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Win 7 On USB HDD


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#1 Max_Thrust

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:44 PM

I have been playing for weeks again trying to get Win 7 to run off of my USB HD and cannot figure out why it does not work. I have tried several ways and all result in 7B's.

I have checked every reg setting and all look good with the following execptions, in the entries for such items as usbehci, under control set 1 or current i have a couple of "extra" entries, BootFlag and DriverPackageID.

I also went line by line to see if the USB drivers were missing something compared to my XP drivers, since i can boot XP on my USB HD with no problems. everything looked like it was there, and also rem'd out the the DRM lines for driver signature atributes in the 3 USB INF files.

I also tried a VHD native boot by Garry Martin but that did not work.

I ma trying to take what i learned from my XP install and apply it as much as possible to the Win 7 install. In my adventure there is a couple of things that do not add up for me. It would seem like there would be a way to copy the PE bootmgr and such to the USB HD and it should work, but I do not know how to copy those system files over, it just tells me "no" no matter what way i do it (copy and paste, xcopy, copy).

Also I am perplexed on how Win 7 loads compared to XP, is there something that Win 7 loads that looks to see if it is a USB, and if so shuts down the load?

I also used BCDedit to look at the Win 7 as it is loading and looks like all the drivers needed are loading, but it goes so fast I cannot be 100%. but also it does not really say if the drivers loaded correctly.

I also looked at what SATA settings the BIOS is using since WIMB made a note of that when he wrote his Win 7 tut. On my box, the BIOS does not tell me or give me any options to change the SATA to IDE or ACHI (just says BIOS controlled) and I am using the current BIOS version, it is a Dell opti 740, with the AMD X2 CPU (if that helps in helping me).

Just seems like if I can get XP to run fine, then i should be able to get Win 7 to run.

Thanks,

Dave

#2 amalux

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:57 PM

Hi Dave,

Have you tried this method (patch), works great for Win7(x64) :)
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=6851

#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:37 AM

More loosely, in this very forum there are 3 (THREE) dedicated tutorials.

They are "stickies".

Choose 1 (one) of them and follow it EXACTLY.

Report what happens.

The general idea is:
  • try replicating EXACTLY, WITHOUT ANY change something that has worked already
  • ONCE it works AS IS try introducing your variations

XP and Windows 7 are DIFFERENT, DO NOT assume that anything from XP will work on 7 (or viceversa): it may happen, but do not count on it.

It's a few years that we know how to boot XP from USB, but again you have to take a decision, do you want to have XP booting from USB OR Windows 7?

Let's NOT mix the two things together.

However, and just to prove the exact contrary of what I just said :), the USBbootwatcher Service by Marv :) works on all of them: XP, Vista :D and 7 and it is used in some of the stickied Tutorials mentioned.

:D
Wonko

#4 Max_Thrust

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 03:53 PM

I think my problem lies in my Win 7 Version. All of the tuts and from what i can gather from "problem" posts seems to be with the 7600 build (I am using 7600.16385) and all the tuts are using the Beta build (and do you think I can find my Beta???). Also does the flavor make a difference, I have Ultimate, but can get other flavors as well (I work for a college).

I am going to try that PWBoot and see what happens.

Thanks,

Dave

#5 agni

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:13 PM

I used this tool to install Windows 7 on USB HDD.
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10126

I tried with Ultimate edition and it worked fine.

#6 amalux

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:29 PM

... "problem" posts seems to be with the 7600 build ...

I am going to try that PWBoot and see what happens.

Give it a try (so simple), PWBoot worked fine for me with 7600 (x64) :D

--
I also like the NT 6.x fast installer suggested by agni :)

#7 Max_Thrust

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 04:11 PM

I found the problem, but cannot find the fix yet. The problem is with the SATA mode, I went to a Dell Opti 760 and it works like a champ once i change the SATA mode to AHCI in the BIOS. However, the 740 does not have a AHCI option, I did find an update for the CD ROM that came with it for AHCI, but it is not a BIOS update, just a firmware update from what I can gather.

So, is there an intermediate tool that will allow ATA -> AHCI?

Also on this adventure, when I changed the SATA setting, Win 7 will boot via USB, but then fails (ironically with a 7B) when I boot XP on the internal HD. So i am finding this rather puzzling, XP needs ATA for both internal and USB HD, but Win 7 needs AHCI.

Thanks,
Dave

#8 amalux

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:16 PM

Normally, the way this works is, Win7/Vista have no problem with SATA but XP does (because it's missing drivers), so changing BIOS settings from SATA to Compatability mode, ATA mode (or similar) will usually allow XP to boot out of the box. Better to supply (slipstream) SATA drivers at XP install (DriverPacks makes this easy) and let XP work in SATA! It may be possible to add these drivers post install but not recommended, there are guides for this around the internet. AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) which may still be supported in XP if you can find XP drivers for it adds new Native Command Queuing and hot-plugging capabilities. http://www.differenc...-ahci-and-sata/

#9 Max_Thrust

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:22 PM

I finally got good news, I now have a running Win 7 on USB HD =). What I found was a couple of things, 1st on my box (Dell Opti 740) it will not boot with AHCI so I had to change MSAHCI to 3, which was mentioned by Wimb in a post someplace here.

2nd, I had to use a cloning method that is mentioned in the Tuts. The problem I had before with cloning was that I did not have another drive laying around, and the cloning did not make much sense (and still dose not as to why it works) to me. The reason it does not make sense is that all you are doing is copying the data that is already there, so if the "install" would not work why would cloning work.

For anyone else that comes across this post, i am going to try a couple of things that should work to get the cloning down to one drive. What I am thinking of is make a partition, image the drive to that partition then install from the image back to the main partition, much like how companies put the recovery software on a partition to eliminate the CDs.

I want to thank all that have helped in here with my adventure. Now I hope that I can help others in here and pay the community back.

Dave

#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 01:37 PM

2nd, I had to use a cloning method that is mentioned in the Tuts. The problem I had before with cloning was that I did not have another drive laying around, and the cloning did not make much sense (and still dose not as to why it works) to me. The reason it does not make sense is that all you are doing is copying the data that is already there, so if the "install" would not work why would cloning work.

Which translates nicely in "§@#çing do EXACTLY what is written in a tutorial WITHOUT introducing changes of ANY kind !", and matches nicely point #f.3 of the "Common Sense Advice":
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9101

you see, there are REASONS.... :confused1:


I want to thank all that have helped in here with my adventure. Now I hope that I can help others in here and pay the community back.

Good, happy you made it! :lol:

:D
Wonko




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