Installing from a usb pen drive?!

Hi my SSD recently corrupted in some way, rendering my copy of windows useless.
I have the windows files but currently my vista 32 bit and windows 7 64 bit DVD's are 150 miles away, but one is being sent in the post.

in the meantime I am trying to use a 4GB usb stick to install win7, I looked at suggestions from a previous thread here about how to install, but nothing helped so far, problem is I write this from a mac

I tried to set the pen drive to read only, which it wont let me do (as its a mac, also when i try to right click when on the windows pc it wont show the options for read only etc)

this is the thread i followed, the usb drive definitely works for this I've been on the windows pc, tried to load drivers to get onto the other drives, been unsuccessful in installing to any hard drive.

I tried taking other hard drives out and just leaving the SSD but the pc wouldn't post, i deleted the ssd, chose to make a new partition from unallocated space, rinsed and repeat and still get the error, I guess if this doesn't work im still waiting for a disk, the worst part of this is the mac I am on has a CD rewriter but not DVD rewriter, it only works with commercial or already formatted DVD's so I cant even make a copy of the files on a disk!

Thanks for any suggestions on how to get this working again, I can wait for the disk to arrive but even then I have little hope for fixing this, another strange thing is that with one of the other hard drives ( currently have 2x 2TB F4's ) I have windows installed, however it will not boot, the computer says boot mgr missing or something like that, and to insert a proper boot media and restart, where previously this hard worked when the SSD still functioned.

I only wonder if its a similar problem to the one illustrated in the thread i looked at, where the 100mb file went to my SSD so when that broke, I couldn't use the other copy of windows on the bigger drive.

Sorry about the long-winded question!
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  1. Yes, that is what happened.

    Think of it like this:
    Any time you remove or put in a new HDD (whether it SSD, SATA, or IDE) and it has something bootable on it (like an OS) it will attempt to write information to the boot.ini file within Windows. When it does this and fails, it corrupts the boot configuration.

    That being said, You will have to have a DVD in order to create the USB drive to install Windows unless you download an ISO of your version of Windows and burn it to CD/DVD or even mount it using something like Daeomon ProTools and make the USB drive that way.

    There is a little bit more detailed guide found HERE in regards to installing Win 7 from USB.

    The Digital River ISO site is HERE it should be noted that you will have to have a valid and legitimate Windows 7 product key in order to use it.
  2. I recently installed Windows from a USB onto my PC, it's pretty simple since Microsoft have a tool to make a bootable USB drive from an ISO.

    Just get the ISO and follow the instructions on that page and you will be good to go.
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