How to create a bootable Windows 7 USB or DVD installation drive –

Most new computers these days ship without Windows 7 (or Windows 8) installation discs, and some without DVDs installed. Instead, they include a recovery program that uses a hidden recovery partition to restore the computer to factory defaults or create recovery discs in the event of a system crash (by the user). In my experience, many users do not know the importance of having recovery discs in case of system (disk) failure and do not create them when they get a new computer. On the other hand, many users don’t want all the extra trialware installed on their computer, and they want a fresh clean install without any extras or junk software.

This guide is written to help users create a bootable Windows USB or DVD using their current Windows 7 product key and clean install Windows 7 OS.*

*Note: Note that you can also use this guide to create a bootable Windows 8 USB or DVD.


1. Product Key: Before performing the steps below, first make sure you have the appropriate Windows product key.

2. Blank USB or DVD media device: for example, a blank USB flash drive or a blank DVD with a capacity of (at least) 4 GB.

3. For Windows XP users only: Microsoft .NET Framework & Microsoft Image Mastering API v2 already installed on your computer.

How to find your Windows product key:

  1. Look on the computer case (or on the bottom if you have a laptop) to find a sticker with a 25-digit number. windows-product-key-sticker
  2. If you can’t find the 25-digit product key sticker, you can download and install a product key finder utility to retrieve your product key from the installed OS. You can use one of the following programs for this:
  • MSKeyViewer Plus: A free and portable utility that reads the Windows registry and displays the product key of Windows and Office programs.
  • Belarc Advisor: Another free utility (for personal use only) that generates a detailed report on installed software, hardware, Antivirus status, etc. and displays the report in a web browser window (as an HTML file).


Step 1. Download the Windows 7 disc image file (.ISO).

Download the appropriate Windows 7 DVD ISO image for your version from the Microsoft Software Recovery Center.

*Note: You must have a product key to download and activate Windows 7.

Step 2. Install “Windows 7 USB/DVD Boot Tool”.

Download and install “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool“.

1. Click on “Running” when prompted to start the installation.


2. Click on “The next one” in the Windows 7 USB/DVD Bootable Setup Wizard.


3. Click on “Installation” on the next screen.


4. Finally click on “Termination” when the installation is complete.


Step 3. Create a Windows 7 bootable USB or DVD.

1. Double click to open “Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool” convenience.


2. On the first screen, clickReview“.

Browsing windows-7-usb-dvd-drive-ISO-file

3. Select the Windows 7 ISO image file downloaded in “Step 1” and “It’s open“.


4. Click on “The next one“.


5. Now select the type of Windows Boot Media you want to create (USB or DVD): e.g USB device.


6. In the next set (Step 3 of Step 4), select your USB drive from the list of available devices and click “Start copying” button.


7. Click on “Remove the USB device” if requested.


8. Click on “Yes” to confirm media removal.


9. Now sit back and wait for the boot media to be created.


Once the media creation is complete, you can use the created media to boot and install the operating system.

Additional Information:

To boot from a USB device, you need to go into the BIOS settings and change the boot order. For this:

(With Windows 7 USB or DVD the bootable device is already connected).

1. Enter the BIOS settings by pressing the buttonDEL“or”F1“or”F2“or”F10“.*

* The method of accessing the BIOS settings depends on the computer manufacturer.

2. “Find” in the bios menuDownload procedure” setting. This setting is usually located in the “Advanced BIOS features” menu.


3a. Go to “First boot deviceclick the “option” buttonEnter“.

BIOS - First Boot Device[3]

3b. Use the arrow keys to select “USB-HDD” such asFirst boot device” and then click “Enter“.

USB-first boot device

the first boot device is USB

4. press “ESC” Return to BIOS main menu and select “Save and exit configuration” to save and exit your selections BIOS CMOS Setup Utility.

BIOS - Save and Exit

5. Continue with the Windows installation.

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