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Boot Windows 7 from USB hard disk


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#26 Marietto

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 12:31 PM

to be continued :)

#27 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:08 PM

Should I open the VHD image file with winmount ? Thanks.


Yes ;), or with any other .vhd capable mounter, such as the VHDMount that comes with VIRTUAL SERVER 2005 R2 SP1:
http://community.bar...09/02/4385.aspx
http://vmblog.com/ar...ual-server.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.co.../01/734435.aspx

But if you are running as "main" system Windows 7, the capability is integrated:
http://thelazyadmin....er-2008-r2.aspx

jaclaz

#28 Marietto

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:40 PM

1) mounted the VHD image file ; has been created the virtual drive e:
2) usbbootwatcher.exe /prepare e:\windows\system32
3) copied the patched VHD image on the USB disk
4) tried to boot Windows 7 from the VHD image located on the USB disk,it worked
5) attached the USB disk on another computer and tried to boot windows 7 from there,it didn't work :

STOP: 0x0000007B (0x80786A90,0XC000000E...)

6) attached the USB disk on the first computer,where the installation had been finished and booted Windows 7 from it,it worked

7) upgraded windows 7 using Windows update and rebooted
8) it doesn't work anymore :

STOP: 0x0000007B (0x80786A90,0XC000000E...)

#29 Joshua

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

STOP: 0x0000007B (0x80786A90,0XC000000E...)

Install usbbootwatcher again, and it will work, but only on this computer.

Joshua

#30 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:08 PM

1) mounted the VHD image file ; has been created the virtual drive e:
2) usbbootwatcher.exe /prepare e:\windows\system32
3) copied the patched VHD image on the USB disk
4) tried to boot Windows 7 from the VHD image located on the USB disk,it worked


Good ;)


5) attached the USB disk on another computer and tried to boot windows 7 from there,it didn't work :

STOP: 0x0000007B (0x80786A90,0XC000000E...)

6) attached the USB disk on the first computer,where the installation had been finished and booted Windows 7 from it,it worked


Well, this means that something is hardcoded in the build, referencing something specific of the PC. This sounds "strange" to me, but you never know what the good MS guys may have come up with. :(

Are the two computers "similar" or completely different?
Example:
PC#1: Desktop, Athlon 64, IDE disks
PC#2: Laptop, Centrino, SATA disk

It is possible that the problem is "outside" the .vhd, in BCD? ;)

Only way to find out is to have the copy of the "working on one computer" .vhd, create a new .vhd on the "other" computer, make sure that it works on the "other" and compare the two .vhd's and BCD's.


7) upgraded windows 7 using Windows update and rebooted

Well, this is called in jargon "asking for trouble". :unsure:
You need to re-do from start, make a copy of the original .vhd.
Then run Windows update and compare the modified .vhd with the saved one to understand which changes they have made.

:(

jaclaz

P.S.:
@Joshua
Isn't there a way to modify something without re-mounting the .vhd and re-installing USBbootwatcher,exe?
Maybe we have to wait and see if cdob happens to see thsi thread. :(

#31 Joshua

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:17 PM

@Joshua
Isn't there a way to modify something without re-mounting the .vhd and re-installing USBbootwatcher,exe?
Maybe we have to wait and see if cdob happens to see thsi thread. :unsure:

Until now, i have found no other way. :(
I can boot full windows7 on three complete different machines, but i need 3 different usb drives to do that. ;)
I also hope we found a better way! ;)

Joshua

#32 Marietto

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:05 PM

yeah,you are right,now it works again.

#33 Marietto

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:30 PM

ok,we can make some comparisons :

First computer :

Motherboard : Foxconn 45CSX mini-ITX
Intel Atom 330 processor (dual-core, 2x1.6Ghz)
Intel 945GC+ICH7 chipset
Intel GMA950 graphics chip
Realtek ALC662 audio chip
Realtek RTL8100C ethernet chip
1 GB of DDR2 RAM

Second computer : eeepc 8g

Windows 7 is working on the VHD image file on the USB disk without making changes.

#34 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:37 PM

Windows 7 is working on the VHD image file on the USB disk without making changes.

Now I am completely failing to understand. ;)

You just posted that it worked on one or the other, is it now working on both?

How did you re-install the USBwatcher.exe?

