– RobotHumansJan 25, 2011 at 23:16
Did it not boot from USB because the computer doesn't support it or because perhaps the USB wasn't setup to be boot from properly? Give this a go intowindows.com/… I have used it a few times, normally to deploy our WDS images offsite, but should work in your case (if you computer does support usb boot and just needs a properly configured flash drive).– WindosJan 27, 2011 at 3:39
Could you use something like Plop? You could make a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 7 on it and boot from Plop, which could then allow you to boot from the flash drive.
edit: I realize this isn't exactly the question you're asking, but it might work for the situation you're in...
The Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) includes a utility called imagex, which will split a .wim image, among other things. The AIK is really the way to go for building customized Windows installations.