Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went out on Black Friday and picked up an Acer Aspire One netbook for $195. Most of the netbooks I had seen run $300+, so I think this was a pretty good deal. It came with Windows XP installed, so I decided I would install Windows 7. The problem is that most netbooks don’t have CD-/DVD-ROMs; therefore I would need to image it using a USB flash drive. This article describes the steps I took to upgrade my Aspire One, but I suppose it would work on most systems.

What you’ll need:

  1. Machine running Windows Vista or 7 to create a bootable USB stick.
  2. Windows 7 DVD or ISO
  3. A USB Flash Drive (2.5+ GB or large enough to hold your Win7 DVD/ISO contents)
  4. Your Netbook

 

Overview:

  1. Create a Windows 7 bootable USB Flash Drive using your current Windows Vista or Windows 7 machine.
  2. Copy the contents of your Windows 7 DVD or ISO to the USB flash drive.
  3. Change the BIOS of your Acer to boot from USB drive.
  4. Boot to the USB drive and Install Windows 7. (This article will not walk through the entire Win7 install procedure)

 

Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive using your Windows Vista or 7 machine:

  1. Insert your USB Flash Drive into your machine running Windows Vista or 7.
  2. Copy all of the contents off the USB drive (if you want to keep the contents). The next steps will format the USB drive.
  3. Open a CMD prompt with Admin rights using one of the following methods:
    1. Type cmd in Start menu search box and hit Ctrl+ Shift+ Enter.
    2. Click Start menu – All programsAccessories and right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  4. Type in the following commands in the command prompt:
    1. First type DISKPART and hit enter to see the below message.
    2. Next type LIST DISK command and take note of the Disk Number (ex: Disk 1) of your USB flash drive.
    3. Next type the following commands one by one. Here I assume that your disk drive no is “Disk 1”.
      1. SELECT DISK 1
      2. CLEAN
      3. CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
      4. SELECT PARTITION 1
      5. ACTIVE
      6. FORMAT FS=NTFS (Format process may take few seconds)
      7. ASSIGN
      8. EXIT
    4. Don’t close the command prompt as we need to execute one more command at the next step. Just minimize it.
  5. Next insert your Windows 7 DVD into the optical drive and check the drive letter of the DVD drive (Double-click computer icon to know). In this guide I will assume that your DVD drive letter is “D” and USB drive letter is “H” (open my computer to know about it).
  6. If you just have an ISO, you need to mount the ISO using something like Virtual Clone Drive. Download Virtual Clone Drive, and then use the Virtual Drive letter as you would a DVD drive letter after mounting the Windows 7 DVD image.
  7. Maximize the minimized Command Prompt in step 4. Type the following command now:
    1. D:\ and hit enter (Where D: is your DVD/ISO drive)
    2. CD BOOT and hit enter.
    3. BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 H: (Where “H” is your USB drive letter. Once you enter the above command you will see the below message.)
  8. Copy the contents of your Windows 7 DVD contents to the USB flash drive.
  9. Your USB drive is now ready to boot into a Windows 7 installation.
  10. Reboot your Acer Aspire One Netbook and then, press F2 or F12 key to enter the BIOS. Set your boot order so USB comes before your hard drive. Save, exit, and reboot.
  11. After a reboot, your Windows 7 installation procedure should begin.

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