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Converting USB Removable To Fixed Disk (BCDedit Menu List)


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#1 rocketero

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:52 PM

BOOTING WINDOWS 7/VISTA/8/8.1 x86/x64 from USB-STICK

Latest work posted on Post # 8 of this thread

 

I'm creating this post in a separate thread from the NT 6.x Fast Installer to address the issue after a successful installation of Windows to a USB.

After Installing Windows7 64Bit to a 7.46 GB USB (I know I only have 300 MB free in the USB drive after Installation but I had not choice as that is the only USB I have), I proceed to Reboot and the final installation came up (Setup Installing device drivers, configuring desktop, Network, etc) and finally I got the desktop with Windows7 x64 Booted from the USB. Hurray !! ... Great Job fujianabc

But then I realized that the BCDedit just listed only that OS (the USB) and nothing about the other OS's in the other 2 hard drives I have.

I desperate started looking for a solution and did a lot of Google'ing.

I learned some BCDedit commands to add an entry to the BCD store but nothing of the commands I entered worked.
Probably one of the reasons was that the USB was listed as a "Removable Device"

I installed the program "EASYBCD 2.0" and try to add an entry to BCDedit but for my surprise the Removable Letter where the USB is located was not listed as I concluded most BCDedit GUI programs only work with "Fixed Disks"

Then I saw a post on the main thread on NT 6.x Fast Installer talking about converting a "USB Removable disk" to a "Fixed disk" and "Flip the removable bit". I copied the exact phrase and pasted on Google search and I found this link almost at the beginning of the search:

This is a small tool to Flip the Removable Bit in a USB, and was written primarily to create multi-partitions on USB drives. I bet there are similar tools on the Net but this one did the job for me.

I downloaded the small program listed there, and read the instructions and I was a bit concerned as it gives a warning about data loss, but as I was not going to format it I decided to run the tool and then I clicked on a button called: "Flip Removable Bit".

I opened "My computer" and indeed the USB stick was listed under the Fixed Disks. Hurray again !!

So I proceeded and Added the entry to BCD with EasyBCD 2.0

I rebooted and the whole list of OS's was presented including the Windows7 x64 from the USB.

I started with that OS and the system started for 5 - 10 seconds and then it rebooted itself.

I did it a second time and the same issue, it rebooted just while the rotating windows icon was showing.

I think this is due to the small Free space left in the USB (just 285 MB of Free Disk)

Anyways I restarted with a "Windows7 x64 Repair CD" I had downloaded previously and went to the command prompt and issued the command: "Bootrec.exe /FixMBR" and "Bootrec.exe /FixBoot", also run "ChkDsk /F /R /V /X" just in case.

And now the USB boots normally as well as the other OS's listed.

Before this I had to go to BIOS and change either the USB or the Hard Disk to select which one to boot with, and that was a real pain.

I Hope this help someone else.
By the way I posted this thread from Windows7 x64 Booted from the USB :lol:



#2 Qbert

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:39 PM

I couldn't find the tool you're talking about, but I did the trick with
RMPREPUSB (from this site)
:)

#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:49 PM

I couldn't find the tool you're talking about, but I did the trick with
RMPREPUSB (from this site)
:)


Just for the record, RMPREPUSB does not "flip" anything, nor seemingly anything on the given site:

This is a small tool to Flip the Removable Bit in a USB

Explicit URL:
http://www.lancelhof...ive-in-windows/
which contains a few tens of links.

@rocketero
Can you please give a link to the actual "flipping tool"?
Is this the one? :thumbup:
http://usbcreator.com/
http://usbcreator.com/downloads/
http://usbcreator.co...r-Windows-7.exe

;)
Wonko

#4 Qbert

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 02:19 PM

Just for the record, RMPREPUSB does not "flip" anything, nor seemingly anything on the given site:
This is a small tool to Flip the Removable Bit in a USB
http://www.lancelhof...ive-in-windows/
which contains a few tens of links.

@rocketero
Can you please give a link to the actual "flipping tool"?

:)
Wonko


I think you're right. I used RMPREPUSB to change my USB Flash drive to HDD drive, but it's still "removable".

Anyway, I can't find the flip tool. The link you posted re-direct me to:
http://www.lancelhof...rch/Boot It USB
and I don't find any tool to download.

