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Windows 7: Installing Windows on a USB flash drive

17 Jun 2011   #1
galapogos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Installing Windows on a USB flash drive

Hi,

Is it possible to install Windows(XP/Vista/7/embedded) onto a USB flash drive, such that it is bootable from any PC (assuming it supports USB boot and meets the minimum OS requirements)?

The installation should ideally provide basic services necessary to perform mundane activities such as web surfing and word processing.

I've seen guides for installing Windows onto USB flash drives and HDDs, but not one that claims to be portable. Is this at all possible?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2011   #2
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Your best bet would be to have a winpe on a usb stick. PE (preinstalled environment) is a lightweight windows version actually meant to run recovery and imaging tools. You can look up readymade pe's on the internet or you can make one with waik though thats a tedious procedure and not everybody's upto it. SIW2 (a member here) has made some nice pe's, you can message him for help, particularly how to add word processing.

Running full fledged win7 from a usb stick would be slow, also it couldnt possibly have all the drivers needed to run it on different PCs. Licensing would also be an issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #3
galapogos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks Bill2. I've tried Win PE with this guide. However what I got was a Vista screen and a command prompt - nothing more. I'd like something that looks like a Windows environment.

I've also tried Bart PE before and that's the kind of environment I'd like, except running on a USB flash drive rather than a CD-ROM.

Possible?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2011   #4
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by galapogos View Post
Thanks Bill2. I've tried Win PE with this guide. However what I got was a Vista screen and a command prompt - nothing more. I'd like something that looks like a Windows environment.

I've also tried Bart PE before and that's the kind of environment I'd like, except running on a USB flash drive rather than a CD-ROM.

Possible?
Thats what you would get with the standard procedure- just a background screen and a command prompt. The other utilities and tools would have to be added manually.

If you're interested, look up the winbuilder page, it has pre-prepared packages of goodies that you can add. Although 64 bit would be a problem.

As I said earlier, SIW2 has done some excellent work in this field and there are some pe's uploaded in this thread.

http://www.sevenforums.com/vip/116727-test.html

If you're unable to access this thread (vip), you can pm John (z3r010).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #5
gregrocker

 

You can write Hiren's Boot Disk (very complete) and others to USB stick using this cool tool: Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3 | USB Pen Drive Linux
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #6
galapogos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks Bill.

I don't need/want 64bit. Since I'd want it to work with as many PCs as possible, I'll target the lowest common denominator, which is 32bit.

I can't view that thread, how do I PM John? I can't find the option to do so. Also, where is the winbuilder page? I'd like to play around with some pre-made PEs before making my own customized one.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #7
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by galapogos View Post
Thanks Bill.

I don't need/want 64bit. Since I'd want it to work with as many PCs as possible, I'll target the lowest common denominator, which is 32bit.

I can't view that thread, how do I PM John? I can't find the option to do so. Also, where is the winbuilder page? I'd like to play around with some pre-made PEs before making my own customized one.

Thanks again.
WinBuilder - reboot.pro is the winbuilder page.

This is John's page, see whats possible there (click send message near the top, you may be able to pm or vm).

Windows 7 Forums - View Profile: z3r010
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #8
galapogos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I don't see any send message. Maybe as a new member I don't have this option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #9
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by galapogos View Post
I don't see any send message. Maybe as a new member I don't have this option.
Dunno. OK, I'll request John.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #10
galapogos

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks Bill2, appreciate it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Installing Windows on a USB flash drive




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