Installing Windows 7 from an external hard drive?

Just upgraded all my hardware and windows needs reinstalling to reconfigure.
Trouble is my existing dvd drives are IDE and my new motherboard has no IDE port.
I have a copy of windows 7 on an external hard drive in the form of an iso and various files.
Is it possible to plug it into a USB port and use the external to install 7 onto the internal? I'd rather not have to buy a Sata DVD drive.
Would I need to wipe everything but windows 7 on the external?

Asus P8Z68-v-lx (with a fancy BIOS)
i7 2700K
4 x 4GB 1600mhz Vengeance
Seagate HD501LJ
Seagate HD400LJ
Genesis 500GB External
Windows XP Pro 64bit (upgrading to Windows 7)
2 x now useless IDE DVDRW
5 answers Last reply
More about installing windows external hard drive
  1. You will have to create a "bootable" windows usb disk to do that. A copy of windows on a disk will ot work. There are many tutorials online on how to make one but you will need a running pc to do so.
  2. Installing Win7 directly from an iso is probably impossible. However, it can boot+install from other media than DVD. So if you know how to make a partition bootable, then you can copy the content of the ISO to the root of that partition. As I recall, no files need to change. Just the partition itself is the hard work.

    PS: maybe look at some USB flash installation instructions.
  3. See if anyone you knows has an IDE to USB adapter cable and boot from the Win 7 CD via the DVD drive on USB.
  4. bruvvamoff said:
    Just upgraded all my hardware and windows needs reinstalling to reconfigure.
    Trouble is my existing dvd drives are IDE and my new motherboard has no IDE port.
    I have a copy of windows 7 on an external hard drive in the form of an iso and various files.
    Is it possible to plug it into a USB port and use the external to install 7 onto the internal? I'd rather not have to buy a Sata DVD drive.
    Would I need to wipe everything but windows 7 on the external?


    Do you have or can borrow a 4 GB thumb drive? If so, download this handy free MS app (Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool):

    http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool#ms_help_topics_at3

    Install it and run it per the instructions. It will allow you to make a bootable USB thumb drive Windows 7 installation from your existing Win 7 ISO.

    Boot from the Thumb drive and install.

    Enjoy.
  5. Buy a cheapo 4Gb pendrive and use Microsofts own tool to create a bootable Win7 drive, best investment you can make, even works for Win8.
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