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:02 PM

Anyway, I can't find the flip tool. The link you posted re-direct me to:


Neither do I, that is the point, I simply re-posted the link by rocketero.

AFAIK there is not (meaning that it exists not) ANY "bit flipping tool" if not the appropriate "Manufacturer Tool" for the given, specific, controller inside the given, specific, USB stick one has.

I am curious to know what rocketero has found/used, though I think that either:
  • the bit wasn't "flipped" at all (just like it happened to you, you thought to have the bit flipped, but you didn't)
  • he was very, VERY lucky and found by pure chance the specific tool for his specific stick

I edited my previous post, putting the quoted part in proper quote tags, to avoid the confusion.

:)

Wonko

#6 rocketero

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:41 PM

Seems like the owner of the webpage that contained the usb_format tool took it down.

Fortuunatelly I got it in my computer, and as it said in that page this tool was made with the specific purpose of 'format' usb sticks so it could store Windows setup files. But it also has a button to change to flip the usb stick flag from removable to hdd drive.

It may or it may not work with your specific usb stick, in my case it did, so give it a try and if something happens please don't blame me, I like to experiment with software. I don't have the details for this one, may be google it by the name "Lexar usb format toot"? it's 356 KB

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#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 11:56 PM

Yep. :thumbup:

It's a known tool.

It's usually called BootIt or Lexar BootIt :
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=15923
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21850

It works on some Lexar sticks and possibly on some other Brand ones ONLY (some of the ones that use the same controller for which the BootIt utility was written), i.e. it's not at all an "Universal tool", case #2 above. :thumbup:

"universal" advice:
  • run chipgenius:
    http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4661
  • search here first:
    http://flashboot.ru/...php?name=iflash
  • search more if you cannot find it
  • never, and when I say NEVER, I do mean NEVER run this kind of tools "blindly" or without having doing your homework and become reasonably certain that what you find is the right tool for your stick
  • if you have ANY doubt, start a new thread asking for help BEFORE attempting using any utility you may find

:)
Wonko

#8 rocketero

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:31 AM

After almost 4 years that I posted this thread, I completed forgot how I created the Bootable-USB_stick with Windows-7 x64. So a couple of days ago a user here asked me about it and to answer I then had to review again and do some search. 4 years ago there were not many utilities to create bootable usb sticks like they are today.

So I'm going to review what I did today to create a bootable Windows7sp1-x64 stick and a bootable Windows8.1-Enterprise-x64.

1. I used the utility Rmprepusb (Install_RMPrepUSB_Full_v2.1.725.zip) to prepare the usb-stick. This will create two partitions on the usb-stick: one very small hidden-system-partiton in order to make the bios and Disk Computer Management to list the usb-stick as a Hard drive (as Windows doesn't install in a removable external disk). and the second partition is almost the whole disk where windows is installed.

with this utility installed, run it and in step3 on 'bootable options' (third on the list) select (default selection): WinPEv2/WinPEv3, then on FileSystem and Override options select: NTFS, and in front select the radio box that says: Boot as HDD(C: 2PTNS)

hit the blue button: Prepare Drive and you're done with this part, your usb-stick is ready for the OS installation. Close the Rmprepusb program.

2. Download the NT6_Fast_Installer (beginning of post#2) and unzip it on a folder. It can be at the root of a hard disk or partition.

3. Download the GetWAIKTools utility and use it to download WAIK for Windows 7/8/8.1/Vista. you can use WAIK for Windows 8/8.1 x86 and x64 instead of the ones for Windows 7 without any problems.

4. copy the WAIK tools (x86 or x64) to the folder where you extracted the NT6_Fast_Installer unzipped files.

5. Use either a DVD of Windows (7/8/8.1/vista) or an ISO file of either of those OS's. if you use an ISO file you have to mount it to a Drive Letter using one of many programs like UltraISO, PowerISO, MagicISO, etc.

6. right-click on the 'installer.cmd' file from NT6 installer and run it as Administrator.

7. follow the prompts. If for some reason the installer.cmd fail with a message saying it can not find 'setWimpath.cmd' , you will have to create this file manually and input one command line in it like this: "set wimpath=D:\sources\install.wim" without quotes. replace the drive letter accordingly with your DVD drive or the drive letter where you mounted the ISO file.

