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Windows 7: Windows 7 boot process clarification

29 Nov 2015   #1
culpano

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
 
 
Windows 7 boot process clarification

Hi all,

I am currently studying for the 70-680 exam that I am taking in December. I was watching an online video around dual booting and VHDs.

Something the instructor said has confused me somewhat.

He was showing how to create a bootable Windows USB installation disk and basically said just partition the drive, make it active and copy the Windows installation folders/files from a DVD to the USB drive.

I was sure doing a simple file copy would not work, what about creating the boot sector on the drive ?

Anyway I followed the steps, made the partition active, copied the files and set BIOS to boot from the USB.

It worked.

So why are there posts out there where people are saying a boot sector must be created using BOOTSEC.EXE ?

So on a partition, all that is needed is to make it active and place BOOTMGR in root and then the BOOT folder with BCD store and the basic OS would be loaded ?

Hope I have made myself clear !

Thanks, Gary


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2015   #2
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Can't help you on your question - not expert enough. However, I have read many times that Windows is not reliable for booting from an external USb drive. Perhaps you were lucky. I will try again and see if luck is with me as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2015   #3
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Stevekir View Post
Can't help you on your question - not expert enough. However, I have read many times that Windows is not reliable for booting from an external USb drive. Perhaps you were lucky. I will try again and see if luck is with me as well.
That is correct. Microsoft does not want people to be able to take a USB Drive from PC to PC and boot with the same Windows since a Product Key is required for each installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Nov 2015   #4
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

This works for Windows 8/8.1, not sure about 7:

How to Create a Windows To Go USB Drive Without the Enterprise Edition
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30 Nov 2015   #5
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Stevekir View Post
Can't help you on your question - not expert enough. However, I have read many times that Windows is not reliable for booting from an external USb drive. Perhaps you were lucky. I will try again and see if luck is with me as well.
That is correct. Microsoft does not want people to be able to take a USB Drive from PC to PC and boot with the same Windows since a Product Key is required for each installation.
By "not reliablefor booting from an ext. USB drive", I meant not being reliable even if the installation of W7 is legit. and its installationkey is used. Thr story thst I got was that Windows 7 itself is not capable of being reliably booted from a USB drive.

Is that true?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2015   #6
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Stevekir View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bigmck View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Stevekir View Post
Can't help you on your question - not expert enough. However, I have read many times that Windows is not reliable for booting from an external USb drive. Perhaps you were lucky. I will try again and see if luck is with me as well.
That is correct. Microsoft does not want people to be able to take a USB Drive from PC to PC and boot with the same Windows since a Product Key is required for each installation.
By "not reliablefor booting from an ext. USB drive", I meant not being reliable even if the installation of W7 is legit. and its installationkey is used. Thr story thst I got was that Windows 7 itself is not capable of being reliably booted from a USB drive.

Is that true?
Microsoft should know what they are talking about. Others in this thread have said the same thing. Why would you not think it was true?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2015   #7
wasnotwas

W10 Pro x64, W7 Pro x64 in VMware
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by culpano View Post
He was showing how to create a bootable Windows USB installation disk and basically said just partition the drive, make it active and copy the Windows installation folders/files from a DVD to the USB drive.

I was sure doing a simple file copy would not work, what about creating the boot sector on the drive ?

Anyway I followed the steps, made the partition active, copied the files and set BIOS to boot from the USB.

It worked.
I think the OP is talking about making an install USB, not installing Windows on a USB.

I have made Windows 7 install USB's by just copying the files from an unpacked ISO. Using an elevated cmd :

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1 (or whatever the USB is)
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=fat32 label="windows 7" quick
assign
exit

then just copy the files (can also be fs=ntfs)

I only tried the above as a test, and was surprised when it worked.

edit : I don't usually set the USB as 1st in the boot order - when the pc restarts during the install process, it tends to start over with the install. Much better to use 'one time boot' to select the USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2015   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

My understanding is; you can install Windows 7 through a USB but you can't run Windows 7 operating system using a USB.
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 Windows 7 boot process clarification




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