More and more frequently, I don’t put an optical (cd/dvd) drive in many of my computers – especially it is a completely new build or a new build into an old case that has just an IDE drive but the motherboard supports SATA only. In the past I have done many an install from USB thumb drives of windows operating systems.
There is an issue with using USB drives for installs, however. They are tiny. Constantly, I am spending more time looking for the USB thumb drive than actually installing the operating system.
This morning, an epiphany. I looked into my back pack and what was there? Two external portable hard drives. You can use those too, I discovered. As a bonus, it is actually faster than my janky old 4GB thumb drive to copy files too and installation time is still vastly quicker with a hard drive than it is using a DVD or CD. A couple links (I used the first successfully, follow it step by step and it will work…)
http://sqlblog.com/blogs/john_paul_cook/archive/2009/01/19/11249.aspx <– xcopy commands for those that favor that. NTFS support, too.
I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me – finally I can quit fuming about where that little black thumb drive is. I’ll probably start misplacing my hard drives now, though…