GUIDE: Install Windows Vista, 7 and 8 from a flash drive!

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by criccio, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. mercyground

    mercyground Limp Gawd

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    and having just posted that... i've got extreme dejavu...

    now... do i search the thread to find out if i posted this earlier?

    or shall i just have another drink to massage the braincells...
     
  2. Bucken

    Bucken 2[H]4U

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  3. jordan12

    jordan12 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I followed the directions to a tee...

    But I get error loading operating system when I try to boot off of the thumb drive.

    I used my original Win 7 cd. Any thoughts?
     
  4. exyxxx

    exyxxx n00b

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    It's not in use anymore due to gpl violation claims.
     
  5. braamer

    braamer [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm glad I have it installed, and you can still grab it on other download sites.
     
  6. evenglow

    evenglow n00b

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    Run diskpart on a Vista/W7 machine. This will erase your flash drive.

    select disk 4 (4 being the number of YOUR flash drive. Could be a different number)
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    format fs=fat32 label="Name your UFD here" quick
    exit

    Copy W7 DVD to flash drive. Done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  7. Jon55

    Jon55 2[H]4U

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    Depressing this is, as I've yet to find a way to get this to work with my MacBook Pro (which uses EFI). Luckly blanks are dirt cheap.
     
  8. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    Yea, I have been trying to get my iMac (early 2006 model) to boot from a USB key with Windows on it since I wrote this guide. Still no dice.
     
  9. ProfessorKaos64

    ProfessorKaos64 [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's a slightly longer way to do this using the dispart command and just a few more commands, I read it in CPU, and works fine with no errors.

    From Vista/Win7 Command prompt

    1. diskpart
    2. list disk
    3. select disk 3 (or one that is the flash USB)
    4. clean
    5. create partition primary
    6. list partition (just to check there is only one parition)
    7. select partition 1 (should be the only one)
    8. active
    9. format fs=fat32
    10. assign
    11. exit

    Copying the files:

    xcopy e:\*.* /s /e /f f:\ (where e is your dvd drive and f is your flash drive)

    I know its not as short, but an alternative way, none the less.
     
  10. ProfessorKaos64

    ProfessorKaos64 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Also , just a suggestion, include that the command prompt actions have to be run from vista/win7 to make this, as passer by's might try it on xp and say :wut duh F:
     
  11. ENajera

    ENajera Guest

    hmmm... gonna try this on the netbook :)
     
  12. Matthew1034

    Matthew1034 Limp Gawd

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    Found a typo, FYI:

    "If you know how to boot from a USB device you are all set, if not, consult you're mobo's documentation."

    Should be your.

    I apologize for nitpicking.
     
  13. Snowknight26

    Snowknight26 [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you want to nitpick, you should have caught the first word after the title being I instead of A.
     
  14. robble

    robble [H]ardness Supreme

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  15. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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  16. robble

    robble [H]ardness Supreme

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    Awesome. Now I can backup stuff like my outlook pst and game saves on it. Don't forget the important toolbox of utility apps. =)
     
  17. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    i was wondering, the 16GB drives are getting so cheap these days, how hard would it be to put a win7-32, a win7-64, vista-32 and vista-64 dvds on a single USB flash disk for use with reloading PCs?

    i'm honestly more interested in putting my win-7-64 and dell-win-7-oem-64 discs on the same drive for work, but it would all be neat... anybody got any ideas?
     
  18. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's been done before, I remember reading about it... For x64 + x86 at 'least, I'm not sure both variants of Win7 + both variants of Vista would fit tho (in 16GB? I guess it should...). I forget how you go about doing it tho, probably have to add a boot loader of some sort to manage the different discs/options... Or just make it DOS bootable and manually start the desired setup/disc from there? Shouldn't be hard to Google or figure it out.

    Edit: Man, we've come a long way from swapping a dozen floppies to install a VGA game, or trading MP3s on the new hotness, 100MB Zip disks. :p I had a SCSI Zip drive! I still have a whole stack of Zip disks and 1GB SparQ discs... Can't find the parallel Zip drive I had to read those, and the SparQ drive got busted during a move.