I mean, let's depict an apocalyptic scenario :unsure::
BEFORE:
  • Computer "A" works
  • Computer "B" works
  • you have a working Windows 7 in a .vhd image on USB device that works perfectly on computer "A"

AFTER:
  • Computer "A" blows up or is flooded
  • Computer "B" works, but it's hard disk fails
  • you have a working Windows 7 in a .vhd on USB device that worked perfectly on computer "A", can you boot it on Computer "B"?

;)

jaclaz

#35 Marietto

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

1) computer (it is the computer where I have installed Windows 7 the first time) :

Motherboard : Foxconn 45CSX mini-ITX
Intel Atom 330 processor (dual-core, 2x1.6Ghz)
Intel 945GC+ICH7 chipset
Intel GMA950 graphics chip
Realtek ALC662 audio chip
Realtek RTL8100C ethernet chip
1 GB of DDR2 RAM

2) computer :

Motherboard : ASRock K7S41GX
CPU : AMD Athlon XP 1900+ stepping 02
North Bridge : SiS 741GX
South Bridge : SiS 963L
Graphic chip : nVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
Audio : C-Media CMI9739A/9761 @ SiS 7012
Network : SiS 900 Fast Ethernet Adapter (PHY: Realtek RTL8201/L/BL)
2 GB DDR SDRAM

3) computer : eeepc 8g

Motherboard : Asus Eee PC 702
CPU : Mobile Intel Celeron M ULV 353,633 MHZ (9 x 70)
North Bridge : Mobile Intel Alviso-G i910GML
South Bridge : Intel 82801FBM ICH6-M
Graphic chip : Mobile Intel 915GM/GMS,910GML Express Chipset Family
Audio : Realtek ALC662 @ Intel 82801FBM
Network : Atheros L2 Fast Ethernet 10/100
1 GB DDR2 SDRAM

4) computer :

North Bridge nVIDIA GeForce 6100 (C51G)
South Bridge: nVIDIA nForce 410 (MCP51)
CPU : AMD Sempron, 1800 MHz (9 x 200) 3400+
Graphic chip : nVIDIA GeForce 6100
Audio : Analog Devices AD1986A @ nVIDIA nForce 410 (MCP51)
Network : TI USB Remote NDIS Network Device
2 GB of DDR2 RAM

computer 1 and computer 3 ---> windows 7 works on BOTH computers,no need to re-install usbbootwatcher.

computer 2 and computer 4 ---> windows 7 works on BOTH computers,no need to re-install usbbootwatcher

It seems that Windows 7 works on computers with the same cpu...

#36 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:18 PM

It seems that Windows 7 works on computers with the same cpu...

Very, very good. ;) :(

So, it must be something related to chipset driver, or to video ones, though I cannot imagine how re-installing USBootwatcher fixes that. :unsure:

What graphic processor has the eeepc 8G? Isn't it an Intel one?

Try something crazy (it did work with 2K and to a limited extent with XP):
Let's assume that the USB is now configured to boot from computers 1 and 3
  • boot from it on either computer 1 or 3
  • go to device manager
  • remove all devices in it, leaving only keyboard, mouse and video
  • force the video driver to "VGA"
  • switch off
  • try booting from the USB device on either computer 2 or 4

:unsure:

jaclaz

#37 Marietto

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:53 PM

1) Booted Win 7 from computer 1

2) Removed : video driver (it has been forced to "VGA"),network driver,audio driver and CPU driver,but I don't know if it has been removed because it said that I had reboot the computer to finish the uninstallation

3) Booted Win 7 from computer 2

4) When the win 7 logo is appeared,the computer restarted without to display the blue screen of death.

5) Attached the USB disk on computer 1 and got the blue screen of death,with error : 0x0000007B

#38 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 10:07 PM

The bad news is that it didn't work. :unsure:

The good news :( is that you had an occasion to boot without bluescreening.

If Joshua or some of the other more "inside windows" guys could find a way to re-install USBootwatcher during this "blank" start, problem would be (at least as a workaround) solved. :unsure:

jaclaz

#39 Marietto

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 07:45 PM

Hello,

I've got a new computer to make tests,but there is a problem that I'm not able to fix. When I try to boot Windows 7 from the USB disk,I get a disk read error,why ? It doesn't happens with other computers...

