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Windows 7: How to install windows 7 to usb external hard drive

07 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
How to install windows 7 to usb external hard drive

Hello,
I am attempting to install Windows 7 to a external 1TB hard drive. I am following instruction at www.intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-7-to-usb-external-hard-drive-must-read/
I have installed the windows automated install (WAIK), and copied the Windows 7 CD to a folder on the hard drive as instructed. I found and placed the Bcdboot.exe, Bootsect.exe and Imagex.exe files as instructed.
It next has an instruction to run "Installer.cmd" which I assume it's supposed to be located in the Windows 7 CD folder. I cannot find "Installer.cmd", and searched the entire drive. Does anyone know of where this file or proper file can be found?
Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Nov 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

That file should be listed under your WAIK directory according to the website.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

That is very old.

You can use mine if you don't pass it around.
run the RUNMEASADMIN.CMD - obviously, rt click and run as admin

Check your PM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

It's not anywhere on the drive. I'll try RunMeAsAdmin, Thanks SIW2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yep, just run it - browse to the wim - select the edition, select the partition to install to ( you must already have created a partition ) select the active partition, say yes when it asks if it is usb.

That's it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #6

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I have a problem with the installer. It says it will overwrite boot files on C drive! I followed the instructions verbatim. I had the installer locate the Windows Files/Sources/install.wim file OK. Then pressed enter to continue. I selected the image number. Then I put in the External drive letter for OS partion in which mine is "E". Next screen I put the drive letter of the Active primary partition which is "C" in my case (Drive C of the laptop, of which I am also running the installer from and contains the Windows files folder). Then I get a warning: "Target drive letter is the same as this systems Windows drive letter! This will overwrite boot files on your C: drive!"
The external drive is partitioned and has 1st active.
I will try this again to see if I get the same thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #7

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I must have misread the website instruction. It shows enter drive of partition to install windows "L" in their case, then enter drive of Active partition normally "C". I think in my case it should be "E" and then "E" again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes, that is ok - the warning tells you what you are doing.

They are Windows 7 bootfiles that will be replacing your existing Windows 7 bootfiles - so no problem .

If you were applying an earlier version - say Vista to the external HD - then you wouldn't want to to do it. ( I that case you would just install them to a partition on the usb drive )


It is fine - go ahead and let it overwrite your existing bootfiles - because they are both windows 7 - all it does is add a boot menu entry so you can boot your usb drive by selecting from the boot menu.

You need to know which your Active partition is.

If you look in disk management - one of them will say Active on it.

It might be a small 100mb partition with no drive letter. If that is the case - then rt click the 100mb partition and give it letter S.

Then you know your Active partition is S.

I have done this hundreds of times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

I think I'm almost there just being cautious. External is 200MB active as drive E. I'm up to ready to start, however --.
Partition to install to "E", Letter of Active is "E", installing to USB "Yes"
But it says "OS will assign itself drive C", and asks if I want to assign a different letter. ENTER YOUR CHOICE FOR OS DRIVE LETTER: . I guess I enter "C" ??
And you are saying it's going to mess with laptops boot files and have a menu every time I boot up? That's not OK on this laptop. I was under the opinion that when done with this, that I would select F12 at boot up to manually select the USB drive to boot off of. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It will be a normal boot menu entry.

If you want to select usb drive via F12 or whatever your oem key is - then you need to put the boot files on an Active partition on the USB connected drive instead.

So from your above post, select E as the Active partition.

That will work - but you will need to boot it that way as the installation completes - 3 times it tries to reboot as it completes installation - fine, you will just have to select it each of those 3 times.

After that - then just select it via F12 when you want to boot into it.

[You can select any drive letter from c to x. It's only for geeks - just press enter and it will default to c.]

It doesn't "mess with the boot files" - you normally add an extra entry to the bcd store for each os you want select. That's all.

If you would rather select it via a key - that's fine too.

Piece of cake to add and remove entries - that is what bcd is made for. I often have up to 40 entries on my boot menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to install windows 7 to usb external hard drive




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