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Trouble running Windows 8.1 from external HDD (with VHD)

usb booting windows 8.1 external hdd

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#26 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:08 PM

@ztron

Yes, this is very possible :).

The string "Missing operating system" is in the "standard" MBR and it is then shown because the bootsector is not bootable (i.e. the bootsect.exe did not produce the desired effect on the volume).

I didn't noticed that output :blush:

It's "queer" however that a bootasector on a USB device is "locked", but then again, since it is 8.1, everything is possible.

 

:cheers:

Wonko

 

 

 

 



#27 steve6375

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:55 PM

Post #22 shows it has booted to grldr. If grub4dos is running and a menu.lst is loaded, the bootmgr bootsector is not needed as we chainload direct to \bootmgr.

Also the original posts showed that it had booted to bootmgr. So even though bootsect failed it should be bootable (depends on exact history of what was done to partition and format the drive)???

 

The behaviour of the system seems most odd and it would be nice to get some diagnostic results as I requested and you 'half' replied in post #22.

If you install grub4dos and have grldr and menu.lst present then it should boot to the grub4dos menu. Did you do this - if so why didn't you see the menu?



#28 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:07 PM

@Steve

There are seemingly two separate issues.

  1. The "non-install" way failed because the bootsector - probably - is not the "standard" Windows Vista :ph34r: or later invoking bootmanager (i.e. the bootsect.exe was not successful). (end of the issue).
  2. The "install" way failed because somehow the grldr.mbr cannot find the grldr OR the grldr booted from the installed grldr.mbr cannot find the menu.lst.

If the menu.lst cannot be found, it should however go to a grub> prompt, so it seems more like the grldr.mbr cannot find the grldr.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#29 korun

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:31 PM

Post #22 shows it has booted to grldr. If grub4dos is running and a menu.lst is loaded, the bootmgr bootsector is not needed as we chainload direct to \bootmgr.

Also the original posts showed that it had booted to bootmgr. So even though bootsect failed it should be bootable (depends on exact history of what was done to partition and format the drive)???

 

The behaviour of the system seems most odd and it would be nice to get some diagnostic results as I requested and you 'half' replied in post #22.

If you install grub4dos and have grldr and menu.lst present then it should boot to the grub4dos menu. Did you do this - if so why didn't you see the menu?

 

I was busy so I did the steps again:

 

https://www.dropbox....2013 182425.bmp

 

https://www.dropbox....2013 182124.bmp

 

I now have `grldr` and `menu.lst` files in the root of the first partition of my drive (added there automatically) but my WIndows install is in the other (second) partition.

 

EDIT:

And again when I try to boot from usb from the bios option it fails with the same error. If i go into USB with plop it boots to the grub4dos bootloader and I have Win 8 option but it tries to boot from the same partition as the grub loader while the Windows 8 System is on the other (second) hdd partition.

 

I guess the USB drive or the bios fail to load quickly enough to boot from the hdd and plop is handling that in a better way.


Edited by korun, 13 October 2013 - 04:37 PM.


#30 steve6375

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:03 PM

menu.lst is not added automatically?

What is in your menu.lst?

So are you saying you get the drives listed (white text on black screen) and then what happens?

You should see a menu?

 

When you say you run plop - is this booting from a Plop CD?



#31 ztron

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:24 PM

hi again,
 
WOnko, good to get your message.
 
Steve, you too and thanks because I have enjoyed your site a lot.
So far I only use GRUB Legacy not G4D yet.
RMPrepUSB neither but it looks advanced and convenient at the same time, a virtual work of art.
 
And of course this site :-)
 
I'm learning so much from everyone here, so far I just boot the old-fashioned way.
 
looking again at the korun "Procedure" JPG, appears like the WD Passport consisted of volumes H: & I: at the time within the diskpart screen.
Can not be sure which volume is at the beginning of the HDD and which at the end.  They are nicely labeled though, so I will soon make a guess.
I must also assume these are both primary partitions, or maybe I overlooked some posted confirmation.
 
I have a WD Passport 1TB which I declined to do boot work since it is a Passport version having an included SES (SCSI Enclosure Services) device which requires installing a non-native Windows driver (plus installed windows app to control), while at the same time the regular Windows USB storage driver for the remainder of the HDD loads automatically upon plugging in to USB.  One cable, two functional devices inside, similar to the USB controllers having a sometimes seen USB-CDROM section in addition to USB-HDD section.
 
