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High-speed Vista installs via a USB key

High-speed Vista installs via a USB key

"Ludicrous speed!" - High speed USB drives like the Voyager GT released today could REALLY speed up installs.

One of the problems that many enthusiasts have encountered with Windows is its incredibly slow installation procedures. Due to the nature of XP in particular, a full install can be quite a tedious, lengthy task. We've noted that Vista installs considerably quicker (roughly 30 minutes instead of 1-1.5 hours), but how much faster could it get? A lot, apparently.

One website has found that it is actually very possible to boot a Vista install off of a USB stick, much like Linux has been able to do for ages. This is wonderful for anyone who is likely to install more than one copy, but it comes with an added bonus. Apparently, installing from a DVD is way slower - a Vista install can be done from USB in under 10 minutes. The slowest part becomes the user-entered data, which also has a solution.

This info is well timed, too - Corsair launched its Flash Voyager GT on Wednesday, which is its fastest USB product to date (as well as the fastest on the market, I believe). The new drive cuts reading speeds by over 40%, and is available in up to 8GB sizes. This makes it perfect for a Vista install that could very well break the 5 minute barrier with a little automation help.

So, there you have it - you can now plug in, press the power button, go get a cup of coffee, and your entire OS is installed by the time you get back to your desk. And for you server junkies, apparently Longhorn will be able to do the same thing.

Have you got a thought on the speedy install? Are you a system builder, IT person, or just an enthusiast breathing a sigh of relief? Tell us your thoughts in our forums.

32 Comments

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DougEdey 1st March 2007, 10:47 Quote
Price on those Corsairs Tim. Do your DepEd job :P
r4tch3t 1st March 2007, 10:50 Quote
Thats a good idea. XP takes forever to install, I haven't tried Vista yet.
Maybe the next OS we get will be on a USB drive from the start.
Hmmm, when flash memory becomes cheaper, we could be seeing games distributed this way. I hate lengthy installs
Skill3d 1st March 2007, 11:00 Quote
Quote:
Maybe the next OS we get will be on a USB drive from the start.
Hmmm, when flash memory becomes cheaper, we could be seeing games distributed this way. I hate lengthy installs


yes all solid state stuff instead of DVD's and Cd's, away with blu-ray an hddvd formats, USB-drives all the way!
bubsterboo 1st March 2007, 11:02 Quote
Hm... i might just have to get one of those so i can boot my own os's at school.
1e8o 1st March 2007, 11:07 Quote
I have XP on my system in about 30 minutes...no way it's longer than 1 - 1,5 hours
Mother-Goose 1st March 2007, 11:11 Quote
Thats pretty good, but how do you get the install info off the dvd to the usb pen, litterally copy it across?!
David_Fitzy 1st March 2007, 11:16 Quote
with Cheap/Fast Flash Memory delivering vista (or it's successor) by thumb drive would be quite clever maybe using an internal USB connector you could use the installation drive as a software licencing dongle.
Krikkit 1st March 2007, 11:17 Quote
Good stuff, the only real problem is that those Corsair Voyager GT's are a bit scarce on the ground atm... :(
Mother-Goose 1st March 2007, 11:22 Quote
the standard voyager would still probably be better than the DVD surely?! This implications for ready-boost are pretty good.
r4tch3t 1st March 2007, 11:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Fitzy
with Cheap/Fast Flash Memory delivering vista (or it's successor) by thumb drive would be quite clever maybe using an internal USB connector you could use the installation drive as a software licencing dongle.
Great idea there. and if you make the drive in some queer format that won't work on normal drives, the issue with piracy would be lessened.
Lazlow 1st March 2007, 11:47 Quote
Vista installs a lot quicker than any other previous Microsoft Operating System - and I like the fact that you don't have to sit by it, entering in information every 5 minutes. This method would be very useful in Business/Corporate environments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Fitzy
with Cheap/Fast Flash Memory delivering vista (or it's successor) by thumb drive would be quite clever maybe using an internal USB connector you could use the installation drive as a software licencing dongle.
I'm 99% sure that in the Vista manual it says that it doesn't support dongles anymore.
DougEdey 1st March 2007, 11:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother-Gooser
Thats pretty good, but how do you get the install info off the dvd to the usb pen, litterally copy it across?!

Did you read the links laddie?
Mother-Goose 1st March 2007, 11:55 Quote
I missed one doug

EDIT: bugger me that is simple, voyager GT = GET
BioSniper 1st March 2007, 11:58 Quote
Quote:

Due to the nature of XP in particular, a full install can be quite a tedious, lengthy task. We've noted that Vista installs considerably quicker (roughly 30 minutes instead of 1-1.5 hours)

What has this man been smoking?
I can install XP in under 15 mins on my ageing xp2800 system where as Vista is the opposite taking around an hour.
Either someone has got their brain in backwards today or has been smoking something pretty funky :P
Fod 1st March 2007, 12:06 Quote
"for all you server junkies, Longhorn will do the same"

um.... vista... IS.... longhorn...
Lazlow 1st March 2007, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
"for all you server junkies, Longhorn will do the same"

um.... vista... IS.... longhorn...
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/longhorn/default.mspx

And the next Windows Server is known as Longhorn.
Dr. Strangelove 1st March 2007, 12:40 Quote
Does anyone know if there is a reason why this would not work with XP as well??