8. The installer.cmd finish successfully then reboot your PC and make sure your pc bios boots from your usb-stick. Before I booted the PC I used the utility"EasyBCD 2.2" to add another boot OS's to the stick to reflect what I have in my PC which is another 4 OS's in different partitions. also you can adjust how many seconds to wait before booting the first OS, and arrange the order in which they boot with this very useful utility.

9. If all goes well you'll see a normal installation of Windows in your usb-stick, just follow it like it was a regular HDD installation.

10. I created an Acronis Image of the usb-stick once Windows booted and before setting video/audio drivers, in that way you can re-image another stick without having to go to all this process.

Enjoy your booting Windows 7/vista/8/8.1 x86/x64 from USB stick !!

As a NOTE: Rmprepusb create a hidden system partition on the usb stick, it's very small, it's not visible with Windows Disk Management but if you use the command line 'diskpart' you'll see it by using the command 'list partition' on that selected disk. this small partition is the one that makes possible booting from Bios as it treats the removable usb as a regular Hard disk.


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#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 01:07 PM


As a NOTE: Rmprepusb create a hidden system partition on the usb stick, it's very small, it's not visible with Windows Disk Management but if you use the command line 'diskpart' you'll see it by using the command 'list partition' on that selected disk. this small partition is the one that makes possible booting from Bios as it treats the removable usb as a regular Hard disk.

Not really-really.

 

The stick (if it is "Removable") REMAINS "Removable" and the BIOS itself knows NOTHING about "Removable" vs. "Fixed" which is ONLY used by Windows NT (and NOT by - say - DOS or Linux) , the "added" ID 21 partition is a "trick" because some (buggy) BIOSes *need* this.

If you prefer, it was found that on some (buggy) BIOSes having more than one primary partition on the stick made them recognize the USB stick as "partitioned device", and since it costs nothing (or next to nothing) to add this tiny hidden partition, it was adopted by default in RMPREPUSB, see the original thread by Online:

http://reboot.pro/to...as-a-hard-disk/

and this one:

http://reboot.pro/to...-of-usb-sticks/

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#10 rocketero

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:32 PM

thanks for the clarification @Wonko, this may help me to troubleshoot why I cannot make boot a usb-stick that has Windows 8.1 64bit in it, it just show the windows 8 blue window icon and the spinning dot circle but stays like that forever and it doesn't show the installation process as the Windows 7 64bit I already installed in another usb-stick.

#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 07:16 PM

thanks for the clarification @Wonko, this may help me to troubleshoot why I cannot make boot a usb-stick that has Windows 8.1 64bit in it, it just show the windows 8 blue window icon and the spinning dot circle but stays like that forever and it doesn't show the installation process as the Windows 7 64bit I already installed in another usb-stick.

Maybe you are talking of the "Windows to go" feature?

If yes there is seemingly a workaround by using a .vhdx (or possibly .vhd :unsure:) container:

http://reboot.pro/to...ssion/?p=185908

 

Check this for reference:

http://rmprepusb.blo...-usb-flash.html

 

AFAICT, the good MS guys believe that their "Windows 8 to go" is reserved to "high end" USB 3 sticks (that - just to make things more confusing - are normally of the "fixed" type, since they are not really-really USB sticks as the old ones were), see:

http://reboot.pro/to...30-flash-drive/

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 cokicornas

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:13 PM

HI,

 

I cannot connect USB devices in my work laptop (Forbidden by an administrator), and I would like to make an installation of a windows 7 into a USB HDD and boot my work laptop with a clean operating system that can allow me to use usb devices. The problem is that I wont be able to use this steps, because I currently have no acces to USB devices from this OS.

 

Is there any way to make this installation? I have tried to boot from a preinstalled linux in a usb device and it works.

 

Thanks in advance



#13 rocketero

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 04:12 AM

HI,

I cannot connect USB devices in my work laptop (Forbidden by an administrator), and I would like to make an installation of a windows 7 into a USB HDD and boot my work laptop with a clean operating system that can allow me to use usb devices. The problem is that I wont be able to use this steps, because I currently have no acces to USB devices from this OS.

Is there any way to make this installation? I have tried to boot from a preinstalled linux in a usb device and it works.

Thanks in advance


What I would do in your case is create the windows 7 booting from USB-stick at a home computer following the method I posted here or using a similar procedure; once created and making sure Windows 7 boots fine with this USB-stick then before disconnecting the USB-stick from the home-computer and with Windows 7 up and running from this USB, open a MSDOS command (run MSDOS as administrator):

cd c:/ (then press enter key)
c: (then press enter key, this in case you were in another drive letter)
cd "Windows\System32\sysprep\" (then press enter key)
sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown

Once the computer shutdowns unplug the USB-stick and wait till you go to your work-laptop.

at work configure the work-laptop bios to boot from USB, plug the USB-stick and boot Windows 7 from it. The previous command issued before shutting it down will force to install the drivers from your work-laptop after booting.

then you should be able to connect other USB to your work-laptop as it's booting from local USB policies and not from the work domain network.

#14 cokicornas

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 10:44 AM

What I would do in your case is create the windows 7 booting from USB-stick at a home computer following the method I posted here or using a similar procedure; once created and making sure Windows 7 boots fine with this USB-stick then before disconnecting the USB-stick from the home-computer and with Windows 7 up and running from this USB, open a MSDOS command (run MSDOS as administrator):

cd c:/ (then press enter key)
c: (then press enter key, this in case you were in another drive letter)
cd "Windows\System32\sysprep\" (then press enter key)
sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown

Once the computer shutdowns unplug the USB-stick and wait till you go to your work-laptop.

at work configure the work-laptop bios to boot from USB, plug the USB-stick and boot Windows 7 from it. The previous command issued before shutting it down will force to install the drivers from your work-laptop after booting.

then you should be able to connect other USB to your work-laptop as it's booting from local USB policies and not from the work domain network.

Thank you for your answer.

 

The thing is that at home I have a pretty old laptop (Pentium III, 999Mhz,1 giga ram) That's why I want to use my work laptop for my personal use. I will try to do the installation on that laptop, but it might not even work. I also have a macbook air, but I don't know if I would be able to do it using a virtual machine software or something.

 

I can try to ask a friend for newer laptop just to create the windows 7 booting from the usb and then run those commands to unplug it and prepare it to connect it to my work laptop. Will I have to modify the boot.ini of my friends laptop after the installation? I don't want to ruin his laptop :-)

 

Thanks!



#15 rocketero

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 04:00 PM

Will I have to modify the boot.ini of my friends laptop after the installation? I don't want to ruin his laptop :-)

Thanks!


you shouldn't have to change any of your friend's laptop, when you say 'boot.ini' I assume you're talking about windows xp, as vista/7/8 don't use it.

#16 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 05:34 PM

when you say 'boot.ini' I assume you're talking about windows xp, as vista/7/8 don't use it.

Again to be picky  :w00t: :ph34r: (as I am ;)) not really-really.
 
JFYI , BOOTMGR will parse directly any non-Arcpath entry in BOOT.INI.
This feature is used nowadays to have grub4dos' grldr chainloaded from BOOTMGR without messing with the \boot\BCD (or with the MBR/VBR), see:
http://reboot.pro/to...-results/page-2
 
:duff:
Wonko

#17 rocketero

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 06:28 PM

 

Again to be picky  :w00t: :ph34r: (as I am ;)) not really-really.
 
JFYI , BOOTMGR will parse directly any non-Arcpath entry in BOOT.INI.
This feature is used nowadays to have grub4dos' grldr chainloaded from BOOTMGR without messing with the \boot\BCD (or with the MBR/VBR), see:
http://reboot.pro/to...-results/page-2
 
:duff:
Wonko

 

@Wonko the sane, Very intresting, as I am totally rusted when boot loaders refers. I have an external USB-HDD (not a stick), with 1TB of storage. I have the computer booting from it, it boots with a syslinux grub.exe and gldr file at the root. Right now I use it to boot from a list-menu of different ISO's files (most live cd OS's like ubuntu, fedora, antivirus ISO's, etc). I used Xboot to create the syslinux Menu list. It also allows to boot normal from the internal hard disks operating systems I have (windows7/8/2012R2)

But I would like to install Windows 8 on this USB-HDD first using the approach on this topic, but I guess, I don't know exactly, if after installing Windows 8 will the syslinux-grub menu I have to boot ISO's get compromised ?

thanks for your comment, I would like to have it booting all the ISO's and Windows 8 installed in the same USB-HDD.

