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USB Bootloader

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Biohead    145

I think I have an idea on how to do this, but I'm not entirely sure.

I've got a WHS setup, but I'd like the ability to plug in a HDD (containing a win 7 install) and it automatically boot from that disk whenever it's plugged in. I have a HP MicroServer and if I set the disk to be boot priority 1 in the BIOS and then subsequently remove it, the next time it's inserted it will be the lowest priority.

However, the USB ports always have top priority, so I was thinking of being able to simply plug in a USB memory pen at the same time as when I plug my Win 7 install in - and that having a bootloader on there that is preconfigured to boot that specific HDD.

Am I right in thinking I need to use something like GRUB on the USB stick, and set it up as such so it looks for that specific disk's identifier?

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Aergan    621


I would advise just installing WIndows 7 to a VHD file, store that on your MicroServer then just add that to the Windows BCD bootloader.

That way, you can just boot into Windows 7 whenever you wish regardless of the external HDD.


If you want something like you are describing:

  • Plug in USB HDD
  • Set BIOS to boot off of Internal HD
  • Plug in USB stick
  • Deploy Windows bootloader (Grab EasyBCD) onto the USB stick
  • Add Internal HDD and USB HDD
  • (Whilst editing USB stick BCD) Change BCD order for USB HDD first, internal second.

Now if it boots off the internal HDD, it should load the default OS.

If it boots off the USB stick with the USB HDD connected, it will boot off the USB HDD.

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Biohead    145

Sorry, the Windows 7 HDD is not USB, it's SATA (The microserver has slots at the front). It's also not hooked up to a keyboard or monitor which is why I'm looking for an automated way to get this working.

Currently, my options are to unplug the WHS drive each time to force it to boot from the (now inserted) Win 7 drive, or tap into the KVM each time to change the bios settings. I'm hoping I could get it so this USB bootloader would force it to look at the Win 7 drive, and when I want to go back to WHS I can simply remove the USB stick and slide the win 7 drive out.

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