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Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

  1. #1
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    Vista Installed on USB Hard drive
    Extra o/s on external usb hard drive
    Published by echrada is offline
    14 Jan 2009
    Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    Vista Installed on USB Hard drive


    I hope this method is easy to do and will help anyone looking for the vista usb solution. This avoids any ghosting or copying over of OS install to different drives.

    Avoids cross mounting registry hives.

    Drawback: Needs another drive plugged in sata or ide channel or BSOD after install procedure (used or unused). Meaning this only boots off usb vista, if there is another hard drive present in the system. Has something to do with vista verification of disk drives. The ide or sata drive doesnt need to boot, it just needs to be present. (seen this with some hardware, others boot fine without any other attached drives)

    If usb boot is slow its not the install but the hardware bios support on the system.

    Vista wont start installation on a USB interface no matter what. It is embedded in its OS which I wasn't able to track down.
    So I decided to use VMWARE 6 (may work with older vmware not sure).
    You can download vmware and an evaluation license for 30 days can be emailed to you.

    You can also try the free server version of vmware assuming it will work the same.




    Here's How:

    1) Download vmware install it. (vmware is easy to use)Download VMware Workstation for multiple operating systems - VMware



    2) Create a new vmware for windows, pick custom pick lsi logic as scsi card (vista has support for this card) use cdrom or iso as you wish for the vista install CD.

    3) Have your usb drive u want to install on, plugged in. Vmware will see this device as physical drive 1 (0 being your OS) use physical disk(advanced) of your usb drive. Make sure you pick the correct physical drive (drive 1 usually) or else you might wipe the current OS drive.

    4) Use entire disk.

    5) Click advanced on disk in virtual machine settings. Click on independent
    and persistent changes for the disk.

    6) Now, please remove all assigned letters in disk management for the USB drive
    (If you dont u can corrupt an install that way).
    Also make sure you format the drive during vista install inside vmware. If it is already formatted you still need to format during vista install (or else u might get corrupt boot as crcdisk error).

    Vmware will show that drive as scsi disk under lsi logic controller, this is fine as vista will install on a scsi disk.

    7) Boot and go through the vista install procedure in vmware.

    8) Let vista boot to the desktop the first time in the vmware inside vmware vista do
    start-> run regedit (in the search box unlike XP) goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\
    Now edit tags
    start = 0
    Group = boot bus extender

    on all these servies
    usbccgp
    usbehci
    usbhub
    usbstor
    usbuhci
    If there are no "group" string values add them in for those services
    exit regedit
    goto \windows\system32\DriverStore\FileRepository\usbstor.inf_bb2778a0
    copy usbstor.sys into \windows\system32\drivers (ugh not sure why MS doesn't have it in here)
    goto \windows\inf
    take control and inherit perms for administrator of the inf folder, then
    edit usbstor.inf,usbport.inf,usb.inf to have inside section
    [*.AddService]
    StartType = 0
    LoadOrderGroup = boot bus extender
    (This is because when you boot into regular desktop out of vmware it will find new usb interface and mess up the startup type.)

    9) shutdown vista

    10) close vmware

    11) Now reboot your machine and select USB boot drive from bios boot. Machine should now boot to vista desktop.

    * Be careful about it finding new usb devices and to add drivers. Make sure the
    start type and groups dont change on the usb services (verify in regedit).
    It will find your current hardware's usb device and install drivers for it.
    problem is it can overwrite the original usb*.inf file and add new params into it.
    double check this or when you reboot again boot will fail.
    If you do windows update, fix the registry or it will fail. Update adds new files like the original.
    After the drivers get installed for the first time it is safe to assume you wont
    have to deal with it being reinstalled unless you goto another machine.
    Of course you can always go back to the vmware instance and fix it there.


    Hope its simple and straight forward. You can probably install xp and 200(0,3) this way too. (may need
    lsi logic drivers to find boot disk though, vista,win2k3 has it natively)
    EDIT: xp and windows 200(0,3) exhibit the same behavior of BSOD during boot. Even after
    copying usbstor.sys and other files from driver cache cabs. So xp and win2k3 dont work currently.
    Still maybe salvageable with other tweaks out there.

    The is another way to get WAIK tools for vista and regedit the above changes directly in the boot(1,2).wim
    and install(1,2,3,4,5,6).wim but I will leave that out to the daring. Vista installer still wont
    do direct usb install though even with those usb service changes in the image.

    If your drive doesnt show up under vmware for use then its targetting as removeable device.
    you can install the xpfildrvr driver (the hitachi driver) to remedy that. (mostly for usb flash drives)
    Careful about USB stick since it needs additional drivers to stop those write cycles in windows.
    But atleast the install should be straight forward. No need for extra copying or dealing with
    non working boot sectors as the install is directly on the destination.



    Lazy mans quick install...
    Here is a working INF file which you can copy (by assigning deassigning drive letters to your usb drive)
    put it in c:\ of your windows install, inside vmware right click install the inf file. It wont change the usb
    inf files for you but it will add the reg and copy usbstor.sys for you. For those who dont want to regedit and such...

