How To: Install Windows 7/Vista From USB Drive [Detailed 100% Working Guide]

This guide works 100% for Vista & Windows 7 unlike most of the guides out there. I have seen many sites/blogs that have “Install Vista from USB guide” but either with incomplete steps or not working guide. I have also seen some guides that don’t’ use proper commands in this guide. After spending many hours I have come up with this 100% working guide.


I just did this method on one of my friend’s machine and installed the new Windows 7 BETA. The main advantage is that by using USB drive you will be able to install Windows 7/Vista in just 15 minutes. You can also use this bootable USB drive on friend’s computer who doesn’t have a DVD optical drive.

The method is very simple and you can use without any hassles. Needless to say; your motherboard should support USB Boot feature to make use of the bootable USB drive.

Requirements:

*USB Flash Drive (Minimum 4GB)

*Windows 7 or Vista installation files.

Follow the below steps to create bootable Windows 7/Vista USB drive using which you can install Windows 7/Vista easily.

1. Plug-in your USB flash drive to USB port and move all the contents from USB drive to a safe location on your system.

2. Open Command Prompt with admin rights. Use any of the below methods to open Command Prompt with admin rights.

*Type cmd in Start menu search box and hit Ctrl+ Shift+ Enter.

Or

*Go to Start menu > All programs > Accessories, right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

3. You need to know about the USB drive a little bit. Type in the following commands in the command prompt:

First type DISKPART and hit enter to see the below message.


Next type LIST DISK command and note down the Disk number (ex: Disk 1) of your USB flash drive. In the below screenshot my Flash Drive Disk no is Disk 1.

4. Next type all the below commands one by one. Here I assume that your disk drive no is “Disk 1“.If you have Disk 2 as your USB flash drive then use Disk 2.Refer the above step to confirm it.

So below are the commands you need to type and execute one by one:

SELECT DISK 1

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS

(Format process may take few seconds)

ASSIGN

EXIT

Don’t close the command prompt as we need to execute one more command at the next step. Just minimize it.


5. Next insert your Windows7/Vista DVD into the optical drive and check the drive letter of the DVD drive. In this guide I will assume that your DVD drive letter is “D” and USB drive letter is “H” (open my computer to know about it).

6. Maximize the minimized Command Prompt in the 4th step. Type the following command now:

D: CD BOOT and hit enter. Where “D” is your DVD drive letter.

CD BOOT and hit enter to see the below message.

7. Type another command given below to update the USB drive with BOOTMGR compatible code.

BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H:


Where “H” is your USB drive letter. Once you enter the above command you will see the below message.

8. Copy your Windows 7/Vista DVD contents to the USB flash drive.

9. Your USB drive is ready to boot and install Windows 7/Vista. Only thing you need to change the boot priority at the BIOS to USB from the HDD or CD ROM drive. I won’t explain it as it’s just the matter the changing the boot priority or enabling the USB boot option in the BIOS.

Note: If you are not able to boot after following this guide means you haven’t set the BIOS priority to USB. If you got any problem in following this guide feel free to ask questions by leaving comment.

 
 

Pasted from <http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-7vista-from-usb-drive-detailed-100-working-guide/>

 
 

Comparison between XP, Vista and Windows 7… Which is better?

Many of us have been trying to figure out if its worth jumping onto the new Windows in the market… Windows 7. Is it really worth it? Does it perform better then Vista or XP? Want to know about it then read this article http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/windows_7_review?page=0,0

Seems to be a pretty decent comparison between the 3 OS’s.

How to install Windows from the I386 folder

Most people cannot figure out how to install Windows XP, 2000, or 2003 from the I386 folder. It is really quite simple. They are looking for a file named Setup.exe or Install.exe. Well, it’s neither of them. If you have Vista or 2008 or newer like Windows 7 there is no I386 folder that you can install from.

I guess Microsoft did not want just anyone to install Windows without inserting the CD and using the Autorun. But Autorun does not work if you are installing from a DOS window, so now what.

OK, here it is plain and simple, if you open the I386 folder and scroll down to the W’s you will find Winnt.exe and Winnt32.exe. The Winnt32.exe is the setup program used when you are in Windows. The Winnt.exe file is for DOS.

However, I have found that sometimes I run across a Windows 2000 installation CD that errors out when I try to use the Winnt32.exe. So I simple start the install while in Windows using the Winnt.exe file. It’s a little slower but it works fine.

If you want to install the Recovery Console, you need to use the switch /cmdcon when starting Winnt32.exe. This switch only works on the Winnt32.exe file.

Below is a list of switches that you can use, Winnt32.exe can handle up to 8 switches.

