Preparing a USB stick for Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool


Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool is a Microsoft tool for copying a windows 7 iso file to a DVD or a USB stick. It can also work with Windows 8 Developper/Consumer preview iso  files. This tool is then very useful. But when using it problems can show up. This article give a solution for the main error that can happen which display the following message “we were unable to copy your files please check your usb device and select the iso file“. The solution exposed here can also be apply when installing Windows and getting the following error message at the partitioning step: ”We couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one



Recently, when trying to install three systems on a computer (FreeBSD, Windows 8 and Fedora) only with a USB stick we encounter a problem when copying the Windows 8 consumer preview iso file to a USB stick using the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool. The following error was display:”we were unable to copy your files please check your usb device and select the iso file“. We then try an alternative tool to copy the windows disk to the USB stick. We use the Universal USB installer tool for this purpose. The iso file get finely copied to the stick. we then boot with it on the computer where we want windows 8 to be install. the install program start well but when choosing the partition of the hard disk on which we want the system to be install we get the following error: ”We couldn’t create a new partition or locate an existing one“…stuck !

For information, we first install FreeBSD using the same USB stick. We use the
Image Writer for Windows tool  to copy the FreeBSD memstick image to the USB stick. This should be the reason why other tools can’t correctly use the stick.

After “Googling”, we came across this article: Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) is unable to copy files which explains why the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) was unable to copy the install files to the USB drive. And it is certainly a problem, rewriting the USB stick’s MBR while it is getting format.

The solution

There is a procedure (on a windows system) to prepare a USB stick before using it with the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. And it get rig of the two aforementioned problems.

Open a command line windows with administrative privileges and enter the following commands:

list disk
select disk #
create partition primary
select partition 1
format quick fs=fat32

The “list disk” command will show you the connected drives and with “select disk”, you can choose your USB stick. Be careful to select the right drive or else your day won’t have a happy end. The crucial step here is the “clean” command. It overwrites the MBR and the partition table (thereby, deleting everything on the stick).

You can then use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to copy the install file to your stick.

For other information like formatting the drive in NTFS instead of FAT32 you can still read the original post here.


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