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Thread: Upgrading Vista without a disk drive

  1. #1
    The Swiftman is offline Beginner
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    Unhappy Upgrading Vista without a disk drive

    Hello, I bought a Windows Vista Home Premium upgrade disk not very long ago to upgrade from my Windows Vista Home Basic. Soon after I bought it, I dropped my Laptop and broke my disk drive. I was wondering if there was a way to install it still, using the product key that I got with the disk.



    Thanks,
    The Swiftman

  2. #2
    ankur's Avatar
    ankur is offline Microsoft MVP
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    You can just copy the contents of the Windows Vista disc to a flash drive or any other external drive and then copy all the contents on your laptop using USB.Like if you have Windows Vista home basic installed in C Drive copy the contents of the disc to D drive and run the setup from their,it should work.If not let me know

    Ankur

  3. #3
    whs's Avatar
    whs
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    If you want to boot from the flash drive, you have to partition the driv and create a boot record. There is a pretty good explanation on this post ( Step By Step: Speed Up Your Vista Installation with vLite on a Flash Drive ). You can leave the vLite part off. he important section is this:

    • Prepare Your USB Drive
    Open up an administrator mode command prompt by right-clicking on the shortcut and choosing Run as Administrator, then type in diskpart to load up the disk partitioning command line tool.
    The most important step is to run the following command, which will give you the numbers of the disks, so you can use it in the next command (and not accidentally remove a partition on another drive).
    list disk

    Now that you know the correct number for the disk, you can use the select disk command, substituting the number 1 for whatever number your flash drive is set to:
    select disk 1
    Now you can run the rest of the commands, which will remove any partitions before creating a new FAT32 partition and setting it to active so it can boot.
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    format fs=fat32
    assign
    exit
    That final assign command will let you access the drive from Explorer, so we can copy the files. You'll want to copy all of the files from your installation DVD or from the vLite folder over to your flash drive.

  4. #4
    The Swiftman is offline Beginner
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    Thanks to both of you, I will try it soon.

    The Swiftman

  5. #5
    The Swiftman is offline Beginner
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    Hello again, I tryed Ankur's idea and everything was working fine until the last part. I got an error message and then it restarted my computer. It brough me to another screen with a loading bar at the bottom and when it got almost half way through, my computer just restarted again. It has repetedly done that now. It is very important that I get my computer up and running again. Does any one know if this was because of how I installed it?

    Any help would be great.
    As I said, it is VERY important I get my computer back up and running VERY quickly.

    P.S. This is writen on another computer.

  6. #6
    The Swiftman is offline Beginner
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    Things just got worse. I have a Compaq so it has the HP Total Care thing. When I go into advanced boot options, and select System Recovery Options and then go to Recovery Manager (to try to retrieve my files), I select all the things that I would like to keep, but then it tells me that my USB Drive (the one that I was trying to to the Vista Install with) isn't inserted ("No drive Available! Please insert a USB drive."). I then took the USB Drive out of my computer and into another one to see if it worked there. It didn't. It is a brand new 8GB drive, which also has a lot of important info on it. Does any one know how to get this reconized by another computer? Should I try to put another one into my computer, or will it just kill that one too?

  7. #7
    seti is offline Member
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    Just a thought, although whs is better at this many here are, can you set your boot menu to boot from removable? I know that I can on my tower pc. If you can then try that. Sorry can't think of anything else

  8. #8
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    I am lost. What is actually on this USB drive? Data or the Vista installation partition? I hope you did not mix it. And what do you mean by the last sentence in above post? And can you explain again what actually you want to do. Reinstall Vista, or recover data from your stick or use your stick for a vista installation partition. I am thoroughly confused.
    Last edited by whs; 16th March 2009 at 17:08.

  9. #9
    The Swiftman is offline Beginner
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    Quote Originally Posted by seti View Post
    Just a thought, although whs is better at this many here are, can you set your boot menu to boot from removable? I know that I can on my tower pc. If you can then try that. Sorry can't think of anything else
    Yes, I can.

  10. #10
    The Swiftman is offline Beginner
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    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I am lost. What is actually on this USB drive? Data or the Vista installation partition? I hope you did not mix it. And what do you mean by the last sentence in above post? And can you explain again what actually you want to do. Reinstall Vista, or recover data from your stick or use your stick for a vista installation partition. I am thoroughly confused.
    Ok, I tried Seti's original idea and put all of the info that was on the install disk onto the flash drive. I went into Windows, and ran the setup .exe from the flash drive. It was installing just fine, then it gave me an error message and said that the install had failed. It rebooted, and came up with the Windows loading screen. Then the background changed (from what it was when installing), and there was a blue loading bar at the bottom. When the loading bar got almost half way though, my computer automatically rebooted, and starts the process over again. It just does that over and over. I have a restore partition that I can use to restore my system but I have very important info on the hard drive that I cannot afford to loose. In conclusion, if I have to do a restore, I will gladly do so, however, I must have a way to get the data off of the hard drive (the hard drive is NTFS if that helps at all). I am currently making a bootable USB drive with Linux (haven't chose which yet- looking for one that is NTFS compatible) so I can try to recover my data that way. Any other ideas, or do you know a good distro of Linux for this?

    Thanks,
    The Swiftman

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