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Windows 7: Booting Windows 7 FROM a USB stick!

25 Aug 2012   #1
epdavidson

Windows 7
 
 
Booting Windows 7 FROM a USB stick!

I've been trying to boot windows from a USB stick for several weeks now and I finally got it to work. There is a lot of information on how to INSTALL windows from a bootable USB stick...WinToFlash is a great program...but little info on installing Win 7 ONTO a USB drive and then booting from it. The methods that I did find didn't seem to work for me. I always got the BSOD...usually the dreaded "Unmountable_boot_volume" 0000000ED error. I used a mixture of the various methods to finally get it to work. First, I created a 16GB VHD on my main HD, an 80GB Intel SSD. I then used GImagex GImageX - AutoItScript to install an image from a .wim I had created from an install of Windows 7 complete with all updates (yes, even service pack 1, that had killed previous attempts at a bootability), Office and some other progams. I then used EasyBCD EasyBCD - Take control of your boot loader | NeoSmart Technologies to add the VHD to my boot list. Next, I booted to the VHD and installed PWBoot [project] PWBoot <Latest version: 3.0.2> - Project forge - reboot.pro and used the "Patch existing system" option. I then restarted my system, booted normally (not to the VHD), and copied the .vhd file to my freshly formatted 32GB USB stick (Patriot Rage XT). After the VHD was copied, I went back to EasyBCD and used the BCD deployment tab and created bootable external media and installed the win7 bootloader to the MBR. Next, I selected the newly created BCD store using the file menu, then used the Add New Entry to add the VHD using the Disk Image tab under Portable/External Media. To boot, I selected the USB drive in the start up BIOS settings. It works great. Yes, its a little slow but not too bad.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #2
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Wish you would have asked us first since we deal with this every day here.

Write the WIn7 ISO to flash stick in just a few minutes using Universal USB Installer with WIn7 in dropdown menu.

Another trial program which always works for me is to use UltraISO Software To Create Bootable USB Flash Drive.

For an ISO freshly downloaded from the official Digital River site, you can use Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #3
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Wish you would have asked us first since we deal with this every day here.

Write the WIn7 ISO to flash stick in just a few minutes using Universal USB Installer with WIn7 in dropdown menu.

Another trial program which always works for me is to use UltraISO Software To Create Bootable USB Flash Drive.

For an ISO freshly downloaded from the official Digital River site, you can use Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool
Read epdavidson's post again He (she it they) claims to have made a USB flash drive with a bootable copy of Windows 7. Not a bootable installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #4
epdavidson

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for your reply Greg. The thing is, I wanted a USB drive with windows fully installed on it, NOT a bootable USB drive that I can use to install windows on another computer. With the stick I created I can run windows totally from the USB stick itself, there doesn't even have to be a HD in the computer, windows is INSTALLED on the stick. If I'm missing something I apologize.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #5
epdavidson

Windows 7
 
 

YES Bobkn! Thats what I'm talking about>
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #6
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Got it now.

How are you activating Win7 on a stick? I'm assuming you put it there so you can move it around. Do you plan to reactivate it everywhere you take it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #7
epdavidson

Windows 7
 
 

I activated it in the same way as any other installation. I bought a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate in addition to the Home Premium family pack 3x that I have on our home computers, and that is what I installed on the USB stick. I then went to Computer>Properties and entered the product key. It activated just fine. Since I don't have multiple installations, there are no problems. When I move to a different computer, its still the very same installation, and I cant use it on multiple computers at the same time. Its my own copy of windows that goes where I go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

All you have is the HD component. When you plug it into another PC it will see a different mobo and/or hardware configuration and deactivate.

The basic principles remain the same as here: http://www.technibble.com/windows-xp...ion-explained/

If it's a full version WIn7 then you can move it to any hardware you want and reactivate as often as you want, but this is cumbersome enough to make it impractical - besides being slow as molasses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #9
epdavidson

Windows 7
 
 

I see what you are saying. I've only used it on a few different computers and mostly for short term use. If it deactivates I simply re enter my product key, its no big deal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Booting Windows 7 FROM a USB stick!




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