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Installing Win7 from External HD while keeping data?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm moving over from a broken laptop to a fresh desktop build and have converted my old HD into an external. My data (music, movies, pictures, whatever,) is still on there, and I was wondering if I can make it a bootable Windows 7 "usb" without losing everything? I have the .isos and a key, but no CD drive in this new build, so have to install via USB.

Microsoft has put out the USB/DVD download tool (link) which seems like it'd work. I tried partitioning the external, but I can't seem to get another primary partition-- only logical. From my understanding, I wouldn't be able to boot from this, as I can't set it as the primary partition?

I understand I could move everything off, to a different computer, and go from there, but that's not really an option, so please stray from that suggestion.

I actually tried following this guide, but like I said, when I get to step 4, I'm pretty much screwed.

Anyone?

*edit: Some screenshots. Can't make a primary partition...






Edited by Intricate09 - 5/24/11 at 3:44pm
post #2 of 13
Microsoft has implemented a limitation that disallows users from installing the Windows 7 OS on any external drive.

The guide you referred to is for creating an external Windows 7 install disk.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'll be using the external to install Win7 onto the new system... therefore, I need the installer, right? Not necessarily the whole OS?

I, basically, need to install these .iso's onto a *brand new* HD, and don't have access to a DVD drive, or the win7 discs.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
*woops double post*
post #5 of 13
Just use an 8gig usb drive.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermitmaster View Post
Just use an 8gig usb drive.
Thanks, but that's a non-solution. If I wanted to do that, I would've used an 8GB flash drive.
post #7 of 13
You said you have the ISOs, right? Then just burn it onto a disk and install. Then you can transfer your old data from that external HDD to your new install.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
^ This would be fine if the new computer had a DVD drive, and I had access to another computer with a DVD burner.
post #9 of 13
Get a 8GB flash drive and mount the ISO onto that using the guide.
post #10 of 13
Shrink the large partition until you have around 6 gigs of unallocated space (can't remember the exact size), then follow this guide.
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