Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows install from EXTERNAL USB HDD (NOT USB STICK) !!

  1. #1


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Windows install from EXTERNAL USB HDD (NOT USB STICK) !!


    Hi there

    I've got an older SSD 120 GB. I was wondering if by partitioning it I could create a BOOTABLE Windows install disk. I've no problem with USB STICKS but using a bootable reserve SSD would be great IMO as I could then also have all my various other programs on it like Ms OFFICE and PHOTOSHOP so re-installing Windows together with the applications should be a breeze.

    Perhaps the Bootable USB STICK procedure could be used as on boot the computer thinks it's a Disk anyway ( says USB 2.0 LEXAR HDD) for the USB STICK.

    Note I'm not talking here about RUNNING Windows from an external HDD -- that can be done easily enough with Windows Enterprise (Windows to GO) but simply creating a Windows install media that will boot off an external SSD (NOT a USB STICK). I have the ISO's.

    Cheers
    jimbo

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    The same diskpart procedure you use for thumb drives should work. Should be easy enough to try/test. I just wish my laptop could boot from the SD card slot. That's the way I'd like to go but the BIOS won't do it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    The same diskpart procedure you use for thumb drives should work. Should be easy enough to try/test. I just wish my laptop could boot from the SD card slot. That's the way I'd like to go but the BIOS won't do it.
    Thanks -- worked a treat - and booting with SSD with SATA==>USB3 adapter - really fast - created 8GB partition for the Windows install and the rest (110 GB) where I've got Ms Office and all the other stuff I want to install.

    Saves messing around looking for CD's / DVD/s / places on HDD's for software, updates, serial nrs etc.

    I like the SD card approach -- pity laptops don't seem to allow this - however LINUX can write the GRUB bootloader to my SD card on a laptop - /dev/mmcblk0p1 so I might play around with that - use Linux GRUB bootloader to load up and attach a Windows VHD and then boot from it -- I'm bored today so I might have a go with this.

    Another possibility -- does your computer at boot time recognize your PHONE as an external device -- you could also try booting from that if it does -- although some phones might need the drivers to be loaded in Windows first so it won't work.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    The problem for me isn't making the SD card bootable, at least I don't think that's the issue. Its just that there is no boot from SD card option in the BIOS. The SD card never shows up as a boot option no matter what I try. If you actually try it and get it to work please post back with the results.

    The only CD/DVD's I use these days are DRM protected game disks. Everything else I have on thumb drives. My laptop and desktop PC's each have separate Data drives for my music and videos etc so its usually just Windows that has to be reloaded. I can usually get it done with 3 or 4 thumb drives. I could put it all on one thumb drive but I like having different drives for different stuff. One for the Windows install, one with any required drivers, one with office, MDoP etc. My Data drives are backed up to external media just in case the drive actually fails or gets corrupted. It's all stored on multiple PC's anyway. SDCards are just so much smaller and easier to carry around in your laptop bag. Plus you can write protect them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    I'm also keen on SD card boot to restore from SD card.

    I have resigned myself to having to mod the bios - I have a few old Thinkpads to experiment with (apparently the X200 bios has this option - thus just a matter of comparing modules of my T6x series bios with that)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    That's above my skill level. I defiantly wouldn't be using my laptop as a test bed anyway. I may have another go and just try all the boot options, like boot from USB hard drive etc. One kink is I have no way of knowing if my SD card is actually bootable. I don't have another device to test it in. The only thing I have that will boot from an SD card is my Raspberry Pi and that's ARM based so trying to load Windows on it is a no go. I'd love to try and run RT on it but that's another story for another thread. I guess one could setup a Micro SD in a USB adapter as a test to whether its bootable? I have a couple of Micro SD cards just no USB adapter to plug them into. Assuming that will work without having to install a driver for the Micro SD to USB dongle. I'm starting to remember why I put this on the back burner.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Windows install from EXTERNAL USB HDD (NOT USB STICK) !!
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