Install Windows Server 2008 R2 from USB

Today I had to install Windows 2008 R2 trial on server without DVD drive. One of the solution is to use USB pendrive as a installation source. It is really simple operation which doesn’t require any 3rd party software.

 Before we can install system from flash drive we need to prepare it first. Saying prepare I mean that our USB drive has to have a primary partition set to active and formatted using FAT32 file system.

To do that we can use Windows 7 build-in program called DISKPART running those commands in order:

DISKPART > list disk

display all disks

DISKPART> select disk #

select our pen drive where # is a number of that drive, from now on, all actions are going to be performed on that drive, until we select other drive


clean all partition an volumes

DISKPART> create partition primary

I think don’t need to be explained 🙂

DISKPART> format fs=fat32 quick

then we format created partition using FAT32 file system

DISKPART> active

set current partition as an active

DISKPART> assign

assign a letter to that drive


exit diskpart (it will use first available letter in system)

Now, on that prepared USB drive we can copy all Windows 2008 R2 installation DVD (or mounted iso file) content. 

That is it! 🙂

P.S. We can use the same solution to prepare USB drive with Windows 7 installation files. I don’t know if it will work with Vista. If someone know that, please leave a comment.