How to run Windows 7 from USB drive

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If you’re still a fan of Windows 7, you may be wondering how to run Windows 7 from USB drive. Having Windows 7 installed on a thumb-drive will give you the freedom to take your operating system with all your apps and configurations everywhere you go and run (your) Windows 7 on any PC.

How to install and run Windows 7 from flash drive?

There is a chance you have heard of Windows 8 to Go, which allows you to install and run a portable version of this operating system on a Microsoft certified USB drive.

But can you run Windows 7 from a USB drive too? Yes! And as mentioned earlier, installing and running Windows from a USB drive differs for each Windows version. Installing Windows 7 on a USB drive is different from installing Windows XP.

As you are trying to make a portable copy of Windows 7, you still need to prepare the flash disk before the installation. Below is a guide to help you install and run Windows 7 on USB drive.

A step-by-step guide to install and run Windows 7 from USB hard drive:

  1. Download and install the software, “WinToUSB” from the Internet. It has a free version that can enable you to create your portable copy of Windows 7 with ease.
  2. Keep a downloaded copy of the Windows 7 image (.iso) file.
  3. Launch “WinToUSB” and connect your USB drive to the computer. Make sure that your USB is empty and has a capacity of at least 8 GB for the installation of Windows 7.
  4. The software will give you the option to either select the Windows from the CD/DVD drive of your computer or a .iso file from your computer.
  5. Select the image (.iso) option and browse your computer to give the correct location of the downloaded Windows 7.
  6. The software will detect the version of Windows present in the image file. Select the one that you want to install and click “Next”.
  7. Now the software will ask for the destination disk where you want to install your portable Windows 7. You can select the USB drive from the drop-down menu.
  8. The software will ask if you want to format the selected partition. It will also give you the option to choose the partition scheme you want.
  9. Once you select, the Windows installation will start. The process will take some time, and once it is completed, you can restart your computer.
  10. Once the computer restarts, go to the system BIOS, select your USB device as 1st Boot Priority and press enter.
    The freshly-installed version of Windows 7 will now load. You can install your required apps and use it freely.

Wrap Up

Going portable has a lot of advantages, giving you freedom to take your operating system along with your apps and personal configurations to use in any PC just by connecting the USB drive where it is installed.

Bear in mind that the computer where you’ll be using your portable operating system should meet Windows 7 minimum running requirements and it’s also highly recommendable that it features an USB 3.0 port for a better user experience.

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