    Just had to look up SparQ on Wikipedia to remember exactly how large they were, heh... Apparently they were notorious for high drive failure rates (supposedly a damaged drive would damage discs in a way that could them make said discs damage further drives, lol), that's weird, I used mine for backups and never had any trouble with them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  19. Ocean

    Ocean [H]ardness Supreme

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    i was hoping the microsoft automated tool would also allow you to create the usb install from the actual windows 7 cd, not just the iso file.

    off to make an iso.

    edit:

    ugh, made the iso with imgburn, then had to modify/offset the iso with a little known tool @ http://www.withinwindows.com/2009/11/01/use-the-windows-7-usbdvd-download-tool-with-custom-isos/ and then used http://download.cnet.com/Windows-7-USB-DVD-Download-Tool/3000-18513_4-10972600.html?tag=mncol to do all the formatting and installation to usb, which wasnt usable on my winxp until i installed http://store.microsoft.com/Help/ISO-Tool. seems to work so far.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  20. dalearyous

    dalearyous [H]ard|Gawd

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    tried with 2 different flash drives, neither worked
     
  21. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    Did you use the Microsoft Tool or the guide posted here?

    Did you go to Disk Management and check to see if the flash drive is formatted as 'active'? (it will say active disk).
     
  22. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    I updated the guide with the official MS tool.
     
  23. mike_j_johnson

    mike_j_johnson Gawd

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    Anyone know if the MS ISO USB tool will create a bootable Windows 7 x64 USB thumb drive capable of installing in UEFI/GPT mode instead of BIOS/MBR mode?

    I have a bootable USB Windows 7 install that has worked perfect in BIOS/MBR mode, but it would not work in UEFI/GPT mode. I had to burn the ISO to DVD to get it to work.
     
  24. chiggah

    chiggah Limp Gawd

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    Awesome, Thanks for the guide !
     
  25. mike_j_johnson

    mike_j_johnson Gawd

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    Looks like a USB install created with the MS USB tool still does not allow a UEFI/GPT install. I still had to use the DVD for it to work - FYI.
     
  26. skchan

    skchan [H]Lite

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    has anyone tried using grub4dos to do windows installs? i currently have my 8gb flash drive set up so it boots to a menu and i can choose the iso to insall...i have win xp sp3 pro, win 7 32 bit and win 7 64 bit on the flash drive along with bartpe and UBCD...booting from it works, but i dont have a comp to test installing the windows...
     
  27. Irishllama

    Irishllama [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hmm, would I be able to use my HD2? When I connect it via USB as long as I have the microSD in the phone Windows sees it as normal removable drive.
     
  28. skchan

    skchan [H]Lite

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    possibly, if the card is formated with a boot mbr, but dunno how it will affect the phone...
     
  29. Irishllama

    Irishllama [H]ard|Gawd

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    Shouldn't effect my phone besides erase any videos/mp3s/etc since the windows install and all programs are installed to the device itself.
     
  30. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    I would take the microSD card out of the phone and use a USB adapter.
     
  31. trick0502

    trick0502 [H]ardness Supreme

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    how do you do this? can you send me a link please.
     
  32. fleggett

    fleggett Gawd

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    Yeah, skchan, I'd like to compile something similar myself on a spare 32 gig thumb drive, ideally containing:

    Windows 7 x32 (user selectable by deleting ei.cfg)
    Windows 7 x64 (user selectable by deleting ei.cfg)
    Vista x32
    Vista x64
    XP Home w/SP3
    XP Professional w/SP3
    XP Media Center Edition 2005
    XP x64
    Knoppix
    DOS

    This would be by "dream" boot device.
     
  33. Kagato

    Kagato Limp Gawd

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    I'd be interested as well - have done various Google searches to try and find something like this. I currently have 2 different USB sticks that I currently use to accomplish installing either XP or Windows 7. Would be awesome to migrate it all to a single 16GB flash drive.
     
  34. trick0502

    trick0502 [H]ardness Supreme

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    i still havent gotten xp to install from a flash drive
     
  35. Bahamut

    Bahamut n00b

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    XP won't, it wasn't designed for it. The USB driver gets unloaded during the installation and on the reboot (if you even get that far) the USB stick is no longer seen as the source of the installation files, so don't even bother.

    There was a wild crazy hack at one time using drivers and files from Windows Server 2003 that could - under very certain circumstances - work and get XP installed off a USB stick because the Win2K3 drivers and files did not unload in the same way but, it simply wasn't worth the hassles.

    XP on a CD = the only way to get it done with any reliability at all and a helluvalot less frustration.
     
  36. skchan

    skchan [H]Lite

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  37. hvale2k5

    hvale2k5 Limp Gawd

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    it work perfect for me! thx alot
     
  38. skchan

    skchan [H]Lite

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  39. grilledcheese

    grilledcheese [H]ard|Gawd

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    This worked, i tried it a few Day's ago on A Nettop.
     
  40. psychowes

    psychowes [H]Lite

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