Create a Bootable Windows 7 x64 Install Flash Drive from 32-bit Windows

Creating a bootable Windows 7 x64 flash drive from within a 32-bit install of Windows is not as straight forward as it may seem. I recently had to go through this process myself, so I’ll document the steps below.

Things you’ll need

  1. Windows 7 x64 disc image
  2. Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  3. 32-bit bootsect.exe

Create the installer

  1. Install the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.
  2. Extract the 32-bit bootsect.exe file to the directory that the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool was installed to. This is usually something like “C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Apps\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool“.
  3. Run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool and select your Windows 7 disc image. Follow the remaining steps in this tool and your image should be created successfully!

If you’ve followed these steps and your flash installer was created successfully then your next step is to, of course, install Windows 7! Don’t forget to change your boot options to load from USB!

This information is scattered on the web and slightly detailed on the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool page, but I was not able to find a guide laid out as simplified as the one I’ve provided above. In most tutorials they suggest that you download the entire 32-bit iso in order to get the 32-bit bootsect.exe application, but I’ve made that step a lot less troublesome. Hopefully this has helped you!

95 thoughts on “Create a Bootable Windows 7 x64 Install Flash Drive from 32-bit Windows”

    1. using Firefox 15 Firefox 15 on Windows 7 Windows 7
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/15.0.1

      Seriously, thanks a million! finding all the steps to complete this clean install has been a pain in the @$$. ๐Ÿ™‚ you made it far easier ๐Ÿ™‚ TY.

  1. using Google Chrome 18 Google Chrome 18 on Windows Vista Windows Vista
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.152 Safari/535.19

    This was so great. I’ve been searching for the 32-bit bootsect file for so long, and I was just about to go ahead and download the entire 32-bit iso. Thankfully I found your page!

  2. using Firefox 3 Firefox 3 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.8) Gecko/20100722 Firefox/3.6.8

    Thank you mate for providing the bootsect.exe file.. Thanks alot.. Much appreciated!

  3. using Firefox 13 Firefox 13 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:13.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/13.0.1

    I did everything you suggested everything goes great until the first restart and then it loops back to the beginning and wants to reinstall Win7 X64. Yes, the BIOS is set to see the USB stick as the first thing to load. Yes, all non-essentials are removed from the computer.

    This is a clean install on a new HDD.

  4. using Google Chrome 20 Google Chrome 20 on Windows Vista Windows Vista
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0) AppleWebKit/536.11 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/20.0.1132.57 Safari/536.11

    You’re an absolute lifesaver.

    I’ve been skipping from place to place for five or six hours and when I saw your three step process laid out above… Well. I about died.

    I bought a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium along with a new mobo and processor. The new board is SATA only and my DVD drive is IDE. I felt like such a tool until I realised I could put the install on a USB stick. Then I went back to feeling like an idiot when I couldn’t work out how to make a bootable USB stick.

    Finally I found your page which has everything I needed to know set out clearly and succinctly! It’s a mini adventure and I’ve not even started trying to find 64 bit drivers…

    Cheers!

  5. using Google Chrome 22 Google Chrome 22 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/22.0.1201.0 Safari/537.1

    You’re the man!!!

    I have searched hours for this, and you didn’t even only provide the steps necessary to get this to work but also the necessary files.

    Thanks a lot!

    Rob

  6. using Internet Explorer 8 Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; EasyBits GO v1.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0C; InfoPath.3)

    I just want to offer my sincere thanks. I don’t understand why Microsoft don’t just do that. I have been chatting to them online and they directed me to a long and cumbersome process (despite the fact that getting to the point of recognising the missing bootsect.exe file was rather cumbersome in itself!). So thanks to all of you people who know what you’re doing and are willing to share your solutions with all the rest of us.

  7. using Firefox 14 Firefox 14 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:14.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/14.0.1

    I did everything as said but I get the same error over and over: Copying files succesful, however, the bootsect didn’t work and the usb is not bootable.

    I downloaded the bootsect, extracted it properly, I have the right .iso and the program to put it on the usb. Any ideas? ๐Ÿ™

    1. using Firefox 17 Firefox 17 on Windows XP Windows XP
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0

      Lou
      September 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm
      using Firefox 14.0.1 Firefox 14.0.1 on Windows XP Windows XP
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:14.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/14.0.1

      I did everything as said but I get the same error over and over: Copying files succesful, however, the bootsect didnโ€™t work and the usb is not bootable.

      I downloaded the bootsect, extracted it properly, I have the right .iso and the program to put it on the usb. Any ideas? ๐Ÿ™

      ———

      hello, i have the exact problem!

      did you find the solution?

  8. using Opera 12 Opera 12 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en) Presto/2.10.289 Version/12.01

    Will this work if I’m currently running Windows XP? If not, could somebody please explain how to create a bootable windows 7 x64 install flash drive from Windows XP? Is this possible?

  9. using Firefox 15 Firefox 15 on Ubuntu Ubuntu
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux i686; rv:15.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/15.0

    hello, I can’t Create a Bootable Windows 7 x64 Install Flash Drive from 32-bit virtual Windows xp.

    my main system is ubuntu 12.04, virtualbox is running inside, VB run windows xp, where I’ve downloaded all the files for bootablelity I’ve tried to do the same with a linux usb bootable creator but not into my virtual windows xp

    help, please

  10. using Google Chrome 23 Google Chrome 23 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.11 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/23.0.1271.64 Safari/537.11

    Thanks original poster! It worked wonderfully. I had to search many places before I found your easy solution.

