Run Windows 7 from USB Flash Drive - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-03-2010, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I was just wondering if anyone here has been successful running (not creating a bootable installer) Windows 7 from a usb flash drive.

Any information would be appreciated!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-03-2010, 01:31 PM
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Not sure that most people would have a big enough one and I am sure they arent really fast enough. It may work.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-03-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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How big would it need to be?

I know VM's can be installed on <8GB Flash Drives...

It's more of a project I have been trying to accomplish, but there are limited resources available discussing on "How To".

I'm sure someone out there has done it... I read about having the .vdi file for a VM and then running a usb boot fix, but I also came across others saying it can be done outside of the VM environment (even though the vm way still doesn't require a host OS).

Hmmm... anyone?
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-03-2010, 05:29 PM
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It should fit on a 16gb, both of my win 7 install are >8gb<16gb, IIRC windows stated system requirements are 20gb for OS.

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post #5 of 13 Old 09-03-2010, 06:04 PM
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IIRC, I don't think you can run Windows off a USB drive. It's done for security reasons starting with Windows NT.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-03-2010, 10:23 PM
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No one's been able to get it to work, as far as I know.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-04-2010, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

No one's been able to get it to work, as far as I know.

Really? I'm assuming running from a flash drive is different from running on a USB HDD then? I know many have got it working on a USB HDD so I guess I assumed it would be the same.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-04-2010, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

IIRC, I don't think you can run Windows off a USB drive. It's done for security reasons starting with Windows NT.

I know you can't do it natively, but others over @ www.boot-land.net have been successful. I guess I'll have to give one of their guides a shot.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-04-2010, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunbunnysoulja View Post

I know you can't do it natively, but others over @ www.boot-land.net have been successful. I guess I'll have to give one of their guides a shot.

Interesting.

I also found this. It makes a reference to the official Microsoft party line for non-support and gives details on the extensive hacks needed to get it working.

The success rate appears to be hardware dependent.

If I were to do this (i.e. boot off an external drive) I may want to pick a system with eSATA support and boot off a SATA drive. In theory that should be fully supported by Windows.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-04-2010, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazebo View Post

Interesting.

I also found this. It makes a reference to the official Microsoft party line for non-support and gives details on the extensive hacks needed to get it working.

The success rate appears to be hardware dependent.

If I were to do this (i.e. boot off an external drive) I may want to pick a system with eSATA support and boot off a SATA drive. In theory that should be fully supported by Windows.

Oh I know eSATA is a non-issue and would be idea for speed, but the issue is the portability aspect of the concept, as many systems don't have eSATA.

Thanks for the link, it looks like a good read!

The project is more of a hobby than being practical, as it's just something I wanted to get working!
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-04-2010, 05:42 PM
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You can definitely boot Windows XP from a flash drive but I'm not sure if it's been done with Win 7. There are tutorials on how to install Windows 7 from a flash drive but I don't believe that's what the OP is looking for.

IIRC, flash drives can only be formatted as FAT or FAT32. Windows 7 requires an NTFS file system and therefore could not be installed on a flash drive using FAT32.
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-12-2014, 02:55 PM
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BAHAHAHA! OMG! Yes, you can run it off a USB drive. And there are many different ways to do it, all pretty much get the same result. God I hope this thread has been updated since 2010.

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post #13 of 13 Old 02-13-2014, 04:47 AM
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Yes it has. You just updated it. wink.gif

BTW, links are always helpful to back up any claims you make.
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