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You can download the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool to create a bootable Win 7 or win 8 thumb drive. It's available here:
I've found this to be the easiest way to create a bootable thumb drive.
Thanks to you I went back to microsoft store. Previously the tool failed. I redownloaded and again it failed. But this time I read the help more carefully. Bootsect.exe was the problem.One of the MS suggestions was a third party tool to fix this but I did not want to try that. Finally I realized that the bootsect.exe I need is available on a downloadable 32-bit Win7 ISO from an official MS distribution site. I finally got this version of bootsect.exe and again it failed. Some dozens of web pages later I came across a suggestion to just run bootsect manually. And with the right parameters (clearly explained not on an MS page) it reported success. Am not out of the woods yet because I do not know if it will boot until I get my NUC kit. Previous kit was returned when I burned up my grace test period on this issue. Thanks again.
You can create a bootable Win 7 / 8 / 8.1 USB thumb drive from any of these operating systems. For example, you can create a bootable Win 8.1 thumb drive from Win 7. I do this constantly.
If you want to do this manually, use this procedure:
From within diskpart, run these commands:
list disk (note which disk the thumb drive is. In this example, I'll assume disk 2).
select disk 2
create partition primary
format fs=fat32 quick (Note: It's important to use FAT32. Some systems, especially UEFI based, will not boot from an NTFS thumb drive)
At this point copy ALL files from your Windows ISO to the thumb drive. The drive should be bootable.
Tip: If you are running Windows 8 / 8.1, you can open the ISO directly from within Windows and copy the contents to the thumb drive. On Windows 7, use some utility to extract the contents from the ISO and copy them to the thumb drive. I find that current versions of WinZIP work well.
I did run diskpart. However my USB stick does not show up in the diskpart listing. I read on the web that diskpart (at least on 32 bit XP?) does not list removable disks. There is a command list volume and that does show the USB stick. Proceeding with select volume and continuing as suggested eventually I got back to square one (MS USB DVD utility failed to run bootsect). At that point I did not know if the problem was somehow list disk vs list volume. However (after getting the failure message) I managed to get a successful outcome by running bootsect manually; I copied it from the 32 bit win7 iso I downloaded, onto my 32 bit XP system. My goal is a 64 bit win 7 installation for which I have an MS win 7 installation DVD. It will be 2 weeks before I can get back to my NUC project and will find out then is the USB stick I produced will actually work.