  11. using Google Chrome 23 Google Chrome 23 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.11 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/23.0.1271.64 Safari/537.11

    i have windows xp 32 bit.i searched everywhere for C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Apps\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool.i cant find that location.i have this C:\Documents and Settings\chendog\Start Menu\Programs\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

    1. using Google Chrome 24 Google Chrome 24 on Windows XP Windows XP
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/24.0.1312.52 Safari/537.17

      -Open “Start Menu”
      -Right click on “Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool”
      -Select “Properties”
      -Left click “Find Target…”

      That will take you to the file location in Windows Explorer
      ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. using Google Chrome 24 Google Chrome 24 on Windows Vista Windows Vista
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0) AppleWebKit/537.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/24.0.1312.52 Safari/537.17

      This path on my computer was a SHORTCUT to the tool not the installation directory:

      C:\Documents and Settings\chendog\Start Menu\Programs\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

      The actual installation directory was as follows, so copy the bootsect.exe. file here

      C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Apps\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool

  12. using Firefox 17 Firefox 17 on Windows Vista Windows Vista
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Firefox/17.0

    Why doesn’t Microsoft make it this easy?

    Thanks a lot, this was really helpful and I couldn’t find the bootsect for this (or what I found wasn’t trust worthy).

  13. using Google Chrome 23 Google Chrome 23 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.11 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/23.0.1271.95 Safari/537.11 AlexaToolbar/alxg-3.1

    I have a question.
    Thank you for all these, but what is when i have an installed system, like Win7 Home premium 32 bit.
    I wanna install Win7 64bit, will my files stay on hdd or it will be deleted everything?
    I dont have a partition, its everything C:\

  14. using Firefox 17 Firefox 17 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0

    Thanks for the trick and the bootsect app.
    I found more than 10 tuto explaining it’s not possible to create a mixed bootable key (OS64 on a 32bits host)…
    A big thank you again

    Didier

  15. using Firefox 17 Firefox 17 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0

    DUDE!!! This save me a lot of time!! I’ve been walking around in circles tryin’ to figure out how I can make this pendrive… So many errors… There was the .iso error too, and this one? This is really a pain in the @ss… Thank you a lot!! Best Regards from Brazil!

  16. using Google Chrome 24 Google Chrome 24 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/24.0.1312.52 Safari/537.17

    Thanks a lot, I couldn’t find that damn bootsect.exe file! Now I’ll see if I’ll be able to reboot from USB without the ‘invalid partition table’ error. Fingers crossed!

  17. using Firefox 18 Firefox 18 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:18.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/18.0

    It boots up and loads the files but it restarts itself back to the bios screen. Then tries again to load the USB and it restarts once again as it loads the windows files.

  18. using Firefox 18 Firefox 18 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:18.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/18.0

    Thanks!!

    Thanks for the file. I will give it a try and see if it works.
    Current OS: windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit.
    Creating 64 bit bootable usb with windows 7 ultimate 64bit.iso.

  19. using Google Chrome 25 Google Chrome 25 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.22 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/25.0.1364.97 Safari/537.22

    Thank you very much for allowing me to bypass the atrocious microsoft store, which is about as clear as mud on a rainy day.

    Hoping that this works for me : creating a bootable USB drive of Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate from a laptop with Windows 7 Starter 32 bit.

  20. using Firefox 23 Firefox 23 on Windows XP Windows XP
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:23.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/23.0

    Thank you so much for 32-bit bootsect.exe. I was able to create bootable USB with Win 7 64-bit, using Win XP 32-bit. Although I’ve not tested yet, but the operation of creating bootable USB went without any errors.

  21. using Google Chrome 31 Google Chrome 31 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/31.0.1650.57 Safari/537.36

    I’ve already following the step. It works on my USB to be a bootable drive. but I still can’t boot through USB drive even I change my boot options to load USB.

    I try to open and run the setup.exe form my bootable USB, the message still the same that says the file is compatible with the version of Windows.

  22. using Google Chrome 33 Google Chrome 33 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/33.0.1750.154 Safari/537.36

    Thanks so much for this, helped big style.

    I actually found solution somewhere else but after scrolling through numerous forums. This is very straight forward all in one solution for others trying to install via usb from win7 32 bit to win7 64 bit. Thanks again ;0)

  23. using Firefox 34 Firefox 34 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:34.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/34.0

    Thank you for providing not only a simplified instructional, but the bootsect file! Also the title made it really easy for me to find from a search engine ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. using Google Chrome 43 Google Chrome 43 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/43.0.2357.130 Safari/537.36

    Hi,
    i did not understand what to do with bootsect.exe. should i copy that file to “C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Apps\Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool” ? should i run that file ?

    Giyora

    1. using Opera beta 31 Opera beta 31 on Windows 7 Windows 7
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/44.0.2403.30 Safari/537.36 OPR/31.0.1889.16 (Edition beta)

      Hi Giyora,

      Copy the bootsect.exe file to that directory, then run the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. Hope that helps!

  25. using Google Chrome 49 Google Chrome 49 on Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/49.0.2623.87 Safari/537.36

    Thank you very very much. I saw a usb preparation guide where the guy described even the installation procedure but didn’t tell how to fix the bootsect issue. You are awesome!

  26. using Google Chrome 50 Google Chrome 50 on Windows 7 Windows 7
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/50.0.2661.94 Safari/537.36

    Thanks, man!
    You just saved me a lot of trouble.

    A question for you, what’d be the most reliable site to download windows ISOs from? of course I’m talking about the free ones.

    Thanks in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. using Google Chrome 51 Google Chrome 51 on Windows 7 Windows 7
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/51.0.2704.103 Safari/537.36

      there are many but these two are legit imo
      ->This one is verified by comparing md5 and sha-1 hash values with the original copies…totally legit site:
      http://mirror.corenoc.de/digitalrivercontent.net/
      ->There’s another one also verified but kinda new-
      windowsiso.net
      both work fine and also they support torrent downloads ๐Ÿ˜€

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