Having access to MSDN via the MVP program, I downloaded the beta version of Windows 7 as soon as it became available, with the idea of loading it onto my Acer Aspire One netbook (an nice little Christmas present to myself!).
With the software downloaded there was just one issue to overcome, how do you install an OS onto a netbook with no optical drive? The answer is you need a bootable USB drive. It took a lot of searching around the net to work out how to do this, so I thought I’d outline the steps here, mainly for my own benefit, so I know where to look the next time LOL. This guide will show you how to get W7 beta onto an Acer Aspire One Netbook, YMMV with other netbooks.
Step 1 – Let’s create a bootable USD Drive!
- Clearly, the first thing you need is a USB drive and the one I used was an 8GB Seagate model.
- Plug the drive into your PC.
- Open a command prompt as administrator.
- Get the drive number by typing:
On my machine the USB disk was number 1.
- Format the drive by typing:
select disk 1
create partition primary
select partition 1
- Mount the Windows 7 beta iso using Daemon Tools or similar.
- Navigate to the boot directory
- Using bootsect, we’ll make the USB drive a bootable NTFS drive, ready for a Windows 7 image (my drive was labeled G):
bootsect /nt60 G:
- We are finished with the command prompt now, so you can close it.
Step 2 – Copy the installation files from the mounted Windows 7 iso to the USB drive.
Step 3 – Install on the Netbook
- Plug in the USB drive and turn on the netbook
- On start up press <F12> to select the bootable drive
- Select the USB drive and press return
- The netbook will boot from the USB drive and the installation will begin
- Install as normal.
I hope this helps someone, and if not, at least I’ll know where to look the next time I need this information.
Addendum: If you are interested in installing Windows 7 Beta on an Asus Eee PC 901, then check out this blog post.