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Windows 7: Win7 installed to SDHC how?

24 Mar 2009   #21
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

From simply trying to install 7 by way of the Windows installer... No! You would immediately see the message that Windows can't be installed on removable devices. For mounting an iso image to run 7 for instance on a virtual machine... quite likely!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Mar 2009   #22
baarod

El Capitan / Windows 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Novim View Post
Looking at this discussion which ends in confusion, I'd like just to put again the question in simple way:

Is is possible to install Wndows 7 onto a SDHC card and boot it from it (it seems not, but let us confirm it once for all)?
Yes.

Insert SDHC 8GB+ into Windows 7 desktop reader. Insert or mount Win7 DVD of your choice on said desktop. Open an elevated command prompt and

@echo off
diskpart /s 7.dps
imagex /apply win7:\sources\install.wim 5 sdhc:\
sdhc:\windows\system32\bcdboot sdhc:\windows

where 7.dps is

lis dis <- manually identify SDHC
sel dis 0 <- select SDHC
cle
cre par pri
act
for fs=ntfs quick
ass
exi

replace win7: and sdhc: as common sense dictates.

Now cram that SDHC into the eee and modify the hard drive boot order -- yep you heard it right. The HARD DRIVE boot order. The SDHC shows as a HDD in the eee BIOS so make it prefer booting from that. You can also just press esc to boot from the Windows 7 SDHC at will which sounds more like what you want to do upon rereading this thread.

Upon first boot it will perform Windows Setup, without Windows Setup. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean. ImageX is part of the Windows 7 AIK and that's just too big to download for one file so here:

imagex.zip

Seeing as everyone else got a crack at this one first and struck out gimme lots and lots o' REP OK?

Note: this is derived from my tutorial and the only way to get a vLited 7.wim onto the 4GB stock SSD in a sub $200 eee 900A. The difference there is that you put WinPE on the SDHC along with imagex and the vLited install.wim, boot off it and run the above commands to apply the image to the internal SSD and make it bootable. Think of imagex like ghost, diskpart like fdisk and bcdboot like sys from the old days. The secret here can be found by debugging this script http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/wim2vhd paying special attention to the /passthru param logic. Every install.wim contains a generic operable Windows 7 image that will specialize to your hardware on first boot just like the normal installer does.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2009   #23
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

The EASY answer is (probably) NO.

The reason is that you can only boot from a device that the computer's BIOS sees and whilst is will see external USB disks and even USB sticks a card reader normally needs a driver to be loaded before the sdhc card can be accessed.

If your reader is actually recognised by the BIOS (rare -- i've never seen a computer that recognises even the Internal reader) in the BIOS then you've got a chance.

What you could do -- but you'd have to do a load of I/O programming etc would be to make a bootstrap loader which loads the reader driver and then loads the OS from the device -- not an easy task --but there might be people out there with enough time on their hands to do this. The bootstrap loader would boot from either the internal hard disk(s) or any "BIOS Bootable device".


From my old OS internals days -- a boot loader "simply" ?? works as follows. (After the BIOS has loaded of course)

Read and load sector 0 of the selected boot device into the "Execute instruction" area.

Computer then executes the code read in sector 0 - this loads a whole chunk of program from the device (the "Boot up code")
This code is then executed - now your OS gets loaded etc.

This is why the bootup code is called a "Bootstrap" loader -- code is loaded by a "bootstrap" - 2 pieces as outlined above

1) load and execute chunk of code contained in sector 0
2) load and executesector(s) defined by code in sector 0 of your boot device.

After 2) your machine memory now contains a basic OS which can carry on loading the rest of the Windows / Linux / whatever "Kernel" ( your OS).


Now if your card reader containing the SDHC card can't be accessed by the BIOS you are out of luck unless you write your own "Miniloader" as above but you'd still be dependent oninitially booting from a "recognized" device.

As I said above a USB stick can be made "Bootable" but what sort of "format" a card in an SDHC card reader is I don't know.


Hope this helps a bit

cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Mar 2009   #24
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

In simplified terms you have likely heard of the mbr or master boot record stored in the first 64kb or sector 0 of the drive. That points to the boot loader of the OS which then takes over once started.

