Win 7 install and boot wim in 8.1 ISO?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Sanma Oishii, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Sanma Oishii

    Sanma Oishii MDL Novice

    Apr 22, 2019
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    So i heard that this is possible, then installing from USB3 is working right out of the box, now I'm assuming installing to GPT this way is still not possible!?!? Is this way better than using the plain vanilla 7 ISO? Thanks
     
  2. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
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    Has been discussed numerous times.

    You will have all benefits of a win 8.1/10 boot of the used 8.1/10 iso, and you can use install.esd instead of install.wim.

    Some older systems don't seem to be able to handle the 8.1/10 boot files, but never encountered that myself.
     
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  3. Sanma Oishii

    Sanma Oishii MDL Novice

    Apr 22, 2019
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    So do I keep the boot wim from the 8/10 ISO or use the one from 7's ISO?
     
  4. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    Using boot.wim from win 7 will make using the win 8.1/10 iso a bit obsolete, wouldn't it? ;):D
     
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  5. shhnedo

    shhnedo MDL Addicted

    Mar 20, 2011
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    If your motherboard's firmware supports booting old operating systems in UEFI mode(UEFI-CSM for windows 7), then you can boot and install windows 7 in UEFI on GPT partitions even with the stock windows 7 boot files(assuming you've integrated the necessary drivers).
    Using windows (lets say) 10 boot files simply gives you the ability to bypass the problems windows 7's boot files encounter:
    - lack of USB3.x drivers
    - lack of NVMe drivers
    - lack of (some)SATA drivers
    - lack of recovery format(.esd) support

    A windows iso basically consists of two independent parts:
    - boot.wim - contains the installer
    - install.wim - contains the windows OS itself

    Usually, with a windows 7 iso:
    - boot.wim - lacks USB3/NVMe/SATA(newer controllers) support; can boot UEFI if necessary legacy component is present;
    - install.wim - lacks USB3/NVMe/SATA(newer controllers) support; can boot UEFI if necessary legacy component is present;

    When you put the windows 7 install.wim into a windows 10 iso(assuming the latest version of it - possibly contains newer drivers):
    - boot.wim(windows 10) - supports USB3/NVMe/SATA out of the box; can boot under pure UEFI, no additional compatibility components needed;
    - install.wim(windows 7) - lacks USB3/NVMe/SATA(newer controllers) support, unless you integrate the necessary drivers; can boot UEFI if necessary legacy component is present;

    In other words, using windows >7 boot files doesn't magically solve the booting problems on newer hardware. It just bypasses them until you actually start booting windows 7(first restart after decompressing files from install.wim). After the first reboot, when you're no longer booting from boot.wim, you'll encounter all the problems windows 7 has with modern hardware. The proper course of action(at least in my opinion):
    1. Make sure a normal windows 7 iso is capable of booting on the desired system with no firmware/driver issues - integrate the proper drivers and make sure you set up your bios correctly to be able to boot windows 7(support for that must be present in the bios, or windows 7 is out of the question).
    2. Only when you're certain that windows 7 can run normally on your system, you can start experimenting with windows 8.1/10 boot files(because you're lazy and you don't want to integrate drivers).
    What most people don't seem to understand is that if you're unable to properly boot windows 7's boot.wim and get the the drive partitioning window of the installer, windows 7 itself will not work properly, even if you somehow manage to install it. Yet everyone desperately looks for workarounds like a newer boot.wim or integration tools they don't know how and when to use.
     
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  6. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

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    #6 Enthousiast, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
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