Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Want Windows 8 Boot Manager after installing from USB

  1. #1


    Posts : 10
    Windows 7 64bit and Windows 8 Consumer Preview

    Want Windows 8 Boot Manager after installing from USB


    Essentially I am looking for the Windows 8 boot manager, that will give me the advanced options and of course choice of OS when booting from USB, whilst allowing me to directly boot in to windows 7 when my USB HDD is not plugged in.

    How do I do this? Currently it just boots straight in to Windows 8.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I used that type of configuration. I installed Windows8 on a USB3 stick and also on a USB3 disk. Then I changed the BIOS boot sequence to boot first from USB3. When the stick or the USB3 disk were plugged in, it would load into Windows8. When they were not plugged in, the system would load from my internal disk which had Windows7.

    Here is how I made the installation on the stick and on the USB3 disk: Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk

    Just a note of caution. If you only have USB2 material, it is quasi impossible to make that operate. It will work like molasses. USB2 is just too slow.
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  3. #3


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


    Hi there
    I'll save the OP some time.

    AFAIK it's IMPOSSIBLE to get W7 to boot AND RUN (not install) from a USB drive . The Boot commands that you use for getting a W8 Win to Go system just don't work for W7 -- if you use the W8 boot on a W7 system it will BSOD on boot.

    If you use some type of Linux Boot Loader (GRUB) you MIGHT be able to get the system to start booting W7 after loading the Linux bootstrap but I don't think the effort is worth the candle.

    W8 works fine (a USB stick isn't always too slow BTW although some updating won't work without a bit of get arounds). I installed to an old laptop usb drive I'd removed and swapped for an SSD. A USB drive connected to a USB slot with a USB==>SATA cable seems perfectly adequate enough even run on a small netbook.

    I connect the old laptop drive via a USB ===>sata adapter cable. The W8 system works quite acceptably fast in this case and is a bit more useful as say with a 320 GB laptop drive you can install a whole load of useful applications too.

    BTW XP can also "Sort of" run from a USB drive -- Hirens Boot CD has a "Mini XP" system on it and the whole kybosh boots from a USB drive. I think however that the XP system here is actually based on Bart's PE type of system so it's not a "True" XP system even though it has all the functionality of one.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    AFAIK it's IMPOSSIBLE to get W7 to boot AND RUN (not install) from a USB drive
    You know it is possible
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    To answer the original question:

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
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  6. #6


    Portsmouth Hants
    Posts : 772
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I used that type of configuration. I installed Windows8 on a USB3 stick and also on a USB3 disk. Then I changed the BIOS boot sequence to boot first from USB3. When the stick or the USB3 disk were plugged in, it would load into Windows8. When they were not plugged in, the system would load from my internal disk which had Windows7.

    Here is how I made the installation on the stick and on the USB3 disk: Windows 8 To Go - Setup on a USB Flash Drive or USB Disk

    Just a note of caution. If you only have USB2 material, it is quasi impossible to make that operate. It will work like molasses. USB2 is just too slow.
    I can quasi disagree on the last point

    The Windows 8 CP was too slow, but I have the RP running acceptably fast on a Sandisk Cruzer 16GB thumbdrive (USB 2.0) So far it has been fine on my netbook (Packard Bell dot se with Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz and 2 GB RAM, Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150), and my old Acer Travelmate 2340 - Intel Celeron M 1.50 GHz, 2GB RAM, Mobile Intel® 915 and 910GML Express Chipset Family. - so the hardware is not formula one either.

    On the Packard Bell,the RP found and installed the Windows 8 Intel GMA 3150 driver, on the Acer, a generic VGA driver only, but working at full resolution for an attached 1440x900 LCD monitor with acceptable quality. Neither has stability problems. The Acer is so old, it does not even boot natively from USB - It has Plop Boot Manager to enable USB booting!*

    So far the OS has 6.7 GB used on the stick, it shuts down & restarts to desktop in about one minute.

