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can you install vista from an external hard drive?

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:thumbup hi guys nice forum.

Long story short = computer owned by virus, needs fresh clean install. I don't have vista disks but have an image of the vista installation saved on an external hard drive. I also burned the image to DVD but my DVD player/reader is highly unreliable and often fails to read disks. My only option is the external HD.

Can you install vista from an external hard drive? If so how? I have backed up all my files on the HD. The virus made my system unstable so its unable to shutdown or install/uninstall most applications. I have a Dell recovery partition but it fails to trigger (Ctrl+F11 doesn't work). So this is my only option I think.. anyone help?

Computer specs :

Vostro 1700

C2D T7500 Processor 2.2GHz,

Windows Vista® Business

17.0" Widescreen WUXGA TFT Display

2.0 megapixel webcam

2048MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM

160GB (5400RPM) SATA Hard Drive

256MB nVidia® GeForce® 8600M GT

8X DVD+/-RW Drive

Primary 9-cell Battery


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If you could somehow unpack the image to an \i386 folder then you will be able to run winnt.exe from DOS.

How new is that computer? Given the optical drive is knackered and so is the OS it might be time to milk that warranty for what it's worth. It is a Dell afterall.


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try this too...

I found the Factory.wim file on the recovery partition and want to upgrade/replace the WIM file with a new (32 bit OS /w applications) image.

I have extracted the image ("imageX.exe /extract d:dell\image\Factory.wim 1 e:\Factory.wim") and I am currently trying to mount the image using "imageX.exe /mount e:\Factory.wim 1 e:\image" but to no avail.

All I get is:


ImageX Tool for Windows

Copyright © Microsoft Corp. 1981-2005. All rights reserved.

Mounting: [E:\image\newfile.wim, 1] ->


Error mounting image:

The system cannot find the file specified.


I am running the cmd as Administrator.

SOLVED mounting problem.:

I forgot to install the "wimfltr.inf" found in the same folder as the imageX.exe file.

Now I can see the image.


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