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[How To] Install Windows 7 on external usb hard disk


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18 replies to this topic

#1
Tostis

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i followed this guide http://ngine.de/article/id/8/
1) install Windows 7 into VMWare Workstation
2) make an image of the partition with program like Paragon Partition Manager
3) with Paragon cd (found in Paragon Program files) restore that image on external usb hd
4) start pc with external usb hd but it will not work
5) start pc with Windows 7 dvd and try all recovery possibilities to add a line in bcd and fix mbr
6) start pc with external usb hd but it will crash with BSOD
7) start pc with Ultimate Boot CD for Windows then launch Regedit(remote), select Windows 7 root folder
8) modify windows registry setting Group = System Reserved and Start = 0. Registry should be like this
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB Mass Storage Driver"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR","Group",0x00000000,"System Reserved"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\USBSTOR.SYS"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR","Start",0x00010001,0
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR","Type",0x00010001,1

HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller

Miniport Driver"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","Group",0x00000000,"System Reserved"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbehci.sys"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","Start",0x00010001,0
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","Type",0x00010001,1

HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB2 Enabled Hub"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","Group",0x00000000,"System Reserved"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbhub.sys"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","Start",0x00010001,0
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","Type",0x00010001,1

HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","DisplayName",0x00000000,"Microsoft USB Universal Host

Controller Miniport Driver"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","Group",0x00000000,"System Reserved"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbuhci.sys"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","Start",0x00010001,0
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","Type",0x00010001,1

HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","DisplayName",0x00000000,"Microsoft USB Open Host Controller

Miniport Driver"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","Group",0x00000000,"System Reserved"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbohci.sys"
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","Start",0x00010001,0
HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","Type",0x00010001,1

9) restart pc and it will work
9bis) If you restart because of hardware changes, it will not work so you have to repeat steps 7-8-9. Maybe you
should (i have not tested it) redo steps 7-8 before restart


Note: you can use similar programs like Partition Magic, VirtualBox, any WinPE ecc



EDIT: i have just found PWBoot Project

This post has been promoted to an article

Edited by Tostis, 26 July 2009 - 12:44 PM.



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#2
dencorso

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9bis) If you restart because of hardware changes, it will not work so you have to repeat steps 7-8-9. Maybe you should (i have not tested it) redo steps 7-8 before restart

Way to go, Tostis! :thumbup
Well, after you got it working, you might as well install usbbootwatcher to obviate the need to repeat steps 7-8-9. Do give it a try. please!

#3
Tostis

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doh! I didn't know there was already a tutorial non the web :(
thanks for the solution ;)

#4
DigeratiPrime

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I had been going through this process myself and was going to post a new topic but decided to append it here. It's not working 100% though, I am trying to install to a 16GB SDHC for an Asus 900A Eee PC.

Part 1 WAIK
Download and install WAIK.
http://www.microsoft...;displaylang=en
Right-click and Run as administrator Deployment Tools Command Prompt

Part 2 Prepare target media (x)
diskpart
list disk
select disk x
clean
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
active
list volume
exit


Part 3 ImageX
You can run imagex /info <path>\install.wim to find the Image Index # and Edition ID you want to install; in my case path was d:\Install.wim and Index # was 5 for Ultimate. You can also optionally mount the install.wim and perform Part 5 now.
imagex /apply <path>\install.wim 5 x: /verify

Part 4 Make target (x) bootable
x86\bootsect /nt60 x:
bcdboot x:windows /s x:


Part 5 Modify USB services
reg load hklm\temp x:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbccgp /v group /d "System Reserved" /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbccgp /v start /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbehci /v group /d "System Reserved" /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbehci /v start /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbhub /v group /d "System Reserved" /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbhub /v start /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbohci /v group /d "System Reserved" /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbohci /v start /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbuhci /v group /d "System Reserved" /f
reg add hklm\temp\controlset002\services\usbuhci /v start /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg unload hklm\temp


The Problem
This boots but I get a BSOD, after loading disk.sys it seems when trying Safe Mode.
If I do the following
bcdedit /store x:\Boot\bcd /set {default} device partition=c:
bcdedit /store x:\Boot\bcd /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
bcdedit /store x:\Boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
it then stops on

File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Status: 0xc000000e
Info: the selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt.

Also tried but didnt work
bcdedit /store x:\Boot\BCD /set {default} path \Windows\system\boot\winload.exe

Very close I think...
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#5
dencorso

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Your modifications to the USB services are not enough. Normal Windows (not PE) will only boot from C:\, not from X:\ (which is fine, because, when you invoke the ASUS boot meny, by pressing <Esc> during early boot, you'll set the USB HDD as first device, so it automatically becomes hd0, i. e., C:). No wonder Windows is not finding the file: the registry is full of references to X:\, isn't it? You're *are* very near already. But an extra push is still needed.

Later edit:
You'll find this boot-land thread most interesting.

Edited by dencorso, 22 September 2009 - 01:32 AM.
Added link to boot-land thread.


#6
Tostis

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Is there a way to force windows to store swap file on usb external hdd?

#7
karyonix

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Is there a way to force windows to store swap file on usb external hdd?

Without additional software : I don't know.
With a disk filter driver made for this purpose : Yes. See bootland thread "Page file in USB hard disk" for more information.

#8
dencorso

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@karyonix: Receive my most warm welcome to MSFN! :hello:
It's wonderful to have you as a member here. You rock! :thumbup

@all: Do read also karyonix's Tutorial Boot Windows 7 from USB hard disk, over at Boot-Land.

