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Windows 8 usb install to GPT

Posted on 2013-06-13
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Last Modified: 2013-06-19
I'm running into an issue installing Windows 8 from a usb drive to GPT parted hard drives.

The first time I tried installing it wouldn't allow me to do so becuase the flash drive was formatted as NTFS.  Apparently GPT works with FAT32 not NTFS.  

So I reformatted to FAT32 and copied all the files back over except this wouldn't work either because my install.wim file is 9GB and FAT32 has a 4.32 GB limit on file sizes.

I'll add that I'd like not to wipe the drives because they were shipped with Windows 8 and recovery partitions.  I am reinstalling over top becuase I've created a sysprepped image.
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Question by:Vontech615
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by:comfortjeanius
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by:Vontech615
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Yeah I saw that page.  My problem is now I need to figure out how to get the install.wim file on the FAT32 drive.

I just found this...
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc721885%28WS.10%29.aspx
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by:rindi
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You could also try using exFAT and not FAT32. As far as I know exFAT supports larger files.
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by:Vontech615
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exFat doesn't work either.  Just FAT32 for uefi and gpt.  I'm reading now that some people are having trouble after recombining the .wim file.  The installation error's out.
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by:comfortjeanius
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What error are you receiving?
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by:Vontech615
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"Windows cannot be installed on this disk.  The selected disk is of the GPT partition style."  

Because I originally formated the usb drive as NTFS it wouldn't work.  

So I reformatted to FAT32.  

From there I ran into the problem of getting my custom install.wim file on the FAT32 flash drive becaue it was larger than the limit.

So per the link above I split the .wim file into smaller pieces to copy over and am merging it back together now.

Next I'm gonna try installing 8 from the usb drive again.
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by:Vontech615
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That didn't work either becuase duh once combine the file size is still too large for FAT32.

This is major problem.  If NTFS is not supported for UEFI & GPT partition than how would one install Windows with a large .wim file (very common for deployments).
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by:comfortjeanius
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Look at this link  and start from the beginning to see what happens....

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/samsungpcgeneral/thread/e7ed293e-b565-44ee-a536-166dddf32205/
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by:Vontech615
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That still doesn't solve problem.  The problem is the install.wim file is too big for FAT32 and   FAT32 is the only file system GPT can use for the install.  The only solution I can see is wipe the drive and reformat with MBR partitions.  However, thats not an option as I want to save all of the other volumes on the disk.
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
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boot to windows pe with imagex available as part of the ADK
and do an imagex /apply [pathtowim]\filename.wim 1 [destination drive]:

If you want to go all out use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit

then a bcdboot c:\windows ... use msconfig to remove the older boot entry
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by:Vontech615
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Thanks ve3ofa.  Just to clarify if I'm understanding this correctly...

So I've got all the files on the usb as I would have if I had been installing on an MBR parted drive.  I'll then boot to PE, run the command from above and apply that to the already installed windows 8 volume?

The way the older method worked it would just overwrite the installed windows 8 with my customized version of windows 8.  Can you explain a little further?  Sorry I'm new to this type of deployment.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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what is the older method?

This will overwrite the current files with the new files (and add any newer files)  .. basically it takes anything from the .wim file and then writes that to the specified directory.. it won't delete anything.. you could format the destination drive if you wanted to prior to the apply..
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by:Vontech615
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"Older" was a bad choice of words.  Just meant other.

Either way, I've reformatted the drive. Applied the install.wim from my flash drive.  Which gives me several folders installed on C.  However, it doesn't give me files like the boot folder bootmgr, setup.exe.. etc.  Do I just then copy these Directories and files over, then boot to C like usual?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
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you need to:
bootsect /nt60 c:
bcdboot c:\windows

To add the boot information.

video: http://youtu.be/mANrzqC1ok4
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by:Vontech615
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Thanks ve3ofa for the detailed help.
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