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Windows 7: Installing Windows 7 on a USB Flash Drive

20 Apr 2012   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is how you install Windows (at least the /8 CP) on a flash drive. With Windows8 you have no product key problems. But you need a fast USB3 drive. On USB2 it is really like molasses - have tried that too. On a USB3 attached HDD it works nicely too.

Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk - Windows 8 Forums


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20 Apr 2012   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Why are you needing to secure erase an SSD - are you concerned about data being made unrecoverable?

The correct way to prepare a drive otherwise is to delete each partition in Disk Mgmt or using the Installer Drive Options. Clean Install Windows 7

If you have another reason to Secure Erase then someone here may know an alternative. Diskpart Diskpart Clean and Clean All Command can do this from the DVD Command line, with Clean All writing zeroes to make data unrecoverable while Clean can solve some Install and boot problems by zeroing the boot sector.
I do secure erase of my SSDs with Parted Magic. Works well. http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20115106-285/how-to-securely-erase-an-ssd-drive/

You cannot do it with Diskpart. It writes data and the reason for a secure erase is to get ALL data off the Nands.
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20 Apr 2012   #13
gregrocker

 

So there is a performance reason that this prepares the drive better?

If so it would be different from HD's in that respect.
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20 Apr 2012   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
So there is a performance reason that this prepares the drive better?

If so it would be different from HD's in that respect.
That is correct. On a SSD you cannot write 'over' data. When you want to write to a space that has stored data this must first be cleared. And that doubles the time of the write operation.

TRIM which is supported by SSDs starting with Gen2 and by Win7 (not Vista) signals to the SSD controller where data was deleted by the OS. The controller can then clear those addresses. That is an asynchronous process that the garbage collector performs.

Secure erase clears the whole disk so that the writes can run at full speed.
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20 Apr 2012   #15
gregrocker

 

Thanks, Wolfgang. Good to know.
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20 Apr 2012   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You are welcome Greg.
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21 Apr 2012   #17
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I wish someone would do it and report back on performance, just to get this settled here after almost 3 years.

I can only recall one OP who reported back success but said it was slow as molasses.

The activation issues for a portable thumb drive are critical enough that I don't know how you'd activate or maintain activation. I've always thought that alone makes it too sketchy to support here.

Hi there

Windows 8 To go runs fine from an external USB DISK (or even a Thumb) drive -- If you were to have a spare SSD or a USB3 drive it would probably run quicker than the native installed W7 OS.

Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk - Windows 8 Forums


Note that this is PROPER WINDOWS -- except it runs TOTALLY from the external drive and you could even REMOVE all the internal drives and it will still work !!!

You can install all your tools in the normal way

Activation isn't an issue either (unless you want Office on the portable drive)

There's whole slew of stuff over on the W8 Forum.

I even run VMware workstation with a virtual machine on it.

Note that the W8 navigation system gets a little bit of getting used to.

I see someone has already posted this answer -- anyway good reminder.

Even on a decent USB2 drive it runs fine too -- I am using the drive I removed from a laptop when I replaced the laptops drive with an SSD.


For Office activation - I've got a MAK key so no prob -- but if you run from a VM from the windows to go the virtual hardware doesn't change so you can do it like that by running from an installed VM.

Hyper-V also runs fine on the Windows 8 to Go too.

Cheers
jimbo
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 Installing Windows 7 on a USB Flash Drive




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