August 2009 Ian Chiu
WinToFlash, while still a little rough around the edges, exists to make installing Windows much easier. WinToFlash starts a wizard that will help pull over the contents of a windows installation CD or DVD and prep the USB drive to become a bootable replacement for the CD. The final result is a more robust, easier to track installer tool. You don’t have to worry about scratches on the disc or misplacing your original media discs once you transfer their contents to the flash drive. The optical drive is quickly becoming a thing of the past, especially in office environments, as media is shifted to the cloud. There may come a day that optical drives are as hard to find as floppy drives are today. 4.5GB DVD discs are huge wastes of space when you consider that 4GB microSDHC flash memory has dipped below $10 and are 1/100th the size.
Another boon for desktop technicians is the ability to nLite or slipstream the installer to include other software pre-built into the windows image. This can save companies and administrators tons of time rolling out corporate software packages. The Russian made software is free for non-commercial uses but require contacting the maker to negotiate business use.