In a world where there’s too much to do — and too little time to do it in — we’re always looking for shortcuts. So when we stumbled upon a blog entry by Kurt Shintaku over on Windows Live Spaces that promised to let us install Vista from a flash drive instead of an optical disc, there was certainly interest.
Why? Well, if we needed to install Vista on only one computer, it would be a case of “Who cares?” However, running down an aisle of 20 or 50 or 100 PCs with a flash drive in hand, pouring out data at 20MB/sec. â€“ 25MB/sec. sure beats doing the same thing with a disc in hand and an optical drive pumping away at 16MB/sec. â€“ 21MB/sec. Sure, it doesn’t sound like much of a speed boost on paper, but when you start multiplying those small transfer rates by the length of each operation and then the number of repetitions, time can fly or it can crawl. The claim for the flash drive was that it soars, as much as 50% faster in some instances (assuming your PC’s BIOS will let you boot from a USB device in the first place).
If that wasn’t bait enough, fast 4GB flash drives aren’t expensive, they can be recycled as Vista ReadyDrives when you’re done, and best of all, the instructions for transferring our Vista disc to flash looked so easy a caveman could â€¦, well you get the picture. There were only 10 steps: