How about installing Windows 7 or Windows Vista without using any DVD or Pendrive / USB drive? Yes this is possible. Users who don’t want to burn the Windows 7/ Vista ISO image to a DVD or those who don’t have a windows startup disc can now install Windows 7 on their PC. Installing Windows from the Hard Drive is much faster than installing from DVD/CD.This tutorial is made on the assumption that the new Windows 7 or Windows Vista is going to be installed and replace the current one. The instructions can be slightly modified if you want a dual boot system.

  1. On your existing Operating System install a virtual DVD/CD drive first. Magic Disc virtual DVD/CD rom can do this and is free. If you can get winrar then you can directly extract the iso files and there by skipping steps (1-3).
  2. Now mount the ISO image of Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
  3. Then copy all the files from this Virtual drive you mounted now to a drive in which you don’t want to install Windows. for example if you want to install Windows on C drive copy them to E:\Windows7 or so.
  4. Now copy the bootfolders and bootmgr seen inside the copied folder (here E:\windows7) to your main booting drive probably C:\.
  5. Vista users must follow this step ie. you need to copy the bootmgr folder from (E:\windows7) to C:\ root directory. Copy E:\Windows7\boot\boot.sdi and bootsect.exe from E:\Windows7\boot\ folder to C:\boot folder and C:\ drive respectively.
  6. The boot folder is hidden by default check the option to show hidden files and folder and also show protected system files fromFolder Options“.
  7. Now under C:\ root folder create a new folder named sources.
  8. Copy the boot.wim file from E:\Windows7\sources to the sources folder created in the above step (7).
  9. Now right click the Command Prompt in the start menu and select “Run as Administrator“.
  10. Type the following command C:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 C: for vista users who did the step 5 should type the command as C:\bootsect.exe /nt60 C: .
  11. Now change the name of the boot system partion to any name you prefer (in command prompt use label command). for eg. type C:\ label mycdrive. Remember the name you have given.
  12. Now restart the System.
  13. After that Windows will automatically run the setup process. On continuing with the installation steps when you see the option to Install Windows do not click it instead click the option to Repair my Computer (seen at the bottom left).
  14. Now in the WinRE System Recovery Options window open the Command Prompt.
  15. Now type the following command format c: /q .
  16. /q switch is used to do a quick format option it is optional.
  17. If you want to convert the drive to NTFS system type the command as c: /q /fs:ntfs.
  18. Just before the formatting begins you may be asked to enter the name of the partition as mycdrive enter it accordingly.
  19. After the formatting completes Start the Windows setup from the copied folder ie E:\Windows7\sources\setup.exe.
  20. Now continue with the process as usual.

Amal Roy is the Founder-Editor of Computing Unleashed. A Technology Enthusiast, Windows Adept and a Proud Geek!