How to Create a Bootable Windows® Vista USB Drive

Earlier operating systems like MS-DOS were available in floppy disks, and then came CDs which carried operating systems like Windows Me, Windows XP, and now we get the operating systems in bootable DVDs. This all has happened because of the advancement of technology and features. You might wish to install Windows Vista on our computer but what if you do not have a DVD drive in it. You will end up purchasing a DVD drive. But this is actually not required as you can take help of somebody else’s computer which has a DVD drive and do the needful. All you would need will be a DVD drive, your installation DVD and a high capacity USB drive. Although it will be good if you spend some money on purchasing a DVD drive for your own computer as it will always help you, but it is not actually required for this simple installation of Windows Vista. Let me give you the steps to make your USB drive a bootable Windows vista installation drive.

USB drive

Format the USB drive as NTFS before starting with the steps given below and insert the Windows Vista DVD in the DVD drive.

  • Step 1:  Plug your USB drive on a computer which has a DVD drive. Let us assume that the drive letter assigned to your USB drive is U: and the name is USB.
  • Step 2:  Click on ‘Start’ and type ‘CMD’ to list Command in the results.
  • Step 3:  Right click on the Command and select ‘Run as Administrator.’
  • Step 4:  Now in the command prompt window, type ‘DISKPART’ and press the ‘Enter’ key. This will take you to the interface of the ‘DISKPART’ command where you can execute other commands.
  • Step 5:  Type and run the ‘List Volume’ command. This will list all the drives and partitions on your computer including U: (USB) and its volume number (assume 5).
  • Step 6:  Select the USB Drive to take further actions on it by typing ‘Select Volume 5 and press the ‘Enter’ key.
  • Step 7: Type ‘Active’ so that the USB drive turns into an active partition.
  • Step 8:  Type and execute ‘Exit’ to exit out of the DISKPART interface.
  • Step 9:  Type CD D:Boot. Here D: is the drive letter of your DVD drive. Change it to the letter which your DVD drive has on your machine.
  • Step 10:  Type ‘BootSect /nt60 USB’. This command will make your USB drive a bootable one and with this you would be able to boot the computer to the command line.

Now since your USB drive is bootable, you can simply copy and paste the entire content of the DVD into it. This will make your USB disk a fully functional and bootable USB disk capable of installing Windows Vista on any machine which doesn’t have a DVD drive.

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