#9
DigeratiPrime

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Your modifications to the USB services are not enough. Normal Windows (not PE) will only boot from C:\, not from X:\ (which is fine, because, when you invoke the ASUS boot meny, by pressing <Esc> during early boot, you'll set the USB HDD as first device, so it automatically becomes hd0, i. e., C:). No wonder Windows is not finding the file: the registry is full of references to X:\, isn't it? You're *are* very near already. But an extra push is still needed.

Later edit:
You'll find this boot-land thread most interesting.


Thanks dencorso, I had forgotten about this topic because I gave up on the idea of installing to a SDHC but was dealing with a seperate problem through bcdedit. I think there may be a difference between installing to USB and SDHC, not confirmed though. Also my use of "x" just refers to whatever the target or destination volume letter is, not a specifically hard coded variable in this case :) I might give this another try on a rainy day, I noticed an error in my previous post, emphasis added:

bcdedit /store x:\Boot\BCD /set {default} path \Windows\system32\boot\winload.exe


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#10
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Yes it is possible to store swap file in USB.. With a disk filter driver software we can store it in USB.
But I read somewhere don't remember exactly where it has been tested on Windows 7 RC 32-bit only..
One of my friend tried this he didn't faced any problem with it, You also try it and i guess the solution works..

#11
jaclaz

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More generally, and just for the record, in this Forum:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=77
there are 4 (four) stickies with slightly different tutorials about how to make Windows 7 bootable from USB devices.

jaclaz

#12
Photek

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More generally, and just for the record, in this Forum:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=77
there are 4 (four) stickies with slightly different tutorials about how to make Windows 7 bootable from USB devices.

This thread is not a sticky, but it describes the easiest way to install Windows 7 on a USB device. You just run a .cmd and answer a few questions! :thumbup
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10126

Edited by Photek, 20 September 2010 - 07:16 PM.


#13
pankaj

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you can installing Windows 7 on USB with the help of this procedure:
1. First of all, connect your USB to the machine and backup all the data from the USB drive.

2. Download VirtualBox portable, double-click on the executable file and extract the contents to your USB.
Posted Image


3. Now, go to the VirtualBox portable folder in USB, and execute the Portable-VirtualBox (.exe) file.

4. From here onwards, you need to follow the onscreen procedure to create a virtual disk and install Windows 7 on USB. Follow the install Windows 7 on VirtualBox guide to complete the process.

5. Once you finish the installation process, you can safely close VirtualBox and remove your USB drive.

6. You can now use this Windows 7 USB drive on any Windows machine that you want. To use Windows 7 on other machine, connect the Windows 7 USB, open USB drive, and run portable-VirtualBox file.

Edited by pankaj, 16 November 2010 - 11:53 AM.

Thanks and Regards,
Pankaj

#14
samurusawyer

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* 1 Turn on your computer and insert your Windows 7 DVD into your system's DVD-ROM unit. If the Windows 7 setup does not launch, restart your computer and access the BIOS configuration menu. During startup, BIOS instructions are listed at the bottom of the screen. Change the system's boot sequence to "CD/DVD-ROM" and press "F10" to save all changes.

* 2 Assign your default language, time and keyboard/input, respectively. Click "Next" to proceed with the Windows 7 installation.

* 3 Click "Install Now" and read the program's license terms. Check "I Accept the License Terms," and click "Next" to continue.

* 4 Select the "Custom" option, followed by the external hard drive on which you wish to install Windows 7. If you possess more than one storage unit, ensure that you select the proper drive; the most appropriate method is to note the total disk size as shown.

* 5 Select "Drive Options (Advanced)" as an optional step if you wish to erase the external hard disk's contents. For example, if you wish to store only the Windows 7 OS on the drive, select "Format" from the subsequent menu. Otherwise, leave all options intact and click "Next."

* 6 Allow the installation to copy all necessary files. Your computer will restart automatically several times during this process. Do not press any key.

* 7 Input the default user name, followed by a computer name. The user name will serve as the main administrative profile. The computer name can be anything you wish.

* 8 Click "Next" and assign a password to the user name chosen, followed by a password hint. The password hint is reserved for future reference in the event you forget the chosen password. Click "Next" to continue with the installation.

* 9 Insert your Windows 7 product key, found on the front page of the software's user's manual. Otherwise, click "Next" to use Windows on trial mode for 30 days. You may activate Windows any time before the trial period expires. Click "Next" to continue."

* 10 Select the "Recommended Settings" option, which automatically downloads and installs important updates as they become available. Click "Next," and adjust the time and date pertaining to your geographical area. Click "Next" to proceed.

* 11 Select whether your computer is part of a "Home Network," a "Work Network" or "Public Network." Use "Public Network" if you are using your system in a public area. Click "Next" and allow Windows 7 to finalize all installation settings. Once finished, your computer will restart and prompt you for the user name and password previously chosen.

#15
steve6375

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Visit www.rmprepusb.com for RMPrepUSB, the new Easy2Boot multiboot USB solution and 100+ tutorials on booting from USB drives.


#16
smithjhon

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I Updated.

Thanks a lot to your work......

#17
FrankBlank

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I'm a little late to the party, so this may have been asked and answered long ago--

but, once you put windows on a USB hard disk, what do you have?
Since windows does a hardware specific installation, can other computers be booted from the USB?

#18
jaclaz

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Since windows does a hardware specific installation, can other computers be booted from the USB?

Yes/no. :w00t:
Check this (you want to try VHD_W7_Compact.exe):
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553
http://reboot.pro/in...?showtopic=9830

jaclaz

#19
FrankBlank

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Since windows does a hardware specific installation, can other computers be booted from the USB?

Yes/no. :w00t:
Check this (you want to try VHD_W7_Compact.exe):
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553
http://reboot.pro/in...?showtopic=9830

jaclaz


Interesting, thanks. Man, what a project.... :unsure:




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