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Best way to install Win10 to a external hdd (make it 'universal') ...


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#1 gbrao

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:00 AM

What would be the best way to install Win 10 to a 2.5" inch external hdd/ssd in a USB 3.0 SATA external case. Aiming to make it 'universal'.

e.g. it could be used on a system that has BIOS or EFI  ( not sure what the other differences could be ).

 

 

#2 devdevadev

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:38 AM

Hi..Dost

I think you should first create following MBR Partition scheme in your 2.5" inch external hdd/ssd using Bootice or any other partition tool which you prefer. And then just choose 350 MB FAT32 partition as Boot Partition and NTFS Partition as Installation Partition in WinNTSetup v3.7.4 .

 

IC611726.gif

 

May be this will definitely make you able to boot WTG10 in any system you want ? Feel Free to feedback if it work for you...

Regards...

 

http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry188563



#3 Akeo

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:16 PM

Bit biased here, since I am the author of the application, but Rufus was designed to be able to create Windows To Go drives that can be used for both BIOS and UEFI, provided you use a retail Windows 10 ISO (i.e. not the one you get with Microsoft's Media Creation Tool) and select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI in the Rufus options.


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#4 devdevadev

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 01:51 AM

Bit biased here, since I am the author of the application, but Rufus was designed to be able to create Windows To Go drives that can be used for both BIOS and UEFI, provided you use a retail Windows 10 ISO (i.e. not the one you get with Microsoft's Media Creation Tool) and select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI in the Rufus options.

I doubt that Rufus method will provide Secure UEFI Booting ? Does Rufus also uses UEFI:NTFS files in FAT32 partition in WTG10 ? 



#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 01:11 PM

I doubt that Rufus method will ...

 

It is good that there are such different opinions.

 

Personally I put the level of Akeo's credibility/reliability at 10  (in a 1 to 10 scale) :thumbup: , if he says that Rufus can make a Windows To Go drive, it surely can, and in any case noone (exception made for you) talked of Secure Boot, which you just introduced from thin air.

 

And your only reference is to an old, possibly obsolete and most probably partial and partially incorrect documentation from MS about Windows 8 (which is not Windows 10).

 

BTW there is not one reason in the world to have a 350 Mb partition, JFYI.

 

@Akeo

Just out of curiosity, what is the difference between the "retail" and the "Windows Media Creation Tool" that makes the one (but not the other) work?

I thought that the final result of the "Windows Media Creation Tool" was a "normal" .iso, or maybe it is some sort of "update only" version.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#6 Akeo

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:29 PM

I doubt that Rufus method will provide Secure UEFI Booting ?


Nope.

 

But, like the Debian maintainers, and due to Microsoft's obnoxious grip on the Secure Boot signing (that prevents UEFI:NTFS from being signed purely on account of the license it uses, which IS blatant abuse of power), I don't consider it as that big a loss.

 

Besides, if you really want Secure Boot, you don't have to use the Microsoft keys, but instead you can self-sign the UEFI:NTFS bootloader and enrol your keys manually. So, if you genuinely care about bootloader security, you can most certainly have Secure Boot with UEFI:NTFS. The only thing you're not going to have is the convenience of having UEFI:NTFS signed by Microsoft. But please be very mindful of not equating "Secure Boot" with "Something signed by Microsoft", especially as Microsoft have completely screwed the "Secure Boot" implementation by adding a bypass in Bootmgr, which they can't close unless UEFI firmware manufacturers start to disallow the installation of Windows 7 or Windows 8. So, once again, blindly trusting in "Secure Boot" to prevent a rogue Windows bootloader from executing does not provide you with much security at all, and you're much better off in implementing Secure Boot by signing the bootloaders yourself.
 

Does Rufus also uses UEFI:NTFS files in FAT32 partition in WTG10 ?


Yes. For the record, that partition is only 256 KB.
 

Just out of curiosity, what is the difference between the "retail" and the "Windows Media Creation Tool" that makes the one (but not the other) work?
I thought that the final result of the "Windows Media Creation Tool" was a "normal" .iso, or maybe it is some sort of "update only" version.


Glad you asked.

There are 2 issues with the MCT ISOs:

  1. Even if targeting the same system and language, no two MCT ISOs are the same, at the very least because they appear to include timestamps (but I think there's more uniqueness factors being introduced), which makes it very difficult to check for corruption or even malicious content. So, computing an SHA-1 will tell you nothing about the validity of the ISO you just obtained. Now, that specific issue is not what impacts the ability of Rufus to work with these ISOs, but way to let your users down by preventing them from validating that their Windows installations media are not corrupted, Microsoft!
  2. For the single version MCT ISOs, Microsoft decided to go with an install.wim that is incompatible with the native Windows WIM APIs, including the ones from the very latest Windows 10 Creators Update. So if you try to use WIMLoadImage(), WIMApplyImage() on such a WIM, all you get is: Could not access image: [0x0000000B] An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format. Great job again, Microsoft... And for the multiversion MCT ISOs (e.g. x64 + x86), Microsoft uses an install.esd instead of install.wim, and of course, there's no native API to apply an ESD file (which we need to create a Windows To Go drive). Note that I did look into using the wimlib library to work around these issues, but found that I'd have to spend a lot of time trying creating and maintaining my own custom version, to avoid having Rufus double in size, so I'm still waiting to see if Microsoft will fix their stuff...

TLDR: Microsoft suuuuuucks!!!


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#7 gbrao

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:50 PM

thanks everyone. just checked the replies today.

i kept on seeing '0 replies' so i did not check earlier.



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:56 PM

@Akeo

I see. :)

 

But the #1 is "only" a security issue, i.e. it would allow in theory for a "hacked" Windows Media Creation Tool capable of creating a .iso filled up with malware (or *whatever*), if we assume that the MCT is "original" and "clean" this should not happen. :unsure:

 

And the #2 is only because there will be the need for further steps of preparation/conversions/etc. (that coud be possibly made "before and outside" Rufus), the ESD can be converted to WIM fine, seemingly:

 

https://www.intel.co...3250.1505332027

 

and most probably there is *some way* to apply virtually and re-capture or converting the install.wim to one compatible to the "native" calls you mentioned. :dubbio:

 

I do understand how this is "out of scope" of Rufus in itself, but maybe there is a way to use Rufus for the basic setup and then run *something else* like (say, I didn't actually check it supports that setup) JFX's WinNTSetup to actually apply the .wim/esd and install/create the Windows on the Go.

 

:duff:

Wonko




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