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Windows 7: Installing on Aspire One SDHC - NO BIOS SUPPORT

05 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Installing on Aspire One SDHC - NO BIOS SUPPORT

Long story short i have an Aspire One ZG5 with no SSD ribbon. Someone ripped out the ribbon and in the process damaged the connectors on both drive and motherboard. Any attempts to restore them were useless, even with a hot air rework station i could not solder new connectors in properly, they probably used infrared or wave soldering at the factory.

I need the thing to boot from a 16GB SDHC and the BIOS does NOT support such blasphemy. I can solder a small USB drive internally to act as a bootloader, but what do i put on it?

Basically i want to know whether something placed on a small USB drive can boot the thing and then transfer control to the SDHC, or if i'm better off buying a USB SDHC adapter and calling it a day.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Have you tried entering the BIOS to Enable Boot Menu, then use the F12 hot key to access one-time BIOS Boot Menu? See if card shows up to boot there. It does on my Acer's.

What happened to the 3 USB 2.0 ports which come standard on the Acer Aspire One ZG5 specs - gdgt?

The easiest way without a DVD drive is to use UltraISO trial version to open ISO on File tab, Write Image on Bootable tab, Format then Write to USB stick. Then use the one-time BIOS boot menu F12
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have USB in the boot menu but not card reader. Do you think i would've asked if it were there? The internal readers are PCIE as far as i know, that's why they don't show up. In the F12 menu i only have the network card...

The USB ports work fine but a SDHC card is faster than a run-of-the-mill USB drive. Anyway i have this 16GB SDHC and i have to use it. At least Ubuntu Netbook Remix runs like garbage off my 4GB Kingston DataTraveler, i can't imagine running Windows 7 off that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


I was referring to the F12 boot menu, not the BIOS Boot Order selection screen which you were referencing.

Have you made the card bootable and is it inserted when you check the F12 menu? A bootable USB stick will not show up for boot selection if it isn't already inserted.

I use an 8gb Data traveler as a tool stick with Windows 7 and Vista installers and it installs just as fast as DVD. I know you would like to use your card but you may have run up against the netbook's limitations so I'd plug in the flash stick and use Ultra ISO to easily format then write the ISO to it using the steps given.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

In the F12 boot menu I ONLY GET THE NETWORK CARD, what's so hard to understand? So you basically tell me to buy that USB SDHC adapter, that's what i'll do, thanks for the advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP


I clearly suggested you use your 4gb Kingston Data Traveler USB stick and gave you the easiest way to get it booting Windows 7 installer.

It's unfortunate you likely now won't get help with possible workarounds for your card since you decided to be snarky which drives away others from helping.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Well maybe i got some of it wrong, i think i understand what you are saying now, that is using the USB drive as installation media ie instead of the DVD. That would be just fine and dandy, but it wouldn't help me any, since the Aspire has no drive i could use the installer with! So what use would putting the Windows 7 installer on the USB drive have again? The SDHC is already prepared to boot and install onto itself using the method shown here, now i just need a way to get it actually booting. I already ordered that adapter, let's just hope it'll run at more than 4MB/sec.

This thing has been sitting around for far too long (it isn't mine) so i have to get it done some way or the other. It wasn't my intention to be snarky but since i asked a specific question and have been given a totally different answer, i don't really see what else could i have done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP


I understand now you don't have a HD - your original post read that you didn't have an "SSD ribbon" so I assumed you have a HD.

Unfortunately it is not possible to install Windows 7 upon removable media. The bottleneck is USB which either prohibits it or makes it too slow to be practical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I was afraid you'd say that. The bottleneck isn't USB per se, as a number of people have XP running off portable hard drives. It's all this interface translation mumbo jumbo, it takes a lot of CPU.

But come to think of it, the SSD in those is known to be slow as well, so i hope the SDHC will be at least on par with it. The owner only wants it for use as "a larger PDA", more specifically, one that can attach to a printer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Installing on Aspire One SDHC - NO BIOS SUPPORT

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