Installing Windows from a Flash Drive

Tags: CLI, Installing Windows

I did not come up with these instructions. I found them on the web, but because I’ll never be able to find them again when I need them, I thought I’d post the instructions here for my own reference.

From the command line run these commands:

  1. diskpart
  2. list disk
  3. select disk x
  4. clean
  5. create partition primary
  6. select partition 1
  7. active
  8. format fs=fat32
  9. assign
  10. exit
  11. xcopy D:\*.* /s/e/f E:\
  12. robocopy D:\ E:\ /MIR

There are a few assumptions made in this. The first is that the DVD drive containing your Windows boot disk is in drive D. The second assumption is that the flash drive shows up as drive E. If either of these assumptions are wrong change line 11 accordingly.

Beyond that look at lines 2 and 3. Line 2 will list out all the disks in your system each with their own disk number starting with 0. Look through that list and find the number associated with your flash drive. Then in step 3 replace the “x” with the number associated with your flash drive.

Because I haven’t tested this out yet line 11 is still an xcopy. My personal preference would be to use robocopy and when I try this out I’ll use robocopy. That command will change line 11 to this:

robocopy D:\ E:\ /MIR

Again, I’ll try this out and report in this entry if it works or not.

UPDATE: I was reviewing the xcopy command and the options are a little strange. /s includes all subdirectories except empty ones, and /e includes all subfolders including empty ones. It doesn’t make sense to include both options. Also /f displays the full name of each file as it’s copied. This may or may not be needed/desired. I’m currently testing the robocopy version and there doesn’t seem to be any problems.

UPDATE 2: I was successful in using robocopy instead of xcopy. Step 11 above has been changed. All in all the install took 10 minutes! Now I need to try this on a netbook.

UPDATE 3: Here’s the link to the original post describing how to do this:!DA410C7F7E038D!1665.entry?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=50757250

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