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Windows 7: boot win 7 directly from external HDD because internal HDD failure...

06 Jun 2011   #11

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

It's not easy - certainly not for a beginner as it involves making registry changes.

You would really only use it to install to a usb connected hd, sysprep it , then use it as an internal drive on another machine. Small scale deployment scenario.

It is possible to get it to boot on the original machine - but what is the point? You would get much better performance from an internal drive.

You shouldn't be able to use it portably - because the license is only good for the machine it was originally on.

You are much better using a decent winpe 3 boot media for that kind of thing.

It is possible to install to a usb3 flash - the performance will be better , but again you run into the product key issue - unless you just use it on your own machine - and it needs to be Ultimate Edititon to make that work ( so far , anyway ).

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06 Jun 2011   #12


How do you get the installer to install to a USB device? This seems to be the bottleneck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2011   #13

win 7 ultimate x86

My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jun 2011   #14

win 7 ultimate x86

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Yes, people have doing it for years.

I understand performance is better from usb3, because usb 2 is pretty slow.

If you want to run a windows installation permanently, then use an internal HD.

Installing to a usb drive is really best for small scale deployment, or if you need to use something to repair a sick pc - but you may as well use winpe for that.

Theo is mistaken - he has probably read numerous times that it can't be done and is just repeating what he read. That is how these things take on a life of their own.

The internet is full of misconceptions, myths and downright tosh.

Computer forums are no exception.
using winpe, am i able to surt internet, play movie, doing microoft office??? because you said earlier that it is best for small deployment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2011   #15

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
It is also a tiny bit tricky to do the installtion, but the main problem is using it portably.

Installing to usd hd to boot on same machine is ok , as is installing then sysprep to transfer to another machine.

What would you do about the licensing? That is why pe is better as a portable version of windows.

You can make a pretty good pe3 for that kind of thing.
Hi there

This is EXACTLY what I was querying -- it seems impossible to make a genuine FULL normal W7 "Portable installation" on a USB drive / stick. etc.

WinPE type or sysprep stuff is fine -- but that ISN'T what you implied in the post.

The licensing also shouldn't be a problem since you can get to use for up to 30 days before activation anyway.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 boot win 7 directly from external HDD because internal HDD failure...

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