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Windows 7: How to boot from USB connected SATA HDD


22 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 home premium 32bit
 
 
How to boot from USB connected SATA HDD

1. I have created a clone of my boot drive (SATA) for backup and security reasons.
2. Have tested the clone by substituting the normal boot drive with it. Everything works normally.
3. Would like to be able to boot from the clone when it is externally connected via USB and a SATA adapter.
4. Have adjusted BIOS to make removable drive first in boot sequence and have selected USB as removable drive. Have tried all three available USB settings for removable drive namely:
CFC I20A, SDC I20A, SMC I20A.
5. None of these settings have worked and, on reboot, the USB drive is ignored and boot is from internal drive.

Ideas anyone?

Windows 7 Home Premium, desktop.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Apr 2013   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Hi Malcome and welcome to the Forum
I don't think you can do this. Your best bet for a reliable backup is the use Macrium Reflect. You can download the free version from here:
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
There are loads of threads about this subject, here's one of the most informative.
Install windows 7 on USB external hard drive
Take special note of Gregrockers comments. He's the installation expert here! (IMHO of course)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 home premium 32bit
 
 

Hi Mitchell65 and thank you for your reply.
My problem is not how to back up or clone, which I can do very well with EaseUS ToDo Backup.(Free Data Recovery Software, Backup Software, Partition Manager and System Cleaner Freeware in Windows/Linux/Mac - EaseUS Official Site)
I have created a bootable Windows 7 OS drive which works when SATA connected but not when USB connected. I think the solution lies with the motherboard BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Apr 2013   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Did you read the second thread I sent you? Sorry to ask but why do you want to be able to run Windows 7 from a USB ext hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 home premium 32bit
 
 

Yes I did read the second thread. I don't believe it can't be done or that the Microsoft O/S prevents it. For evidence that it can be done see How To Boot From a USB Device (Flash Drive or External Hard Drive).
It appears that the main issue is the design of the motherboard and the BIOS and therein lies the answer. For the time being I have given up. My reasons for trying to make this work were backup, diagnostics and general interest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Originally you said you created a clone of the drive. How did you do this as it would seem that it has no boot sequence. You mayneed to create a bootable CD that will reference the Ext HD that contains your clone!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #7

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Have given this matter some more thought and realise now that i have got "the wrong end of the stick"
Surely to run the OS from an external HD means you must first install the OS to the Ext HD. Indeed the first line of your link above reads "When you boot from a USB device, what you're actually doing is running your computer with the operating system that's installed on the USB device."
So the simple answer to your original thread is to install the OS to the Ext HD. A clone is not an install so you cannot boot from that!
Mind you I can't see any advantage in this as it is not a back up, just a second instance of the OS. It would be no help in the general security of your system and you would still need to use a good back up facility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 home premium 32bit
 
 

The clone was created using EaseUS Backup - a wonderful suite of utilities (FREE for home users) which I have thoroughly tested. If I replace the SATA internal boot drive with the clone, everything works normally so the clone most certainly has the boot sequence. It is a CLONE of the original! Of course I do have a bootable CD (created with EaseUS) to access system backup images - but I am trying to prove that I can boot from an external USB connected device (so far unsuccessfully!). Did you read the link in my last post?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Yes I did read the link in your post, in fact I put a quote from it in my post #7 above. Here's another quote forom the same link endorsing my view that you need to install the OS to the Ext HD!
Quote:
Note: Creating a bootable flash drive or configuring an external hard drive as bootable is a task in itself. Chances are you made it to my instructions here because you know whatever USB device you have should be bootable after properly configuring BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2013   #10

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
to create a BOOTABLE windows from a USB device simply create a VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) and get the windows boot loader to mount and boot from it. Note the VHD can be used to load a Windows 7 OS --we are not talking here about either an INSTALL / repair disk but a fully featured running windows system.

Tutorial is available on the Forum. This requires the boot loader on the host machine though to be available.

To boot completely from a USB drive with no OS on the Host's HDD -- I think you might need to mess around with GRUB -- I haven't done this myself but booting a VHD using the windows boot loader works fine. Note I'm NOT talking about a Virtual Machine here.

You might also be able to create some type of Windows 7 Winpe system too.

The only truly portable windows system I've found so far is the Windows to Go system available in Windows 8 Enterprise edition --you can download a 90 day evaluation copy and mess around with this if you are curious.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to boot from USB connected SATA HDD




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