I have never installed the SES driver from WD or WU on any PC's so far, and info from WD is confusing enough so that it is difficult to be sure whether a virtual CD would appear (or be optional and configurable with the WD Smartware which I do not install to Windows either) after such an SES driver was added to any Windows.
With many of the "My Passport" SES models there are corresponding similar models having no SES property.
In my use on W81preview there is still no native SES driver and I do not connect to WU, and never see a VCD either.
Only one little suffusion of yellow in Device Manager for the non-installed SES device :-)
And I am happy to just use the USB 3.0 1TB of factory NTFS storage like noobs are expected to do ;-)
And even happier with the now discontinued USB 2.0 IOmega eGo Helium 1TB which boots wonderfully.
This was purchased after the sad Passport as consolation to myself.
eGo Helium was as low as $39US when first discontinued before "Singapore flooding" price-rise.
Both of these were obtained early, and have non-AF HDD's inside therefore sectors are 512B although both controllers are rumored to function with at least 2TB HDD's.  And perhaps 4096B sectors, which I would rather not have.
 
Anyway, The factory label for the WD preformatted USB storage volume is "My Passport".
 
So I now assume korun has shrunk the factory NTFS volume, then partitioned and formatted
the final space as NTFS and labeled it USBOS.
 
strike that last sentence, while I was typing, korun has now confirmed this by posting his partition table.
 
also looking at the newly posted RMPrepUSB panel, on all but a vey old PC I prefer FAT32 over FAT16, and I always keep my FAT32's below the original 32GB, and FAT16's below the original 2GB, but that's just me being old-fashioned.
Cluster size can be also be a consideration that was not as important then.
there's also this:
 
Beginning a volume at 390GB away from sector0 does require the "standard" MBR be a really good one, as well as the bootloader itself.
For instance the "standard MBR" of Ranish will not boot DOS further than 8GB away from sector0.
W8 can provide this 1TB capability but the the BOOTSECT.EXE command would then be:
 
bootsect /nt60 i: /force /mbr
 
there would then be a double message in the Win32 console, with possibly two opportunities for failure
even with "Bootcode was successfully updated" being reported.
 
Naturally none of these considerations would be visible in the Korun "Output" JPG, since that is just a decent
looking BCD.
 
But if korun volume G: was a WD virtual DVDROM I would think that may be a variable I have not tackled yet as I mentioned.
This detail I would like korun to clarify also.  It shows no media so I hope its real.  Looks like he is booted to a real
DVD (x:\windows\system32\cmd.exe) so probably no worries about that in this case.
 
Also I don't boot any .VHD yet either so what do I know anyway.
 
hope this helps
ztron

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#32 korun

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:21 PM

menu.lst is not added automatically?

What is in your menu.lst?

So are you saying you get the drives listed (white text on black screen) and then what happens?

You should see a menu?

 

When you say you run plop - is this booting from a Plop CD?

 

It is added automatically (at least when i press f4) with the contents you provided me above.

 

I added plop to the standard bootloader. When I boot to the drive from bios boot from usb option I get:

https://www.dropbox....1012_204250.jpg

 

If I boot from usb from the plop bootmanager i get grub4dos bootloader with Win8 Boot option. If I click that I get:

 

https://www.dropbox....1013_221923.jpg

 

 

 

hi again,
 
WOnko, good to get your message.
 
Steve, you too and thanks because I have enjoyed your site a lot.
So far I only use GRUB Legacy not G4D yet.
RMPrepUSB neither but it looks advanced and convenient at the same time, a virtual work of art.
 
And of course this site :-)
 
I'm learning so much from everyone here, so far I just boot the old-fashioned way.
 
looking again at the korun "Procedure" JPG, appears like the WD Passport consisted of volumes H: & I: at the time within the diskpart screen.
Can not be sure which volume is at the beginning of the HDD and which at the end.  They are nicely labeled though, so I will soon make a guess.
I must also assume these are both primary partitions, or maybe I overlooked some posted confirmation.
 
I have a WD Passport 1TB which I declined to do boot work since it is a Passport version having an included SES (SCSI Enclosure Services) device which requires installing a non-native Windows driver (plus installed windows app to control), while at the same time the regular Windows USB storage driver for the remainder of the HDD loads automatically upon plugging in to USB.  One cable, two functional devices inside, similar to the USB controllers having a sometimes seen USB-CDROM section in addition to USB-HDD section.
 
I have never installed the SES driver from WD or WU on any PC's so far, and info from WD is confusing enough so that it is difficult to be sure whether a virtual CD would appear (or be optional and configurable with the WD Smartware which I do not install to Windows either) after such an SES driver was added to any Windows.
With many of the "My Passport" SES models there are corresponding similar models having no SES property.
In my use on W81preview there is still no native SES driver and I do not connect to WU, and never see a VCD either.
Only one little suffusion of yellow in Device Manager for the non-installed SES device :-)
And I am happy to just use the USB 3.0 1TB of factory NTFS storage like noobs are expected to do ;-)
And even happier with the now discontinued USB 2.0 IOmega eGo Helium 1TB which boots wonderfully.
This was purchased after the sad Passport as consolation to myself.
eGo Helium was as low as $39US when first discontinued before "Singapore flooding" price-rise.
Both of these were obtained early, and have non-AF HDD's inside therefore sectors are 512B although both controllers are rumored to function with at least 2TB HDD's.  And perhaps 4096B sectors, which I would rather not have.
 
