Install Windows 7 with UNetBootin

Note: This method has proven to be not reliable all the times. I would recommend you use either YUMI, or alt 1 and/or alt 2 (recommended) to install Windows 7.

I installed both Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 RC1 with UNetBootin (with a little tweak). I was successful to boot WinPE 2, WinPE 2.1 and WinRE 3 RC1 with UnetBootin. I would guess Windows 7 RTM will have no problem either.

Instructions (Installing from ISO):

  1. Download UNetBootin
  2. Download Win7 Syslinux Hack [ ZIP ] [ EXE ]
  3. Use UNetBootin to copy files from Win7 ISO
  4. Extract zip to the root of your USB, overwrite syslinux.cfg

Instructions (Installing from DVD):

  1. Download UNetBootin
  2. Download Win7 Syslinux Hack [ ZIP ] [ EXE ]
  3. Use UNetBootin make a Live instance of FreeDOS
  4. Copy all the files from DVD to USB root
  5. Extract nt60.0 from zip to the root of your USB
  6. Insert these line in the end of syslinux.cfg

Now boot your PC with USB, and choose “Install Windows 7…”.

Although the process i liked was:

  1. Copy all the files from DVD to USB root
  2. Open a command prompt windows (Administrator Mode)
  3. Goto X:\Boot (where x: is your USB drive)
  4. Run (again where x: is your USB drive)

When you boot your PC from USB, it will start loading Windows 7 Installation.

9 thoughts on “Install Windows 7 with UNetBootin

    • I think i used 7-zip to create the zip file, and may happen i forgot to change the compression method. For now think this method is obsolete anyway.

  1. I tried this (after trying everything else thinkable for 6 hours) and it didn’t work: it boots to the grub menu, I press Enter to boot nt60.0 and then the cursor moves to the bottom left and keeps blinking there (the rest of the screen remains unchanged). Nothing else happens. If this method is obsolete then PLEASE tell me how to do this cause I’m going completely nuts. What I have: two x86_64 boxes, one with linux and a windows 7 .iso, and an 8 GB USB stick. Please help.

  2. All three methods assume you already have windows running, which I don’t. I tried YUMI before, running it in wine, but it refuses to recognize my USB unless I pre-format it as FAT32 (vfat) and mount it, but then gives an error that it won’t boot (and it doesn’t). I also tried the trick with nt60.0 and replacing syslinux.cfg, but in order for unetbootin to install a syslinux at all, the USB has to be again FAT32 (the newest unetbootin refuses to recognize the USB otherwise and doesn’t anymore allow you to choose a random device; while that makes sense since they say that syslinux only works on FAT32 in the first place, it results in a hang when nt60.0 is started). I read everywhere that for booting win7 install ntfs is REQUIRED, so that method won’t work :/. I’m at a dead here it seems (except buying a CD-rom writer and buring the iso to disk).

  3. I got it to work! The linux-only method that I used is as follows:

    <remove partition table>
    <add one primary partition>
    <format as ntfs, apply>
    <manage flags, set ‘boot’ flag on partition>
    <exit gparted>

    mkfs -t ntfs /dev/sdX (replace with the your USB device)
    mkdir /mnt/ufd
    mount -t ntfs /dev/sdX /mnt/ufd
    mkdir /mnt/dvd
    mount -r -o loop X17-58997.iso /mnt/dvd

    tar -C /mnt/dvd -c -f – . | tar -C /mnt/ufd -x -v -f –
    umount /mnt/ufd
    <remove USB stick, put it back again>
    mount -t ntfs /dev/sdX /mnt/ufd
    tar -C /mnt/dvd -c -f – . | tar -C /mnt/ufd -d -f – | egrep -v ‘(Mode|Uid|Gid) differs’
    <no output = copy to UFD successful>
    umount /mnt/ufd
    umount /mnt/dvd
    <remove USB stick, put in other PC, boot>

      • @Ishan : I do not compress it (then it would be using -z or -j). I’m using tar as root to make an exact copy of the filesystem things on it. It might be very likely that the iso only contains directories and normal files, so that you could use cp -pr too, but tar is a lot more safe: it preserves *everything* (ie, symlinks, file modes, ownership, special block devices etc); you can even use it to make a “copy” of /dev. It’s very probably not necessary here, and preserving of mode and ownership fails anyway because NTFS can’t contain all the data; but it surely allows for an easy and reliable way to check if the write succeeded afterwards ;).

  4. Argh, in my last post also the ‘-‘ (minus sign) was replaced twice with some other character. The idea is obvious to make tar write to and read from stdin and thus use -f -, where the latter is a minus…

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