Ever encountered a virus attack on your PC?Have an old laptop that refuses to start a good day throwing errors like Missing boot manager or Missing NTLDR• In both cases, your best bet may be to reinstall Windows on your computer. When you first use your computer, you’ll be prompted to create a DVD backup of your Windows installation, but it can be cumbersome to keep DVDs safe and not lose them. It’s helpful to be able to reinstall Windows using the USB you carry with you, and the first thing you need to do to do this is create a bootable Windows USB drive. It’s also useful if you’ve bought a compact laptop – many newer, smaller devices don’t have DVD drives.

(see also: How to make a bootable USB stick for Windows 10)

Remember, you need a working Windows installation (any version) to do this – if your computer won’t boot, use a friend’s to perform these steps.

Here’s everything you need to know about the process.

How to Create a Bootable Windows 7 USB Drive

The first thing you need is a Windows ISO or image file. This is a virtual copy of the Windows installation DVD, legally obtained from Microsoft without a product key. Below are links to various versions of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)

Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)

Windows 7 Professional (32-bit)

Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)

Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit)

Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

A valid product key is still required when reinstalling Windows, so be sure to keep it safe.

After downloading the Windows 7 ISO file, follow the steps below to burn it to a pen drive.

  1. Download the Windows USB/DVD tool from here and run it.

  2. click browse and select the downloaded Windows 7 ISO file.

  3. click Next.

  4. The next page asks if you want to save this file to USB or DVD.click USB device.

  5. Connect a pen drive with at least 4GB of space to your computer. Make sure to back up any data on the pen drive to your computer as it will be deleted during the process.

  6. Select your pen drive from the drop-down menu and click start copying.

  7. Once the process is complete, you will have a bootable Windows 7 USB ready.

See also  How to Sync Subtitles in VLC on Mac, PC, iPhone and Android Phone

How to Create a Bootable Windows 8 USB Drive

  1. Download the Windows Installation Media Creation Tool from here and run it.

  2. choose language from the first drop-down menu.

  3. then select Version Windows to install. Your choices are: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 N, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro N and Windows 8.1 Single Language.

  4. in the third drop-down menu next to it architecture whether you want a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the operating system.If you need to see what version is currently running, right click my computer and select characteristic. There you will see the information you need under Windows version and system type respectively. Alternatively, check Microsoft’s website for detailed instructions.

  5. click Next.

  6. Insert the USB drive into the computer. Make sure it has at least 4GB of space. If you have any important data on the drive, create a backup, as this process will completely wipe the pen drive.

  7. You will now be asked to a location to save the ISO file.choose USB flash drive.

  8. click Next.

  9. You will see a of USB drives connected to your computer.Select your pen drive from the list and click Next.

  10. The Media Creation Tool will now start downloading the ISO directly to your pen drive.After the download is complete, click Finish.

How to Make a Bootable USB Drive and Install Windows 8

How to Create a Bootable Windows XP USB Drive

  1. Go to the Windows XP SP3 ISO download page.

  2. Select a language from the drop-down menu and click on the big red download button.

  3. Download a free program like ISOtoUSB to burn the image to a pen drive. There are plenty of apps that allow you to do this, and you can use any of them. We found ISOtoUSB easy to use and lightweight, so we chose it.

  4. Install ISOtoUSB on your computer and open it.

  5. click browse and select the downloaded Windows XP ISO file.

  6. Insert a pen drive with at least 1GB of free space into the computer. All data on this pen drive will be deleted, so make sure you have a backup.

  7. In ISOtoUSB, select Pen Drive from the drop-down menu.

  8. Click the checkbox next to Bootable

  9. click burn.

See also  iOS 13 is now released, here is how to download and install it

After the process is complete, the bootable Windows XP USB drive will be ready.

Boot and install Windows from a USB drive

Now you have a bootable pen drive ready from which you can boot and install Windows. Installing Windows is easy, but the steps to install Windows may vary depending on your computer manufacturer. We’ve brief instructions on how to do this below.

When you start your computer, on the first screen, you’ll see a text that says something like “Press Del to Enter BIOS”. Press any of the keys listed – this is usually Delete, or one of F1, F2, F8, or F12 – when the computer starts to enter the BIOS. There, you’ll need to find a menu like Advanced BIOS Setup and select USB as the primary boot device. Now you need to save and exit the BIOS – the key to do this will be listed on the screen, but it’s usually F10. Plug in the USB and when you reboot you will start installing Windows on your computer. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows XP.

Did you manage to create a bootable Windows pen drive? Let us know via comments. For more tutorials, head over to our “How To” section.

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our Ethics Statement for details.