Windows 7 beta on an USB stick?

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Jun 11, 2000
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I've downloaded both the 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows 7 beta. Nowadays I only have one rig and I don't plan to trash my rig just to test this OS. Does anyone know whether I can install and boot Windows 7 beta from a USB stick? Thanks.
 

criccio

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Its been talked about before here (I specifically remember a recent thread about it), and the conclusion was that is can be done, but not easily, and with crippled performance.

You would get MUCH better performance installing in a VM with VirtualBox. Although don't expect to come to any performance conclusions with this route either, nothing can compare to a true bare metal install on a HDD.

Why not just shrink your current installation by 20GB and install 7 on the unpartitioned space it creates. Dual booting that way is very easy. If you want to delete it, just delete and re-expand. Its very simple.
 

FoxhoundOp

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I've downloaded both the 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows 7 beta. Nowadays I only have one rig and I don't plan to trash my rig just to test this OS. Does anyone know whether I can install and boot Windows 7 beta from a USB stick? Thanks.

How would you trash your rig? Partitioning off a small unused portion of your HDD and installing an OS on it is easier than assembling kids toys these days.
 

Gorankar

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What criccio said.
Now, if you have an e-sata external available there are ways to do this that don't affect the resident OS install. As another option, create a backup image, (acronis, or ghost, or the like), then install Win7 in dual boot. If you manage to trash your system with it, you can restore from the backup image like nothing ever happened in just a few minutes.

Vista or Win 7 off of a USB thumb drive is a pain to get up and running, unbearably slow, and would be a poor indicator of how well the OS runs.

Full sized OS's, (Unbuntu, Vista, Win7), just run like trash off of USB. Maybe when USB 3 becomes mainstream that will change.
 

Joe Average

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You can install it off a USB stick, but you can't run it off one unless you created a VM and stored that on the USB stick, or drive, etc.

As has been noted before, Windows is not designed to be run directly from USB media of any kind, nor Firewire, or even eSATA (which is possible but still not worth the hassles).

Installing it from a USB shaves about 40% off the total time to install... aside from that, no real tangible benefits over using DVD media.
 

DeaconFrost

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Considering that we've had good, free VM software packages for quite a while now, I'm always surprised when someone dusts off this question and posts it again. As others have said, use VirtualBox, and you won't do anything to affect your host system.
 
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DeaconFrost: Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't considered an VM install before. Actually, I'm writing this post from an VM install via VirtualBox. Everything seems ok, so far... ;)
 

DeaconFrost

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The beauty of the VM is that it will keep Windows 7 isolated, so if you decide not to use it anymore, you can simply remove it. I also keep a backup of my VMs once I do a clean install. This way, if I am trying software out, and the OS becomes corrupted, I replace the file with my good, saved version.
 

ilkhan

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You can also run win7 off a virtual HDD file/image. Dont ask me how, but it's possible.
 
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