    One way I have had "Windows 7" ("To Go") booting and running from USB was using a Windows Embedded Standard 7 SP1 built OS with the USB boot feature and enhanced and file-based write filters, using the HORM feature, which seems to be like hybrid boot. That can run, at a slow speed similar to the CP, from a 4GB SD card! In a USB card-reader, that booted and ran on the Packard Bell dot se, an Acer Aspire 7520 and an Acer Extensa 4220. To all intents and purposes it did everything Windows 7 does.

    The OP may find Plop Boot Manager useful to add a boot from USB option to the boot menu too. Plop - Home Ithink it can be found via EasyBCD too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    Hi there
    OK IMPOSSIBLE might be the wrong word -- with enough hacking most things can be done in a reasonable time frame.

    BUT: I still maintain it's ALMOST impossible to get a W7 installation to boot and run from an external device -- WITH all internal disk devices disconnected at boot.

    If you can get the W7 to boot and run in THIS scenario without having to use things like Windows Embedded standard then that's OK -- but I'd like to see a W7 (or a near enough one in functionality) that boots and runs totally from an external device and allows things like software etc to be installed on it and recognizes other devices when they are plugged in.

    The other problems with a "Portable" W7 is that of activation when you plug the device into different hardware and dynamically installing device drivers. A "Sysprep" type of solution isn't actually a "Real" solution -- since all that is is a quick "pre configured" install on the target system.

    The W8 feature avoids this (don't know how --I just know it does).

    On a laptop split into two partitions "C" (Host Windows system) and say a "D" partition a Windows to Go W8 system will probably show these as E and F i.e totally separate data drives -- accessible via read / write etc etc --same for any network drives too.

    I haven't seen an externally booted W7 system showing me the internal HDD's in this fashion.

    Does the OP simply want to use the external device as a BOOT manager or does he actually want to he able to boot by menu choice one of two "TO GO" type of systems totally from the external device

    The Linux solution will allow you to boot and select your OS from the USB stick but the actual OS will still be loaded and executed from the computers internal HDD's if it's a W7 OS.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I can quasi disagree on the last point

    The Windows 8 CP was too slow, but I have the RP running acceptably fast on a Sandisk Cruzer 16GB thumbdrive (USB 2.0)
    That is good to hear. I have not yet tried the RP. My experience is from the CP. Main reason was because where I am right now, my system does not have a USB3 port and I am too lazy to take the box apart and put a USB3 PCI-e i

    But maybe after what you said I should try on a USB2 port. I have a SSD in a USB2 enclosure lying around. That may be the appropriate device - although the Atto measurements on the USB2 were not really encouraging. The USB3 stick on my system in FL was way faster.

    Click image for larger version
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012-06-04_1424.png  
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  9. #9


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


    Hi there
    I can try and post my results of a W8 Win to go running from a Samsung 320 GB model HM321HI "cannabalized" laptop drive connected to a "bog standard" USB2 port on a small NETBOOK and response is fine. This was the drive I extracted from a laptop to replace it with an SSD. (One end of the adapter is a SATA connector and the other end goes into a bog standard USB2 port).

    What do I need to run after I've booted up the system.

    I see ATTO Disk bench mark -- can you provide a link

    I use the Win to go quite a lot -- just used it recently to re-partition a laptop where the internal HDD was totally hosed up.

    I could even run Photoshop on it as test.

    cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Jimbo, Here is Atto: Disk Benchmark | ATTO

    I always focus on the 4K blocksize because this is the predominent blocksize the system uses. As you can see my USB3 stick is nearly 4 times faster than my Mushkin SSD in a USB2 enclosure - and that Mushkin is really fast when attached to USB3 or eSata. Unfortunately my older Dell Inspiron 530 here does not have those connections.

    Here is what I call fast - this is the real time boot in Virtual Box on my Florida Dell XPS 8300 with an M4: Start Win8 in vBox1.wmv - YouTube
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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