Normally, if you want to install Windows on your computer, most people would use an installation CD/DVD, or they might have a bootable USB to install Windows from. To find out more about bootable USBs check this guide here.
But if you don’t have a USB port or CD/DVD drive on your computer, you may be wondering how you can install Windows without using any external devices.
There are a few programs out there that can help you do this by creating a “virtual drive” from which you can mount an “ISO image”. An ISO image is an archive file that contains the same information found on an optical disc, such as a Windows installation CD.
One free program you could use is Virtual CloneDrive. To find out how to install Windows using Virtual CloneDrive, without a DVD/USB, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Download the ISO files for the version of Windows you want to install from Microsoft. Follow the below links to find your chosen ISO files:
- Windows 10 Disc Image (ISO File)
- Windows 8.1 Disc Image (ISO File)
- Windows 7 Disc Image (ISO File)
Step 2: Download and install Virtual CloneDrive. You can find a link for the download page here
- Open the downloaded Virtual CloneDrive installation file and accept the license agreement
- When prompted to select the installation options, make sure Associate .iso file is checked
- Choose the location where you want Virtual CloneDrive to be installed to and then click Install
- Next, you’ll be asked to install the device software. Click Install again and wait for it to complete
Step 3: Once you’ve finished installing Virtual CloneDrive, it will become integrated into Windows Explorer. Find the Windows ISO file that you saved earlier and right-click on it. You’ll see an option saying Mount (Virtual CloneDrive E:). Click on this.
Note: the drive letter may be different from E: depending on what drives you have active on your computer at the time
Step 4: With the ISO file mounted, open My Computer or Computer in Windows Explorer. You’ll see a BD-ROM Drive. Inside this are the contents of your ISO file.
Step 5: Double-click the BD-ROM Drive and it will start running the Windows installation process from the ISO file. Follow the installation process through as usual. Your computer may reboot during the process. This is normal.
Step 6: Unmount the BD-ROM Drive when you’re finished with the installation. Right-click on it in Computer and hover the mouse pointer over the VCD option then select Unmount
You’ve now finished installing Windows without any external devices!
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