Install Windows Without a Disk or USB Drive

How to Install Windows Without a Disk or USB Drive

Installing Windows on a computer usually involves using a DVD or a USB drive. However, there are situations where you might not have access to these tools. Fortunately, there are alternative methods to install Windows without a disk or USB drive. In this article, we will explore two methods: using a network-based installation and using a hard drive partition.

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Method 1: Network-Based Installation (Windows Deployment Services)

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is a network-based installation method that allows you to install Windows on multiple computers without needing a physical medium. This method is ideal for organizations or users with access to a network server.

Step 1: Set Up a Server for WDS

  1. Install Windows Server: Ensure you have Windows Server installed on a computer that will act as your server.
  2. Install WDS: Open Server Manager, click on ‘Add roles and features’, and follow the prompts to install Windows Deployment Services.

Step 2: Configure WDS

  1. Open WDS: In Server Manager, click on Tools, and then select Windows Deployment Services.
  2. Configure the Server: Right-click your server in the WDS console, select ‘Configure Server’, and follow the wizard. You’ll need to set up a boot and a remote installation folder.

Step 3: Add Images to WDS

  1. Add Boot and Install Images: In the WDS console, right-click ‘Boot Images’ and ‘Install Images’ to add the respective images. These can be obtained from a Windows ISO file.

Step 4: Prepare the Client Computers

  1. Configure BIOS/UEFI: Ensure the client computers are set to boot from the network. This setting is found in the BIOS/UEFI settings.
  2. Boot from Network: Start the client computer and choose to boot from the network. This will connect the computer to the WDS server.

Step 5: Install Windows

  1. Follow the Prompts: The client computer should now load the Windows setup from the network. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Method 2: Using a Hard Drive Partition

If you don’t have access to a network server, you can install Windows using a separate partition on your hard drive.

Step 1: Create a New Partition

  1. Open Disk Management: Right-click on ‘This PC’ or ‘My Computer’, select ‘Manage’, and then choose ‘Disk Management’.
  2. Shrink an Existing Volume: Right-click on an existing volume (like C:) and select ‘Shrink Volume’. Free up enough space for the Windows installation (at least 20GB).
  3. Create a New Partition: Use the unallocated space to create a new partition. Format it with NTFS file system.

Step 2: Prepare Windows Installation Files

  1. Download a Windows ISO: Download a Windows ISO file from the official Microsoft website.
  2. Mount the ISO: If you’re using another Windows PC, right-click the ISO file and select ‘Mount’. This will open the contents of the ISO.
  3. Copy Files to New Partition: Copy all the files from the mounted ISO to the new partition you created.

Step 3: Install Windows

  1. Boot into the New Partition: Restart your computer and boot into the new partition. You may need to change the boot order in your BIOS/UEFI settings.
  2. Run Setup: In the new partition, find and run the ‘setup.exe’ file. This will start the Windows installation process.
  3. Follow the Installation Prompts: Choose your preferences and follow the prompts to install Windows. Make sure to select the correct partition for the installation.


Whether you’re managing multiple computers on a network or just looking to install Windows on a single machine without a USB or disk, these methods provide viable alternatives. Network-based installations using WDS are efficient for multiple installations while using a separate hard drive partition is a straightforward solution for individual installations. Always ensure you have a valid Windows license and remember to back up your data before attempting any installation.

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