Installing Windows 7 FROM External HDD?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by quadwing, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. quadwing macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2012
    Hey guys!

    Okay, so I don't have many DVDs laying around (make that absolutely none) and I don't have any money to go buy them. I do however have a Windows disc from a previous laptop that I had purchased. Now the problem, I've attempted to install it through there multiple times to absolutely no avail. It gets to "Expanding Windows Files", and then the CD drive runs for about 5 minutes, then stops, and all you hear is my fan. The section is still at 0%.

    So, I'm thinking... would it be possible to install Windows 7 from an external HDD? I want to install it on my internal HDD from my external. I just need something to boot from for installation. How do I go about this? I know it's possible in some way, shape or form.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    The latest versions of Boot Camp Assistant will allow you to copy the contents of a Windows 7 ISO onto a USB flash drive and install from that. (At least on some Macs).

    You should be able to use an HDD instead of the flash, but be warned that it will wipe out the contents of the HDD.

  3. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    An OEM copy of Windows that came packaged with a previous laptop is probably not going to work. Those discs usually will only install on the machines they came with.

    As for installing from an external non-optical drive, there's plenty of places that you can google to get instructions on creating a bootable flash drive to install Windows. Those instructions will work just as well with any external hard drive.
  4. quadwing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2012
    I don't have a USB flash drive big enough for Windows, unfortunately. :(

    But I'm not worried about the contents of the external HDD. There's nothing important on there anyway.

    Do you have any idea as to how I'd go about doing that?

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