#40 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:40 PM

I get a disk read error,why ? It doesn't happens with other computers...

Which EXACT error?
From BIOS or MBR/bootsector?

Compare with this:
http://www.msfn.org/...91-page-25.html

jaclaz

#41 Marietto

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 05:24 AM

A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

#42 Marietto

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 11:58 AM

Ok,I've got a new computer (n. 5) to make tests,it is :

Motherboard : ASRock 775V88+
CPU : Intel Pentium 4 640,3100 MHz
North Bridge : Via Apollo PT880
South Bridge : Via VT8237
Graphic chip : ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 (M9+)
Audio : C-Media CMI9739A/9761 @ VIA AC'97
Network : VIA VT6102 Rhine II Fast Ethernet Adapter
1024 MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM

I did :

1) Installed Windows 7 on the IDE disk of this computer
2) Copied to c:\ the VHD image file I used to boot succesfully Windows 7 on computer 1 and 3
3) Mounted and patched the VHD image file
4) Installed the boot entries :

c:\windows\system32>bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Boot From VHD"
The entry was succesfully copied to {d1c322bc-0f4e-11de-a271-8c2cd1e4be0a}
c:\windows\system32>bcdedit /set {d1c322bc-0f4e-11de-a271-8c2cd1e4be0a} device vhd=[C:]\7.vhd
c:\windows\system32>bcdedit /set {d1c322bc-0f4e-11de-a271-8c2cd1e4be0a} osdevice vhd=[C:]\7.vhd
c:\windows\system32>bcdedit /set {d1c322bc-0f4e-11de-a271-8c2cd1e4be0a} detecthal on
c:\windows\system32>bcdedit /set {d1c322bc-0f4e-11de-a271-8c2cd1e4be0a} description "VHD Boot"

5) I've booted the VHD image file and I've got the BSOD : 0x0000007B

#43 karyonix

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 12:32 PM

It seems VHD does not help you.
Why don't you just use plain USB harddisk without additional complexity from VHD ?

#44 Marietto

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 12:57 PM

Good question. I don't use plain USB hard-disks because I already did it. Since there are no differences between plain USB disks and VHD images files,I use the second because they are more convenient.

#45 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:12 PM

Good question. I don't use plain USB hard-disks because I already did it. Since there are no differences between plain USB disks and VHD images files,I use the second because they are more convenient.


I guess that the above needs a clarification, it should be reworded as:

Good question. I don't use plain USB hard-disks because I already did it and it didn't work. Since I presume that there are no differences between plain USB disks and VHD images files,I use the second because they are more convenient.


In other words, after an initial failure, followed by a success with this method:
http://www.911cd.net... vista from usb
that worked allright on a single computer, Marietto2009 is trying to add an additional feature, which needs to resolve a problem till now (AFAIK) NOT solved:
  • making a "full" Windows 7 "portable" between different computers.

My guess is that the actual (unknown yet) problem preventing a "plain" USB build to be portable is the SAME problem preventing a "VHD" USB build to be portable. :(

Marietto2009 already found a workaround to it, i.e. re-installing the USBootwatcher service, but we don't know WHAT is causing the need to reinstall the service, nor WHAT the re-installation of the service fixes.

On the other hand the fact that "pairs" of computers with some similarities between members of each pair at hardware level, do actually boot from the same build on the same device on both members of the pair, should mean that somehow the success or failure is connected to some piece of hardware, AND that somehow, something is hardcoded (in the Registry or somewhere else) that needs to be "refreshed by a re-install of the service.

So, as I see it, we have two possible paths to choose between:
  • accept that the USBootwatcher service needs to be reinstalled and that it is an acceptable workaround (but we need to find a practical way to do the actual re-install without too much hassle) :unsure:
  • find the actual reasons that cause these behaviour and find a "real" solution to it (if possible) :unsure:

The recent test where a first boot without bluescreening happened might give a possibility to go on along path #1.

The "proper" way should be however that of path #2, i.e. to understand the reasons behind. :(

To go on along path #2 a "differencing" between the Registry of the Windows 7 when successfully booting form PC pair "1-3" and the Registry of the Windows 7 when successfully booting from PC pair "2-4" should be next step, IMHO.

