CD/DVD Windows installation is ever popular but nowadays this trend is going down as we have a more advanced option and it is USB. Normally, we use CD/DVD to install Windows OS on the computer like XP, Vista and Windows 7. But now the price of pen drives is reducing day by day and we can buy a pen drive with large size space at a very low cost. So using USB or pen drive for installation on a computer is the easiest and most cost effective way as we can use the same pen drive to install many types of OS. Finally we are ready to use a pen drive for Windows installation but sometimes I face some difficulty installing both Windows 7 and XP from the same pen drive. At first I had two pen drives – one for XP and other one for Windows 7 installation. I was frustrated because two of my pen drives were busy only for Windows installation but finally I got a solution to install different Windows versions using the same pen drive. Now I have a multi-boot pen drive that I use for both Windows XP and Windows 7 installation without any problems. I know that there are many users who wish to make the same multi-boot Windows XP/7 pen drive to save their additional pen drive and cost also. So I planned to post one complete guide to create multi-boot pen drive for Windows XP and 7.
You must be aware that Windows 7 installation files require approx. 2.5 GB and and Windows XP installation files need approx. 600 MB of space. Thus you can say that a 4GB pen drive is enough to make a multi-boot pen drive. I tried to make my steps easy to follow but if you face any problem on any stage please comment below and I will diffidently assist you personally by personal email. I hope that by using these simple steps you will successfully make one pen drive with multi-boot installation support.
1. A USB flash drive with a minimum of 4 GB space
2. Windows 7 installation DVD
3. Windows XP installation CD/DVD
Process to create a multi-boot pen drive:
1. Insert your 4GB pendrive in your system’s USB port. You can use a pen drive with more than 4GB space like 8GB. But the minimum requirement is 4GB for multi-boot USB drive.
2. Download: [WinSetupFromUSB]. After downloading and installing the setup file, it will create a desktop shortcut icon like this. Double click on it.
3. Now set following options before proceeding to the next step. Please confirm that USB Disk Selection is showing your USB device and BOOT.INI adjustment is showing \WINDOWS. After checking these options, click on the RMPrepUSB button.
4. After clicking on the RMPrepUSB button you will get a new window. Please make sure all your options are exactly the same as the below image.
>>FILESYSTEM and OVERRIDES a)NTFS b) Boot as HDD(2PTNS)
>>BOOT OPTIONS a) XP bootable [NTLDR]
5. After configuring all these settings, finally press the Prepare Drive button. It will then show a small message; click on OK.
6. Now Formatting will start and you need to wait till command prompt ends its own work and you see a message saying “Operation Completed”. Sometime the process does not complete and shows error as failed. Don’t worry, just open you pen drive Properties and check whether it’s showing File System NTFS or not. If it is showing NTFS then you can go ahead with the next step.
7. Close the PREPUSB tool after “Operation Completed” message.
8. Now insert your XP CD/DVD in the drive and click on the Browse button and select your XP files source. You can also copy all XP CD files on your Hard Drive and browse the local XP files folder.
9. Now it is time to press the Go Button. When you press the Go button you will see a progress bar and the names of teh files being copied. After completion of the process, a dialog box will open as shown below. Press the OK Button.
10. Now remove the XP CD/DVD and insert Windows 7 DVD in your drive or you can copy the whole Win 7 DVD on your computer and locate its path. Select Vista/7 setup/PE/RecoveryISO option and browse to the Windows 7 installation files folder or CD/DVD location. Finally, click Go. The progress bar will start again after clicking on the Go button.
Note: Please note that this operation may take a long time depending on the system speed and USB drive speed. If you find a message “Not Responding” on the application title bar, don’t close the application. It will automatically be removed after the complete process.
11. After the process is completed, the application will show a confirmation Done dialog box. Please press the OK button before exiting the application.
Now your pen drive is ready for use. Just Insert USB into any system you want to start installation in and choose Boot from Removal device option from BIOS. You will see the boot option screen as shown in the image below.
You can see XP Setup- First and Second parts; it means that when you select this option you will get two more options - First part of Windows XP and Second part of Windows XP. For the first time, fresh installation press First part of Windows XP. After setup is complete with all Windows files copied and your system restarts again this time press Second part of Windows XP. If you select First part of Windows XP again, setup will start again in starting mode.