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I have a newer HP laptop with preinstalled Windows 8. I want to dual boot Windows 7 with it, but am unable to boot to the USB. To start with, I downloaded an .iso from Microsoft that I then copied over to a flash drive, using none other than their own utility to do this. Once I had the image on the USB, I used another computer to use the bootsect application and assign a boot code to the flash drive. I have used this same method on many other computers to install Windows 7, so I know the USB isn't the issue.

All seems to work okay until I attempt to boot from the USB. I start up the computer, enter the one-time boot menu, but there is not an option to boot from the USB. All 4 USB ports are 3.0, so I tried using the USB 2.0 controller to boot. That didn't help either: I still don't have the option to boot from the drive. I have disabled secure boot, which also did nothing, and have enabled "Legacy boot" in the BIOS as well.

No matter what I do the computer just doesn't want to boot to the USB to install Windows. It doesn't even see the drive, even though I used the bootsect application on it and have all of the .iso files copied onto it.

How can I boot from the USB?

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Can you boot to the USB drive on another PC? – prmths Sep 18 '13 at 2:18
After restarting several times, the option suddenly appeared and I was able to boot from the USB. The only problem is that now there aren't any drives showing up when I attempt to install. I can't find the drivers for an obscure notebook drive, so does anyone have any suggestions on how to install? – E-swizz Sep 18 '13 at 3:01
I suspect no drives are showing up because Windows 7 only supports MBR partitioned drives and the computer has GPT style drives. I know that there isn't a way to convert without data loss, so I'll just end this thread here. Thanks for your help anyway @strangeInAStrangerLand! – E-swizz Sep 18 '13 at 3:24
Look if you can enable the VGA option ROM loading. I had to do this to dualboot Win7 on my Dell Laptop in UEFI mode. – magicandre1981 Sep 18 '13 at 4:03
Windows 7 DOES support GPT; however, it will install to a GPT disk only when booted in EFI mode. If it's booted in BIOS mode, the result will be a complaint about GPT partitions, not a failure to "see" the disk. Thus, my suspicion is that E-swizz's idea to find drivers is the right path to take. Note that legacy support will do no good at best, and will cause problems at worst; for dual-booting with an existing EFI-based Windows 8, Windows 7 must be installed in EFI mode, too. Disabling Secure Boot, however, is required. – Rod Smith Sep 18 '13 at 17:45

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