As I cruised the web I noticed many people were confused about how to create a bootable pendrive.
For this example I am using a 4 gig corsair pendrive.
Be certain that you do not use a sandisk with the U3 software installed.
Next get this — http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/gparted-live-stable/
Burn the *.iso as an image to a CD. You must burn an image! For that I used brasero, but any program capable of burning an image will do. Keep in mind that a *.iso is nothing more than an archive of the source.
The *.iso can be opened and viewed with 7zip so grab a copy of that from.
I am using 2 systems to get this job done. #1 is a dead system with no OS.
Take the created bootable copy of gparted to #1 and boot to the disk.
If the Gui does not come up type sudo forcevideo then launch gparted. delete all existing partitions and click apply as you proceed. Next you should see nothing but free space on the main drive. Now create a new partition that fills the entire target drive. Format the entire drive as ntfs. Clicking apply as you go along. Check and make sure the target drive has the boot flag set.!
One more step to go! Plug in the pen drive and let gparted find it. In the upper right of the gui there is a dropdown box. Located the device that is about the size of the pendrive. Delete existing partitions. Create a new partition using the same method as before and ensure that the boot flag is set for it as well.
Now what we have is a bootable device in the form of a pendrive. BUT there is nothing on it as yet.
Return to machine #2 and stick the Standard windows install disk in the drive. When it attempts autoplay the disk simply wait for a point when you can terminate that program. That is abort the install. Then open your favorite file browser and open the disk so you can see the files on the install disk. Plug in the empty pendrive. Set your file browser to the list view and highlight the top file/folder and hold down the shift key. Highlight the bottom file. All visible files at this point should be selected. Drag the whole mess to the target pendrive.
Now relax, this is going to take a while to finish. I did this with Vista and estimate that it took 2 hours. 7zip is a handy tool to have if your system can not view a *.iso file.
When the job is done take the bootable pen drive to the system for the install and boot to it and do the install.
Wait you say why would any body do this!!!
First – the system I was working on had a dead internal CD.DVD drive and would not boot to an External CD/DVD drive. It would however boot to a pendrive. The above method took care of everything.