Jun
19
2009

Install Windows 7 directly from hard disk without using any Secondary Medium

You don’t have to waste a DVD to install Windows 7.You can install it directly from the hard disk by extracting the contents of the downloaded iso file.

UPDATE:The direct download links to Windows 7 have been leaked

One of the simplest method of installing Windows 7 is by mounting the downloaded iso using Daemon Tools and then running the setup from the mounted virtual drive.But problem here is that the setup skips the Pre Installation Environment .So you cannot install Windows 7 to a virtual hard disk.

I found a way of installing Windows 7 directly from the hard disk by extracting the contents of the downloaded iso file.This method loads the Pre-Installation Environment,so you can access the command prompt ( By pressing Shift+F10 ) before installation and make any customizations.

Download the Windows 7 iso from Microsoft.com
Download and install Peazip


Windows XP

Here we are going to replace Windows XP bootloader with Windows 7 bootloader.The new Windows 7 bootloader loads the Windows 7 setup files.After installation ,the option to boot into XP will be automatically added to the boot menu.

1.Open the downloaded iso file in PeaZip.

2.Extract the following folders and files to the C drive(your System Drive i.e the primary partition)
boot
sources
bootmgr

3.Go to command prompt
cd c:\boot
bootsect /nt60 SYS

3.Restart your computer.Windows 7 installation will start.Just follow the steps on the screen and install Windows 7.Make sure you install Windows 7 to different partition(Do not try to install in C:)


Windows XP and Windows Vista configured in dual Boot

Here we are going to replace Windows Vista bootloader with Windows 7 bootloader.The new Windows 7 bootloader loads the Windows 7 setup files.After installation ,the option to boot into XP will be automatically added to the boot menu.But the option to boot Windows Vista will be missing.So we have to manually add an entry to boot to Windows Vista

1.Boot into Windows XP

2.Backup and Delete the Boot folder and the bootmgr file from the C: drive (System Drive)

3.Open the downloaded iso file in PeaZip

4.Extract the following folders and files to the C drive(your System Drive i.e the primary partition)
boot
sources
bootmgr

5.Restart your computer.Windows 7 installation will start.Just follow the steps on the screen and install Windows 7.Make sure you install Windows 7 to different partition(Do not try to install in C:)

Follow the steps outlined in Adding Windows Vista to Windows 7 boot menu at the end of this article.


Windows Vista

Here we are going to replace Windows Vista bootloader with Windows 7 bootloader.The new Windows 7 bootloader loads the Windows 7 setup files.After installation the option to boot Windows Vista will be missing from the boot menu.So we have to manually add an entry to boot to Windows Vista

1.Open the downloaded iso file in PeaZip

2.Extract the following folders and files to a temporary folder c:\temp
boot
bootmgr

3.Extract the sources folder to the C drive(your System Drive i.e the primary partition)

Replace Windows Vista bootloader with Windows 7 bootloader by overwriting BootMgr and Boot folder located in ‘C:\’

4.Boot into Windows Recovery Environment or WinPE. using Windows Vista Bootable DVD

After selecting the operating system open the Elevated Command Prompt and type the following commands.

5.C:\>attrib bootmgr –s –h –r (Note: C: is the Windows Vista OS Partition)

Attribute command with –s –h –r changes the System, Hidden and Read Only attributes of a given file.

6.C:\>cd temp (Note: temp is the temporary folder containing the Windows 7 bootloader files)

7.C:\temp\>xcopy /y /h bootmgr c:\bootmgr

8.C:\temp\>xcopy /y /h boot c:\

9.Restart your computer and Windows 7 installation will begin.

After installing Windows 7,the option to boot Windows Vista will be missing from the boot menu.


Adding Windows Vista to Windows 7 boot menu

1.Boot into windows 7.

The drive letters in Windows 7 will be different(.So check the drive letter of your Windows Vista install.

2.Press Winkey+R to open Run Dialog.

3.Type cmd and press enter to open command prompt with elevated priveleges.

4.Type the following commands.

bcdedit

C:>bcdedit

Windows Boot Manager
——————–
identifier {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {59cad9f2-de83-12cd-9d9e-c59ac6c2613b}
displayorder {current}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
——————-
identifier {current}
device partition=C:
path Windowssystem32winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence {59cad9f4-de83-12cd-9d9e-c59ac6c2613b}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot Windows
resumeobject {59cad9f2-de83-12cd-9d9e-c59ac6c2613b}
nx OptIn

5.Type the following to create a Boot Loader based upon the default boot loader.

bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Vista”

C:>bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Vista”
The entry was successfully copied to {59cad9f6-de83-12cd-9d9e-c59ac6c2613b}.

6.Type the following to change the device to D: (the drive letter of the Vista Partition as seen from Windows 7). Note the identifier is the one generated by step 5. This id is different for every boot loader. You have to replace it with the actual output when you create the boot loader.

bcdedit /set {59cad9f6-de83-12cd-9d9e-c59ac6c2613b} device partition=D:

7.Reboot the machine and you’ll see the option to boot to Vista.

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About the Author: Bharat Balegere

Bharat Balegere is a 23 year old blogger from Bengaluru. He is a technology enthusiast and loves tinkering with computers and usb drives.

28 Comments + Add Comment

  • i just mounted the image on a virtual drive and installed it!

    • Yes, you can do it your way as long as you’re not trying to go from 32 bit to 64 bot or vice versa.

      This way appears to solve that problem.

      Nice method.

      cheers,

  • WASTE???? a DVD??? Dude, they’re like, 20 cents each. The amount of work you’re talking about going through to save a 20 cent blank disc doesn’t seem very justified. Even if you only make minimum wage, that disc would have to cost about 8 bucks before I’d see any kind of justifiable ROI for all the effort. Plus, what about being able to boot into the disc to do a repair install? Can’t exactly do that if all your setup files are on the hard drive…. This also doesn’t take into account that the preferred method of any OS installation is a clean install, which the above described method does not provide for.

    I’m just sayin’…..

    • Dual Booter, you’re a Cunt.

      And thank you for this tutorial. im going to try it right now.

      • Naah, I think Dual Booter is right. The procedure is interesting but not worth it.

        • ha-ha, i think this is not about waste or not, if you don’t have a DVDROM or just got some trouble with the optical drive, with your external port too, what will you gonna do?

          i think it still worth, coz everybody not in a same condition as you, so many problem’s outthere buddy..

          *cheeerr*

          • I still have an old PC with no DVD drive and this procedure helped me. Thanx a lot and keep up the good work.

          • This is great for notebook computers with no internal or external DVD-ROM Drive available. And probably..not tested most useful if you do this on a Thumbdrive or external hard drive

  • my satellite a50 can’t read dvd anymore, and BIOS is not allowed to boot from usb/external-hdd, so this is my only way to try win7…
    wish me gl heee

    • I am glad that it helped you.

  • thanks it help me a lot…

  • is this way a clean install…? i want to replace xp with windows7

    • No this is not a clean install.
      This is only for dual boot installations

  • Once you have install windows 7 to another drive (through xp).. can u format the xp drive once windows 7 is installed?

    • Yes you can do that,but you must backup the boot folder,bootmgr file on your XP drive before formatting.After formatting you must copy these files back to the drive.
      Then you must write back the correct bootsector using bootsect.exe (which can be found in the boot folder of your Windows 7 ISO)
      bootsect.exe /nt60 Driveletter:

      • I have an ssd drive and xp 32 bit currently on it, and I want to replace it with win 7 64 bit by doing installation from hdd. I need to secure erase the drive before instal and thus Ill get my xp wiped off before installing win 7.
        Anybody knows a way to do that? I can’t get the partition on my other storage drive to boot :/

        • For this you need to boot from DVD and install Windows 7.
          If you want to install from hard disk you cannot do a clean format.

  • Hi Bharat!
    I see that you are using BCD. Have you any idea how to make one wim file with more than one bootable images, like Active@, Ghost, MSDaRT, adn other tools which are using Windows 7 to start their own applications?

    Thanx in advice.

    • A wim file can have only one bootable image.If you want to boot more than 1 wim image,you must create wim images with different file names and make an entry in the bcd file for each of the wim file.

      • Yes, I read somewhere about it.

        Have you got some directions for making BDC to boot more than one WIM files?

        Thanx in advice.

  • I agree its not worth it, but just ordered my new system last week, and got blindsided that it had no ide port! LOL all my dvd drives are ide so $1500 system and no way to install. since I’m upgrading to win7 at the same time as this upgrade, its a very welcome feature. Also read alot netbooks dont have optical drives :P

    So thanks for the info, but I have a retail disc already :)

  • Nice work…

    This is so close to what I am looking for. I have done it with Windows XP but I am looking for Vista and Windows 7 solutions. I would like to be able to copy the needed files to the hard drive from my network (using linux rescue disc) and reboot and be installing the OS on the same drive that the source files are on (c:). On the Windows XP install that I have used it just removes the install files when complete.

    I run a computer shop and we reinstall all flavors of Windows every day so this would be really nice to not to have to find the correct disk. Just boot from live cd select OS from menu and install.

    Thanks
    Brad

  • How can i clean my folder in Drive C: if i cant delete the folder of windows xp…. im replacing it and i want to use windows 7.. And if this installation not cleans the windows xp folder what is the sense of installing of windows 7?????!?!? If it cant delete the windows xp old folder… -.-

  • Thanks so much, very help full POST

  • i have a x64 pc with a x86 OS installed….i would like to install windows 7 x64 OS, ive just learnt this method will not work, is there a way to go around it…thanx in advance

  • You are the GOD. I was stuck on the boot up screen with some error,about missing file, spent half of the day going from UBUNTU to Windows,and finished with thus error. I managed to create 3 partitions on my 1 TB HARD drive and installed it easily from the original copy of ISO file whixh u coppied do partition C. I did everything within boot environment.
    All those people who say it is not worth it abd why couldn’t you pay extra bucks for that. The answer is simple,storage media like hard drivea and pen drives are more reliabke as nowadays CD may be fakes and hard to find out whether all of the files are written correctly to the CD.
    Great work from this guy,helped me a lot and saved me from going crazy. Lol

  • Not, true saying that it is not worth it depends on where you live. I can tell you that in Mexico they sure dont cost 2 pesos or your 20 cents of a dollar down here, most close like 15-23 pesos($1.50) depending on make. Not only that, but why would you install from a DVD when a HD is faster, and USB even more so. Not worth the time, took me about 4 minutes to make partition, extract, now installing.

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