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Old 01-13-2018, 03:18 AM   #1
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Win7 USB created in linux won't boot - win10 usb boots fine?

Ok, this question ha been asked 1000 and more times, and I have tried almost all of the solutions on the net since my woeUSB(winusb) made the drive just fine and claimed success - The drive wouldn't boot. Making a Win10 drive work just fine and the drive boot just fine. Problem is that I need Win7!

I can make a list of things I tried but it will be very long, short version:
First I formatted the drive to Ntfs and set the boot flag.

WoeUSB completed the usb stick without problems. - The drive didn't boot, just ended up in black screen with blinking cursor. Then I saw in gparted that the drive now were Fat32- Why????

unetbootin 494 standalone because it supports Ntfs and that is what is needed to boot Win7, Fat32 won't work. Newer versions of unetbootin no longer supports Ntfs. - The drive didn't boot, just ended up in black screen with blinking cursor.

ddutillity - completed without any errors. - The drive didn't boot, just ended up in black screen with blinking cursor.

Formatted the drive to Ntfs and used ms-sys to write MBR to the drive, then mounted Win7 iso and copied all to the drive. The drive didn't boot, just ended up in black screen with blinking cursor.

I tried back and forth with alot of suggestions from the net. even tried with Fat32.

Then I got tired of this and made a win10 usb(same drive) with WoeUSB and it booted just fine.

What the heck?????

So is there any WORKING solution to making a Win7 USB?

I have 2 iso files, win7 enterprise 32bit, win7 pro 32bit

My laptop runs Xubuntu 16.04 64bit.

The laptop I'm trying to boot it on has Intel Atom D425 1.8Ghz, 4GB ram, pineview chipset, intel graphic card, 160GB hdd. Normal bios, not UEFI. no dvd drive.

Please if you answer, try it first to see if it works for you, I have tried most of the suggestions on the net, from FOSS, Webupd8, Askubuntu,

and lots more

EDIT: So I took the drive that booted win10 and looked at it in gparted, there were no boot flag, only lba flag and the drive were Fat32. So all those suggestion on the net that claim the drive has to be formatted to NTFS before making the drive with WoeUSB are wrong???

Ok, so to make a win7 USB install stick from Ubuntu, using WoeUSB:

1. Format the drive to Fat32(NOT NTFS) and set lba flag - don't set boot flag

2. Run WoeUSB and create the drive - when finished do it again, I have no idea why, but it works.

Then boot the drive on the pc you want to install win7

If someone have an explanation for this odd behaviour, I like to hear it?


Last edited by insomniacno1; 01-13-2018 at 04:36 AM. Reason: SOLVED
Old 01-13-2018, 07:24 AM   #2
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First, it does not matter what filesystem is on USB stick because when you write an ISO it will overwrite whatever was there before. Your problem likely is the ISO itself, if it is not hybrid - it won't boot from USB.
Check this out - hybrid ISO usage explained.
Old 01-13-2018, 09:47 AM   #3
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I used the instructions at the link below to create a bootable windows 10 installer and a windows 7 installer on a usb, both worked.

I would expect that with both your windows, you have an extracted iso file and it is not directly booting the windows iso file. I've never used woeusb/winusb but you can easily verify that by mounting the flash drive in Xubuntu.

One of the links you posted indicates that the usb needs to be FAT32 if you want UEFI. I'm not sure why you used unetbootin to create a windows bootable installer as it states explicitly on their home page: "Also, ISO files for non-Linux operating systems have a different boot mechanism, so don't expect them to work either." So if someone got it to work, it would be a lucky day for them.
Old 01-13-2018, 10:09 AM   #4
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From what I understand there are two ways to create a bootable USB.
First case is there is a USB bootable ISO, in this case all you need to do is to use some tool like dd to put it to the USB stick. Second case is actually building a bootable USB stick contents. I'm not familiar with this because it is not required for Linux, although it may be inevitable with Windows. In this case the existing filesystem in USB stick may be used.


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