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Windows OS -  XP / Vista / 7 on a stick?

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Has anyone ever known of a way to make Windows XP / Vista / 7 boot and run as an OS on a USB device or DVD (IE: running Windows OS on a stick?).   I have heard its not possible.
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Question by:TheBinaryMan
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9 Comments
 
LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 249 total points
ID: 34901325
Microsoft went to great lengths to prevent this from happening, so not it's not really possible ... conventionally.

There are some rumored ways around this - I haven't tried any, but you might look into it:
http://www.epagini.com/2010/03/download-windows-xp-live-%E2%80%93-usb-edition-2008-boot-usb-flash-drive/
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34901395
The big issue is that if you have an OS on a removable device it would be tempting to just move it around with you from machine to machine.  Microsoft prevent this by blocking installtion to any device which is marked a removable and by using a hardware check to ensure the operating system is still present on the device it was installed to.
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by:Saikapian_4739
ID: 34903418
Yes it is definatly possible, infact i have installed many times Win7 from a USB stick drive on my computer. This is what you need and how you can do this : there are tqo methods of doing so. here is the 1st and simpler one

You need to download this utility Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool and here is the link to download it http://store.microsoft.com/Help/ISO-Tool

Install the software and then insert your USB drive (it should be atleast more than 4GB) and run the software. Follow the onscreen instructions and utility will automatically create a bootable USB drive for you.

Next thing you need you need to do is to change BIOS settings. Restart the system and go to BIOS settings and change the default boot order and make the USB drive as number 1 and disable CD drive for a while.

Now again restart your system and your installation will start and you are done. From the time i have started installation via USB i have never used DVD ever again because of lot f benefit that i get from USB

You can make it bootable install your OS and then again can reuse it for any other purpose.
Installation is much faster with USB than with DVD which takes at max 15-20 minutes to install the OS.

Here is a screen shot of the 1st screen of the software when you run it, just browse the ISO file WIN7 and then do next and you will be done.

Thanks !!!
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by:Saikapian_4739
ID: 34903424
Sorry here is the screen shot, i forgot to attach it
Windows-7-USB-DVD-Download-Tool1.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34903442
saik ... lol, he wants to install Windows TO USB, not install Windows FROM USB (yes, this is the only way I install Windows Vista/7/2008/R2 anymore).
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by:Saikapian_4739
Saikapian_4739 earned 249 total points
ID: 34903804
Poweredge..oops my mistake, but infact that is also possible. N this is how that is to be done :

Before you get started, you’ll need two things: a bootable copy of Windows 7 on either a DVD or USB drive and a 6GB+ USB drive (8GB recommended) for the portable installation.

Then, just follow this procedure:

   1. Insert your USB drive and backup all your data.
   2. Next, download portable Virtual Box and extract the zip file contents to your USB flash drive.
   3. Open your USB drive, go to portable VirtualBox folder and run the portable VirtualBox file.
   4. Follow the on screen procedure to create a virtual drive.
   5. Once you have virtual drive, you can easily install Windows 7 VirtualBox.
   6. After installing Windows 7 on the portable VirtualBox, safely remove your flash drive.
   7. Plug-in your USB drive to any Windows system and start using Windows just like a live CD/DVD.
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Accepted Solution

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FireW0lf earned 252 total points
ID: 34905070
TheBinaryMan:

Why reinvent the wheel?

BartPE creates a bootable XP installation cd, and is free - saves you going through all the difficult job of doing it yourself

Beware of licensing restrictions however, since it uses the files from your Windows installation CD to create the .iso

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Russell_Venable
ID: 34912740
@Saikapian_4739, Give credit where it is due: http://www.intowindows.com/install-windows-7-on-usb/ I believe you took it from this site.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TheBinaryMan
ID: 34917784
These are all great work arounds or premade solutions.  Thanks to all for getting some answers on this.
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