Monday, August 16, 2010

Installing Windows 7 onto a netbook using USB

I wanted to install Windows 7 onto a netbook to replace an aging desktop as my only windows-on-metal box. This is a breeze with modern linux distros, but is of course far harder than it needs to be for windows.

I had a crack at using unetbootin on Linux with the Windows 7 ISO, despite a suspicious lack of mention of support for windows, and sure enough it didn't boot (unetbootin didn't give me any errors, it just didn't boot).

More googling turned up the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, which converts a Windows install ISO into a bootable USB installer - exactly what I wanted. After half an hour of downloading and installing dependencies (due to the lack of windows package management and a bizarre need to do the Genuine Windows check), I had the tool installed and it happily created a bootable USB for me.

This one worked perfectly, and dropped Windows 7 starter onto the netbook.

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