;)

jaclaz

#46 Marietto

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:53 PM

My previous theory was that Windows 7 binds itself to the CPU,that's why I did tests with the computer n 5. Since the computer's CPU N.5 was Intel, the VHD image that worked with Intel cpu's would have to work with the latest computer,but it didn't. Furthermore,it did not work even after having patched it,so there must be some other connection. To find this connection,we have to make work Windows 7 to the computer n.5 using the VHD image that worked with computers 1 and 3. What do you think about compare :

1) Windows 7 registry of the VHD image running on computers 1 and 3 with the Windows 7 registry of computer n.5 ?

or

2) Windows 7 registry of the VHD image running on computer 1 with the Windows 7 registry of computer 2 ?

or

2) Windows 7 registry of the VHD image running on computer 2 with the Windows 7 registry of computer 3 ?

...in offline mode ?

#47 was_jaclaz

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 06:15 PM

I would :
  • boot succesfully on either #1 or #3 and (ONLINE) make a regshot of the Registry
  • boot succesfully on either #2 or #4 and (ONLINE) make a regshot of the Registry
(living alone for the moment #5, since it is NOT "re-activated by a re-install of the USBootwatcher)

Then compare (offline) the two regshots.

Does Regshot work under 7 ? :unsure:
http://sourceforge.n...ojects/regshot/
http://sourceforge.n...in.zip/download

or paraglider's version?
http://www.paraglide...ins/regshot.htm

jaclaz

#48 karyonix

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:17 PM

So the current problem is not about USB booting but about moving Windows between different machines.
Does this problem also happen when Windows 7 on IDE/SATA disk boot in different machines ?
Or is it specific to USB / VHD-on-USB configuration ?

#49 Marietto

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:39 PM

I think that you can't move Windows 7 from a machine to another because when you do it,Windows writes registry informations related to usb part that we don't understand yet. I don't know if these informations are the same for ide/sata disks,but I think that they are the cause why Windows 7 reboots when you move it from one IDE/SATA disk to another. Now I've found another kind of problem. If Windows 7 runs from the USB disk and it is inactive for some time,it stops working. Your monitor goes in stand-by mode and no key is able to replies to your commands anymore. If you wanna fix it,you have to run usbbootwatcher again. I have a question for you : at the beginning I used USBBOOT as always active service,now I see that usbbootwatcher is not running like it. Maybe it should be. Another thing I see is this : I'm using a structure like this : in the \ of the USB hard disk there is Windows 7 able to run on the INTEL cpu. There are also two image files : 7.VHD and win7.VHD. The first file is related to the INTEL cpu,the second one is related to AMD cpu. The BCD store is something like this :

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identificatore {bootmgr}
device partition=C:
path \bootmgr
description Windows Boot Manager
locale it-IT
inherit {globalsettings}
default {current}
resumeobject {42d84eee-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
displayorder {current}
{42d84ef7-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
{42d84ef9-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
timeout 30

Caricatore di avvio di Windows
-------------------
identificatore {current}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7 Ultimate (recovered)
locale it-IT
recoverysequence {42d84ef1-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8726bb32-96d6-11de-8e4b-806e6f6e6963}

Caricatore di avvio di Windows
-------------------
identificatore {42d84ef7-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
device vhd=[C:]\win7.vhd
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description AMD
locale it-IT
recoverysequence {42d84ef1-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice vhd=[C:]\win7.vhd
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8726bb32-96d6-11de-8e4b-806e6f6e6963}
detecthal Yes

Caricatore di avvio di Windows
-------------------
identificatore {42d84ef9-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
device vhd=[C:]\7.vhd
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description INTEL
locale it-IT
recoverysequence {42d84ef1-96a4-11de-8fe5-f878933f56c1}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice vhd=[C:]\7.vhd
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {8726bb32-96d6-11de-8e4b-806e6f6e6963}
detecthal Yes

I see that when one of these systems is affected by registry modifications related to the usb part,the other systems are affected,too. Why ?

Edited by Marietto2009, 19 September 2009 - 07:16 AM.


#50 Joshua

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 03:25 AM

Now I've found another kind of problem. If Windows 7 runs from the USB disk and it is inactive for some time,it stops working. Your monitor goes in stand-by mode and no key is able to replies to your commands anymore.

Have you disabled hiberfil.sys, and all other power managment ?

Joshua




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