Possible to install Windows PRO from USB drive? - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 167 Old 06-04-2013, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

It looks like nobody mentioned this simple method that works with:

- The 64-bit version of any of Windows 7, WHS2011, WS2008, Windows 8, WS2012, and WS2012E
- SSD or HDD, whatever size up to 4TB (or larger in future), formatted (with MBR or GPT) or unformatted. During the installation process GPT will be created automatically instead of out-of-date MBR. If MBR is already there, it will be deleted and taken place by GPT.
- A UEFI motherboard (every latest motherboard is of this type)

Requirement of a USB flash drive

- A 4GB (or larger) USB 2.0/3.0 flash drive for Windows 7, WS2008, Windows 8 and WS2012.
- A 8GB (or larger) USB 2.0/3.0 flash drive for WHS2011 and WS2012E.

Preparing the USB flash drive

1. Format the USB flash drive with FAT32 in any existing Windows (32-bit or 64-bit) system. NTFS does not support EFI boot.
2. Right-click the Windows installation ISO file, select "7-Zip", then "Extract files" to the USB drive. Or mount the ISO and copy all the contents of the virtual drive to the USB drive. If you have an installation DVD, then copy all the contents of the DVD to the USB drive.

That's it. eek.gifsmile.gif There is no need to make the USB flash drive "bootable" nor launch "diskpart" ulitlity to do something strange. EXCEPT FOR Windows 7 (see below).

Installing OS

1. Insert the USB flash drive into a USB port of the system. Note that

- Windows 7 / WHS2011 / WS2008 does not support USB 3.0 natively, so you'd better avoid a USB 3.0 port (otherwise you may be required to install USB 3.0 driver during the installation).
- Windows 8 / WS2012 / WS2012E supports USB 3.0 natively, so you can use a USB 3.0 port with no problem.

2. Start the system. During the POST screen press the key

- F8 for some ASUS mb
- F11 for ASUS/ASRock/MSI
- F12 for GIGABYTE

to launch the boot menu, select UEFI USB flash drive (or a similar entry), then press Enter key. Selecting the entry with the name "UEFI" and "USB" is critical. Installation process will begin immediately. With BIOSTAR, you will have to enter UEFI BIOS setup and select "UEFI USB flash drive" as the first boot drive (user unfriendliness, one of a couple of reasons why I would stay away from BIOSTAR).

Windows 7 specific

Actually an extra step is necessary to create an installation USB flash drive for Windows 7:

1. Select the file D:\sources\install.wim ("D" is the drive letter of the USB flash drive). This is a compressed file. Right click it, select "7-Zip", then "Open archive".
2. Go to the directory D:\sources\install.wim\1\Windows\Boot\EFI\ inside 7-Zip File Manager.
3. Copy the file bootmgfw.efi there to the directory D:\efi\boot\ (you have to create it). Rename it to bootx64.efi

The point is, somehow the file D:\efi\boot\bootx64.efi is missing in Windows 7 installation disc (without which you can't boot into the installation process) so that you have to create it manually. No other OS (even WHS2011) suffers from this problem.

Very good stuff! So looks like I will have to get an 8GB stick for WS2012E since I will be installing this on a server motherboard (Supermicro), which does not have UEFI.
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post #152 of 167 Old 06-05-2013, 12:00 AM
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Installing OS in a non-UEFI mb in this way won't work.

As for booting from a GP disk with non-UEFI mb, I found this:
Quote:
According to Microsoft's Windows and GPT FAQ, no version of Windows through Windows 7 can boot from a GPT disk unless the computer uses UEFI. To boot from a GPT disk, you need a version of Windows for the Itanium CPU or Windows Vista or later on a UEFI-based system.

Microsoft's FAQ is a bit pessimistic. It is possible to boot Windows from a GPT disk on a BIOS-based computer, but the ways to do this are hacks. They fall into two categories:

Use a hybrid MBR—If you create a hybrid MBR on a GPT disk, Windows will be able to boot from a hybridized partition. Note that, once booted, Windows will be able to see only the MBR side of the disk, so this is only useful in certain dual-boot configurations in which Windows needs to see no more than three of the disk's partitions.
Use DUET or Clover—If you install DUET on the disk, you can make the system look like it's UEFI-based, enabling Windows to install to and boot from a GPT disk. The Clover boot loader (see here for a binary download link) is a Hackintosh boot loader that's based, in part, on DUET.

A hybrid MBR is a modified GPT protective MBR that uses up to three of the MBR's primary partitions to point to up to three GPT partitions. (The remaining MBR primary partition contains an EFI GPT partition entry.) You can create a hybrid MBR using the h option on GPT fdisk's recovery & transformation menu, or you can use the separate gptsync utility, which ships with Fedora's anaconda package and sometimes in other packages with other distributions.

Unfortunately, hybrid MBRs are ugly and dangerous hacks. Apple relies on them to get Windows booting on its EFI-based Macs. (Mac firmware includes a BIOS compatibility mode, so the Mac looks like a BIOS-based computer to Windows, which doesn't support EFI-mode booting from Macs.) Many things can go wrong with hybrid MBRs, so I strongly recommend avoiding them if at all possible.

