How to create a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive


The USB flash drive has replaced the floppy disk drive as the best storage medium for transferring files, but it also has its uses as a replacement for CDs and DVDs. USB drives tend to be higher in capacity than disc media, but since they are more expensive, they cannot (yet) really be used as a replacement. There are reasons why you would, however, choose a USB device over a DVD disc, and bootable software is definitely one of them. Not only is it faster to copy data such as setup files from a USB drive, but during usage the access times are also significantly faster. Therefore, installing something like Windows 7 will work that much faster from a USB drive than from a DVD (and of course, is particularly useful for the PCs without an optical drive; this isn’t something we should just leave for the pirates to enjoy).

This guide will show you two different ways to create a USB flash drive that works just like a Windows 7 DVD. In order to follow this guide, you’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of free space and a copy of the Windows 7 installation disc.

Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

You are normally given this tool when you purchase from the online Microsoft Store.

windows_7_usb_1.pngThe easiest way to turn a USB flash drive into a bootable Windows 7 installer is by using the tool Microsoft offers, cunningly named the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. To get started, download the installer [exe] from Microsoft.com and follow the basic steps to put it onto your computer; you can put it on the computer you plan to install Windows 7 on or another one, it doesn’t matter.

windows_7_usb_2.pngOnce it is installed, it should create an icon on your desktop, so double-click that to open. If you can’t find it, use the search function in the Start Menu with a keyword like “USB.” Launching it should give you the above screen, and step one is to find the Windows 7 .ISO file. The tool only accepts .ISO images, so we recommend that you convert yours if it’s in a different DVD image format.

windows_7_usb_3.pngStep two is straightforward: simply choose USB device.

windows_7_usb_4.pngIn step three, all you have to do is make sure that you are choosing the correct USB device. If you have other data on the device, move it to your hard drive, another USB device, or somewhere else before proceeding.

windows_7_usb_5.pngThe tool will prompt you if it detects data on the device. Once your data is backed up elsewhere, click Erase USB Device.

windows_7_usb_6.pngYou will get another prompt warning you that all the data will be wiped. Click Yes to continue.

windows_7_usb_7.pngThe format will be very quick, while the copying of the files will take a little bit more time (about 10 to 15 minutes).

windows_7_usb_8.pngOnce the process is complete, you should get the above confirmation message. At this point you can close the tool and use the USB drive to install Windows 7. Remember that you’ll have to choose to boot off the USB drive. Before doing so, you may want to open up the USB drive and double click on setup.exe to see if everything looks okay. If you want to be able to do this manually, see the next section, and if you want to be able to install any edition of Windows 7, skip to the section after that.

windows_7_usb_10.pngMaybe you don’t like that Microsoft violated the GPL with the first version of the above tool (the company has since GPLed the code), or you’re old-school and just love using the command prompt. Regardless of what your reasons are for creating a bootable Windows 7 USB drive manually, we have the scoop on how to do it. First, open the command prompt (if you use UAC make sure to right click it and choose “Run as administrator”), type “diskpart” without the quotes, and hit enter. You can also get here by simply typing “diskpart” without the quotes into the Start Menu and hitting enter.

windows_7_usb_11.pngNow type “list disk” without the quotes and hit enter. Take a look at the Size column and figure out which disk number your USB drive is. Ours is number 1, so we’re going to type “select disk 1” without the quotes and hit enter. Now we’re going to wipe it by typing “clean” without the quotes and hitting enter (make sure to do a backup of the contents if you haven’t already).

windows_7_usb_12.pngAt this point we want to prepare the USB drive for the files and make sure it is bootable. Type “create partition primary” without the quotes and hit enter. Then type “select partition 1” without the quotes and hit enter. Next type “active” without the quotes and hit enter. Finally, type “format fs=fat32” without quotes and hit enter (if you choose to use ntfs, you’ll later have to run the “Bootsect.exe /nt60 G:” command to put boot manager compatible files onto your USB flash drive to make it a bootable device). This one will take a while, so go grab a snack, we’ll wait. When that’s done, type “assign” without the quotes and hit enter (this will assign a new drive letter to the USB flash drive).

