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Run Windows 7 on a USB Flash Drive?

(9 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Kafka
  • Latest reply from spector
  • Topic Viewed 92463 times

Kafka
Posts: 3

I'm wondering if it'd be possible to run Windows 7 from a USB drive. At least 120 GB drives are available, so storage isn't an issue, and all you'd have to do would be to move USB devices up on the boot order list. My concern would be drivers (provided you planned to use it on different computers.

Has anyone played with this idea?

Posted 5 years ago
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djb6
Posts: 7

I tried on an external HDD, so not quite that, but similar...and it didn't work at all. Microsoft set it up somehow to prevent this. If you find a way though, let me know. I would love to know.

Posted 5 years ago
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Kafka
Posts: 3

Did it not accept it as an install location, not boot when you'd already installed it and set the boot order to USB device, or something else?

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

I have only seen an XP on a USB flash drive. Maybe one could adapt this procedure, but it does not look like a walk in the park. This link describes the details.
I have, however, put Windows7 on a USB drive in lieu of the installation DVD. I am able to install from the USB by changing the boot sequence in the BIOS, but that is just another installation device then - as referenced in your second post. If you want to know how to do that, I can tell you and give you the links.

Posted 5 years ago
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zifnab06
Posts: 57

I think there its going to be a while before windows 7 is hacked for USB drives.

The big problem is that when you install a copy of Windows, its linked directly to a few things on your computer. Main drivers, like motherboard and hard drive. This kind of makes a problem when you try to move windows from one computer to another.

It should be possible to install Win7 on a flash drive from the setup program. The problem is, after you remove it from your computer, and try to boot it elsewhere, you'll get a bluescreen with an error about something like "Device not Mountable". It tries to mount your HD, scans your computer, and poof...it doesn't work anymore. The same thing happens if you copy a partition from one HD to another. Thats one of the big reasons you almost always have to always reinstall windows after installing a new motherboard. I've even had it happen when going from a p4 to a dualcore processor.

Hope that helps :D

Posted 5 years ago
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JadeEmperor
JadeEmperor
Posts: 244

this is a good post. since Win7 is still beta, best is to try it out in VM or external devices like USB flash drives. i read somewhere that one needs to edit the BCD file to point Win7 where to boot?

i'll search on that one.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Booting W7 from a flsh drive is easy. But that is no advantage over booting from CD - maybe a bit faster. But running it from a flash drive like e.g. Fedora is not yet possible. Use VirtualBox to run it. That is the ultimate and does not disturb your host system.

Posted 5 years ago
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spector
Posts: 13

@WHS can you tell me how to boot windows 7 from a flash drive that is diferent than XP. Im trying to boot it on a netbook that does not have an optical drive

Posted 5 years ago
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spector
Posts: 13

http://blog.taragana.com/index.....usb-drive/
would this work?

Posted 5 years ago
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