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Microsoft is offering a free tool designed to streamline the creation of bootable Windows 7 RTM DVDs or USBs. Appropriately dubbed the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, the utility is available for download via the Microsoft Store at no cost. Customers that acquire a Windows 7 license online and download the RTM bits of the operating system themselves opting to get the platform packaged as an ISO file need to either create a bootable DVD or a bootable USB device in order to install the OS. This is where the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool comes into play.
With the utility, Windows 7 ISO file copies can be created on either a USB flash drive or a DVD. The tool will guide end users through the necessary steps, after which they will be able to install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or the DVD media.
“The copy of the ISO file that the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool creates is bootable. Bootable media allows you to install Windows 7 without having to first run an existing operating system on your machine. If you change the boot order of drives in your computer's BIOS, you can run the Windows 7 installation directly from your USB flash drive or DVD when you turn on your computer,” Microsoft noted.
Obviously, users can turn to any DVD-burning solution in order to create a bootable DVD of Windows 7. But the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, although also supporting DVD scenarios, was in fact meant to help end users create bootable USBs. More and more portable computers, especially netbooks, come without a DVD drive, making it difficult for users to install a new operating system. Bootable Windows 7 USB flash devices can also be created manually, but the free tool offered by Microsoft simplifies the process as much as possible.
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