Download MS Windows from a USB stick

I do not like M $ Win's systems. Linux (Fedora 9) is installed on my computers. What caused the appearance of a posting that talks about installing the OS I don't like on a flash drive? At the end of October, I ended up in the “Yota team”, which received free unlimited access to the WiMax wireless network deployed in Moscow and St. Petersburg (the declared speed is 10Mbit of incoming traffic and 5Mbit of outgoing, but you can read about current situation here) ). Together with the free unlimited (it will be free until March 31, 2009), we were given WiMax modems Samsung SWC-U200 for free, as it was said - "for unlimited use." It was this modem that caused me to again - temporarily! - it took M $ Win's axis. The fact is that drivers for it so far exist only under Windows. According to Yota employees, drivers for Mac and Linux are currently under development and will be available by the end of the year. But you need to work with the network now. Therefore, having tormented myself for several days with a constant change of Linux on the netbook by Windows and vice versa, I thought about a more comfortable option for me - put M $ Win on USB-Flash.

As far as I know, so far no one has been able to launch the modem's windows drivers using ndiswrapper. Someone runs VirtualBox from under Linux with Windows running in it , thus gaining access to WiMax from under Linux. But for the 701th with its 4GB drive, this is not the best option. Therefore, I decided to make a bootable USB flash drive with Windows - so that when I need access to the network on the road, it would be enough just to insert a USB flash drive and reboot. They say that using the method described below, you can put Windows on SD-cards. True, the installation process was not the most trivial and took several days to find information.

Attention! If you try to repeat the following, you will act solely at your own risk. If any actions lead to a failure / spoilage of your system or a conflict with the law - I do not bear any responsibility for this. .

Therefore, before starting experiments with installing MS Windows on a flash drive, it is worth making a backup of the system. The process described below requires MS Windows installed on your computer. Moreover, during installation on a flash drive, the system on the computer’s hard drive will be modified - the necessary software will be added to it, allowing Windows to boot from the flash drive. Since this software is unlikely to be useful for the "hard drive" version of Windows, this is another reason for restoring a saved system after the steps described below. In August, I bought with my hands the Windows version of the ASUS Eee 701 netbook (Windows on it was replaced by Linux the day after the purchase), so that all the actions took place with exclusively licensed software.

This process can turn out to be unexpectedly long. Proceed to it only if you are sure that you have a couple of hours.

1. Backup system ( I recently wrote about one of the backup methods ).

2. We will prepare a flash drive on which we plan to copy the system. The flash drive must be empty and formatted in FAT32 or NTFS. Before formatting with a program like fdisk, you should make sure that there is exactly one primary partition on the flash drive that is marked as boot. If there are several partitions, delete them and create one single new primary partition, marking it as bootable. Several times after installing Windows on a flash drive, instead of booting the system, “Missing system” appeared - only because there was a second small section on the flash drive that for some reason neither Windows nor Linux saw - and which, of course, was not deleted by formatting flash drives.

3. If your computer does not have MS Windows installed, install it on your computer.

4. Download USBoot from . Unzip the downloaded archive into the C: \ USBoot directory.
The C: \ USBoot \ QuickStart.txt file contains a manual, following the instructions of which we will install Windows on a flash drive. Make sure that no external devices are connected to the computer - flash drives, etc. If they are connected, disconnect them and remove them from the sockets. Close all extraneous programs.

5. Go to the C: \ USBoot folder and run the cmd_here.cmd file. In the window with the command line, type the command:
 C: \ USBoot> USBoot phase-I
The program will issue a challenge code . By this code we get the program activation code. To get the activation code, open a browser, go to and register. After that, a letter will be sent to the mailbox specified during registration with a link that you should click to activate the account. Having . In the menu on the left, select "Build response code" . Enter the challenge code issued by the program in the browser window and get the activation code , which we enter by returning to the USBoot program waiting for the activation code. If the code is entered correctly, the program will report this and offer to press the spacebar to continue. After warning that we use the program at our own risk, press the space bar again , then press the C key .
Next, I will give a sequence of proposals issued by the program and my answers to them.

Creation of a system restore point
skip this step

Deactivation of auto reboot on system errors

disable auto reboot on system errors

Installation of the USBoot DeviceGuard

install and activate the USBoot DeviceGuard

Installation of the USBoot ServiceGuard

install and activate the USBoot ServiceGuard

Installation of a generic HAL

install only files for remedial manual selection of HAL

6. После ввода этих ответов программа приступит к первой фазе настройки системы. At the end of the phase, press the spacebar , then - reboot the system, close all extraneous programs and, again running C: \ USBoot \ cmd_here.cmd, we will command:
 C: \ USBoot> USBoot phase-II
Pressing the space bar after a warning, that the author of the program is not responsible for the consequences, I'll click the C . И вновь серия ответов на предложенные варианты:

Installation of drivers of class USB

install all drivers available of class «USB»

Installation of drivers of critical classes (excluding class «SCSIAdapter»)

install all drivers available of critical classes but only generic ones for classes «System», «Keyboard» and «Mouse»

Removal of information concerning non-present devices

removing information concerning non-present devices of class USB

Reinstallation of present devices of class USB

reinstall of present devices of class USB

Reinstallation of present devices preffering generic device IDs

skip this step

Installation of USBoot ArcGuard

install and activate the USBoot ArcGuard

Installation of USBoot DriveGuard

install and activate the USBoot DriveGuard

Deletion of the content of the Windows «dllcache» and "$Nt..." uninstall folders

<!> delete the content of the Windows «dllcache» and "$Nt..." uninstall folders

7. После ввода этих ответов программа приступит ко второй фазе настройки системы. Это продлится минут 15. At the end of the phase, press the spacebar , затем — перезагрузим систему.

8. Connect the pre-prepared flash drive to which we plan to copy the system. Run C: \ USBoot \ cmd_here.cmd again and run:
 C: \ USBoot> USBoot phase-III
Press the spacebar , and then the C .

Transfer of installation to target system volume

copy installation to target system volume (accept only completely empty volume)

Select targetdrive
(1) --> D:
Please choose an item by specifying its index:

Select sourcedrive
(1) --> C:
Please choose an item by specifying its index:

Initialization of the USBoot ArcGuard

initialize the USBoot ArcGuard

Configuration of pagefiles

deactivate all pagefiles

Configuration of windows update

deactivate the prompt for driver downloads from windows update

Changing of the computer name for the transferred installation

skip this step

Creation of sample boot.ini file

create sample boot.ini file

After that, copying files to a flash drive will begin. This is a VERY long procedure - once it took me more than an hour. And another time - half an hour. Do not flatter yourself with the thought that after the copying of files is over, everything is close to completion. The message “Finishing transfer of files (this may make some time)” appears in the console. And now this final part can easily last more than an hour ...
After the end of the third phase, press the spacebar . The bootable flash drive is ready! If your system refuses to boot from a flash drive, try experimenting. My flash drive became bootable only on the third attempt (after processing the flash drive with fdisk).