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How to Copy a Windows CD to a USB

Updated April 17, 2017

Copying a Windows installation CD to a USB drive is a good idea in case the CD or DVD drive ceases to function. Unfortunately, the process isn't as simple as copying the files from the CD to the USB drive in Windows Explorer. Specialized software is required to ensure that the Windows CD is correctly transferred to the USB drive. WinToFlash is a free application that makes an exact and bootable replica of a Windows installation CD on a USB drive (see Resources).

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  1. Download WinToFlash. Extract the .zip file. Double-click "WinToFlash.exe" to launch the application.

  2. Click the green check mark, and then click the "Next" button.

  3. Place the Windows installation CD into the disc drive. Click the "Select" button on the "Windows file path" line. Choose the disc drive containing the Windows installation CD from the list.

  4. Connect the USB drive to the computer. Click "Select" on the "USB drive" line. Select the USB drive from the drive list. Click "Next" to proceed.

  5. Click the "Continue" button when the licensing agreement appears.

  6. Click "OK" at the warning prompt. WinToFlash will now format the USB drive and copy the Windows installation CD to it. Quit WinToFlash when the process is complete.

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About the Author

Based out of the bluegrass of Lexington, Kentucky, Joe Lewis began his freelance writing career in 2002 as a columnist for Decipher, Inc., and Worlds Apart. His opinions and analysis in the realms of technology, search engine optimization and social media have also been featured in both WebProNews and Attribute Magazine.

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