02 - How to create a USB drive that will install one of many choices of Windows OS's (Vista/Win7/Server 2008/XP)
Note: The instructions have been tested and seem to work OK using a Vista, Win 7, Server 2K8,Server 2008 R2install DVDs and Win 7 PE 32bit. Let me know if you have tried it with any others. See other article for how to add XP Setup CDs.
ATTENTION: This tutorial is now superseded/replaced byTutorial #43if you want to keep all the DVDs as ISO files instead OR better yet (and much easier), you can make an Easy2Boot MultiBoot USB drive and just copy all your Windows Install ISO files (and 100's of others) to it.
Note: If you want to install any one of 11 different versions of Windows 7, you can simply combine all the Win 7 WIM images into one big Install.Wim file see here for details (use RMPrepUSB to prepare an NTFS USB drive for Win7 booting and copy over the entire E:\AIO\DVD folder).
This tutorial allows you to choose from Vista/Win7/Server 2K8 all from the same bootable USB drive.
You wish to create a single USB boot key/drive that will install any version of Vista, Windows 7 or Server 2008 to a system's hard disk - i.e. just as if you had all the Micro$oft Windows install DVDs in your pocket. This tutorial has been written so that you can adapt it to install as few or as many as you wish (or have room for on your USB drive!).
Note: You can also install Windows XP as well as the other OS's. To install from a Setup CD (just like booting from an XP install CD) see Tutorial #30 here.
To install XP from an image file, you first need to boot to WinPE v3 (see menu option below) and also have a copy of the XP CD files on your USB drive (or a ZIP file containing all the files) - see here for details.
This tutorial will allow you to boot from a USB flash drive (or USB hard disk) and choose from a menu:
Fig. 1 This menu was made using menu2.lst (renamed to menu.lst).
Source Microsoft DVDs or ISOs for Vista/Win7/Server 2008 (note OEM DVDs will usually not work) (Win7 ISOs here - use Digital River links, some other links may be broken)
A USB drive large enough to fit all source files onto (min 4GB for one DVD, 32GB+ for all DVDs)
Note: If you delete menu.lst and rename menu2.lst to menu.lst you can omit step 3.1 below (recommended).
3. Copy bootmgr from the c:\pe86\ISO folder made in step 1 above to your new C:\MYUSB folder.
(before you follow the next 3 instructions in section 3.1 below, read the footnote at the bottom of this page to save you some work - you are recommended to use menu2.lst and skip section 3.1 but you MUST use the Win7 RTM version of bootmgr with a CRC32 value of EE471B58!)
3.1 Now run the program zbootmgr.exe and select the \MYUSB\bootmgr file.
Click the Save button and save the modified bootmgr as bootmgr1.
Repeat this 5 more times to save 6 versions (bootmgr1, bootmgr2, bootmgr3... bootmgr6) of the file.
4.Copy the \boot\BCD file from each different source Windows install DVD to C:\MYUSB\boot\bcx as follows:
From the Windows 7 64-bit DVD, copy the file \boot\bcd to C:\MYUSB\boot\bc1
From the Windows 7 32-bit DVD, copy the file \boot\bcd to C:\MYUSB\boot\bc2