WinToFlash to install Windows on a USB key in 3 clicks.

Many of you have downloaded several trial versions of Windows 7 in recent months in order to test them on a netbook. Mounting these ISO images on a USB key is probably the most practical solution for installing them on a netbook or nettop without an optical drive. Problem is not necessarily the easiest to do. WinToflash offers a simple and effective alternative.

Burning a Windows CD image or exploiting a commercially licensed CD is possible, but this assumes that you have invested in an external drive, which is not a good idea if it is the only operation you we will do with it. The simplest and therefore to inject this ISO image or the contents of a CD onto a USB key in order to make this key usable in the same way as traditional optical media.

This is what WinToFlash offers, a free program that does not require installation that you can download from this page. This program allows you to repatriate in 3 clicks the content of a Windows CD on a USB key. For this, you need a key large enough to store all the data, a 2GB for Windows XP SP3 and a 4GB for Vista or Windows 7.

For Windows 7 you have downloaded an ISO image, ie a copy of a DVD in standardized ISO format. To avoid having to burn it unnecessarily on optical media before then copying it to a USB key, you can use DeamonTools to create a virtual DVD drive which will emulate a drive capable of then "mounting" your ISO files as burned DVDs. Once done, nothing could be simpler.

Launch WinToFlash after having unzipped it somewhere, insert your USB key and locate its drive letter. Also locate the letter of your source, whether it is a physical or virtual DVD drive, indicate them and launch the program. this one will take care of the copy of all the data but also of the formatting and the installation of the elements allowing the key to be recognized as an element on which your machine will be able to start. Obviously you must have set the boot priorities of your netbook or nettop on external USB devices in the bios so that the machine starts with your key. Through DownloadSquad.

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