1. USB flash drive 4GB or larger 2. Windows Install media (CD,DVD,ISO) 3. Motherboard capable of booting from USB
Prep USB Drive
Connect USB flash to your PC.
Open a command prompt (run as Administrator).
At the command prompt run the following commands:
Select the USB Flash disk
SELECT DISK 2
NOTE: Make sure to select the correct disk because in the next step we are going to destroy all the data.
Wipe the disk clean. (This will remove all data and delete all partitions!)
Create a new partition.
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
Select the new partition we just created.
SELECT PARTITION 1
Make the partition active so we can boot from it.
FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
NOTE: The "QUICK" is optional but saves you time.
Assign the next available drive letter to the disk.
Copy the Boot Sector
From the command line:
Change to the CD/DVD drive letter where the windows media lives.
Now change to the boot\ folder
Copy the boot sector to the new partition
BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 E:
NOTE: This assumes E is the drive letter of the USB Flash drive.
Copy Installation Files
Copy everything from D: to E: using what ever method you choose.
xcopy d:\*.* /s /e /f e:\
Now the USB drive should be prepped and ready to go. Insert it into your PC or server. Set the BIOS to boot from USB. Install windows (with the added bonus of installing in 1/3 the time thanks to USB being much faster than traditional optical media).