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How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

Windows 7 CD How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

Keeping track of installation discs are a pain. They can break,get scratched,sticky, or whatever. And what happens if your CD drive fails? And if you are like me, then you rarely use CD’s and rely on downloaded media. So what are you to do with those discs? With win USB maker by Josh Cell Softwares you can back up those discs and even create usable “boot-able” USB drives that should you need to, re-install windows from.

Necessary Prerequisites

  • WinUSB Maker by Josh Cell Softwares
  • A genuine Windows install disc (win USB also supports ISO images, but we don’t support piracy!)
  • A computer with a USB port and CD drive
  • A USB thumb drive of at least 8gb size (this gives it more than enough space to write to)

1. Unzip WinUSB Maker

Download WinUSB Maker first.You will find WinUSB Maker in /USERNAME/downloads. On windows 7 you can find the downloads folder in your favorites list. Because it downloads in a zipped folder you have to take the extra step of un-zipping it.

To unzip the folder just right-click on it and depending on what compression software (if you have no idea what that is don’t worry) just click “extract here” and it will unzip itself to a folder in your downloads. That folder will have the same name as the zipped on.

After it extracts, double-click the new folder labeled “WinUSB Maker v2.0 PUBLIC BETA RELEASE 2” and double-click again on the folder inside it labeled “WinUSB Maker” to find the program itself.

2. Insert the install disc into your computer

Just pop the disc in and you are good to go for this step.

Note: A prompt will auto-run usually with a window asking what you want to do. Just exit out of it. You don’t need to run anything on the disc.

3. Insert the USB thumb drive into the computer

Just like with the windows install disc, except you put this one in a USB slot on your computer.

4.Choose the USB drive you want to turn into the boot-able USB drive

When you open the program you it starts with a welcome screen. On that screen you need to select the USB drive you inserted like below. Click the arrow on the drop down menu and choose the USB drive for the backup. WinUSB Maker helpfully lists the name and size of the each USB drive plugged into the computer so you know which one to choose.

WARNING: Be very careful about which thumb drive you choose. WinUSB Maker formats the thumb drive before it creates the boot-able install. That means everything gets erased. Any pictures, music, or important work documents will be permanently deleted.

win-usb-all-data-will-be-lost (1) How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

After choosing the USB drive, click the “Setup to USB” button on the left hand menu to be taken to the next step. Ignore the other options.

win-usb-maker-set-up-to-usb-page How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

5. Choosing the install disc directory

When you click on the “Setup to USB” option it presents three options:

  • I want to use the old FAT32 filesystem for more compatibility
  • I want to work with an ISO image file
  • I want to work with a directory

For the purpose of this guide, click on the “I want to work with a Directory”. And then click on the big select an ISO or Directory. A small menu will pop up like this:

win-usb-maker-browse-for-folder How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

To choose the disc click on the “computer” option. And then it will drop down to show all the choices in the computer section. Click on the dvd drive option to choose the directory of the install disc like below. Then click okay.

win-usb-maker-choose-dv How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

That window will exit. Then click on the “Make USB bootable” button in the lower right hand corner.

win-usb-maker-click-make-usb-bootable How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker
Just leave WinUSB Maker alone and let its do it’s thing. It will take a while depending on the speed of your computer. It has to copy files to the USB drive and change some of them to make the drive boot-able. When it get’s done it will let you know.

win-usb-maker-done-with-process How to Back up Windows 7 Install Disks With WinUSB Maker

And you’re done! You now have a bootable and extremely convenient way to re-install Windows 7 should the need arise.


When the computer is off, plug the USB drive into the computer. After you turn it on press the F11 or F12 key (or what ever key accesses the boot menu). On the menu you should see the option for the USB drive you created. If you don’t, access the BIOS options to see about enabling booting from USB.

Image Credits: inacentaurdump

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