Microsoft had recently released a utility that allowed you to make a USB memory stick to install Windows 7 on computer’s that did not have a DVD drive. However Rafael Rivera of the “Within Windows” blog pointed out that the tool contained some GPL v2 licenced code and Microsoft have now quickly removed it from their web site. UPDATE: Microsoft has admitted that they violated the GPL v2 licence and have now released the tool under open source. In any case the instructions below show you how to build a much better bootable USB install memory stick that allows you to install ANY version of Windows 7.
If you have bought multiple version of Windows 7 and compared the DVD’s you might have noticed that they are the same with the exception of one file (ei.cfg). This one file tells Windows what version to automatically install during the install process. Because all the DVD’s are essentially the same you can use any Windows 7 DVD to perform a version upgrade of Windows 7 using the “Upgrade Anytime” option.
Now to make this bootable universal Windows 7 install USB memory stick you will need at least one Windows 7 DVD 32bit or 64bit depending on what version you want to install and a blank 4gb USB memory stick. Note you will need to create a separate 32 or 64bit USB memory stick of Windows 7 but it will let you install the different SKU’s.
Step 1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD into your computer and the USB memory stick into your computer
Step 2. Open an “Command Prompt” and run “DISKPART”.
This will launch the diskpart utility in a separate windows and perform a UAC prompt.
Step 3. Type “LIST DISK” and take note what the disk number is of the USB memory stick. This will be the same size as the USB memory stick (eg. 3824 MB = 4 GB).
Step 4. Then type “SELECT DISK X” where X is the disk number of the USB memory stick.
Step 5. Type “CLEAN”. Warning – This will wipe all data from the USB memory stick.
Step 6. Type “CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY”
Step 7. Type “SELECT PARTITION 1”
Step 8. Type “ACTIVE”
Step 9. Type “FORMAT FS=FAT32” (and wait about 5 minutes depending on the size and speed of the USB memory stick)
Step 10. Type “ASSIGN”.
You will notice the auto play window now appears. Take note of the drive letter (e.g. F:\ ) and close this window.
Step 11. Type “EXIT”
Step 12. Back at the command prompt type “xcopy d:*.* /s/e/f F:” where D: is the drive letter of you DVD and F: is the drive letter of your USB Memory stick.
Don’t worry if it takes a long time to copy boot.wim and install.wim as these are the two largest files on the DVD.
Step 13. Once the xcopy is finished run “del F:\sources\ei.cfg” from the command prompt and you Windows 7 Bootable USB memory stick is ready to go. Doing this step is what makes the USB memory stick allow you to install any version of Windows 7 as it no longer has a default version configured.
You can now either boot from the USB memory stick or just run setup.exe from the drive to start the install process. Either way you will now prompted for the version of Windows 7 you want to install.
Warning: This procedure will allow you to install a copy of Windows 7 that you are not licenced to have. Therefore you need to be very careful to only select a version that you have a licence key for as you will not be able activate Windows without a key that exactly matches the version you have installed.
By Alan Burchill
Twitter at @alanburchill
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Shot at the Stadthalle Offenbach, Bat Out of Hell: The Original Tour catches the raw exhilaration of Meat Loaf’s colossal stage performance. Larger-than-life songs such as “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)” and “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” sounded utterly extravagant performed live. Not only does Meat Loaf totally [...]
Friday, November 13, 2009
DISCLAIMER: Please notice that the article below is syndicated from another website. As such, APFFN is not responsible for its content.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The World's Most Extreme Laptops
Some laptops will give you a hernia, while others will fit in a coat pocket. Some cost a day's pay -- others, half a year's. Here are the outliers of the notebook world.
6 of 15 pages
6 of 15 pages
The World's Most Extreme LaptopsThe World's Most Extreme Laptops // Eurocom D901C Phantom-X (Image courtesy of PC World)
Name: Eurocom D901C Phantom-X
Extreme spec: 133 score in WorldBench 6
Reasons to love it: The Eurocom D901C Phantom-X is the Frankenstein's monster of the laptop world. Looking at the specs, you can almost imagine Eurocom's engineers scurrying around in a darkened, secluded laboratory somewhere, plunging a processor fit for a high-end desktop into the heart of this clamshell chassis, and then screaming, "It's alive! It's alive!" as the machine starts up for the first time, and the lights in the neighborhood dim.
This beast may not turn against its master or declare war on humanity, but it will scare even the most experienced laptop user with its $5,950 price tag ($3,000 for the not-so-frightening base model). Under the hood, it has 8GB of RAM, two 80GB solid-state drives with Windows Vista, one 320GB traditional hard drive running at 7200 rpm for file storage, an nVidia GeForce Go 9800M GTX graphics processor and a 3GHz Xeon Quad Core X3370 processor running the show. The Eurocom is currently the WorldBench 6 speed champion in the laptop division, with a score of 133. Translation: It's fast -- very, very fast.
If you want a speedy machine that won’t drain your bank account so quickly, consider Dell's Alienware M15X with Intel's new Core i7 processor. The M15x isn’t cheap ($1,499 just for the no-frills base model), but it is a little more portable at 9 pounds, and it still delivers an impressive punch.
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