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Windows 7: I want to install Windows 7 ON (not FROM) a USB key

31 Jul 2010   #11
Microsoft MVP


By now someone normally should have posted that it can be done and that they have done it. However, by all reports it is deadly slow.

MS obviously does everything possible to keep their OS from being carried around in your pocket.

The tutorial to install XP to USB stick is one of the most complicated on the web.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2010   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1

Even if you got the USB Win7 going I'm expecting it to RUN poorly at best.
Linux flavors on the other hand might be passable.
M$ activation issues I think become a major issue with this USB install anyhow, I was looking it this myself a couple weeks back just to see if it was doable.
Linux flavors have for years allowed running entirely from a CD without actually installing it, though saving? NO of course not. Ubuntu is a cake install on a PC other than some minor driver hassles if any, but last time I experimented with it was 1.5 years ago.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2010   #13
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

Even if you COULD install Win7 to a USB stick (which you can't, BTW), for the purpose of being a portable installation you could reuse from machine to machine -- it STILL would not be feasible -- for at least the following two reasons:
1) Drivers -- presuming the machines you plug the USB stick into are all different, the install would have the wrong drivers, and while it MIGHT boot, there's every possibility that other things (audio, etc) would simply not work.
2) Activation -- MS does NOT want folks carrying around MS windows in their pockets, so as soon as the machine you plug this into connects to the net -- BAM! The copy will be deactivated. Best case, it won't work on that machine. Worst case, the Key you used to activate it gets blacklisted by MS and it will no longer work on ANY machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 I want to install Windows 7 ON (not FROM) a USB key

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