#18 steve6375

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 10:24 AM

thanks for the clarification @Wonko, this may help me to troubleshoot why I cannot make boot a usb-stick that has Windows 8.1 64bit in it, it just show the windows 8 blue window icon and the spinning dot circle but stays like that forever and it doesn't show the installation process as the Windows 7 64bit I already installed in another usb-stick.

Windows 8.1 has been changed by MS so that it won't boot on a Removable drive. Win 8 will, but not Win8.1.

 

See http://rmprepusb.blo...-usb-flash.html



#19 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 03:36 PM

Windows 8.1 has been changed by MS so that it won't boot on a Removable drive. Win 8 will, but not Win8.1.

 

See http://rmprepusb.blo...-usb-flash.html

Strangely similar to what was already suggested in post #11 ;) :whistling:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#20 rocketero

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 11:21 PM

that explains why after installing w 8.1 to usb it hangs for ever. I did tried like 3 or 5 different programs to format the usb-stick thinking one would do the magic. But now we know why wasn't working. thank you guys. This is just more for fun than for a need as I have already a windows 7 stick and that's basically what I need to recover/reinstall/reimage a HDD partition. Windows 8 to usb-stick could be other option but I have to say I used windows 8 for a little while as once the 8.1 came up I jumped to it and never went back to 8.

#21 devdevadev

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:49 AM

 Windows 8 to usb-stick could be other option but I have to say I used windows 8 for a little while as once the 8.1 came up I jumped to it and never went back to 8.

 

If you don't want to switch back to 'Windows 8', then I think you should have to use either 'WTG + VHDX' or 'WTG + WIMBoot + VHDX' USB configuration in order to create working 'Win 8.1 to GO' because normal 'WTG' of 'Windows 8.1' forgets to complete spinning of dots .  ;)

 

You can follow Steps 5-21 from HERE in order to create working 'WTG + WIMBoot + VHDX' of 'Windows 8.1' in your 'Removable USB Drive.

 

Regards...



#22 cokicornas

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 01:53 PM

you shouldn't have to change any of your friend's laptop, when you say 'boot.ini' I assume you're talking about windows xp, as vista/7/8 don't use it.

Actually I didn't know that. I thought that newer windows versions were still using it. I've been using windows XP till last june, so I'm new in Windows 7 :-)

 

I tried to install windows 7 in an external usb hdd, using a friend's laptop which is running Windows 8, but I wasn't able to make it work. When installer.cmd finishes and I reboot, nothing happens, and the laptop boots Windows 8 again. Do you know why? PC Bios is setup to boot from USB first.

 

By the way, as I'm willing to install windows 7 in my work laptop, I also tried to plug the usb hard drive directly to it after installer.cmd finished, but it didn't work either.

 

I've checked that apparently all the necessary windows files were copied into the external HDD.

 

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!



#23 cokicornas

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 12:01 AM

This is the message I get when it restarts:

No bootable device - insert boot disk and press any key

#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 10:23 AM

This is the message I get when it restarts:

No bootable device - insert boot disk and press any key

Which has little to do with anything else but (evidently) the fact that the device has not been correctly partitioned/formatted for booting.

 

HOW EXACTLY did you partition/format the device?

Which size EXACTLY is this USB hard disk?

Which EXACT make/model is it? 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#25 cokicornas

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 01:51 PM

Which has little to do with anything else but (evidently) the fact that the device has not been correctly partitioned/formatted for booting.

 

HOW EXACTLY did you partition/format the device?

Which size EXACTLY is this USB hard disk?

Which EXACT make/model is it? 

 

:duff:

Wonko

Well, for me is not so evident. That's why I'm asking. The message doesn't say anything about partitioning/formatting

 

I formated the usb hdd using the windows tool. As I'm not using a USB stick (USB hard drive instead), I followed these instructions:

 

http://reboot.pro/to...external-drive/

 

I didn't know that I had to format it in a special way. Do I have to use Rmprepusb (Install_RMPrepUSB_Full_v2.1.725.zip) utility, although it is not a USB stick?

 

Hard drive is lacie, 120 gigas.

 

Thank you for your answer.






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