If you think that was a good lenthy explaination provided by baarod and jimbo45 wait until you read "MIOS Bootstrap Loader for Newbies" MIOS Bootstrap Loader for Newbies

I would rather point you at the MS page for Windows 2000 that sums things up in far more basic terms. Bootstrap Loader Process

Now what you would need there however is something more like basic instructions for programming the boot strap loader like those seen at PC Bootstrap Loader Programming Tutorial in ASM - OmniNerd

The practical answer for most would simply be "no" while the advanced user that will spend the time necessary for any type of custom installation will go through tutorials like the one seen there. That pretty well sums up the answer(s) plural rather then singular. And that's simply Lesson #1 of many we could call "is it possible?".

(Gee? Someone installed Windows 3.1 on a Nokia N95. You move the cursor by pressing certain buttons... and )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2009   #25
baarod

El Capitan / Windows 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
The EASY answer is (probably) NO.

The reason is that you can only boot from a device that the computer's BIOS sees and whilst is will see external USB disks and even USB sticks a card reader normally needs a driver to be loaded before the sdhc card can be accessed.

If your reader is actually recognised by the BIOS (rare -- i've never seen a computer that recognises even the Internal reader) in the BIOS then you've got a chance.
If formatting and expanding an archive aren't EASY then maybe find a new hobby

The guy who started all this explained over and over than he can boot his eee from the SDHC. A few simple commands later he can boot 7 from it. Problem solved. Nothing hard about that! If you do happen to run into some hardware that won't see the SDHC reader you can always buy one of these at KMart Walmart.com: X Digital USB 2.0 SD Memory Card Reader/Writer: Digital Cameras. Six bux should be in anyone's budget. What troubles me is that virtually every card reader I've ever seen is USB connected internally. Modern boxen can boot USB. You just need to tweak the BIOS in some cases and use diskpart -- it's really quite a good tool and has worked for me where others have failed. If I can be of any more help please let me know -- I've never met a SDHC I couldn't boot one way or the other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2009   #26
baarod

El Capitan / Windows 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
The practical answer for most would simply be "no" while the advanced user that will spend the time necessary for any type of custom installation will go through tutorials like the one seen there. That pretty well sums up the answer(s) plural rather then singular. And that's simply Lesson #1 of many we could call "is it possible?".
I'd just send the advanced user down to Walmart with six bux and he wouldn't need to jump through any more hoops. I think most folks on this board go back as far as I do and are not afraid of fdisk, format, sys, unzip, etc. Why should things be that much harder with diskpart, bcdboot and imagex? They work essentially the same way!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2009   #27
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi all

My point was to say if the BIOS CAN SEE the boot device then it should be possible -- not easy but POSSIBLE with some serious programming (low level programming too -- at I/O and Interrupt level).

-- there's no reason why the boot loader couldn't load a "Compressed" image (like most Linux Live CD's use) and given the amount of RAM available in PC's these days you could easily "expand" a compressed OS from the device to a "Virtual Ram disk".

This "compressed" kernel could easily exist on a 4 or 8GB card / usb stick (and in any case there are some 16 GB cards out there now --enough for Windows 7 WITHOUT compression).

Where it is likely to be impossible is those built in card readers on Laptops that the BIOS DOESN'T SEE (not talking about external USB card readers which the Bios often detects as an external USB drive) and need a driver loaded by the WINDOWS KERNEL before you can access the card in the device.

This still doesn't mean to say you can't do it -- but you'd have to start the boot process from another device to load the drivers etc.

However to avoid any mis-understanding

If the BIOS doesn't SEE the device then you CAN'T boot DIRECTLY from it.

If it DOES then eventually it can be made to work but won't always be easy.

--end of story.

cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2009   #28
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by baarod View Post
I'd just send the advanced user down to Walmart with six bux and he wouldn't need to jump through any more hoops. I think most folks on this board go back as far as I do and are not afraid of fdisk, format, sys, unzip, etc. Why should things be that much harder with diskpart, bcdboot and imagex? They work essentially the same way!
I only started with Basic before fdisk was even around. If the bios sees the card reader option in the boot order section of the bios then it would be possible to make that bootable.

