Updated instructions for USB-stick Windows 7 Recovery Disc

ljh

New Member
#1
I have my .iso file of the Windows 7 Recovery Disc, and I'm just trying to get it on a bootable USB stick to use on a netbook without an optical drive. I saw a reasonably recent post on doing just that, but the interface has changed so much since then the instructions are unintelligible (at least to me).

This should be really easy, a matter of a few clicks. But there are so many options that it's easy for a newbie to go wrong. Can someone please tell me how to do it with the latest build (90)?

Thanks!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi ljh, welcome to NST.

Copy the ISO image to the USB drive

Bootloader Setup:
Select your USB stick there, and press "Install BCD"

Add New Entry:
Go to ISO Image and locate the ISO. Check the "Force Boot" box and press "Add Entry"

Reboot to test.
 

ljh

New Member
#3
Not working; some clarification needed

Thanks for the quick reply!

In bootloader setup, when I click on "Install BCD", I eventually get a pop-up window asking whether I want to load some store file. Do I say yes or no? I said yes.

When I went to "add new entry", I went to the ISO tab, located the .iso file on the usb stick, and clicked on the "force portable entry" box. There was no "force boot" box to be clicked. Am I missing something?

When I clicked on add entry, I got some sort of null reference exception.

I don't know if it's significant, but I am using a 2 GB stick, formatted to fat32 with its boot flag on. (Formatted on my linux machine.) However, EasyBCD only sees it as 1 GB.

Thanks for your help.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Sorry, something was broken in this build. I'll have a new build for you to use in an hour or so.

Look for build 91.

Addendum:

Please try now.
 
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ljh

New Member
#5
problem still not solved

Not really knowing what I was doing I must have clicked on a wrong option yesterday, and wound up messing up the vista pc that I was using to make my usb stick. After an hour or so with the Vista repair DVD, I'm up and running again. I downloaded the latest build and tried again.

Here is what I did. I inserted the usb stick with the .iso file on it, went to "Create Bootable External Media", selected my usb stick and clicked on install bcd. I had a window open to view the contents of the disk, and saw that EasyBCD added a folder called Boot. The program seemed to hang for about 20 seconds with a "program not responding" notice in the top. Then my window to the disk disappeared, and eventually the dialog box popped up with the "load store" question. At that point, without clicking either yes or no, I opened up the drive again to look, and the Boot folder was gone. Only the .iso file remained.

So it seems that nothing was installed. Any ideas?

Thanks again so much for the help you're giving!

Blessings,

Lawrence
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Did you attempt to refresh the display? And you do have the viewing of hidden and system files enabled, don't you?

At any rate, when that message appears, you should press "Yes" and then add the entry once more. When you use the "Make Bootable" all old entries from the USB will be cleared and you'll need to create them once more.
 

ljh

New Member
#7
Finding another option

When I went to the computer today to continue to work on the problem, I found it wouldn't boot again. Even carefully following exactly what I was told did something to the hard drive of the program's host computer. Another hour spent with my Vista DVD before it would boot again.

I just wanted to do use this program to get an .iso file to boot from a USB! Apparently there is not an easy and safe way to do that.

I now have another option, and I'll go with that.

Sorry for the bother.

Lawrence
 
#8
Hi ljh,
for the beginnig I must know, your Win 7 have a 100 MB hidden active primary partition?
Go in the Win7-HD-Manager and control this please.
Then write the answer here.

I have 2010, 30.03 testet many possebilitys to creat boot-USB-sticks with ISO-Files and extract-ISO-files.
My EasyBCD ist the 2.0 BETA (Build 91).

Attention: Work only with the BCD-File on the USB stick ("Main Window" File -> Select BCD Store)
You see a information popup message and must klick "OK".
Then opening a "Brows for File" Window and with this go to the BCD-File on your USB stick!

If you start up the EasyBCD-Program, you see first you ACTIVE BCD from your Computer!

Remember: Go to the USB-Stick with File -> Select BCD Store, klick on the popup message "OK" and search on your USB stick in the following Window your USB-Stick-BCD-File.

A short information:
All created BCD-Files are as Backups in a (your) Folder, with you can see by cliking on BCD Install/Repair.
My BCD-Backups are on HDD "D" (my second HD) in a Root-Folder with name "BCD Backup".
There are all my BCD with date and time.
If you have damage your original BCD on your HD, you can restore this damage BCD File with the Backup-BCD-File.

Greetings from Germany,

Armin Strube
 
#9
Could you guys clarify, what EsayBCD menu item "Force Portable Entry" actually does? What EasyBCD does differently, when I select this entry? In what scenarios it should be selected or unselected? I mean, one still needs to select USB Boot in Bios anyway, right - or not? Can one boot from a USB stick without "forcing" - I do?

So, which devices need it, and what it really does (I guess it "forces", but wonder, how exactly and under what conditions)? May be the devs need to add a short Help popup in EasyBCD for that, because most ppl wouldn't really know, whether to click it or not.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
"Force portable entry" means that EasyBCD shouldn't try to remember the path to the ISO file, instead, it should search for it at boot time.

Typically, all the "force portable entry" checkboxes should always be checked if you're planning on using a bootable USB on more than one PC.
 
#11
Thanks for clarification. So, if I want to boot from an ISO file and add its pass to EasyBCD Menu, but later move that file to another drive & directory on the same PC, or even to an attached to it USB drive, EasyBCD will seach ALL connected drives for that file, when I select its entry at boot time? How long it will take to find it? Should the ISO be placed in Root dir only of an active partition, or can be placed in any dir on any drive, including non-active CD and USB? Will it use Windows search routing and indexing?
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
No. It means that the file you're trying to boot ( be it an iso, virtual hard disk, or WIM image) will be loaded from the same drive that you selected to boot from.

Addendum:

EasyBCD does have a feature that let's you dynamically search for a file and load itcrom any disk, and it's used to automatically find the right drive to boot Linux and NTLDR from, by to take advantage of it for you own, custom needs, you'll need to create and use a NeoGrub entry.
 
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#13
Thanks again! I have a bootable USB Stick with Win7 and EasyBCD installed on it (not PE or CD, but actual install) and several bootable ISO files copied to its root. EasyBCD is configured to show a boot menu at startup from USB.

If I add Plop Boot Manager to EasyBCD boot entries on internal HD, then select Plop at boot time, and then pick the USB drive in Plop, will EasyBCD search for ISO images on that drive to boot from? Should I see a second EasyBCD boot menu after selecting the Flash in Plop?
 
#15
It looks like Plop has a major limitation: it expects only one USB device at boot time. I can easily boot from USB Stick, when selected in BIOS. But when I try to boot from it via Plop USB menu entry in EasyBCD Boot Menu, the PC hangs. I assume, its because I have an internal USB Card Reader (with no cards inserted). The same happens in a VMWare virtual machine: when only USB stick is connected, Plop boots from it, but if I add any other USB device in the VM BIOS setup to be available after boot, Plop can't boot - it doesn't seem to have an auto search feature for bootable USBs. But in a VM one can connect extra USB devices after boot. On a physical PC you can't disconnect an internal USB Card Reader, or even printer, camera, etc. before each boot. Any resolution to that? Is that typical how Plop should boot from USB via EasyBCD?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#16
In your BIOS you should be able to configure the order of the removable devices themselves, maybe that will work for you?