Win10 Install from small HDD  


  1. Posts : 13
    Win10 1903
       #1

    Win10 Install from small HDD


    Hi Gang!

    Okay, I have older stuff, most from around 2010, yea, I know, I'm poor!

    None of my boxes have on-board USB3, so USB2 installs are my only choice unless I want to turn to dust waiting on and hoping the DVD doesn't choke 30 minutes into just loading up before the install process begins..

    Is there any way of putting the Win10 install on a small 40GB hard drive that has no reason to live anymore and boot from that as apposed to a DVD or USB?

    I hope one of you guru's has figured this out! You would think that it should be a wide open choice of what we install from, but we know MS.... Nooooooo, do it "our way" or hit the highway... Geesh.

    TIA!

    Prey
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #2

    I have never done anything like that, but I can't say that it would be impossible.

    What interface do you hope to use for the small HDD? At that size, I'd expect it to have PATA. (Also known as IDE.) Not terribly useful on modern motherboards. Does any of your "2010" hardware support PATA?

    There are PATA to USB enclosures and adapters. Looking at Newegg, there are some adapters that are quite cheap. They ship from China, though. Enclosures are more expensive. (If you're too poor to have a credit card,debit card, or PayPal account, you may not be able to do business easily with Newegg.)

    One potential sticking point: an external USB drive must be formatted as FAT32 to allow it to boot a UEFI system. Windows won't format as FAT32 drive larger than 32 GB. (Windows supports much larger FAT32 drives, it just won't format them.) You'd have to use a third-party utility to format the drive.

    My advice? Save your pennies, and get a 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive for less than $10US.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 13,175
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro and Home
       #3

    And be careful if using the MCT/Media Creation Tool process in creating the Bootable USB Thumb drive, it will format automatically as FAT32 wiping out anything on it. I learned that because I made a mistake in grabbing a 64GB drive and MCT partitioned and formatted it as FAT32, remaining space was unavailable, ended up using GPARTED to wipe the drive and recreate as one partition formatted as FAT32 which is what most of Thumb drives come formatted as, at least up to 64GB, haven't needed to work with larger yet.

    Also, if Windows is running you can just plug in the drive and run the setup.exe file, can choose a clean install [lose everything] or an upgrade.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 13
    Win10 1903
    Thread Starter
       #4

    I found the solution and it work GREAT!


    Thanks for the responses & input. After I posted I did some searching and found a YT vid:

    YouTube

    copied down the instructions (below) and went at it. Had nothing to lose... To my gleeful amazement it worked like a charm! The guy even has instructions on creating a HDD with multiple OS's installs which I'll be getting later to add to my collection of info on the subject. Talk about FAST! It was instantaneous response and I was configuring Win in about 5 minutes, no kidding. My goal is to have both Win7Pro and Win10Pro (x32 & x64) installs on one drive to start. It was so easy it was stupid. The guys knows "where it hit it" if you get my drift. I used an old 40GB Sata which is no loss. What can you do with that anyway? I hung mine off my external Sata dock and just got into boot menu to select it to boot from. I imagine a USB3.x would work as well as long as the BIOS sees it as a removable at bootup.

    Here's the instructions

    Install Windows directly from the Hard Drive - No CD/DVD/USB Needed*It's assumed the drive is already initialized & setup up as a simple volume, if not do that 1st.

    1.Do a normal (default NT format again) of the target HHD from within either Win7 or Win10 Windows Explorer.
    2.Mount OS ISO, DVD or whatever source and just copy everything onto the root of the Installer HDD.

    These are the instructions the guy gives on what to copy. My ISO structure has both x32 & x64 and I just copied everything and it worked fine just like the CD or USB but FAST!