windows_7_usb_13.pngAn AutoPlay window like the one above will appear. Remember the drive letter (in our case it is H:), close the window, type “exit” without the quotes and hit enter. If you are working with an .ISO image, the best way to do this last part is to mount the file with a program like Virtual Clone Drive. Alternatively, you can extract the files from the .ISO image and simply copy them to the USB drive, but since we’ve been using the command prompt up to this point, we’ll show you how to do the last step with it as well.

windows_7_usb_14.pngIf you don’t have the command prompt open, open it with administrative privileges, type “xcopy f:*.* /s/e/f hg:” without the quotes and hit enter. Note that you will likely have to replace “f:” with the drive letter for your Windows 7 DVD and “g:” with the drive letter for your USB flash drive. Don’t worry if install.wim takes a while to copy: it’s easily the biggest file on the disc.

Bonus: install any edition of Windows 7

windows_7_usb_14.pngThis is a completely optional step and you only want to do this if you want to be able to choose which edition of Windows 7 to install. In the command prompt, type “del G:\sources\ei.cfg” without the quotes and hit enter (where g: is your USB flash drive).

windows_7_usb_15.pngThis will make sure that your Windows 7 installer no longer has a specific version of Windows 7 set as the default, and you will be prompted to choose the version you want to install. Remember that while this gives you a more universal Windows 7 installer, you still need to make sure you are choosing the edition that you own, or you will not be able to activate Windows 7 with the key you have obtained.

 

Source : http://arstechnica.com

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By beatsoftech

How to setup Windows 7 from USB drive?


Step1: Create Bootable USB Drive:

    1. Start PowerISO (v4.8 or newer version, download here).

    2. Insert the USB drive you intend to boot from.

    3. Choose the menu “Tools > Create Bootable USB Drive”. The “Create Bootable USB Drive” dialog will popup. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating system, you need confirm the UAC dialog to continue.

    4. In “Create Bootable USB Drive” dialog, click “…” button to open the iso file of Windows 7.

  • Select the correct USB drive from the “Destination USB Drive” list if multiple USB drives are connected to the computer.

  • Choose the proper writing method. “USB-HDD” is recommended.

  • Click “Start” button to start creating windows 7 bootable USB drive.

If no errors occured in the above process, you should now be all set to setup Windows 7 from USB drive!

 

Step 2: Configuring the BIOS:

You should now reboot and go into the BIOS configuration to boot from USB. Instructions for doing so wildly from system to system, but generally entail the following:

  1. Reboot the system.

  2. While booting (before Windows starts loading), get into the BIOS configuration screen by hitting something like F1, F2, Delete or Escape. Hotkey instructions are generally provided on the screen.

  3. Go to the section that contains your boot devices.

  4. With your USB drive plugged in, the USB drive should be listed. If it isn’t, your system might not support booting from USB. Assuming that it is supported (as is the case with virtually all modern hardware), promote your USB drive to the primary boot device.

  5. Exit from the BIOS configuration, saving all changes.

If you’re completely new to BIOS configuration, BIOS for Beginners over at Tom’s Hardware might be a good primer. Be aware though, that you can seriously screw up your system by providing incorrect settings!

 

Step 3: Booting and setup windows 7 from USB drive:

Assuming that you properly configured your BIOS and your USB drive supports booting,  Windows 7 setup should now load. Depending on the speed of your USB drive, this may take a while.

If it isn’t working, then double-check the following before making a scene:

  • Is your BIOS properly configured for booting from the USB device? (Is the USB device listed and does it have top priority?)

  • Have you correctly prepared the USB drive in step one? (Restart the procedure.)

  • Does your USB drive properly support being booted from? (Try another one!)

Note: The above guide works with Windows Vista / Windows 7 only. For Windows XP with SP2 or SP3 please refer to another guide at http://www.poweriso.com/tutorials/how-to-make-winxp-bootable-usb-drive.htm .