    Code:
     
    [version]
    signature="$CHICAGO$"
    SetupClass=BASE
     
    [DefaultInstall]
    AddReg = usbservices.Addreg
    CopyFiles = usbstordr
     
    [SourceDisksNames]
    1 = yourcdrive,,,\windows\system32\DriverStore\FileRepository\usbstor.inf_bb2778a0
     
    [SourceDisksFiles]
    usbstor.sys = 1,,
     
     
    [DestinationDirs]
    DefaultDestDir = 12 ; DIRID_DRIVERS
     
    [usbstordr]
    usbstor.sys
     
    [usbservices.Addreg]
     
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbccgp","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB parent Driver"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbccgp","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbccgp","Group",0x00000000,"boot bus extender"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbccgp","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbccgp.sys"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbccgp","Start",0x00010001,0
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbccgp","Type",0x00010001,1
     
     
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbstor","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB Mass Storage Driver"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbstor","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbstor","Group",0x00000000,"boot bus extender"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbstor","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbstor.sys"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbstor","Start",0x00010001,0
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbstor","Type",0x00010001,1
     
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller Miniport Driver"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","Group",0x00000000,"boot bus extender"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbehci.sys"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","Start",0x00010001,0
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci","Type",0x00010001,1
     
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","DisplayName",0x00000000,"USB2 Enabled Hub"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","Group",0x00000000,"boot bus extender"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbhub.sys"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","Start",0x00010001,0
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub","Type",0x00010001,1
     
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","DisplayName",0x00000000,"Microsoft USB Universal Host Controller Miniport Driver"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","Group",0x00000000,"boot bus extender"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbuhci.sys"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","Start",0x00010001,0
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci","Type",0x00010001,1
     
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","DisplayName",0x00000000,"Microsoft USB Open Host Controller Miniport Driver"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","ErrorControl",0x00010001,1
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","Group",0x00000000,"boot bus extender"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","ImagePath",0x00020000,"system32\DRIVERS\usbohci.sys"
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","Start",0x00010001,0
    HKLM,"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci","Type",0x00010001,1

    Published by


    echrada's Avatar
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    Join Date: Jan 2008
    Location: scotland
    Posts: 881
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    Applies to

    All Vista Versions
    64 Bit & 32 Bit


  2.   


  3. #1



    Newbie
    Join Date : Feb 2009
    Posts : 1
    vista 32
    Local Time: 02:40 PM

    Re: Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    I've done all the steps, but when I remove the USB drive and plug into another computer to boot it gives the effor that the boot sector is corrupted. Do you have any suggestions?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.   


  5. #2
    echrada's Avatar

    Senior Member

    Join Date : Jan 2008
    scotland
    Posts : 881
    Microsoft® Windows 7 Ultimate X64
    Local Time: 08:40 PM
    south africa uk scotland

      Thread Starter

    Re: Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    Have you made sure that another drive is plugged in sata or ide channel or BSOD after install procedure (used or unused).

    Meaning this only boots off usb vista, if there is another hard drive present in the system.

    Has something to do with vista verification of disk drives. The ide or sata drive doesnt need to boot, it just needs to be present. (seen this with some hardware, others boot fine without any other attached drives)

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #3



    Newbie
    Join Date : Mar 2010
    Posts : 2
    Windows 7 Ultmate x64/Window XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 32bit
    Local Time: 06:40 AM
    australia au queensland

     

    Re: Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    G'day
    I have been running Vista from my USB drive (using your excellent instructions) since I added a new hdd to my laptop and installed windows 7 (RC1 at first but now full 7 ultimate) and windows xp. I haven't had any trouble until now. SP2 downloaded and installed and now i can't get Vista to work on the USB drive.
    I have plugged back into the sata on the laptop and it boots no problem. redid all the reg entries and put back in the usb caddy and still it won't work. Do have any suggestions?

    Last edited by SeregDuin; 01 Mar 2010 at 09:36 PM.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #4



    Newbie
    Join Date : Mar 2010
    Posts : 2
    Windows 7 Ultmate x64/Window XP Pro/Vista Ultimate 32bit
    Local Time: 06:40 AM
    australia au queensland

     

    Re: Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    I managed to start it in safe mode. Could not find anything wrong. While in safe mode.
    I gave up and went to shut down but hit restart instead. It all started without a problem !!???
    Black magic I suppose

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #5



    Newbie
    Join Date : May 2010
    Posts : 1
    Vista 32bit
    Local Time: 10:40 PM


     

    Re: Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    One question:(Lazy mans quick install...
    Here is a working INF file which you can copy (by assigning deassigning drive letters to your usb drive)
    put it in c:\ of your windows install, inside vmware right click install the inf file. It wont change the usb
    inf files for you but it will add the reg and copy usbstor.sys for you. For those who dont want to regedit and such...)
    isint usb drive in vmware C ?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #6



    Newbie
    Join Date : Oct 2010
    Posts : 1
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
    Local Time: 12:40 PM


     

    Re: Vista Installed on USB Hard drive

    I realize that this is a Vista forum, but I am interested in whether this procedure for installing and running Vista from an USB drive will work for Windows 7 Home Premium. I have tried this, but am having difficulty getting to the external drive even in VMware. I downloaded VMware Workstation 7.1.2 and attempted to follow the directions in this post, but there are differences in the current version of VMware and I may be missing something. When I power on the virtual machine (on the usb harddrive) I get the error "BOOTMGR is missing Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart." Going into the virtual machine bios and selecting CD/DVD device in the boot order, Windows setup begins and the screen shows "Windows is starting," but then a dialog box opens as follows:

    Windows 7 - VMware Workstation

    ? Operation on file \\.\PysicalDrive1" failed.

    If the files reside on a remote file system, please make sure your network connection and the server where this disk resides are functioning properly. If the files reside on removable media, reattach the media.

    Choose Retry to attempt the operation again.
    Choose Abort to terminate this session.
    Choose Continue to forward error to the guest operating system.

    But choosing "Retry" simply brings up the dialog box again; choosing "Continue" seems to do nohing at all; and choosing "Abort" ends the VMware session. I have tried this with both a Windows installation CD and with an ISO file, but neither will install Windows 7.

    Anyone have any ideas what I'm doing wrong and/or missing?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec


Vista Installed on USB Hard drive
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