I have a different problem that I don't think can be solved but it's better to ask before loosing all hope.

I currently run Crunchbang (Debian dist) and would like to install Windows 7 as well. However, my computer don't have a dvd-reader and all my usb-drives are too small.

Is my only solution to this problem to buy a larger usb-drive?

  • In the end, what did you do?
    – cdlvcdlv
    Aug 7, 2018 at 19:21
  • @cdlvcdlv now this was 6 years ago, I don't remember what I did in the end. Probably just got a bigger USB. But the answer below does sound like a solution in case you don't have access to a larger USB stick. Aug 8, 2018 at 9:35
  • I supposed you'd say something like that but I had to try... I have Endless OS right now and I cannot use apt commands. I tried several USB boot makers but my W7 DVD won't boot on UEFI when installed on USB (it stop with error about winload.efi and that). Well, thanks anyway.
    – cdlvcdlv
    Aug 8, 2018 at 10:49
  • "loose" is pronounced like "moose" - that's how you remember that "lose" is pronounced "looze" - you're welcome
    – NeilG
    Dec 23, 2022 at 2:20

6 Answers 6


Method 2016. First of all, you need to create a partition for Windows installation files. It should be 2gb bigger than Windows iso.

  • Install a tool, that help you install Windows directly from the hard drive:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install winusb
  • Install a tool for work with NTFS:

    sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
  • Format partition in NTFS:

    sudo mkfs.ntfs /dev/sdxx
  • Copy installation files to partition:

    sudo winusb --install iso_name /dev/sdxx
  • Reboot and you will be able to install Windows.


winusb is deprecated now, use woeusb instead. Type woeusb --help for more information.

  • Huh, not that I still have this problem, but this definitely sounds like the best solution! Thanks for answering! Sep 16, 2016 at 12:57
  • update woeusb: sudo woeusb -d ~/Downloads/filename.iso /dev/sdb
    – vuhung3990
    Feb 19, 2018 at 10:41
  • Any way to install woeusb on Endless OS? apt commands aren't available.
    – cdlvcdlv
    Aug 8, 2018 at 11:35
  • @cdlvcdlv you could always build it from source: github.com/slacka/WoeUSB#build-from-source Aug 8, 2018 at 14:12
  • @VictorBjelkholm Just to build dependencies you need apt-get, dpkg, etc: sudo apt-get install devscripts equivs gdebi-core. I'm not even sure you can use gcc.
    – cdlvcdlv
    Aug 8, 2018 at 18:47

If you're comfortable doing it, you might be able to create a small partition on your hard drive, extract the Windows ISO contents to it, then install it from there.

I found a thread about how to do it from within Windows, but it shouldn't be too hard to do it in Linux: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1093625-trying-to-install-windows-8-consumer-preview-but-no-dvd-burner/ (though it doesn't look like they ever did figure out how to get it working, it looks like a good place to start)

But it would probably be easier just to purchase a bigger USB drive :)

  • Sounds like a possible solution to me. I will try something similar tomorrow. Thanks! Aug 4, 2012 at 22:07
  • This will probably work but take some fiddling :). Aug 5, 2012 at 3:41

If you are familiar with grub, try the first way.

Install with Windows PE

  1. Make a windows partition with NFS as filesystem, put your Windows Install Image there.
  2. Download an Windows PE image with virtual cd-rom software to some where your grub can access.
  3. Boot the Windows PE with grub, load your Windows Install Image and install it.
  4. Fix your grub.

Install with help of another computer

  1. Install windows on another computer
  2. Run C:\Windows\System32\sysprep.exe and reboot into a live linux
  3. Make a image of drive C with dd of some other tool on linux
  4. Restore the image to the active partition of your computer on your linux
  5. Update your grub.cfg to boot that partition, If you are using ubuntu, you can use sudo update-grub to update your grub.cfg automatically.

Another easy way to install Windows in Linux is to start a VM. You have to pass the installtion target device block (for example /dev/sda) to VM and of course the windows installer.

Here a simple script you can change to fit your purpose:


function run_vm {

qemu-system-x86_64 \
-name windows-os-install \
-m 4G \
-no-reboot \
-cpu host \
-smp 12,sockets=1,cores=12,threads=1 \
-boot d \
-drive file=/dev/sda,media=disk,driver=raw \
-drive file=/home/<user>/documents/isos/Win10_1909_x64.iso,media=cdrom &



After installation (windows attempts a reboot, but due to no-reboot the VM does not reboot), you may now reboot to the real drive and continue the installation there.


You could do it via PXE booting, but that requires at least one other computer on your network. It would also take you several hours to set it up.

USB sticks are cheap; you should be able to get a 4GB or 8GB stick for just a few euros. Much cheaper than spending all your time trying to set up a PXE boot environment for a single installation.

  • Yeah, another computer is not a solution for me either. I know that usb sticks are cheap but I rather not buy something that I only use once. And also, almost no stores are open in Spain on sundays... Aug 4, 2012 at 19:43

You could always look at running windows 7 within a virtual machine. If you go that route it wouldn't take any additional hardware.


You must log in to answer this question.

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