Web Analytics

So here’s the scenario.  You already have a working Windows 7 x64 installation on your system and you need to install x86 for testing purposes.

You left your Windows 7 x86 DVD at a friends house and your PC doesn’t support booting from USB.  You’re out of luck right?

UPDATE: You can download the RTM versions of Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional, and Home Premium here (64/32-bit available.)

If you have an ISO of your Windows DVD then we can get the job done, and in half the time it takes using a DVD or USB drive!

Step 1.

Start by creating a partition you want to install Windows 7 x86 on.

Shrink/Extend a Partition on Your Hard Drive with Vista (7 compatible)

EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition Manages Your Hard Drives

Step 2.

Install Virtual Clone Drive or a similar application such as MagicISO.

Mount your Windows 7 x86 ISO.

Step 3.

Download imagex.zip, extract to your Desktop.

Step 4.

Press WinKey+R, type cmd and click OK


In the command prompt type;

cd %userprofile%\Desktop

imagex /apply z:\sources\install.wim 5 e:\

(Where z:\ is your mounted ISO and e:\ is your new Windows x86 partition)

This will probably take around 5-10 minutes.


When you see

[ 100% ] Applying progress

Successfully applied image.

Total elapsed time: X min X sec

Type in;

e:\windows\system32\bcdboot e:\windows

(where e:\ is your new Windows 7 x86 partition)

You’ll see a message saying Boot files successfully created.

You can now exit the command prompt.

Step 6.

Now download, install and run EasyBCD by NeoSmart Technologies.

Click the Edit Boot Menu button.  You’ll notice the new installation is visible.  Choose which installation is default, set the default countdown timer and click Save Settings.


Step 7.

Now reboot, choose the relevant installation at the Boot Manager prompt, wait a few minutes and you’ll be greeted by the OOBE for Windows 7 x86!


This is a much faster, easier & efficient way of installing Windows if you already have an existing installation.  With todays massive hard drives, there’s no reason not to have both.   One of the biggest advantages is that you can carry on working whilst it’s installing and reboot to complete at your convenience.

Free PC tips by email

Search Windows Guides


9 thoughts on “Clean Install Windows 7 without Booting from External Media [How To]”

  1. Bloodsuckingcomputer says:

    wonder if could do the same if i already have W7 x86,and want to have Win XP by just using the exact same method….

  2. RSVR85 says:

    Completely untested though it should be a very similar procedure.

  3. ha14 says:

    Is it possible to use this method to upgrade windows 7 32bits to windows 7 64bits. If not how to upgrade without format and clean instal of 64bits.

  4. Rich says:

    To my knowledge, there is no upgrade path from 32 bit to 64 bit. You could only install 64 bit alongside 32 bit.

  5. Bloodsuckingcomputer says:

    RSVR85…..and if you know how to have xp on existing W7 x86 by using similar methods,please tell me…..already tried using exact same method,doesn't work on xp mounted iso as for xp doesn't have sources/install.wim…….thanks

  6. Art_cm says:

    image [5] was not found.
    How could I fix this?

  7. Syf128 says:

    at the begin u got  “wim information” and image count , so instead of 5 type the number u got there

  8. lancer009 says:

    hypothetical question, would somebody be able to do this with a Mac OS X ISO on a windows 7 pc

  9. justanotherperson2010 says:

    OMG windows install in 2 and a half minutes lol awesome

Comments are closed.

Computer tips in your inbox
Sign up for the Windows Guides newsletter to get PC tips and access to free Windows books (More details)

Subscribe now
Popular Guides

See which sites have been visited on your PC (even if private browsing mode is used)

Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Best Free Anti-malware

Hibernate vs. Sleep vs. Shut-Down

i3, i5, and i7; Dual, Quad, Hexa Core Processors. How to they Differ?

Intel's Ivy Bridge Processor: new Features

Windows Guides on Facebook