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Windows 7: Is it possible to install windows seven direct from a hard drive?

08 Nov 2011   #1

win 7 32
Is it possible to install windows seven direct from a hard drive?

okok heres my idea .. is it possible to somehow partition a NEW CLEAN hard drive and copy windows installation files from mounted iso and make that partition bootable to install on a different partition on the same NEW/CLEAN hard drive? on a different PC? its cuz im a tech and i left all my flash drive and cd's somewhere else XD and i gotta install =P i pretty much want to be able to put the hard drive into the new pc and have it boot to the disk and install to the same.. if do able... HELP!! XD

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09 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 sp1

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09 Nov 2011   #3

win 7 32

thanks that helps but im still not sure if this gets me outta the woods...i want to be able to have a fresh hard drive for full installation of ONLY windows 7 on 1 partition.. not a multiboot ..okay maybe someone can tell me if this will work...

--virtual mount win7 iso
--have clean hard drive and make 2 partitions on it
--copy iso files to partition (like usb drive)
and be able to boot to and install to that drive on a totally different pc where it would be the only drive
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09 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

Sounds about right, but I'm not sure how Windows would handle the partition setup.

Remember that when Windows Setup detects an active partition with an installed OS (even if you install to a separate, empty partition), that's where it'll put the boot files - and it'll automatically set up a dualboot for you too.

You might actually end up with a dualboot allowing you to choose between the just-installed Windows and the Windows setup.
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09 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 and Mac OS X 10.8.3

All you have to do is copy all the files from the disk to the hard drive and boot to the hard drive. I use a old WD 6GB drive for installs. I know its old but I can;t seem to throw it away since it still works well over 15 years.
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09 Nov 2011   #6

win7 ultimate 64bit sp1

i have always done installing windows(xp, vista and now windows 7) from hdd using dos;

XP: i used winnt
vista and windows 7 i call bootmgr from grub;

if you want to use hdd, you have to write the windows files into the hdd using a running operating system (dos or windows from another machine) thus you cannot start a fresh machine with blank hdd and expect windows to come from itself!

now that we have this idea clear, the steps are clear:

aa) if you can afford two partitions: one partition less than 8 gb with dos start up files and grub4dos; in the same partition you can have win7cd extracted; (what you need are bootmgr, boot folder with bcd, sources folder with boot.wim and install.wim); now ask grub to chaninloader bootmgr; it will start win7 installation; it will copy the files in the same drive and then give option to use the partition that you want to use to install windows;

bb) if you want only one partition: first format it as an external drive using another computer in ntfs format mark it active; install win7 mbrl copy the boot folder with bcd, bootmgr, sources folder with boot.wim and install.wim; now connect this hdd to your machine and start your machine;

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09 Nov 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


How are you going to mount the ISO if you have no OS? You need an OS to set up the bootable HD self-installer which rustberger and Neela give above.

And if you have an OS you can run the mounted ISO or extracted files from it to overwrite or install to another partiition or HD.

If your mounting OS is on another machine, can you move the HD to that machine? Then SysPrep to move it back to target machine: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

Finally, if you're a tech carry everything you need (bootable ISO's, tools, apps) on a bootable flash stick in a baggie in your pocket. I carry mine everywhere, used it today at Panera Bread and on the beach. (Say this while doing so.)
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 Is it possible to install windows seven direct from a hard drive?

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