Monday, 12 November 2012

Windows 7 To Go tutorial download updated

I was recently contacted by James Leyden who was running the Installer.cmd script on his Dell M15X Alienware laptop from 2008 to prepare a 1TB USB HDD drive.
The resulting USB drive would not boot:

BOOTMGR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

 and indeed did not even have \bootmgr in the root of the drive. Upon investigation, we found that the bcdboot command was not working in the Installer.cmd script and further investigation revealed that James' Dell was in EFI mode (this was confirmed by running the command line utility testefi.exe).
The bcdboot command used in the script was modified to use the /f BIOS parameter but still the bcdboot command did not work. Finally, James downloaded the Windows 8 WAIK files and replaced the Win 7 WAIK version of BCDBOOT.EXE with the Win8 version. At last his Windows 7 To Go now boots!
I have now modified the download in tutorial #43 so that it uses the /f BIOS parameter and also now checks that both the bcdboot and bootsect commands actually complete successfully!
For your reference, the error that the Win7 version of bcdboot reports, if you attempt to use it to prepare a Win 7 USB drive on a system running 64-bit EFI Win 7, is:
BSFVC: Failed to create a new system store. Status = [c000003a]

See Tutorial 47 for the revised download files.