Windows Enterprise Desktop

Nov 2 2009   8:41PM GMT

An MS (!*) Tool for Building Installable Windows UFDs

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

This weekend I got an email from my old buddy Mike Drips, who informed me he’d found a nice little tool for building a bootable, installable UFD for Windows 7 at the Microsoft Store. Alas, I had to call him this morning to get the full title of the tool — namely, the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool — because no amount of searching around with purely descriptive titles on that site helped me turn it up. But turn it up I did with title in hand, at the aforementioned link.

Given this free download and a valid Windows ISO image file, you can create a bootable UFD (that’s a USB Flash Drive, for those not in the know about this MS acronym) or burn a DVD from which to install Windows. Although the tool specifically identifies itself as for Windows 7, I was able to confirm by experiment that it also works with Windows Vista ISO image files as well ad Windows 7 files of the same variety. Reset your PC’s (or notebook’s) BIOS so it will boot from a UFD and presto! you can boot from the UFD to run the Windows installer.

Here’s a gallery of screenshots from installing (first four images) and using (next seven images) this tool that will give you a pretty good idea of what it is and how it works. Definitely worth grabbing, for those installs you plan to do “by hand!”

Initial set-up screen

Initial set-up screen

Standard EULA page to which you must agree

Standard EULA page to which you must agree

Click the button to install the tool

Click the button to install the tool

Click Finish to complete the install

Click Finish to complete the install

So much for installing the software. The next series show how it’s used to create a bootable UFD (warning: copy everything on that drive before you turn a UFD over to this program, because one of its first actions is to format the drive).

Start by picking the ISO file to install

Start by picking the ISO file to install

USB or DVD

Choose your target device: USB or DVD

Next, you must insert and select your target UFD

Next, you must insert and select your target UFD

The UFD must be at least 4GB in size and you get multiple Erase warnings along the way.

The UFD must be at least 4GB in size and you get multiple erase warnings along the way

 

Finally, the software gets down to work

Finally, the software gets down to work

On my test PC, it took about 2 minutes for the copying process to complete

On my test PC, it took about 2 minutes for the copying process to complete

 

The tool provides a successful completion message at the end if everything works

The tool provides a successful completion message at the end if everything works

All you need to do to use this tool is to access setup.exe after inserting the UFD into a Windows machine (only works when installing a 32-bit OS from a 32-bit OS, or 64-bit OS from a 64-bit OS) or after booting from the UFD itself. Check it out! I think you’ll like it…

2  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Mdrips
    This worked great for installing Windows 7 Starter on a netbook. I went through the process despite having a DVD player that I could have used just to experience the installation process. It was just great! I guess it thrilled my inner geek. I now have Windows 7 on both this netbook and the Ultimate x64 version on my desktop. My only complaint is having to wait on HP to publish a Windows 7 printer driver.
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  • Ed Tittel
    I'm going to try it with a Windows XP SP3 ISO later this week, as soon as I get some "spare time." --Ed--
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