The other option, DUET, is much more flexible and less dangerous than a hybrid MBR, but it's also much harder to set up. The DUET software was written as a software development tool and, until fairly recently, was very difficult to get working. Even today (late 2012), the best package I'm aware of for the job is tedious to set up, as described on my DUET Web page. If you want to convert an existing system to boot in this way, you can read this article—but be aware that there's a good chance you'll trash your Windows installation, particularly if you're not careful or don't understand what you're doing. If you want to go this route, I strongly recommend you begin by doing a test installation on a spare hard disk and then convert your existing system once you've gotten your test system running in UEFI mode. Even when everything works perfectly, the DUET path works only with 64-bit versions of Windows Vista or later; Windows XP and 32-bit versions of Windows can't be booted in this way. Despite these caveats, DUET or something like it may become extremely important in the future. An easier-to-install and more reliable version could provide a lifeline for those who need to upgrade their hard disks in the future.

Clover, being based on DUET, can be used much like DUET, but the installer is designed to run under OS X, which can make it hard to install if you're not running a Hackintosh configuration. Overall, you're probably better off using DUET if you must use this approach; but in some cases Clover might be as easy to install, if not easier.

I'm not sure why Microsoft has chosen to limit Windows by not supporting GPT boots on BIOS-based computers. This really is stunningly short-sighted of Microsoft. Do they really expect that nobody will need to replace a failed hard disk on a BIOS-based computer during Windows 7's lifetime, and opt to install an over-2TiB drive? Until a better solution than hybrid MBRs or the current state of DUET comes along, the combination of GPT, a legacy BIOS, and Windows just isn't a good one.
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post #153 of 167 Old 06-05-2013, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Hmm, installing WS2012E in a non-UEFI mb (yours is H8DME-2 manufactured in 2007?) this way may be problematic, or no problem? I found this:

Yeah, mine is the H8DME-2, Revision 2.01A. Guess I will have to find out whether it will install, hopefully it will.
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post #154 of 167 Old 06-07-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit:
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58996.iso
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit:
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58997.iso
Windows 7 Professional 32Bit:
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59183.iso
Windows 7 Professional 64Bit:
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59186.iso
Windows 7 Ultimate 32Bit:
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59463.iso
Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit:
http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59465.iso

I use one of these with the USB tool...

I just load the one I want. I have downloaded them already. I have product keys for all three. But you can only use your product key on a limited amount of PCs. I bought the OEM of the PRO version... which is what I use on my desktop. It's limited to that machine because its only good for certain hardware. That kinda sucks.

The retail versions I bought are good on any hardware.

Anyone know the best option for Windows 8 ?

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post #155 of 167 Old 06-07-2013, 09:57 PM
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During Windows 8 installation you are asked to enter a product key, you can't postpone it and AFAIK there is no official product key (for 8 vanilla / professional) for evaluation purpose. So you have to buy Windows 8 now. This is one of the differences from Windows 7 installation. (But you don't have to activate it at the time of installation, just don't connect the system to LAN, use a "local account" instead of email.)

You can download Windows 8 "Enterprise" ISO (a product key built in) for 90 days evaluation (and more with "rearm") from MSDN or TechNet. This version can't be upgraded to a retail (or OEM) version of Windows 8. To upgrade, first uninstall it, then clean install a retail (or OEM) version.
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post #156 of 167 Old 06-10-2013, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow sweet!

can I get an enterprise try out free ? Or must I join and pay $?

I'd like to try w8 on my new Haswell before I buy and I have a bunch of w7 keys I've purchased over the years.

What's cheapest way to get w8 pro ?

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post #157 of 167 Old 06-10-2013, 11:17 AM
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It's free. But
Quote:
You must complete activation before August 15, 2013 to use this evaluation.

Windows 8 Pro OEM is ~$140 (e.g. at Newegg.com). I am not sure if this is the cheapest way.
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post #158 of 167 Old 06-10-2013, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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How would I get it ? Do I need to subscribe ?

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post #159 of 167 Old 06-10-2013, 09:38 PM
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The only requirement is that you have a Microsoft account (creating it is free, you can use any email address).
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post #160 of 167 Old 06-11-2013, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

The only requirement is that you have a Microsoft account (creating it is free, you can use any email address).

Sweet! I'll give it a shot.

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post #161 of 167 Old 06-20-2013, 08:56 AM
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Noob question.. I thought I could run W7 from the USB as I can with some Linux os' but the application attempted to load itself on the HD. Can W7 run from the USB?
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post #162 of 167 Old 06-20-2013, 09:09 AM
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The OS needs to be installed on a HDD or SDD. It does not run from a USB storage drive.

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post #163 of 167 Old 06-20-2013, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbpete View Post

Noob question.. I thought I could run W7 from the USB as I can with some Linux os' but the application attempted to load itself on the HD. Can W7 run from the USB?

Buy a cheap SSD. There is too much IOPS with windows to run over USB

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post #164 of 167 Old 06-20-2013, 09:39 AM
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There's actually a feature in Windows 8 Enterprise to do this called Windows to Go. It's only officially supported for a small handful of USB 3.0 drives though. Honestly though, I forced the feature on a USB 2.0 stick and there's very good reason it isn't supported on generic drives. Like Mfusick alluded to when mentioning the IOPS, it's just ridiculously slow that way.

(It does work great with one of the approved drives though.)

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post #165 of 167 Old 06-20-2013, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbpete View Post

Noob question.. I thought I could run W7 from the USB as I can with some Linux os' but the application attempted to load itself on the HD. Can W7 run from the USB?

Windows 8 Enterprise offers boot from USB. I think.
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post #166 of 167 Old 06-20-2013, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for clearing that up for me guys. Appreciate the quick responses.
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post #167 of 167 Old 08-08-2013, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't confuse booting from USB with running off USB.

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