Source : http://www.poweriso.com

By beatsoftech

Apple announces the iPhone 5


There was a lot of hype behind Apple’s September 12 event and all the rumours have finally been put to rest. Apple has finally officially announced the iPhone 5.

The sixth generation iPhone is much the same as what we have seen in the numerous rumourssurrounding the device, and that has left us a tad disappointed.

At the iPhone 5 event, Apple also announced updates to iTunes, refreshes for iPod Touch and Nano, as well as iO6’s release date.

iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 is made out of aluminium and glass, and is 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S, at a svelte 7.6mm. It is also 20 percent lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at a mere 112 grams. The new 4-inch 16:9 Retina Display has a resolution of 1136×640 pixels, with a pixel density of 326ppi. The display is supposedly also more vivid. With all the added visual real estate, iOS 6 will feature an additional icon row. All native software will be compatible with the larger size, while third-party apps will temporarily feature extra space above and below until they make the necessary changes.

The new Apple iPhone is powered by the A6 chipset, that’s 22 percent smaller than the A5, which powers the iPhone 4S. Apple unfortunately has not revealed many details about it. We know that there are separate chips for voice and data, and a separate radio chip. According to Apple, the A6 chipset offers twice the CPU and GPU performance as the A5. We do not know if it bears a quad-core CPU and quad-core GPU as expected, or just a dual-core CPU with a quad-core GPU like the A5X chipset on the iPad 3.

With the more efficient processor, Apple also claims the following battery life for the iPhone 5 – 3G talktime/browsing up to 8 hours, Wi-Fi browsing up to 10 hours, video playback up to 10 hours, music playback up to 40 hours, and a standby time of up to 255 hours.

Apple’s new iPhone comes with an 8MP iSight camera, capable of 1080p HD video recording. It has an f/2.4 aperture five-element lens, a BSI sensor, Hybrid IR filter and is roughly 20 percent smaller than the iSight on the 4S. It also features a new panorama mode that allows users to create images 28MP wide. Relevantly, the A6 chipset features a new signal processor on the phone, helping to capture images 40 percent faster, along with better low-light performance, image and video stabilization. Users will also be able to click stills while recording video. The front of the device has a 720p HD camera for FaceTime.

4G LTE speeds have also finally come to the iPhone. The iPhone 5 has all new Wi-Fi, 2.4GHz and 5GHz on 802.11n, up to 150mbps. Rumour mills were also proven right about the new dock connector for the iPhone 5. Called Lightning, the new dock is all-digital and has an 8-signal design. For your old 30-pin accessories, Apple has an adapter at your disposal.

The pricing of Apple’s 6th generation iPhone is as follows: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399. The iPhone 5 will be available in white and black, and pre-orders start as expected on September 14, with shipments beginning September 21.

iPod family

Apple has updated the iPod Nano and the iPod Touch.

The all-new iPod Nano has the new dock Lightning connector, is 5.4mm thin and has a 2.5-inch display. It has a home button just like the iPhone/iPod Touch. The display is multi-touch. The Nano comes in 7 different funky colours and also supports Bluetooth. The Nano has a battery life of 30 hours of music playback.

The iPod Touch too has received a facelift. The 5th generation iPod Touch is only 6.1mm thin. It is really light at 88gms. Just like the previous gen iPod Touch was a slimmer version of the iPhone 4/4S, the 5th gen iPod Touch is a slimmer version of the iPhone 5. The new touch will be powered by the A5 chipset – dual-core processor, dual-core graphics. It boasts of 40 hours of music playback. The iPod Touch also has a 5MP camera with an LED flash and a front facing 720p FaceTime camera. The Touch now supports Bluetooth 4.0 and AirPlay Mirroring. But that’s not all, Apple’s voice controlled personal assistant Siri is making an appearance on the 5th gen iPod Touch. The iPod Touch is available in 5 vibrant colours. Apple has also designed a hook called Loop, built into the chassis as a strap to tie around your wrist.

