I don't have cd burner, so I want to install W7 on my 2nd computer via an USB-Drive. I just copied the files from the iso but it won't boot. So I installed ms-sys and did a ms-sys -7 /dev/sdb but it just says "Boot error".

How can I install it the right way? Tried many different tutorials by now but none worked.


7 Answers 7


Get your USB flash drive of 4GB or more, and an ISO-image of the Windows 7-DVD.

  1. First you'll wanna format the drive. This can be done with gParted. To format NTFS you'll also need ntfs-3g.

    sudo apt-get install gparted ntfs-3g
  2. Now open gParted and format the drive to NTFS.

  3. Download Unetbootin version 494.

  4. Open Unetbootin, select DiskImage and browse for your Windows 7 ISO-image.

  5. Check "Show all drives" and select your USB drive. If you're not sure which drive it is, open gParted again and check.

  6. Click OK

Plug the USB drive into any machine and boot from it. It will start the Windows 7-installer.

Source: this tutorial.


Use the tool WinUSB for ubuntu. Packages are available from the WinUSB website

  • It wants to remove my grub, so I avoided it, but thanks anyway. Apr 15, 2012 at 18:27
  • odd that, it worked fine last time I tried it.
    – duffydack
    Apr 15, 2012 at 18:38
  • I use grub-legacy because Lenovos bad UEFI implementation. So each time I see a program changing anything with my GRUB-conf, I dont use it. Apr 15, 2012 at 18:44

You can easily make this using winusb package:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:colingille/freshlight

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install winusb

  • 2
    Duplicate answer
    – totti
    Feb 18, 2014 at 9:29

You can make a bootable USB without downloading any software. On a linux PC -

  1. Right click on the iso file and select open with and then click on disk image writer.

  2. Now select your usb drive and click on start restoring.

  3. Wait for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Your USB is bootable now and you can boot now.

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  • 2
    That way worked nice for me with Ubuntu iso image, but failed with Windows 7 iso, that didn't boot.
    – Kos
    Nov 20, 2016 at 20:32
  • I just tried this, and although the usb stick was created, and it looks like it created a boot drive, when i try to boot from it, Ubuntu boots, even though i select the USB as the boot drive and put a windows image on it (windows 10)
    – n00b
    Dec 4, 2018 at 20:47
  • @n00b Have you tried it on some other machine? If it is not running on other machines too then there might be some problem in your iso file.
    – Darshan
    Dec 5, 2018 at 4:47
  • From some reading it seems that maybe the disk needs to be formatted to FAT instead of NTFS in order for some bios to read it?
    – n00b
    Dec 5, 2018 at 14:05

I read everything, literally, everything about this particular issue (Install windows 7 from bootable USB on Ubuntu) well and here it starts:

  • Gparted installed ok
  • Unetbootin 494 wouldn't start (that's it, not starting (did EVERYTHING correctly, changed it's properties too))
  • Newer version does not recognize ntfs.

So I tried another option, to open windows 7 ISO with Image Mounter (Archive Mounter in my case) and it would not work. It just does nothing with double click, triple click, right click+open.

Here I am, left with overheating computer and it is really overheating badly.

I will now start trying to burn that same .iso on DVD, and if that does not work I will do everything possible in my life to prevent anyone I know to install ubuntu ever again.

WINUSB also did not work, it seemed to work at first, but after booting from USB all it did was going 10 seconds over and over again before starting, but never started.


Unetbootin 494 from the provided link is a corrupted package. DO NOT INSTALL IT!

Instead, go into your software center and install unetbootin from there. This is a valid package.

DO NOT format USB stick to NTFS! It will not work with netbootin, and it will not boot.

It's also worth noting that you can NOT boot from USB 3.0. It MUST be 2.0.

Format the USB stick to FAT32, and it will work fine with unetbootin. Unetbootin will automatically make the USB stick bootable at the end of the process.

I've done this dozens of times, and I speak from experience. Follow my instructions and you should be able to install windows 7 from USB, AND it will be magnitudes faster than any DVD drive.

Ubuntu is NOT why your machine is overheating. After 10+ years working on all types of systems, the #1 thing most computer owners overlook, even some experienced users, is PROPER MAINTENANCE!

Depending on the environment the machine is in, you should dismantle the entire machine for a full cleaning at least twice a year.

Looking into the vent with a flashlight will tell you nothing. The heatsink and fan clog from the INSIDE! You have to dismantle the CPU/graphic heatsink/fan assembly and clean it out with a PLASTIC brush, such as a toothbrush.

Linux OS's use FAR less power and resources than windows, and will run a system faster, cooler, and more efficiently. A system that overheats with Ubuntu indicates a clogged or malfunctioning cooling system.

You'd be surprised at the damage a little dust can do to a system, ESPECIALLY if you live in a dusty place, or have pets.

Just like anything else, your car, your house, even your own body, your computers REQUIRE proper maintenance to prevent damage and keep the system performing at it's best!

If your lungs were full of dirt, you wouldn't be able to breath either!


I'd like to propose an alternate solution, provided you have the ISO and a working windows installation.

  1. Download Windows Download Tool
  2. Run it under windows
  3. Select the ISO file
  4. Select USB drive
  5. Enjoy your bootable USB.
  • 1
    The question was "from Ubuntu on USB Drive" however, not on a working windows...
    – linuxgnuru
    Jul 23, 2017 at 19:39

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