How To: Installing Windows 10 to MicroSD Card/USB Disk

Discussion in 'UDOO X86' started by ThomasOu, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. ThomasOu

    ThomasOu Member

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    There are several threads that are discussing how to install Windows 10 to a MicroSD card:
    Win10 Installation Issue (seeing other drives)
    Cannot Install Windows 10 on micro SD Card. No drive detected!
    How to install Windows 7 or 10 onto a micro SD card?

    And I posted reply talking that it is possible to achieve it by using Windows To Go or VHD. Someone with 8GB eMMC might need it because the built-in eMMC is not enough for Windows and this would be a solution without attaching a HDD/SSD. Now I have reached it successfully and would like to share the method here. The tool used is WTG Assistant (source) and it has a support forum.

    Requirement:
    A USB disk or MicroSD card above 16GB (according to my trial 16GB is no longer feasible for Windows 10 Version 1703 CN);
    WTG Assistant.
    Windows installation image(Windows7、Windows 8、Windows8.1、Windows 10、Windows Server 2012、Windows Server 2012 R2)

    Step 1: Mount the Installation image (Windows 7 is not recommended). This can be done by double clicking the ISO file above Windows 8.

    Step 2: Run WTG Assistant4.5.1.0 (file name wintogo.exe), it might be in Chinese so you might need to change to English (alought I think the English translation doesn't make much sense and it makes GUI in a mass). Pop-Up will then say programme will be restarted but it never worked so you have to run it again manually.

    language.JPG

    Step 3: Choose install.wim. It is located in the virtual drive:\sources mounted just now. Choose target drive and this should be a USB disk or MicroSD card.

    0.JPG

    On the right side Com. tab, I chose VHDX and Windows 10 Pro under Ver. option. UEFI+GPT is also ticked.

    1.JPG

    (optional) Under VHD tab, I changed the name of the VHD file and change its size by moving slider to right side. Some options are covered by the long letters but they don't need to be modified.
    FYI: VHD partition table format is GPT and VHD Temp Folder is somewhere in current OS temp folder. See below.

    Step 4: Under Sys tab, the Fix Letter is ticked by default. I also tick Hide Lcl Disk to hide local disk when booting from this VHD system. More information can be found in the support forum.

    2.JPG

    (optional) Under Disk tab, there is an option called No temp, means creating VHD directly on removable disk. If you think your device is fast enough then it should deserve a try (it saves time).

    Step 5: Click Go. Two warning windows are appeared. Confirm twice.

    4.JPG

    After some moment it would finish dumping.

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    (optional) For PRO user, the partition structure of the disk looks like this on my 64GB MicroSD card.There is a main partition that stores VHD file, a EFI partition~100MB storing EFI boot file and a spare partition~4.5GB. I don't want to 'waste' it so I move EFI partition to the end and merge the 4.5GB space to the main partition. Warning: Incorrect operation may lose your data!

    7.JPG

    Perfect!

    Now move to UDOO x86.

    Step 6: Choose boot device, EFI SD/MMC Card (AFGCE).

    9.jpg

    The booting process should begin.

    10.jpg

    12.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  2. ThomasOu

    ThomasOu Member

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    After ~10min. The computer will restart.

    Step 7: Go to Boot Manager again and choose Windows Boot manager (AFGCE).

    14.jpg

    The initialisation will begin. Some regional settings and personal information, agreement...... like normal Windows 10 installation process.

    15.jpg

    Finally, I reached the desktop.

    18.jpg

    Here is the information about the computer.

    Screenshot (1).png

    The activation of Windows 10 is synchronized which means you can reinstall on same motherboard on any disk, it will recover after connecting to Internet.

    Screenshot (6).png

    Internal eMMC is offline and invisible in file manager. VHD file in MicroSD card is mounted as C:\ as OS drive. This adds security.


    Screenshot (11).png

    The Windows Store is usable.

    Screenshot (8).png

    The computer can be into sleep after graphics card driver is set up. HDMI audio is also available. It performes like ordinary internal Windows OS, e.g. installing softwares.


    The installation cost 20 mins to get in desktop, total 30 mins including dumping image file to MicroSD card. (of course I took much longer in taking photos.) The MicroSD card used is a Sandisk 64G card and test is shown below.

    1.JPG

    After a long time, drivers and other stuff are set up, I did a disk performance test.
    Capture.JPG

    I hope this guide can help you.

    Note: As far as I remember, the UDOO x86 can't boot this MicroSD card directly and will show blue screen so I modified some options in UEFI firmware.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  3. ThomasOu

    ThomasOu Member

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    Under default, UEFI firmware, booting this MicroSD card will show blue screen. Error code is INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

    19.jpg

    The workaround is to modify the SD support mode. It is located in UEFI setup utility, Advanced--Chipset configuration--LPSS & SCC Configuration--SD Card Support--Enable (PCI).
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
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  4. x1800MODMY360x

    x1800MODMY360x Member

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    Yea Figure that the sd card has to be in a VHD forum in order to run.
     
  5. algas

    algas New Member

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    Sorry to dig up this topic, but I'm trying to install win10pro on a sdcard, following this guide, but I do not see the option of "windows boot manager"

    I choose the option to boot from sdcard, then says it encountered an error and reboot

    Im using a clean iso from microsoft site ... btw

    Anything i can "improve"?

    Thx
     
  6. ThomasOu

    ThomasOu Member

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    https://www.udoo.org/forum/threads/...-10-to-microsd-card-usb-disk.7269/#post-27834
     
  7. algas

    algas New Member

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    yeah i have done that too .. :(

    some times i got "critical_process_died" or something like
    or "unexpected error" and reboot :S

    noob here -.-"
     
  8. ThomasOu

    ThomasOu Member

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    I never saw those errors, so I have no idea about it. And since you didn't provide any screenshots, I can't help you to find solutions in the forum.
     
  9. kainatkhan

    kainatkhan New Member

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    The main thing causing this error may be your hard drive which should be balanced. For this reason, simply restart your PC and enter the BIOS by squeezing F2 over and again at the startup. F2 is the default for most working framework; yet in the event that it doesn't work for you then at the POST screen investigate see which key is set to enter BIOS and after that reboot again and utilize the fitting key to get into BIOS. https://appuals.com/inaccessible_boot_device-blue-screen-on-windows-7-8-or-10/
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  10. nancymiller5

    nancymiller5 New Member

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    Thanks for sharing the guidelines in installing Windows 10 in MicroSD. Hope this one will work for me. Trying to install.
     
  11. navrana

    navrana New Member

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  12. ccs_hello

    ccs_hello UDOOer

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    One ought to understand the difference in between general purpose storage (e.g., offline, mainly) vs. active, production, reliability sensitive primary storage devices. Flash memory in latter use case usually has a built-in storage controller that is doing wear-leveling, bad sector isolation/remapping, (and often times cache controller.)
    SD card is the simplistic form of flash that missing most of these advanced features.
    Check most recent Android (offload apps and RAM cache) and Win OS restriction on that, it should tell a story.
    BTW, I actually hear people b***hing some low-end SBC using microSD as its boot/OS device (especially the swap slice is also on it) that work is lost due to no longer bootable, files lost, storage performance slowed down, etc.
     
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