Apple has also introduced new earphones called EarPods that will come bundled with the new iPods. Apple says that they have spent three years perfecting the design of the new earphones. If you want to buy the EarPods separately, you can do so starting today (in the US) for $29.

Pricing and availability: iPod shuffle, $49. iPod Nano (16GB) $149. Keeping the 4th gen iPod Touch, 16GB at $199. New iPod Touch, 32GB, $299 and 64GB $399. New Nano and touch will be made available in October.

iOS 6
Apple announced the latest iteration to its mobile and tablet operating system, iOS 6 at WWDC 2012 without a concrete release date. As expected, the company has revealed it at this event – iOS 6 will be out on September 19 and will be compatible with the following devices – iPhone5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and the iPod Touch 4th gen.

With iCloud and iOS 6, Apple has a new feature called Photo stream. Apple has also brought panorama mode to the iPhone’s camera in the new OS.

We have seen the capabilities of iOS 6 and Apple showed us another glimpse of the new features of the OS. As we reported earlier, Apple has ditched Google Maps for a Map app of its own. Maps for iOS 6 has been updated with features such as POI’s (Point of Interests) along with turn-by-turn directions, satellite imagery, and 3D view.

In iOS 6, apps such as Safari open in full screen mode. Apple showed off this feature on the iPhone 5 and it looked quite good.

In other updates to the OS, the native phone app now has the ability to automatically send an SMS back when you can’t take a call, a feature that should have been made available to users a long time ago. Finally, users will be able to make FaceTime calls over a cellular network.

No more iPhone 3GS
Apple also announced that the iPhone 3GS has reached the end of its life and the company is discontinuing the device. The iPhone 4 8GB is still available and customers can pick up the smartphone for free with carrier contracts. The iPhone 4S 16GB is available at $99.

iTunes
Apple’s iTunes store too received a new design. It has Facebook integration enabling you to share whatever you want or like in the app store to your social networking account. The new iTunes store for the desktop is very similar to its iOS counterpart in terms of appearance.

Apple’s music app, iTunes to received an update. The new version of iTunes will be made available to users in October. The new updates are as follows:

  • When users click on an album it expands in place. It is very reminiscent of folders on iOS.
  • Each album comes with a feature called ‘in the store’ where you can see top songs and albums. Users can also browser their library by artist.
  • The currently playing window provides a dropdown to see upcoming songs.
  • The iTunes mini Player has also received a design making it more compact yet easy to navigate and use. The mini-player allows you to manage playlists and upcoming songs as well.
By beatsoftech

How to: Install Windows 8 on a pen drive


This How to will demonstrate how you can install and run Windows 8 from a USB drive without disturbing your existing operating system on your PC.

How to: Install Windows 8 on a pen drive

 

Windows 8, the latest edition to Microsoft’s OS evolution is making big waves in the PC arena. We are sure that many of you are eagerly waiting to try out the new Windows 8 Preview on your PCs, to have a first look and glimpse of what Microsoft has in store for you with the new operating system. Installing Windows 8 on your PC, which already has Windows 7 or Windows XP installed can be quite a task—backing up data, clearing space for the new OS, reinstalling, and so on. However, before that, the pain of burning the downloaded ISO file on a DVD or on a USB pen drive to get the installation ready also makes it a killing task. We shall show you how you can relax and enjoy the complete features of Windows 8 on your existing PC without going through any of the above cumbersome exercises and run the new operating system in less than half the time.

 

This How to will reveal the installation of Windows 8 on any USB storage and then running the operating system directly from the USB drive, itself. You will not have to go through any of the painful set-up procedures that the set-up installer asks, while installing Windows 8 on your PC. All you need to do is download a simple utility, a 16GB or higher USB storage drive, the Windows 8 ISO file, WinRAR archiver and your existing PC. Before we begin, we would like you to know that using a USB pen drive will suffice, but since the speed of a regular USB pen drive is very sluggish, we recommend using an external USB storage drive. 

