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[SOLVED] Help: Installing Windows on a USB drive.

DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
So I've got this Eee PC, which runs Linux quite well but is a little low on space. I wanted to have a Linux install for general work and a Windows install for light gaming, and I found a small 80GB hard drive (got it for free from my friend's broken iPod) to use for the purpose. The initial plan was to fit it inside the Eee, soldering a 40-pin connector to a space on the motherboard for this purpose.

That went poorly, to say the least.

Plan B is to use the drive in an external USB enclosure. The only real question now is how do I install Windows to this drive in such a way that it boots and runs properly? Anyone have any tips? I've looked at BartPE, but that looks more recovery-oriented and I just want a regular Windows install that I can run some games on.

I'd prefer to do this with Windows XP but I understand that XP has some major problems booting from USB. If doing this with Vista is much easier I'll go with that instead; the Eee should run it okay if I cut down some of the extra crap that's turned on by default.

Daedalus on
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Posts

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    So I got it working using a tutorial at ngine.de.

    Some notes:

    1) If you use one computer to install Windows on the drive, (say, your desktop with an optical drive to make installing Windows easier), and then try and boot from the USB drive on a different computer (say, your Eee 901), it will fail, just like if you transplanted an internal hard drive between two computers and tried to boot Windows from it. Fucking Windows.

    2) You cannot have a pagefile. At all. Better pack in as much RAM as you can.

    3) You know that "safely remove hardware" icon? I've got one that says "Safely Remove USB Mass Storage Device - Drive C:". I'm scared to press it.

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  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oh my god.

    I'm not sure if I should be worshipping you or referring your computer to good exorcist.

    Steam & GT
    Spoiler:
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    So I got it working using a tutorial at ngine.de.

    Some notes:

    1) If you use one computer to install Windows on the drive, (say, your desktop with an optical drive to make installing Windows easier), and then try and boot from the USB drive on a different computer (say, your Eee 901), it will fail, just like if you transplanted an internal hard drive between two computers and tried to boot Windows from it. Fucking Windows.

    2) You cannot have a pagefile. At all. Better pack in as much RAM as you can.

    3) You know that "safely remove hardware" icon? I've got one that says "Safely Remove USB Mass Storage Device - Drive C:". I'm scared to press it.

    It doesn't do anything if you press it. I've had the same icon for my main internal drive before (go figure) and pressing it does nothing. Windows is stupid, but not quite that stupid.

  • zanetheinsanezanetheinsane Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You might want to look into using the ewfmgr (Enhanced Write Filter) from Windows XP Embedded so you don't wear out the flash drive.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You might want to look into using the ewfmgr (Enhanced Write Filter) from Windows XP Embedded so you don't wear out the flash drive.

    Except he's not using a flash drive. :|

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2009
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    You might want to look into using the ewfmgr (Enhanced Write Filter) from Windows XP Embedded so you don't wear out the flash drive.

    Except he's not using a flash drive. :|

    What, I figured 80GB flash drives were totally standard issue for iPods now ;)

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    So I got it working using a tutorial at ngine.de.

    Some notes:

    1) If you use one computer to install Windows on the drive, (say, your desktop with an optical drive to make installing Windows easier), and then try and boot from the USB drive on a different computer (say, your Eee 901), it will fail, just like if you transplanted an internal hard drive between two computers and tried to boot Windows from it. Fucking Windows.

    2) You cannot have a pagefile. At all. Better pack in as much RAM as you can.

    3) You know that "safely remove hardware" icon? I've got one that says "Safely Remove USB Mass Storage Device - Drive C:". I'm scared to press it.

    It doesn't do anything if you press it. I've had the same icon for my main internal drive before (go figure) and pressing it does nothing. Windows is stupid, but not quite that stupid.

    You're right.

    However, unplugging the USB cable when the computer is running causes the computer to immediately go straight to a black screen from which it never recovers until a hard reboot.

    Not even a BSOD. Come on, Microsoft.

    Aside from that little danger, everything works great. I can actually play Red Alert 2 on my Eee now (Wine ran it poorly) and when I need to do Real Work, I just leave my windows drive home.

    shadydentist: I assure you any problems I had with this computer (or indeed most electronics) come from me fucking with them too much. You know: if it ain't broke, upgrade!

    vvvvvv-dithw.png
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