(Can you) install a bootable windows 7 operating system onto a thumb drive.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by TheDavinHarris, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. TheDavinHarris, Nov 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013

    TheDavinHarris macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #1
    One of my co workers is purchasing a new MacBook Pro with Retina, and he wants to be able to run his windows partition on a 128GB Thumb Drive, due to the fact that his internal HD is restricted to the SSD storage sizes. Is this possible?
    I found that you can prepare the drive for hosting a Windows OS, but I'm not sure how to go about installing all of the proper Boot Camp Drivers, etc.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks, Davin.
     
  2. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2013
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    Manchester, UK
    #2
    Not sure about Windows 7 but try Googling "Windows to go". It may be possible only with Windows 8/8.1, not sure.
     
  3. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2012
    #3
    Not possible to install Win 7 on a USB thumb drive, but you could do it with a Win 8/8.1 Enterprise version or use an external Thunderbolt-connected hard drive to run Win 7 as explained in this thread. Read posts #7 and #10 for more details.
     
  4. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #4
  5. saturnotaku, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  6. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2012
    #6
  7. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #7
    It'll boot to either since it has a recognizable boot sector.
     
  8. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #8
    I cannot as I read the OP's post wrong; I thought it was about using an external drive to install Windows onto the MBP, not run the OS from it.
     
  9. biohead macrumors 6502

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    #9
  10. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #10
    Actually I suggest that you research the function of a .wim file before you say that.

    Essentially what you're doing in those instructions is turning the install media ISO which you have copied to a local drive into an offline image install that's stored on the USB. Exactly the same idea that Windows Installation Services or Windows Automated Installation uses.

    Same Principle Win7PE uses. http://reboot.pro/topic/12427-win7pe-se-release/
    But you're right, I'm only the Tier 3 lead over 3200 desktops in an enterprise, I really don't have a clue how to do this.
     
  11. biohead macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2010
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    West Drayton, UK
    #11
    At the end of the day, the OP was looking for a method to install a typical Windows 7 installation to a USB drive - which this isn't :rolleyes:

    It requires a lot more work than a standard installation, which unless you know what you're doing never ends well. But a Tier 3 lead would know that right :D
     
  12. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #12
    Agreed, but frankly both links I've posted don't make the reality of doing it all that overly difficult. While Win8 makes it pretty no-brainer it's not that it can't be done with Win7, which is what I responded to.
     

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