Step 1

Step 1

 

 

To begin with, assuming you have a PC that already has Windows 7 running and WinRAR installed, extract the file ‘install.wim’ from the Windows 8 ISO file using WinRAR. This file will be located under the folder ‘Sources’ and is around 2GB in size. Extract it to the desktop. Now go ahead and download a tiny 500 KB utility, called ‘GimageX’ from the ‘http://tinyurl.com/gimagexv2’ and extract the file to a folder on your desktop. This folder will have both the 32-bit and 64-bit utility. Choose the appropriate one depending on the operating system that you are already running on your PC. Now, before we use the utility, we have to prepare the USB drive for installing Windows 8. Make sure you have all your data backed up from the drive, as we would need to clean out the drive completely. Proceed ahead when ready.

Step 2

Step 2

 

 

Plug-in the USB drive, wait for a while, if the drivers are not yet installed and let the system recognize the new drive. Now start the Windows command prompt and type the following commands one after the other as given below:

  • Diskpart (This built-in utility will help repartition and format the new drive)
  • List disk (This command will list all the drives present on your system. Note down the drive number of your USB drive)
  • Select disk # (Replace the # with the drive number that represents your USB drive in the list)
  • Clean (This command will wipe the entire partition table of the USB drive)
  • Create partition primary (This command will create a primary partition on the USB drive)
  • Select partition 1 (This command will select the primary partition for the rest of the process)
  • Format fs=ntfs quick (This command will quick format the primary partition in NTFS file format) 
  • Assign (This command will assign a drive letter to the new partition for Windows to work on)
  • Active (This command will make the partition active to enable booting)
  • Exit (Closes the DISKPART utility)

 

Now that the drive is ready for installation of the new operating system, start the GimageX utility and click on the tab ‘apply’. In the source field, specify the ‘INSTALL.WIM’ file, which you earlier extracted from the Windows ISO file. In the destination field, select the USB drive letter that you just got ready. Let all the settings in the remaining fields be untouched and hit the ‘Apply’ button. GimageX will not extract the contents of the Install.wim file, which contains the necessary Windows 8 folders and system files on the USB drive. Note: This procedure should take a few minutes and will depend on the speed of your USB drive.

 

If you are using a regular pendrive, then the time taken will be longer than on any 2.5-inch external USB storage drive. Once done, GimageX will display that the process is complete. Exit the GimageX utility and start the command prompt again. We now need to make the USB drive bootable in order to run Windows 8 from the USB drive. For this, we will have to specify a command from the command prompt window. Run the following command as below.

Step 3

Step 3

 

 

In the command above, F: is the drive letter of the USB drive where the Windows 8 files have been extracted to earlier by the GimageX utility. Remember to replace the drive letter of your USB drive, accordingly. This command will take a few seconds to transfer the necessary booting files to the USB drive. Once done, you can quit from the command prompt.

Step 4

Step 4

 

 

That’s it! Shut down your PC, get into the BIOS, enable booting from the USB drive and restart the PC. Your PC will now boot from the USB drive directly into Windows 8. All that is needed in the next step is to specify the serial key and give details, such as username and password. Windows will be up and running in no time and install the necessary drivers in the background. You can now go ahead and configure Windows 8, as you wish and install all your software and applications, as you would on a new PC. All software and applications will be installed on the USB drive by default, unless specified with a different path.

Step 5

Step 5 – Simply replace the drive name ‘‘h” with “F”

 

 

Make sure you have an Internet connection set-up for your PC, if you are using your Microsoft Live (Hotmail) account to be linked with your Windows 8 installation. Once done, you can simply shut down, disconnect your USB drive and get back to your older operating system without any trace of having Windows 8 installed on your PC. You can plug-in this USB drive on any other PC and have Windows 8 running on that PC. 

 

You can also use this trick to install Windows 8 on an internal hard drive and have Windows 8 installed without having to go through the entire process of installing the OS using a DVD ROM.

By beatsoftech