I have been installing Windows 7 (x86 and x64) or Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) using a USB key. It is much faster than installing off a DVD. There are 2 options to creating the USB drive.
Option 1 | Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
The tool is named a bit funny, but it basically let’s you copy an .ISO file to a USB drive (or burn to a DVD disk). The tool is available here.
For more information, you can visit the Microsoft Store.
Option 2 | Using DiskPart
If you don’t have Diskpart, you can download it here.
- Launch the DiskPart utility by typing diskpart at the Start Menu.
- Then run the list disk command to check the status of your drive.
- Now run select disk 1 where the "1" is the corresponding number of your USB drive (hint: use the size column to match up your drives).
- Run clean.
- Once the drive is clean, you can run create partition primary.
- Now make the partition active by entering active
- Set up the file system as Fat32 by running format fs=fat32 quick.
- Enter assign to give the USB drive a drive letter
- Copy everything from a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 .ISO image or DVD media onto the USB drive.
Make sure your BIOS supports booting off a USB device.