Thanks to Paul Thurrott, I’ve just come across another application that automates putting the Windows 7 installation DVD onto a USB drive. This is especially helpful for folks who plan on installing Windows 7 on their netbook computers since these tiny PCs rarely include an optical drive.
A couple of months ago, we looked at a user-created application made by a reader of the Tweaking with Vishal blog that does the same thing. That app could format the USB drive and copy over the installation files from either a DVD or an ISO image. However, one commenter noted he had a bit of trouble with the application, so this other one, called WintoFlash, might be a better alternative. According to various testers, the app “works as advertised” which is good news. However, it does not work straight from an ISO. Instead, the app looks for the folder containing the Windows installation files, meaning you either have to burn the ISO to disk, use an ISO mounter (virtual drive), or create the folder structure on your own hard drive.
However, using the app is simple. It starts off with a wizard that helps you prep the USB drive to become the bootable replacement for the Windows 7 DVD. And if you run into any issues, there’s a discussion forum where you can chat with other users to get help.
The latest version is available on the WintoFlash site, but please note the software is still in beta.