20 posts in this topic

Posted

How install all versions of Vista / 7 / 8 from a single USB hard drive

*update* 11/15/2012.

While this method still works great it does require an earlier version of EasyBCD. I recently tried this method and was having ZERO luck. As it turns out newer versions of EasyBCD won't let you add an entry to the boot list, if it's on a drive / partition other than where the boot menu is located, at least not a WIM file. Older versions don't care. You can find the older version in a link below.

I recently had a spare 250 gig 2.5 external hard drive lying around my shop. I wanted to put it to use but I couldn

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Posted

NICE!!! yes.gif

This is just what I need as I regularly setup computers for family, friends and relatives! Will try this out soon! biggrin.gif

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Posted

Yes really nice :D.

I am just worried about viruses. if I am formatting a machine full of viruses or malwares, I need some protection so notthing comes from the machine to the harddisk.

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Posted

This is an excellent guide, but I am having a problem.

Say if I wanted to have 4 Primary partitions, how do I do this? If I make any more than 2 Primary partitions, it joins into an Extended partition, and EasyBCD does not recognize this.

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Posted

Yes really nice :D.

I am just worried about viruses. if I am formatting a machine full of viruses or malwares, I need some protection so notthing comes from the machine to the harddisk.

Just don't plug in the drive until you are ready to format and outside of windows. If you boot from the external hard drive the virus can't crawl onto the drive.

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Posted

Using grub4dos and chainloading in to the ISO directly, you could create a multi version 64bit and x86 all version Windows 7 and Windows Vista .ISO files and boot directly from the iso files themselves. Far more tidy and quite easy to configure, plus there is already a guide on how to do that...

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Posted

Using grub4dos and chainloading in to the ISO directly, you could create a multi version 64bit and x86 all version Windows 7 and Windows Vista .ISO files and boot directly from the iso files themselves. Far more tidy and quite easy to configure, plus there is already a guide on how to do that...

I'll have to mess with that. Using Easybcd and booting from the windows vista/7 iso booted but it wouldn't detect any drives and it was complaining about drivers.

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Posted

Or, you could just "inject" all version of 7 and Vista into a single boot.wim

I was able to create two USB sticks...one with all NT 6.x Server operating systems in one wim file and another with all NT 6.x client operating systems in one wim file so it boots up just like a normal Windows 7 installer but has a large selection of OS's at the selection screen.

You can read up on doing that here:

http://www.msfn.org/...e-wim-question/

And seeing as I'm using a USB stick, I have a folder called Storage that has a bunch of drivers for RAID/SATA/AHCI controllers that I point the install to at the appropriate time.

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Posted

Or, you could just "inject" all version of 7 and Vista into a single boot.wim

I was able to create two USB sticks...one with all NT 6.x Server operating systems in one wim file and another with all NT 6.x client operating systems in one wim file so it boots up just like a normal Windows 7 installer but has a large selection of OS's at the selection screen.

You can read up on doing that here:

http://www.msfn.org/...e-wim-question/

And seeing as I'm using a USB stick, I have a folder called Storage that has a bunch of drivers for RAID/SATA/AHCI controllers that I point the install to at the appropriate time.

Even better! 1 ISO to rule them all! :p

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Posted

Or, you could just "inject" all version of 7 and Vista into a single boot.wim

I was able to create two USB sticks...one with all NT 6.x Server operating systems in one wim file and another with all NT 6.x client operating systems in one wim file so it boots up just like a normal Windows 7 installer but has a large selection of OS's at the selection screen.

You can read up on doing that here:

http://www.msfn.org/...e-wim-question/

And seeing as I'm using a USB stick, I have a folder called Storage that has a bunch of drivers for RAID/SATA/AHCI controllers that I point the install to at the appropriate time.

+1 to this method. Already done this. Incorporated all the editions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista x86 & x64. Works flawlessly all on one DVD.

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Posted

i want to ask before i try :)

i have external 500 gb usb harddisk

100 gb is free..

i will create a new partition will use EASEUS Partition Master (Home Edition) from the free space

make it 20gb or so ,. name it tools or so

install easybcd on it

put one windows 7 iso on it .. i only need that

my question now

will that work ?

i dont want to format the whole hard drive

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Posted

Updated the first post.

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Posted

very nice Tut war.

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Posted

Thanks for the guide Adam (Y)

Wanted to point out a few extra tips:

- With MBR you can only have up to four primary partitions - Disk Management will automatically create logical partitions beyond three primary partitions, and you can't install bootloaders to a logical partition (i.e. Tools). It might be a good idea to create the Tools partition as the first primary partition.

- Booting from ISOs didn't work when they were located on a different partition than the one with the bootloader.

- Don't try booting off Windows ISOs via EasyBCD. You'll hit a "missing driver" error in Windows Setup.

- EasyBCD 2.2 doesn't work as it refuses to accept a different drive for WIM files other than BOOT. While EasyBCD 2.0.2 will work, it doesn't boot say newer Ubuntu discs.

