October 2009 Ian Chiu
Microsoft has finally owned up to the exciting new tool it’s releasing with Windows 7, a bootable USB Installer creator. Aimed squarely at netbook owners, which have eschewed the venerable optical drive for weight and battery life. Microsoft’s tool will let you take your downloaded install files and turn a sufficiently sized USB drive into a bootable installer. Be prepared, if you’ve never tried to put a few gigabytes of files onto an average flash drive in one sitting, you’re probably in for a bit of a wait. A portable USB hard drive is probably a better bet but not as cool. The program may also be called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT).
Microsoft’s site describes the process as downloading the installer directly to the USB drive. We’ll have to wait for a few people to report back to find out exactly how it works. Having the option will definitely help netbook owners as well as system administrators. Being able to do away with CDs and DVDs for installs would definitely make support installs and server installs go a lot faster. It’s available now at Microsoft’s online store for download.