Install Windows With a Pen Drive, using Command Prompt

We all know that CD Roms can be slow, compared to pen drives. If you have ever used a CD to install windows or any operating system on your machine, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
It’s relatively slow.
Today we’ll learn how to use a pen drive or USB drive instead, together with the command prompt in windows. It’s fairly simple to do.


1. A USB drive (about 4GB in size)
2. The operating system (windows) installation disc or ISO file
3. A computer (obviously)
4. Patience (depending on the speed of your system)

Ok let’s get down to business. First, mount your ISO file, or if you will be using the installation CD, insert it into your CD rom.
Now insert your pen drive as well. Open the command prompt using administrator privileges: press the windows key, type cmd > right-click > run as administrator.

Now type the following into the prompt:



This will open another window. We are essentially making the pen drive bootable so we can run any operating system setup file from it.

Next command :
lis vol


This lists all the drives in the system that are currently running. From the picture above, we see all mounted drives and hard disks, with their labels sizes, and other info.

The next command will select our pendrive:

sel vol 5


vol 5 is my drive’s number, as seen in the picture. So replace it with yours.

So now we’ll mark the pen drive as the active drive, so that we can perform the boot command on it.

Type :



Then type exit to exit the diskpart window.

Now the final command :

bootsect /nt60 h:


This command essentially loads the boot code onto the drive, making it bootable. The letter “h” here is my drive letter, so replace it with yours.

Now the final step. Just copy the installation files to the pendrive and boot from it. Booting from the pen drive basically means that when you switch on the machine, it should locate the pen drive and run the installation files from it. Every machine has a different key to press in order to boot from an external device or drive. For example on Dell computers, you press the F12 key to get the boot options menu. HP uses F9.

So, I hope you found it easy to do. If you encountered any problems, let’s hear it in the comments. Happy geeking.


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