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Installing windows from usb hard drive

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Geofrancis, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i repair alot of computers and install windows alot. currently i have to carry about a big cd wallet with all my disks but i use a usb hard drive just now for installing windows 7 32 because its soo much faster to install.

    now my question is is there a way to put all my windows disks on the one hard drive and boot the iso i select? like a boot manager for iso files? that way i could have all my windows, linux and boot disks all one one drive rather than a load of dvds.

    my only other option was a flash drive for each operating system but thats an expensive way to do it.
     
  2. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    So how did you set up Win 7 to install from a USB hard drive?
     
  3. freebie

    freebie New Member

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    i've looked into this but never could get it working properly.

    SARDU (http://www.sarducd.it) looks like it will do the job but never succeeded myself.
     
  4. VulkanBros

    VulkanBros

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  5. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    booting one disk is easy enough but i want to be able to boot multiple operating systems from the one usb drive rather than spending £40 on flash drives
     
  6. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yes, but how did you get your Win 7 to install from that USB HD? I asked this on the first reply. It's great to ask for help, but you should also be prepared to give it. ;)
     
  7. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's easy. This is by far the best method and hey! Microsoft is giving the advice, lol. Anyways I do this all the time: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535816.aspx

    @ Geofrancis. The only thing I can think of is taking a HDD and splitting it up into several partitions with an O/S install on each partition. You should be able to choose from which partition you want to boot from in the bios... I think, not positive on this.
     
    KieX and qubit say thanks.
  8. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    You can install Windows on seperate partitions from an existing Windows install. The difference with doing it from the desktop is that you'll be able to select which OS you'd like to boot to, without entering bios at all...it will give you a list of each OS, and 30 seconds to choose(the time waiting before it automatically boots the first one on the list can be adjusted as well).


    There was a time when I was running XP, Vista, and Win7, all off of the same drive, with each OS on it's own partition.
     
  9. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know you can do that, but what about having different windows installers on each partition? I think that's what the OP needs.
     
  10. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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  11. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Hmm, lack of reading skills on my part.:laugh: You'd be on point.

    :D
     
  12. KieX

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    It would need something like boot loader program to choose from the different partitions. Otherwise BIOS will just see 1 physical drive and try boot whichever partition has a boot flag.

    Don't know of any software to do that though, but your idea should work given a bootloader.
     
  13. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    The HP USBbootTool is just such a thing...;) DOS prompt would technically, even be an OS of it's own...

    Then you just navigate to whatever drive letter, or, if you want more simplicity, you can just have the contents of each disk in it's own folder, navigate to the folder, and run the installer from there...I think..pretty sure...hmm...seems like an interesting project to try!
     
  14. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    sub'd
     
  15. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    I don't want to gloat but my USB drive has around 4 bootable OSes and two OS installers.

    I used YUMI multiboot but had to do a lot of manual tweaking and testing of the GRUB settings. YUMI is really handy at just giving you a base GRUB configuration, but a lot of it didn't work out of the box.

    If all you want is a Windows 7 USB installer, Unetbootin worked fine for me.

    EDIT: It suddenly occurred to me that since you're using an actual HDD with USB, I'm imagining that it's fairly large. If so I'd partition it into the number of bootable OS/installers you want. Then use Unetbootin with the various ISOs you have and put them onto each of your partitions. Then you can select which installer/os by selecting the partitions at boot time. Just a theory though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  16. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    Erockers link was the easiest and quickest I've found :toast:
     
  17. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    i have found the almost perfect way to make a boot drive!

    there is a program called SARDU http://www.sarducd.it/
    it basicly has a template to mount iso files from i have just spent the day making up a disc with

    AOSS
    AVG
    Avira
    Bit Defender
    Dr. Web
    eScan
    F-Secure
    GData
    Kaspersky
    Panda Security
    VirusBlokAda

    Floppy Win98Se
    Clonezilla
    Gparted
    NT Pwd
    Ophcrack
    Partition Wizard
    Parted Magic
    Ping Ping
    Redo backup live
    Hiren's Boot CD
    System Rescue CD
    Trinity Rescue Kit
    Ultimate Boot CD

    Backtrack 4
    Ubuntu Desktop

    XP home sp3 + driver packs
    XP Pro sp3 + driver packs
    Vista all editions x32 + x64
    Win7 all editions x32 + 64

    win 7 + vista 32+ 64 recovery discs
    Win7PE

    all booting from a 30gb partition on my external 320gb usb laptop drive

    along with

    every driver pack from the site for xp x32, vista 7 x32, vista 7 x64
    copy of every service pack and update to date for windows xp vista 7

    this is where i read about how to do the custom vista and 7 discs

    https://g0b3ars.wordpress.com/2009/...e-win7vistawindows-server-2008-discusb-stick/


    if any of you repair computers as much as i do you will know how slow dvds are when you have lots to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011

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