This is a quick how-to on installing Windows 7, Server 2008/R2, Windows 8 and Server 2010 using a USB flash drive. The reason I do this is because of the speed and not having to use, or be bothered with burning a DVD.
I will give you the steps I have taken along with some of the requirements.
First and most important; What you will need.
1. You will need a 4GB USB Flash Drive – I recommend using 8, this way you can load extra software installs, drivers etc.
2. You will need the installation media from Windows 7/8, Server 2008/R2 or Windows 2012.
Now for some simple fun – Rather than take you down the path of how to copy the files to the CD and set it to active and assign it a partition etc. I am going to point you to some useful tools.
1. The Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool – And this works for all the Operating Systems I listed above. Its simple to use and 99% error proof. Best of all this is supported by Microsoft. You can obtain this tool here.
2. Another tool of choice by me is the Universal USB Installer, I often use this to create live boot USB images for running things like Backtrack or Ubuntu. Also like that of Windows it allows me to have installation media without the need of a CD/DVD. The team over at pendrivelinux have done a wonderful job so I also recommend using this tool. You can download it here
If you as me, both tools has it place in my tool kit, so feel free to use which ever works best for you. I hope this quick post was helpful.