WINNT.EXE
/a Enables accessibility options. This option is not recommended for most users
/e: command Specifies a command that is to be executed at the end of GUI-mode Setup. Commonly used to launch automated application setup routines to complete the installation
/i: inffile Specifies the file name of the setup information file. By default, this is Dosnet.inf. This option is not recommended
/r: folder Specifies that a folder is created during setup. The folder remains after Setup finishes.
/rx: folder Copies a folder you create into the system folder. This option is generally used to copy drivers that are not part of the standard Windows 2000 distribution, and can be used multiple times to copy multiple folders The folder is deleted after Setup finishes
/s: sourcepath Specifies the location of the Windows source files. The location must be a full path of the form w:\[path] or \\server\share[\path] This option is required only if the files are not located in the current folder.
/t: tempdrive Specifies which partition setup will use to store temporary files. This option is not recommended. If you do not specify a location, Setup attempts to locate a drive for you.
/u: answer file Performs an unattended Setup using an answer file. Answer files are used to bypass the interactive questions asked of the user during setup and can even be used to automate the setup process completely. You must also use /s . with this switch
/udf: id [, UDB_file] Indicates an identifier ( id ) that Setup uses to specify how a Uniqueness Database (UDB) file modifies an answer file (see /u ). The /udf parameter overrides values in the answer file, and the identifier determines which values in the UDB file are used. If no UDB_file is specified, Setup prompts you to insert a disk that contains the $Unique$.udb file.
WINNT32.EXE
/checkupgradeonly Checks the target machine for upgrade compatibility with Windows. For Windows 9x or ME Setup creates a report named Upgrade.txt in the Windows installation folder. For Windows NT 3.51 or 4.0 upgrades, it saves the report to the Winnt32.log in the installation folder.
/cmd:command_line Allows you to specify a command before the final phase of Setup. This would occur after your computer has restarted twice and after Setup has collected the necessary configuration information, but before Setup is complete.
/cmdcons Installs the Recovery Console It is only used post-Setup.
/copydir:folder_name Creates an additional folder within the folder in which the Windows files are installed. You can use /copydir to create as many additional folders as you want.
/copysource:folder_name Creates a temporary additional folder within the folder in which the Windows files are installed. Unlike the folders /copydir creates, /copysource folders are deleted after Setup completes.
/debug level : [filename ] Creates a debug log at the level specified. The default log file is C:\ %Windir%\Winnt32.log, with the debug level set to 2. The log levels are as follows: 0-severe errors, 1-errors, 2-warnings, 3-information, and 4-detailed information for debugging. Each level includes the levels below it.
/m: folder_name Specifies that Setup copies replacement files from an alternate location. Instructs Setup to look in the alternate location first and if files are present, use them instead of the files from the default location.
/makelocalsource Copies all installation source files to your local hard disk. Use /makelocalsourcewhen installing from a CD to provide installation files when the CD is not available later in the installation.
/noreboot Instructs Setup to not restart the computer after the file copy phase of winnt32 is completed so that you can execute another command.
/s: sourcepath Specifies the source location of the Windows files. To simultaneously copy files from multiple servers, specify multiple /s sources. If you use multiple /s switches, the first specified server must be available or Setup will fail.
/tempdrive:drive_letter Directs Setup to place temporary files on the specified partition and to install Windows on that partition.
/unattend Upgrades your previous version of Windows. All user settings are taken from the previous installation, so no user intervention is required during Setup.
/unattend num :answer_file ] Performs a fresh installation in unattended Setup mode. The answer file provides Setup with your custom specifications. Num is the number of seconds between the time that Setup finishes copying the files and when it restarts your computer.Answer_file is the name of the answer file.
/udf: id ,UDB_file] Indicates an identifier ( id ) that Setup uses to specify how a Uniqueness Database (UDB) file modifies an answer file (see /u ). The /udf parameter overrides values in the answer file, and the identifier determines which values in the UDB file are used. If no UDB_file is specified, Setup prompts you to insert a disk that contains the $Unique$.udb file.

Pasted from <http://easydesksoftware.net/I386.htm>

Disable Windows Search Indexing

If you don’t use Windows XP’s built-in search often; (like every day), disabling indexing can significantly speed up your PC.

By default Windows XP indexes files on your hard drive and stores them in memory to speed up its’ built-in search. But if you rarely use Windows search, turn off indexing to free up memory and CPU horsepower for the files and applications you actually do use. A few simple how-to steps after the jump.

To turn off indexing:

  1. Open up “My Computer.”
  2. Right-click on your hard drive (usually “C:”) and choose “Properties.”
  3. Uncheck the box at the bottom that reads “Allow Indexing Service to…”
  4. Click OK, and files will be removed from memory. This removal may take a few minutes to complete.

To disable the indexing service:

  1. In the “Start” menu, choose “Run.”
  2. Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
  3. Scroll-down to “Indexing Service” and double-click it.
  4. If the service status is “Running”, then stop it by pressing the “Stop” button.
  5. To make sure this service doesn’t run again, under “Startup Type:”, choose “Disabled.”

