Creating a Bootable Windows 7 USB Disk using Virtualbox in Ubuntu

The following simple tutorial should also work for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

I tried creating a Bootable Windows install USB using Gnome Disks (gnome-disk-utility) to no success. There are also tutorials on the Internet stating their success with other utilities like Unetbootin or Rufus, but so far they are either too clumsy or do not work.

The following method has been my most successful so far in creating a Windows USB install disk in Ubuntu.

Prerequisites:

  1. Virtualbox with Windows (7 or higher) with the Virtualbox Extension Pack and Virtualbox Guest Drivers installed.
  2. Windows Installation ISO File

Assumptions: 

  1. Host OS: Ubuntu 16.04 
  2. Trying to create a Windows 7 USB Disk (may also work for 8, 8.1 and 10)
  3. USB Drive Hardware: SanDisk 32GB 

Method:

  1. Add yourself to the Virtualbox Users group using this tutorial
  2. Make your USB disk visible to the Windows Virtual Machine (he’ll in the above link)
  3. Make the Windows ISO files available to the Windows VM by either extracting it somewhere or mounting it in Windows
  4. Follow this link to prep the USB drive for proper installation and then transfer the files into it (As given in that tutorial)

There – that should make a proper Windows Install USB stick for your purposes.

P.S.: Past experience has also shown that sometimes, you need to format the USB stick as FAT32 depending on whether you want to install as Legacy or UEFI. It also varies from USB stick to USB stick and from PC to PC. I tried that – but it did not work in my case.

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