One unfortunate fact to note is that if you own or use a Windows computer at some point it will develop errors and even crash.
Some system errors and crashes can be easily solved by running a check disk scan and system restore utilities. However, many times there is nothing that can be done to the computer except to format the hard drive and re-install a fresh copy of windows.
The key ingredient that is needed for formatting your hard drive is bootable external disk such as a CD/DVD, flash drive or external hard drive (with a bootable copy of Windows on it).
Your computer must first boot from one of these storage medium in order for crucial files to be copied to hard drive.
CD/DVD are among the most common storage media used, however they are easily damaged and result in time and resources wasted in replacement.
Thus USB devices offer a much better option, especially if it is supported by the computer's bios.
In addition to using a USB storage device to boot your computer (for formatting and re-installation purposes), you could even use a flash drive in the same manner as you would your computer's hard drive.
To create a bootable flash:
1. Obtain a legal copy of windows either from a CD/DVD. Or download a copy of Windows from a legitimate source to avoid malware and activation issues.
2. Insert a flash drive (8GB recommended minimum).
NB. This will be erased in the process
3. Click on the start button and type cmd in the search bar.
4. Right click cmd then select "Run as administrator" in the popup menu.
5. In the command prompt window type "diskpart" then press the enter button on the keyboard
6. Type "list disk" and press enter
7. Type "select disk 1" (where 1 is the disk number for the flash drive as illustrated)
8. Type "clean" press enter.
9. Type "create partition primary" press enter
10. Type "select partition 1" press enter
11. Type "active" press enter
12. Type "format fs=ntfs quick" press enter
13. Type "assign" press enter
14. Type "exit"
15. Type "D: cd boot" (where "D" is the location of the installation disk)
16. Type "cd boot" press enter
17. Type "boot> bootsect.exe/nt60 e:" press enter
18. Type "exit"
19. Then copy contents of windows 7 CD to the flash drive. Or copy the Windows installation copy from the downloads to the flash drive.
There you have it, you may now use your bootable flash drive to format and re-install Windows to a hard drive.
You are also able to install Windows to this flash drive. Therefore in the event of a hard drive crash you can set your computer to treat your flash drive as your computer's C drive. To do this however skip step 19 and instead use another installation disk to install Windows to the flash drive.
There should however be sufficient space on the device for this to be successful. The greater the flash drive capacity, the greater the performance of the newly installed operating system.