Anyway, The factory label for the WD preformatted USB storage volume is "My Passport".
 
So I now assume korun has shrunk the factory NTFS volume, then partitioned and formatted
the final space as NTFS and labeled it USBOS.
 
strike that last sentence, while I was typing, korun has now confirmed this by posting his partition table.
 
also looking at the newly posted RMPrepUSB panel, on all but a vey old PC I prefer FAT32 over FAT16, and I always keep my FAT32's below the original 32GB, and FAT16's below the original 2GB, but that's just me being old-fashioned.
Cluster size can be also be a consideration that was not as important then.
there's also this:
 
Beginning a volume at 390GB away from sector0 does require the "standard" MBR be a really good one, as well as the bootloader itself.
For instance the "standard MBR" of Ranish will not boot DOS further than 8GB away from sector0.
W8 can provide this 1TB capability but the the BOOTSECT.EXE command would then be:
 
bootsect /nt60 i: /force /mbr
 
there would then be a double message in the Win32 console, with possibly two opportunities for failure
even with "Bootcode was successfully updated" being reported.
 
Naturally none of these considerations would be visible in the Korun "Output" JPG, since that is just a decent
looking BCD.
 
But if korun volume G: was a WD virtual DVDROM I would think that may be a variable I have not tackled yet as I mentioned.
This detail I would like korun to clarify also.  It shows no media so I hope its real.  Looks like he is booted to a real
DVD (x:\windows\system32\cmd.exe) so probably no worries about that in this case.
 
Also I don't boot any .VHD yet either so what do I know anyway.
 
hope this helps
ztron

 

 

I really didn't inderstand some of the thing you wanted me to confirm, I am quite a noob and might need a second explanation :))


Edited by korun, 13 October 2013 - 08:32 PM.


#33 steve6375

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

What 'standard bootloader' is this? How did you add Plop to it? Why did you add Plop to it?

 

Why not format the USB drive, add grub4dos, add menu.lst, boot?



#34 korun

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:36 PM

What 'standard bootloader' is this? How did you add Plop to it? Why did you add Plop to it?

 

Why not format the USB drive, add grub4dos, add menu.lst, boot?

 

http://www.plop.at/e...ll.html#wininst

 

I added it in the Windows boot menu because I didn't had empty CD at my hand. Later I got one and tried that way too (booting plop via CDROM) and it also worked. I installed plop to try my luck as I didn't really had much options and luckily it worked.

 

I have grub4dos and menu.lst in the first partition of my external HDD, I just get error when I try to boot from usb even with that installed. I used your RMPrepUSB application and your instructions to do that.


Edited by korun, 13 October 2013 - 08:40 PM.


#35 steve6375

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:45 PM

and the error you got when just booting grub4dos + menu.lst without plop was....?



#36 steve6375

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:48 PM

Is it possible that you can disable your internal HDD (via the BIOS) and try booting from the ext USB drive just using grub4dos + menu.lst?

Maybe it is hanging when accessing your hard disk?



#37 korun

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:34 PM

Is it possible that you can disable your internal HDD (via the BIOS) and try booting from the ext USB drive just using grub4dos + menu.lst?

Maybe it is hanging when accessing your hard disk?

This is what I get when I boot from usb for around 2-3 seconds before I am redirected to the default windows bootloader:

 

https://www.dropbox....1012_204250.jpg

 

Also BIOS doesn't allow me to disable internal hdd and as it is a laptop I am not sure if I can disconnect them physically without damaging something else :)).



#38 steve6375

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:40 PM

You can usually remove a HDD from a laptop easily. Just remove a cover, undo a few scews that hold the drive down and slide it back to unplug it. But I quite understand if you don't want to do it. Being pragmatic, if Plop works, why not configure it (plpbt.bin using  plpcfgbtGUI.exe) to auto-boot to the external hard disk.


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#39 ztron

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:43 PM

I think my short answer to the first problem would be to repeat Tutorial 90 from RMPrepUSB,

using the following command in place of bootsect /nt60 i:

 

bootsect /nt60 i: /force /mbr

 

ztron

 

also if it was me I would probably confirm that the Passport is actually bootable to begin with

on your compaq laptop

in a simple way like DOS

 

 







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