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Can I install windows Vista on USB Drive

Posted on 2009-05-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a netbook that has xp sp3. Can I install windows vista on  usb drive so can both work
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Question by:Ahmadal_najjar2003
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:chilternPC
ID: 24350632
no.
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by:chilternPC
chilternPC earned 300 total points
ID: 24350641
sorry -maybe.
 the operating system has to be installed onto a drive that can be booted from.
so if your USB drive can be booted from and installed onto from the netbook then probably.
you need vista drivers for the netbook and to be able to run the vista install disc on the netbook
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Author Comment

by:Ahmadal_najjar2003
ID: 24350652
How can I know if my USB drive is bootable.
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Accepted Solution

by:
TG_Tech earned 900 total points
ID: 24350742
http://kurtsh.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!DA410C7F7E038D!1665.entry

Acquire an ultra-fast USB 2.0 flash drive
The drive I and my coworkers recommend is the Apacer 4GB Handy Steno USB Flash Drive HT203, 200X Hi-Speed USB 2.0.  It's the fastest USB 2.0 Flash Drive that we've found - it has a read speed of 25MBytes/sec. & a write speed-14MBytes/sec and also works great as a ReadyBoost cache.  You can get them from $56.99 each:  
           http://www.directron.com/ht2034g.html

Incidentally, once you've got Windows Vista up and running, you may want to consider getting an ultra-fast SDFlash card, installing it into your laptop or desktop, and leaving it there as a ReadyBoost cache.  Why?  It can't hurt and they're so cheap that it's worth getting.   I personally got a SDFlash card for every one of my machines - the A-DATA 2GB Secure Digital Memory Card, 150X Turbo SD Card has a read speed of more than 22.5MB/s and a write speed of more than 15MB/s.  You can get them for $19.99 each:  
           http://supermediastore.com/adata-2gb-sd-secure-digital-card-150x.html

Format the Apacer Flash Drive
Run CMD.EXE and type the following.  Note: This set of commands assumes that the USB flash drive is addressed as "disk 1".  you should double check that by doing a list of the disks (type "list disk") before cleaning it.  If you have multiple hard drives, like an SDFlash drive or a Multibay drive, you could end up wiping your second drive using this command.  
(This was a warning that Josh added to his post along with the following commands that I copied from him, so kudos to Josh)
diskpart
select disk 1
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=fat32
assign
exit

Copy Windows Vista's DVD ROM content to the Flash Drive
Simply issue the following command to start copying all the content from the Windows Vista DVD to your newly formatted high speed flash drive.
xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\
And that's it.  Boot up the machine, have it boot off the USB drive, and watch how fast the installation completes.  If you thought Windows Vista installed quickly before then let's see how you like it now.  The slowest part of the install will probably be the computer waiting for you to type in information in the setup fields, and even that can be automated using the Windows Automated Installation Kit.
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Assisted Solution

by:mikey1h
mikey1h earned 300 total points
ID: 24350862
Personally, I have had issues with getting XP or vista to allow an install to ANY hard Drive, however, this workaround succeeded for me, and may you.   If he USB hard drive you have can be opened, you CAN disconnect the USB interface, connect it to another machine (through IDE, SATA, etc) and install Vista.   once installed, reassemble the hard drive in the case, connect to netbook via USB and boot from it.    You will have to find all the drivers not auto installed by Vista, but it will solve the microsoft not allowing you to instal to bootable media
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Assisted Solution

by:chilternPC
chilternPC earned 300 total points
ID: 24352111
"How can I know if my USB drive is bootable. "
in the BIOS of the machine it will have Boot options and will have USB is it boots off USB.
also make sure you have the vista drivers
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:mikey1h
mikey1h earned 300 total points
ID: 24370786
ALL USB keys CAN be bootable with a little effort, and all USB DRIVES are bootable, just may need to  have the master Boot record written.    However, booting from USB must be supported in your bios....   All Acer and HP Netbooks ARE able to boot from USB (we do this for our rental agent shut down and restoration software).    If you dont want to go about installing the OS from another computer, let me know the exact specs of your USB Key or HD and I will see if I can help you find another alternative means of installing
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ahmadal_najjar2003
ID: 31579994
Thanks
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