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Install any OS from USB to HDD (or vhd)


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#1 Sascha Elble

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

This is my "mobile" version. Aka, I walk up to ANY computer , plug in my usb and start installing, all from usb. --- (provided it allows booting from usb)

requirements:
USB or USB HDD large enough to hold all your files
Boot manager installed to your usb to boot your "tools"

"Tools" (Windows recovery pretty much is my main tool for installing os's, and bootloaders)
An OS enviroment that allows:
VHD mounting and write capable (Optional for those who wish to install into a VHD)
ISO extracter (Optional for those who wish to extract iso contents on the fly to the target partition)
File Manager
Ability to install bootmanagers to target drive

Pre-Setup
Extract your iso into its respective empty folder (My case /boot/boot-iso/name_of_iso/ Files_extracted_here )

Run time:
Boot into your favorite tool (I just use Win 7 x32 or x64 recovery)
Copy the contents of your iso folder to target drive
Run install appropriate boot manager to target drive (Windows: Make sure boot and active flags are set on the target partition)
Reboot
Make sure your harddrive is set to boot in the bios
Setup will start

(If installing more than 1 OS, just do this as many times as needed, ignore missing boot entrys or boot loaders.
Once your done, install your preferred bootloader and set it up to recognise all your OS's)

Note:
If you install Windows Vista, 7, or 8 this way, then you will have an extra boot option in your boot manager from now on. Called "Windows Setup"
This is basically a shortcut that allows you to boot straight into your "iso" Since the files are still on your harddrive windows is able to call the setup directly


A bootable iso could be created that does the above mentioned automagically.
You pick your iso, pick your destination drive, specify which bootloader you want and it does the rest

Edited by Sascha Elble, 01 November 2012 - 02:05 AM.


#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

Wow, the details contained in this tutorial are incredible.

How can a single person have gone into all the trouble of getting to this accurate level of description of the methods and tools used while at the same time have kept it so easy to follow and brief is astounding.

I presume we can close the support forum about booting from USB/Boot Anywhere and replace it with this thread made a sticky. :dubbio:

I have a shorter version, though:
http://www.imdb.com/...es?qt=qt0362962

And BTW anyone can use Nada™ to have the same result could ever be expect to have by following this tutorial, but in an automated way:
http://www.bernardbe.../NaDa/index.php

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 Sascha Elble

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

Im sorry, I don't see exactly what im missing... This isnt exactly a tut for someone who has no idea how to install a bootsector ect... but its not rocket science either...

If you would like to see something added to the tut please explain what your looking for.

This process adds the benefit of being able to:
Have many folders "isos" on one usb (without adding drivers, or modifying the iso contents to make it work)
Windows users get the "Windows Setup" option in their boot menu, which allows them to reinstall windows, or even install it again to another partition.

I don't recall another method that allows this... If you do, please let me know.

#4 Sha0

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Im sorry, I don't see exactly what im missing... This isnt exactly a tut for someone who has no idea how to install a bootsector ect... but its not rocket science either...

The thread topic contains a mistake. You cannot install Windows XP in this fashion, as just one example. Some Linux distributions will expect a disc instead of an HDD as the insallation media, also.

Instead of saying "any OS," perhaps you could simply include those that you've tested the process with. The problem I have with this is that the thread title is impressive, but contains an error, and the first post contains very little detail when compared with some of the other impressively-titled threads.

#5 Giloz

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:19 PM

@ Sacha, Could you please make a steb by step on how to do this and explain in detail?
Just pretend I am a 2 year old kid with zero knowledge.
No, I am not been sarcastic, just an honest very old guy who would love to do this. In the mean time I am going to learn what a bootsector is. I forgot to tell you that I have a 4GB NTI20 USB drive.
Please forgive my poor English I hope you do not mind.
Thank you, your help and generosity are deeply appreciated.

Екатерина

#6 Sascha Elble

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

May I have enabled rights to edit my op?

Giloz:

4gb stick will work for most iso's, however unless your using a bunch of small ones, you wont be able to fit much.

*Will look into the xp thing, and Sha0, do you have a linux example that I may test with?

Edited by Sascha Elble, 01 November 2012 - 07:23 PM.


#7 Giloz

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

So, Are you making the tutorial?
Thank you, your help and generosity are deeply appreciated.

#8 Sha0

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

*Will look into the xp thing, and Sha0, do you have a linux example that I may test with?

With regard to Linux, I don't know of any "live CD" distribution that would be happy with the first post's suggestion to simply copy the .ISO contents out of your USB directory and into an HDD partition, without some additional steps. It's not clear from the first post what boot-sector you'd install to the HDD partition to even boot the Linux kernel and initramfs.

#9 Sascha Elble

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:37 AM

Yes I will be making a more clear and exact tutorial with every TESTED iso.

Giloz:

If anyone would like me to guide them while I am writing up the tutorial and testing iso's you can IM me directly

Sascha.Elble@gmail.com
lbebusiness@yahoo.com

I also have a microphone/teamviewer setup (I can show examples using my own desktop, or show you how to do it on your own desktop)

Edited by Sascha Elble, 02 November 2012 - 01:41 AM.


#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

Im sorry, I don't see exactly what im missing... This isnt exactly a tut for someone who has no idea how to install a bootsector ect... but its not rocket science either...

The point I tried to make through sarcasm was that - besides what Sha0 already correctly commented - your thread makes no sense.

If it is aimed to the newbie, it is useless as it provides NO details whatsoever.
If it is aimed to the already knowledgeable member, it is useless as it contains only some confused mumble-jumble that any expert member already knows, and probably knows much more in depth than you do :ph34r:.

With all due respect :), I also strongly doubt that your first statement (underlined bolded):

This is my "mobile" version. Aka' date=' [u']I walk up to ANY computer , plug in my usb and start installing[/u], all from usb. --- (provided it allows booting from usb)

actually has some validity in the real world.

Since it is a few years that on reboot.pro (formerly known as boot-land) we attempt booting PC's from USB, we do have a little experience on the specific topic, there are tens (if not hundreds) of system models that while do have a BIOS that support booting from USB, won't simply boot from it if a whole set of conditions are not met, and if you have found a setup and a device that meets all of them (or that is so flexible as to be changed on-the-fly to meet all of them), we can actually -as stated - close the forum alltogether.

So, if you would re-phrase to something like:

I walk up to ANY computer among the few ones I had experience with, all relatively recent, plug in my usb and start installing

you become (somehow and anyway not fully) credible, otherwise the original sentence sounds a lot like a vague, high-sounding, boastful, implausible proclamation.

Writing a Guide/Tutorial is already difficult enough (assembling the amount of needed details but keeping it simple enough to be understandable for a non already expert reader) when the scope is "narrow", let alone if it so vast as to comprise ANY computer, and seemingly also ANY OS and what not).

IMNSHO a guide/tutorial must contain:
  • a defined scope (usually - as said - a "narrow" one)
  • a detailed set of instructions to reach that scope
  • such instructions should be replicable to obtain that scope by anyone (belonging to the intended target audience) by simply following those instructions exactly
If only one of the above three points is not implemented, that *whatever* is not a valid guide/tutorial, right now your post contains none of them.


:cheers:
Wonko




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