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I have a different problem that I don't think can be solved but it's better to ask before loosing all hope.

I currently run Crunchbang (Debian dist) and would like to install Windows 7 as well. However, my computer don't have a dvd-reader and all my usb-drives are too small.

Is my only solution to this problem to buy a larger usb-drive?

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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 4 '12 at 21:01

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you are familiar with grub, try the first way.

Install with Windows PE

  1. Make a windows partition with NFS as filesystem, put your Windows Install Image there.
  2. Download an Windows PE image with virtual cd-rom software to some where your grub can access.
  3. Boot the Windows PE with grub, load your Windows Install Image and install it.
  4. Fix your grub.

Install with help of another computer

  1. Install windows on another computer
  2. Run C:\Windows\System32\sysprep.exe and reboot into a live linux
  3. Make a image of drive C with dd of some other tool on linux
  4. Restore the image to the active partition of your computer on your linux
  5. Update your grub.cfg to boot that partition, If you are using ubuntu, you can use sudo update-grub to update your grub.cfg automatically.
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You could do it via PXE booting, but that requires at least one other computer on your network. It would also take you several hours to set it up.

USB sticks are cheap; you should be able to get a 4GB or 8GB stick for just a few euros. Much cheaper than spending all your time trying to set up a PXE boot environment for a single installation.

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Yeah, another computer is not a solution for me either. I know that usb sticks are cheap but I rather not buy something that I only use once. And also, almost no stores are open in Spain on sundays... –  Victor Bjelkholm Aug 4 '12 at 19:43

You could always look at running windows 7 within a virtual machine. If you go that route it wouldn't take any additional hardware.

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Except I only own a really shitty netbook that barely run properly with 10+ tabs open right now. –  Victor Bjelkholm Aug 4 '12 at 22:06

If you're comfortable doing it, you might be able to create a small partition on your hard drive, extract the Windows ISO contents to it, then install it from there.

I found a thread about how to do it from within Windows, but it shouldn't be too hard to do it in Linux: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1093625-trying-to-install-windows-8-consumer-preview-but-no-dvd-burner/ (though it doesn't look like they ever did figure out how to get it working, it looks like a good place to start)

But it would probably be easier just to purchase a bigger USB drive :)

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Sounds like a possible solution to me. I will try something similar tomorrow. Thanks! –  Victor Bjelkholm Aug 4 '12 at 22:07
    
This will probably work but take some fiddling :). –  notJim Aug 5 '12 at 3:41

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