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Windows 7: Installing from USB Flash Drive question

22 Sep 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)
 
 
Installing from USB Flash Drive question

I have properly configured a USB flash drive to make it bootable, put the files from the Windows 7 install image on it and can boot from it and install Windows 7 on my computer.

All good so far. But I have an extra 5 GB of space on this flash drive and I would like to put some other useful programs on it, if possible, without messing up my ability to install/repair windows with this flash drive.

So can I just add in some more folders to the flash drive, containing other programs like, for example, the Acronis TIH bootable rescue image containing TIH and Acronis Disk Director Suite, and have it so I could choose to boot into them or the Windows install/repair disk? And, if so, how would I set this up?

Thanks in advance for any help with this.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Sep 2009   #2

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

I just added some folders with my AVg antivirus install, wallpapers, gadgets, etc.

After I installed Windows 7 from the flash drive, I just went & opened the folders & copied the stuff I wanted over to the HD. If you got the space use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Doc - I'm pretty sure harpua wants to dual boot on a USB flash drive.

From what I've read, GParted can create multiple partitions on a flash drive. However, I've also read that Windows won't recognize more than one partition on a flash drive, which means that you can't create partitions with GParted and then copy the files in a Windows environment. But...it might be possible to create the partitions and use Linux to copy the files, like this:

Boot from the GParted disc, and partition one of the flash drives. Next, boot up a Linux distro, like the Ubuntu LiveCD. Plug in a flash drive (or use a second CD/DVD burner that has the CD/DVD you want to put on the flash drive) that has the files from the Windows 7 disc and copy those to one of the partitions on your newly created flash drive. Then, plug in the other flash drive that has the rescue files on it and copy those to the other partition. As long as both partitions have been created correctly, it might work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Sep 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

If you create a usb key using the guide on a 4gb flash drive you won't have much of an option there due to seeing less then 750mb left! USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create

The 8gb you have there will have the space available while creating a few new folders rather then seeing loose files copied over to it would prevent any problems if you need to install 7 again with it for some reason.

The small 4gb and 2gb flash drives here were simply set aside for the 32bit and 64bit 7 keys as well as the smaller 2gb used for GParted. The larger 16gb and 32gb models can act as data rescue tools since those are just a bit too large for usb keys there. And second partitions on flash drives to store files won't work there since Windows will only see the first on any flash drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)
 
 

This discussion is already pretty much over my head, but yes, I was asking about dual booting from a flash drive or card, but I'm getting the idea from this discussion that I don't quite follow that I'd likely be better off with a couple of small SD cards and SDHC cards and a USB reader and just put Windows 7 on a 4 GB card, and Acronis and other stuff on other smaller cards to boot from and just swap em in as needed. Seems the simplest solution. So I guess my 8 GB card is kind of wasted as a windows boot device, unless like the first response suggested, I just put some additional folders with other apps that I might find useful when working on other peoples machines on there.

Anyway, thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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