Windows search will still work if you perform these steps, but it will work more slowly than if indexing was enabled.

Windows update grayed out

Symptom

When you open the Automatic Updates tab in My Computer Property sheet, or from Control Panel, all of the Automatic Updates configuration options may be grayed out. This happens due to any of the following reasons:

  1. You’re not logged on as Administrator (or equivalent)
  2. Automatic Updates Policy is enabled
  3. Automatic Updates (and Windows Update) access is blocked via Group Policy

Resolution

To make the Automatic Updates options configurable by the user (only for stand-alone systems), remove the restrictions 23 above.

  • Click Start, Run and type REGEDIT.EXE
  • Navigate to this location:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows \ WindowsUpdate \ AU

  • In the right-pane, delete the two values AUOptions and NoAutoUpdate
  • Navigate to this location:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ WindowsUpdate

  • In the right-pane, delete the value DisableWindowsUpdateAccess

Using the Group Policy Editor – for Windows XP Professional

  • Click Start, Run and type gpedit.msc
  • Navigate to the following location:

    => Computer Configuration

    ==> Administrative Templates

    ===> Windows Components

    ====> Windows Update

  • In the right-pane, double-click Configure Automatic Updates and set it to Not Configured
  • Then, navigate to this location:

    => User Configuration

    ==> Administrative Templates

    ===> Windows Components

    ====>  Windows Update

  • In the right-pane, set Remove access to all Windows Update features to Not Configured

More Information

Configure Automatic Updates corresponds to AUOptions registry value. More information on this Policy can be obtained from here

Remove access to all Windows Update features corresponds toDisableWindowsUpdateAccess registry value. Also, when this Policy is enabled, the following errors are shown when accessing the Windows Update, depending upon the way you access the Windows Update page.

Network policy settings prevent you from using Windows Update to download and install updates on your computer. If you believe you have received this message in error, please check with your system administrator.

or

Error Windows Update was disabled by your system administrator.

More information on this policy can be obtained here.

Pasted from <http://windowsxp.mvps.org/aupolicy.htm>

Patching Windows xp without running WGA validation

Patching windows without running windows WGA validation

How to patch without running WGA validation

The following steps will allow you to install all Windows security patches on a new build of XP, without installing or running WGA on the machine:

  • Step 1: Install and activate XP. For XP SP2 only (not XP SP3), you must also download and install the patch described in KB article 898461, which updates the installer program and ensures that your system will receive future updates.
  • Step 2: In either version of XP, click Start, Control Panel, Security Center, Automatic Updates. Choose Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them.
  • Step 3: Whenever you see a yellow-shield icon in the notification area (previously known as the system tray), click the icon and then choose Custom install.
  • Step 4: Scroll to the bottom of the patch window and uncheck Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474), as shown in Figure 1. (For more info, see Microsoft KB article 905474 to read the company’s description of WGA Notification.)Figure 1. Uncheck KB905474 to prevent WGA from being installed on the system.


  • Step 5: After you click Install, check Don’t notify me about these updates again in the resulting dialog to prevent WGA from being included in future Windows updates (see Figure 2). Click OK.

    Figure 2. Check this option to avoid being offered WGA Notifications as part of future updates.


    From this point forward, every time you update your system, review the patches being offered to you and deselect those you don’t want before proceeding with the installation.

    Microsoft occasionally updates the WGA Notifications tool, so you can count on its being offered to you again, despite your choice in Step 5 above. The explanation Microsoft officials gave me for this decision is that the company feels it’s wise to reinstall WGA periodically to ensure that customers haven’t been the victim of unscrupulous consultants who use illegal media when reinstalling your operating system.

    There’s a flaw in this thinking: the reason many of these consultants use the wrong media is that Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to get replacements for your Windows installation discs. It’s also difficult to get up-to-date installation media unless you’re one of Microsoft’s enterprise-level customers.

    Microsoft’s recommendation that you set your machine to update automatically as the best way to protect it is also flawed. These days, our PCs aren’t just simple e-mail and Web terminals. They’re crucial to all our work, and if they’re disabled we can’t make a living. For example, if a Windows update causes our Internet connection to break because of a conflict with a third-party security program — as has happened many times in the recent past — we might be unproductive for hours or days.

    Also, if you enable Automatic Updates, you may be as dismayed as I was to learn that Microsoft treats legitimate customers like thieves. The WGA Notifications patch described in KB article 905474 automatically installs if Automatic Updates is empowered to act without permission. In that case, you either have to run the WGA tool the next time you reboot or press Cancel every time you start your system.

    If you install WGA Notifications on XP, this dialog box will reappear each time you reboot until you click Next and run the process.