    YT Instructions:

    Folder - \boot
    Folder - \sources
    File - Bootmgr

    Heres my ISO structure that I copied (everything):

    Folder \boot
    Folder \efi
    Folder \x64
    Folder \x86
    autorun.inf
    bootmgr
    bootmgr.efi
    setup.exe

    3.From Start type CMD (as Administrator)
    a. diskpart
    b. list disk
    c. select disk x (HDD # just formatted with sources)
    d. list partition (should be just the one)
    e. select partition 1
    f. active (to make bootable from BIOS)

    Exit (to get out of diskpart)

    Activate Loader

    a. enter drive letter x: of new HDD
    b. boot\bootsect.exe /nt60 x: (x: being the target drive letter)

    Exit out of WCP CMD

    4.Shut down PC and put Install HDD in new computer to setup as secondary drive on port 1 or 2. Install new target drive on Boot port 0 or 1 whichever your MB has listed as 1st primary drive port for booting to. Start and select Install HDD to boot from in Boot Post and away you go! Have fun! Prey
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #5

    PreyMantas said:
    (snip)

    3.From Start type CMD (as Administrator)
    a. diskpart
    b. list disk
    c. select disk x (HDD # just formatted with sources)
    d. list partition (should be just the one)
    e. select partition 1
    f. active (to make bootable from BIOS)

    Exit (to get out of diskpart)

    (snip)
    That may not be necessary if the motherboard supports UEFI.

    On the USB flash drives I've used to install Windows, I used Diskpart to park the partition as active. Someone pointed out that it's not necessary for a UEFI system, which will boot from the flash drive just fine without that. I have verified that.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 14,009
    Windows 11 Pro X64 22H2 22621.1848
       #6

    If you copied those instructions from somewhere else you should provide proper attribution (a link to the original source). Always good to give credit where it's due.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 13
    Win10 1903
    Thread Starter
       #7

    bobkn said:
    That may not be necessary if the motherboard supports UEFI.

    On the USB flash drives I've used to install Windows, I used Diskpart to park the partition as active. Someone pointed out that it's not necessary for a UEFI system, which will boot from the flash drive just fine without that. I have verified that.
    Hello, none of my systems are new enough to have that system. Mine are all BIOS, so you have me at a disadvantage on that front. I haven't played with any UEFI boxes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ztruker said:
    If you copied those instructions from somewhere else you should provide proper attribution (a link to the original source). Always good to give credit where it's due.
    Hey Ztrucker,

    I provided a direct link to the YT video where I received the info. Did you watch it? How much more credit could I give to the source, friend??? After I looked at his solution for multi-boot installs from one HDD I found a number of other folks sharing the same information. So, I have no idea sadly (and doubt if anyone else does sharing this info) who the original source of the info is
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 14,009
    Windows 11 Pro X64 22H2 22621.1848
       #8

    My humble apologies. I read right over the Youtube link, several times. That is exactly what I was talking about and again I apologize for missing the link you already posted. Thank you for responding so nicely. Peace.

    I did just watch it.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 13
    Win10 1903
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Ztruker said:
    My humble apologies. I read right over the Youtube link, several times. That is exactly what I was talking about and again I apologize for missing the link you already posted. Thank you for responding so nicely. Peace.
    I did just watch it.
    No problem. It went by me also after I posted it because it changed it to a simple YouTube hype.:) Pretty cool feature of the board. Brink has the best forum boards on the ENTIRE net, bare none. Yea, made me feel kind of old because I've been down that rat trail years ago back in the DOS days dealing with old beast drives when I was running my BBS. It was a never-ending challenge keeping ahead of hardware and all the fun we had then wasting all our time on MS missed opportunities which continues to this very day and they still don't listen... I don't get why they don't address the simple stuff that should be easy for seasoned coders as they come in. It's all about adding useful functionality to already existing useful functionality that we've all become accustomed to, not removing it and breaking things like little children and wasting more of our productive time, it's insane to say the least... Grrrrr NEW FEATURES are what are the time consuming things they should be focusing on instead of changing and breaking.

    Anyway, reason I needed to get this solution is because my systems are old and I'm poor and I have no onboard USB3's available at bootup and booting on USB2.0 is excruciatingly slow. When want it, I want it NOW! LOL :) Putting the OS installs on a small unused HDD is the fastest you can get and it's really fast. Perfectly fits my "get it done now" impetuousness tendencies. The down side of being a career "real" Journeyman Machinist, not a pretender, slacker...

    The only thing I was disappointed in with this fellow on YT was his solution for multi-boot HDDs was to use a loader which I've had and been into for decades. I was hoping he had a new different, easier solution I'd never seen before like adding a simple boot loader in the initial boot OS similar to how Win10/Win7 dual boots. I'll keep looking...

    Have a great day my friend!

    Prey
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 14,009
    Windows 11 Pro X64 22H2 22621.1848
       #10

    Thank you, you too.
      My Computers


 

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