1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Boot Win7 off USB stick?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Davenlr, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    I just needed to reinstall Windows 7 on my laptop when I installed a SSD drive in it.
    For some reason (probably because the original drive was 10GB larger than the SSD) none of the clone programs I had would work.

    What I am wanting to do, if its possible, is copy this new install to a 32GB USB stick, since my laptop is capable of booting off them. Is it possible? I know I have booted Linux off the stick, but have not seen any pages on how to copy a Windows 7 install to one (or for that matter, to a DVD would be ok). I just want a way to boot the computer without the hard drive, should that become nessessary.
     
  2. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    17,054
    311
    Jan 4, 2006
  3. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,605
    143
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    Try this http://arstechnica.com/business/2009/12/the-usb-flash-drive/
     
  4. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    I think that is just to create an bootable install flash drive, but the command line info might allow me to see if I can get it to actually boot windows from it. Ill give it a try this weekend. Thanks.
     
  5. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008
    I would just use CloneZilla as it's never failed me.

    http://clonezilla.org/
     
  6. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,605
    143
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    It was many times when target disk was short a few megabytes (same WDC AAJS - one Caviar Blue, other Caviar SE ). :(
     
  7. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

    530
    7
    Apr 12, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Clonezilla is total fail if the target drive is smaller than the source.

    I believe I have been able to use Acronis Disk Director 11 to copy to a smaller target drive. It is a somewhat involved process since it cannot be just a simple bit-copy blast from one to the other.

    Keith
     
  8. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008
    Ok let me clarify. Shrink the partition on the source drive to that of, or smaller, than the destination drive. I thought that part would be assumed but apparently I've just been doing it so long it's normal for me to automatically do. Sorry for any confusion.

    You can also use gparted and shrink a partition and copy it over but I figured we're working in a Windows environment.
     
  9. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    If I use windows to shrink the partition (disk manager), and there is data on the end of the partition, is windows smart enough to move it to free space in the target size area before shrinking?
    That will do exactly what I want.
     
  10. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008
    Supposedly however I have Windows disk management tools. I can't remember the specific partition tool I have at home right now but you might want to check EaseUS as it rings a bell.

    If you have a linux box gparted can.

    Just confirmed it is EaseUS it's free to use for personal use. http://www.partition-tool.com/
     
  11. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    I just successfullly shrink my windows partition to about 1 GB smaller than the formatted capacity of the SSD I am installing. Thanks for the tips.

    Question 2: I am running win7 32 bit on this machine, 4GB ram, 3 available to windows. Says 1GB free. Should I move the swap file to the slower 7200 rpm D: drive, or leave it on the SSD ?
     
  12. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
    35
    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    I use EaseUS as well. They have some great tools for free.

    - Merg
     
  13. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    21,605
    143
    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    I'm against SWAP - run without it for while, to see if it really need for your load. If you want have it, I would hesitate using SSD for it. HDD should be fine.
     
  14. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008
    I haven't run a swap file in years. If you absolutely want a swap drive then get an SD card and just use it as readyboost.
     
  15. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    I turned off the swap file. I am currently hanging around 50% physical memory on the performance chart.

    The program with the SSD said is was not aligned. Have no clue what that is, but used the program mentioned earlier and chose "Align Partition" on the SSD, and it said it worked, but I dont notice any overwhelming difference in speed between the old 7200 rpm drive and the SSD, It still takes quite a long time to load the icons. I am assuming its because I only have SATA2 on this MB, and am loading a couple large programs on startup. Still expected it to be a lot faster. My laptop's SSD loads windows in a heartbeat.
     
  16. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/113967-ssd-alignment.html

    If it's not aligned that could cause some slower performance. Unless you have low end SSD and the highest end 7200 RPM drive the change should be pretty significant.

    However worst case scenario is to backup your data on your old HD and then start fresh. I'd recommend it anyways as I blast out windows at least once a year.
     
  17. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    Ok, thanks. Its all aligned now. The SSD is a Crucial M4 256MB. The HDD was a WD3200AAJS.
    While I agree that a fresh Win7 install would be great, the computer came with win7 installed already, and I no longer have the "recovery" partition. I have no intention of paying $100+ for a new copy of Windows7 just to do a fresh install...not to mention all the apps installed which I would need to reinstall, and retweek to work correctly together (my video clint for example, is really picky on which version of Java it will work with, so I would have to hunt for old versions of that). Then there is the dual boot to Linux which is on a separate HDD which would get wiped out on a reinstall.

    Its working great, just weird that the startup programs load and are running before the icons load. Windows itself loads so fast, it only makes it through 1/2 of the opening animation, so I guess I can wait on the icons :)
     
  18. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008
    Glad you got it working.
     
  19. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    6,081
    45
    Mar 18, 2008
    Something was nagging me about this thread as I knew I wanted to come back to it.

    There are tools that you can use, if the sticker is gone, on the case and get the OEM win7 license key. Then just download an ISO of windows 7 and you'll be fine. This way in the future if something happens you're not SOL.
     
  20. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
    27
    Sep 16, 2006
    Ill check into that. I was kinda hoping once Windows 8 came out, I could get a discounted/closeout copy of windows 7 pretty cheap.
     

Share This Page