Remove windows messenger from windows xp

A small tutorial on how to remove the annoying windows messenger from winxp and repair the problem of outlook express taking time to load due to removal of windows messenger

Close Windows Messenger if its open, or active in your System Tray.

Click Start, Run and enter the following command:
RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

Note: This will prevent a long delay when opening Outlook Express if you have the Contacts pane enabled.

To prevent this, click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT Go to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Right click in the right pane and select New, Dword value. Give it the name Hide Messenger Double click this new entry and set the value to 2.

Removing thumbs.db file from Windows xp

A small tutorial which shows you how to remove the annoying thumbs.db files which are littered all over the place!

I’m sure everyone using Windows XP has seen a small file in some directories called thumbs.db. This file is a cache of the thumbnail pictures in a directory. It speeds up the showing of thumbnails when you are viewing a folder in Thumbnail view.


The only drawback of the thumbs.db file is that it takes up disk space. Although this space is very small in most cases, if you have a lot of thumbs.db files littering your hard drive you may be able to save some valuable space by removing them. Follow the steps below to turn off the creation of this file and delete the thumbs.db files that are on your hard drive.

To turn this feature off, do the following:
1) Open My Computer
2) Click on Tools
3) Click on Folder Options
4) Click on the View Tab
5) Place a check in the option “Do not cache thumbnails”
6) Click Ok
7) Close My Computer

Now follow the next steps to remove the thumbs.db files from your hard drive
1) Click on Start
2) Click on Search
3) Click on All Files and Folders
4) Type the following in the section called “all or part of the file name” thumbs.db
5) In the Look in box, make sure Local Hard Drives is chosen
6) Click Search
7) A long list of thumbs.db files should appear, click on Edit, Select All
8) Click on File, and choose Delete
9) Close the Search Results window

Although this tip isn’t for everyone, if you are low on disk space and dont use the Thumbnail view to show your files, this may save you some valuable disk space.

Original Article: http://www.pchell.com/support/thumbsdb.shtml

Selecting a torrent client suitable for you

After using almost N number of Bittorrent clients, I thought why not spread the experience around. Lets place around 4 clients in the list, which are really worth a try.

1) Azereus
Ok this client is good, downloads/uploads file control is good. But the Major problem this is Java Based! So you gonna need good amount of RAM if you want to keep the client running long with your normal applications also in use. Out of 5 Stars I would give it say 3.5

2) BitComet
This is a much lighter client, nice control over files speeds. Everything was good until Bitcomet is being banned my Major Big Torrent Sites. Mostly private trackers which we normally use for sharing using Torrents. The reason for which is that Bitcomet put some code to exploid Super-seeding. I am not too sure with the details of it. I am sure it is available on the net in plenty. So if you want to use this, use it at your own Risk since even if the file is available for download you might not be able to download it since your client might be banned!! Rating: Lets give this 2.5 on 5. If not banned I would have given this one a 4 rating.

3) Bittornado
Now this is one program which you might have not even heard of. This is one of the earliest softwares developed to use torrents. First this was just available on command line mode I think, but now it has a simple GUI. Here every file opens up with a seperate instance of the program. So control is on every torrent rather then all the torrents grouped under one big program. It is written in Perl so it’s quiet platform independent. Usage wise, laymen would be adviced not to venture out on this, you might find it a little bit too confusing!! Speeds are decent. Recommended for standalone machines, cause multiple instances might just eat up all the available memory on hand. Rating: 3 on 5

4) utorrent
This is a relatively new client in the market, it’s very light to use and has all the controls and other client has. I think the latest version is under the 1 mb mark. So that makes it one of the lightest clients and also one of the easiest to use clients. Download speeds are good, not faced a problem till date. Rating: 4.5 on 5 These are just for starters till I decide to test a few clients thoroughly! BTW all the clients above have been tested for at least 20 days at a stretch with at least 30-40 GB of data up and down each

Free replacement for Nero Burning Rom

I am sure most of us have actually used Nero some point of town. May be as OEM software with a drive you purchased or a trial version and most of us have actually loved the software itself.

But I don’t think so the cost of any software should be so steep and every release you have to buy a newer version. So people who like the simple usability of Nero Burning Rom and are looking for a cheaper or even a free solution for Nero this is the right post.

After searching and trying out so many free and paid CD/DVD Burning softwares I finally liked the Free CD Burner XP software. It’s GUI is very simple to use just like Nero Burning Rom and the software is small. The current version [4.1.2.694] is just 2.83Mb which is nothing compared to Nero and using this you can create all your Basic Discs including Data, Music, MP3, Photos and even burn images!!

So if you really want to use an easy to use and a free CD/DVD Burning software go to http://cdburnerxp.se/en/download

Hopefully they continue to keep the software free and btw they have an amazing forum to help you out with all queries and provide you with all the tutorials you would ever need located at http://forum.cdburnerxp.se/