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Posted

Thanks for the guide Adam (Y)

Wanted to point out a few extra tips:

- With MBR you can only have up to four primary partitions - Disk Management will automatically create logical partitions beyond three primary partitions, and you can't install bootloaders to a logical partition (i.e. Tools). It might be a good idea to create the Tools partition as the first primary partition.

- Booting from ISOs didn't work when they were located on a different partition than the one with the bootloader.

- Don't try booting off Windows ISOs via EasyBCD. You'll hit a "missing driver" error in Windows Setup.

- EasyBCD 2.2 doesn't work as it refuses to accept a different drive for WIM files other than BOOT. While EasyBCD 2.0.2 will work, it doesn't boot say newer Ubuntu discs.

Thanks, I recently purchased the ISOstick http://isostick.com (should be here early next week) i'll be reviewing it when arrives. Should make all of this a lot easier.

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Posted

Can you do the same with Linux?

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Posted

Windows 8 does not work with this.

 

I installed a brand new SSD into a workstation with Windows 7 already installed.

 

I initialized the SSD as MBR.

 

I created the first volume 4GB capacity formatted NTFS; assigned drive letter W.

 

I created the second volume 4GB capacity formatted NTFS; assigned drive letter X.

 

I created the third volume 20GB capacity formatted NTFS and named "Tools"; assigned drive letter Y.

 

I copied all my ISOs to the third volume (drive letter Y).

 

I mounted the Windows 7 Professional ISO with Daemon Tools, and copied and pasted everything in the virtual drive into the root of W:.

 

I unmounted the Windows 7 Professional ISO and then mounted the Windows 8 ISO, and copied and pasted everything in the virtual drive into the root of X:.

 

I unmounted the WIndows 8 ISO.

 

I launch EasyBCD 2.2 --> BCD Deployment --> select the partitioned identified as drive letter W --> click on "Install BCD" button. A moment later it asks if I want to edit it and I click on Yes.

 

The Edit Boot Menu list is empty, so I go to Add New Entry --> WinPE. I leave the Type set to its default of "WIM Image (Ramdisk)", type in "Microsoft Windows 7" for the Name, for Path I browse it to W:\sources\boot.wim, and I click on the Add Entry button. A few moments later the bottom-left corner of EasyBCD displays a message that it was added successfully.

 

I do this again. I am in Add New Entry --> WinPE with Type set to "WIM Image (Ramdisk)", Name now changed and set to "Microsoft Windows 8", for the path I browse it to "X:\sources\boot.wim", and I click on the Add Entry button. It gives me a pop-up asking me if I am sure because this is a different drive, and I hit Yes. A few moments later the bottom-left corner of EasyBCD displays a message that it was added successfully.

 

I save the EasyBCD configuration to the third volume (drive letter Y) just in case I need to edit this again. I reboot and use the Boot Menu key F9, and select the SSD that is plugged into SATA4 in my computer. I select Windows 8 from the list instead of Windows 7, hit ENTER, and wait for it to enter setup. Once it loads and enters, I see that it is Windows 7 and not Winodws 8 setup.

 

I have repeated these steps multiple times and have even tried adding the Windows 8 ISO as a straight ISO-boot from the third volume and trying "Extracted Filesystem Layout" from WinPE. Neither of these work, and it gives an error when trying to boot it using Extracted Filesystem Layout (not booting into the EasyBCD boot menu, but when I select the Windows 8 EFL entry and hit ENTER). I am unable to get this working so that I can chose to boot the Windows 8 ISO if I need to use it. I have no problems booting to other ISOs such as Memtest86+ or Windows 7; I know it works and that I'm doing it correctly as far as everything-not-Windows-8 goes. I have tested this in a completely different system as well using a USB hard drive docking station and was successful with everything except, again, Windows 8.

 

Please help! How do I make it so I can boot the Windows 8 installer with EasyBCD while also having the choice of booting the Windows 7 installer? It always boots into the Windows 7 installer when I try to boot into the Windows 8 installer.

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Posted

the reason why this is not working with windows 8 / 8.1 is because the usb disk needs to be set up for UEFI

 

this might help you with your problem.

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/15458-uefi-bootable-usb-flash-drive-create-windows.html

 

also if your laptop has a hardcoded product key for windows you will need to add your key info to a file on the disk or if you are installing on a laptop that is not your own then you will need to use one of those master product keys that will let you install but not activate.  you can activate after have installed.

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Posted

So do I apply Rufus on the second volume (drive letter X) that has the Windows 8 installation files, or do I apply it to the first volume (drive letter W) followed by installing BCD on it?

the reason why this is not working with windows 8 / 8.1 is because the usb disk needs to be set up for UEFI

 

this might help you with your problem.

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/15458-uefi-bootable-usb-flash-drive-create-windows.html

 

also if your laptop has a hardcoded product key for windows you will need to add your key info to a file on the disk or if you are installing on a laptop that is not your own then you will need to use one of those master product keys that will let you install but not activate.  you can activate after have installed.

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