Mounting a disk image on virtual machine is probably the easier solution however for seeing anything running on a card to start with. The card itself can be formatted in Windows while the VM is run in Windows.

As far as usb devices being OSed it's far easier to see a Linux distro installed to one. To see a sort emergency rescue disk here I simply installed ubuntu on a 16gb flash drive seeing a small root partition leaving the rest for a single large NTFS volume to copy files onto off of a problem machine in case other methods are unavailable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2009   #29
Ozzyguy

Windows 7 build 7077, Vista Ultimate
 
 
Succesfully Booted Win 7 On 80 Gig Usb Drive

Hi To All.
Ive Just Successfully Installed Windows 7 build 7077 onto my 80 gig usb hard drive attached to my eeepc.
Thought i had better register to explain how i did it, as i used some of Baarods instructions above, plus a few from other sites.

So here goes.

When i initially followed baarods instructions above,(and i must say a big thanks mate, coz without reading your post i wouldnt of gotten far) my install would just blue screen and reboot.
But with a couple of minor tweaks we can still get this to install.

Fistly, follow baarods instructions.
Disconnect your usb drive with the imagex-ed install, and connect to a windows 7 desktop machine. You could also use vista, but mine is windows 7.

On your desktop, with the usb inserted :-

Run Regedit.
Highlight HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Right Click and Load Hive
Load the SYSTEM hive from USB-HD\Windows\System32\Config
Call your new Key TEST
Navigate to (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\ControlSet001\Services\USBSTOR
Change Start = 3 to Start=0
And Group = System Reserved ( You May need to Right Click and make New String Value for usbstor)
Do the same changes to the other key entries :-
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\ControlSet001\Services\USBHUB
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\ControlSet001\Services\USBEHCI
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\ControlSet001\Services\USBOHCI
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TEST\ControlSet001\Services\USBUHC

Highlight your TEST Branch and right click....export.....and make sure you export as hive files.
Call your hive SYSTEM and save it to your desktop for now, so that you can copy it over to usb-hd\Windows\System32\Config
exit regedit
restart regedit
highlight test
right click and unload hive
exit regedit

From your windows 7 desktop or vista, copy the file usbstor.sys from windows\system32\drivers to the same folder on your USB.

Go to Windows\inf folder on your usb drive. Edit these 3 inf files - USB.inf -USBSTOR.inf and USBPORT.inf
ONLY where usbhub, usbehci, usbohci, usbuhci, usbstor references are made, and change
StartType = 0
LoadOrderGroup = System Reserved

Now save the inf files. Also make sure you keep a COPY...AS YOU WILL NEED THEM AGAIN.

Now, with your SYSTEM file copied back to usb\windows\system32\config
your 3 edited inf files back into usb\windows\inf
and usbstor.sys back into usb\windows\system32\drivers ....

unplug your usb, replug back into your eeepc....and boot from it.
It will continue to install now.
It will give a message that installation will continue after a reboot. IT wont...it will blue screen again as the system file has been overwritten.

unplug it when it blue screens.....and redo the hive instructions as above....
DONT just copy the system you previously did, as the file has changed during setup. you must redo it.

re copy the 3 inf files as per above....( you kept a copy...right ?

Ok, thats the last time you will have to edit anything.
Replug your usb back into your eeepc....and boot back into windows 7 and watch as it installs beautifully.

I can upload my edited inf files somewhere if you like for ease of use.....also my initial SYSTEM file as all will be the same on the eepc.....well mines a white 4g model...with webcam 701

If Baarod wishes to pm me...i can send him the files...he will know what to do with them....

Hopefully this gets you booting win 7 externally

Regards

Ozzy

Forum newbie


Regards to Dietmar - for the Registry editing info, and inf tricks.
I Take no credit for his great work, just borrowed his tips for posting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2009   #30
Ozzyguy

Windows 7 build 7077, Vista Ultimate
 
 

Im sure this would work also for booting on a SDHC but would need an 8gig at least im thinking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7 installed to SDHC how?




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