I would love to try it, but will not move to Vista before I see a good reason for it (which has yet to show it self)
DougEdey 1st March 2007, 12:41 Quote
XP doesn't support USB keys at all.
perplekks45 1st March 2007, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlow
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/longhorn/default.mspx

And the next Windows Server is known as Longhorn.
I like that ideas by MS... naming a new product Longhorn even though Vista was Longhorn for quite some time. Not that it's confusing.
I still remember some alpha of Longhorn running fast and stable as hell on my trusty XP 2600+... the next revision kept trying to throw me to death with BSODs...

Anyways, back to topic:

I love the idea of installing Vista in under 10 minutes. I did my install in less than 30 minutes anyways but it would be nice to have it that fast especially for gamers or enthusiasts that appear to do a fresh install of the OS every 3-6 months. And as I already thought about some USB key >5 GB... perfect! :)
Dr. Strangelove 1st March 2007, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
XP doesn't support USB keys at all.
LOL yeah that would do it
Springs 1st March 2007, 14:56 Quote
cool.. shame xp wont do it... although mine didnt take that long to install in reality..
kenco_uk 1st March 2007, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Thomas

The new drive cuts reading speeds by over 40%,

So it's crap then? :) Shouldn't it read something like 'improves'?

Oh and the use of 'off of' arrrrggh!! It's 'FROM'!

On what computers does Vista take an hour and a half to install? Mine took about half an hour, if that, including the few seconds it took to click a few buttons and type some info in.

A ten minute install (or less) sounds pretty darn good though :)
Kipman725 1st March 2007, 16:54 Quote
I like how ubutu installs... you can still use the live cd while its installing to browse the web and get some work done :P
1e8o 1st March 2007, 17:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
What has this man been smoking?
I can install XP in under 15 mins on my ageing xp2800 system where as Vista is the opposite taking around an hour.
Either someone has got their brain in backwards today or has been smoking something pretty funky :P

I agree, I can put all of my software + XP itself in about an hour.

Programs such as * Office, Photoshop, Torrentprogram, all of the drivers and lots more
randosome 1st March 2007, 19:10 Quote
windows xp install
  1. Insert CD and boot, use driver disc if required
  2. Go through the setup (enter, f8, choose drive) then format
  3. walk away, it formats the drive, copies over files, reboots and starts installing
  4. It stops when is asks you for some details, then again for networking, then leave it alone again and it will install

It takes like 30 mins to install XP (not including format) maybe a bit less and doesn't exactly require much user interaction, in fact you can automate that bit as well, and i assume if you make a bootable flash drive - then you can copy the CD onto that and do the same with XP ....
dire_wolf 1st March 2007, 20:23 Quote
I've been using an automated xp installation disk I made since I did my 2nd install of xp about 5 years ago, tbh i've never seen it install slower than 40 mins, on my new box it takes about 20 mins.
samkiller42 1st March 2007, 21:12 Quote
Vista is already insanly quick for me, and tbh, ive not actually witnessed it do a format, i deleted the partiton, created a new one and clicked install, woot, 15mins later its loading the desktop :D

Installing an OS from a flash Drive would be neat though, i do alot of installs at college, Windows, Novell and its all boring, and we bugger off for a coffee while it sits there (21%.........22%..........23%) etc, this would be so much better, get longer to mess about with the OS's and break them :D

Sam
otispunkmeyer 1st March 2007, 22:06 Quote
my XP pro didnt take too long

bout 45 mins i think. that was with a XP SP2 streamlined disc (my original is only SP1)
. its not the OS that takes the longest to install. its all the ******* updates after.

updating virus scanner, all drivers, windows up dates (some of which require a restart and then continue downloading more updates) then getting WMP up to ver 11, DX up to DX9.0c etc etc. the OS isnt the slow part at all.

still sub 10minutes is impressive.

hopefully we get to the stage where you press the power button and 2 seconds later your OS is booted and ready to go.
DXR_13KE 1st March 2007, 23:39 Quote
if it is faster then it is better :D
randosome 2nd March 2007, 20:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
Vista is already insanly quick for me, and tbh, ive not actually witnessed it do a format, i deleted the partiton, created a new one and clicked install, woot, 15mins later its loading the desktop :D

Installing an OS from a flash Drive would be neat though, i do alot of installs at college, Windows, Novell and its all boring, and we bugger off for a coffee while it sits there (21%.........22%..........23%) etc, this would be so much better, get longer to mess about with the OS's and break them :D

Sam
just because you deleted the partition doesn't mean it doesn't need to be formatted - when it formats it sets it all to 0's, it doesn't do that when you delete the partition
jezmck 2nd March 2007, 22:31 Quote
I have seen XP installed a few times recently, and it does take a while, though some distributions are particularly quick.

I too find 'off of' highly irritating, please refrain from using it again.
Andy Mc 8th March 2007, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by otispunkmeyer

hopefully we get to the stage where you press the power button and 2 seconds later your OS is booted and ready to go.

Already there (depending on your view):

http://linuxbios.org/Welcome_to_LinuxBIOS

And to an X11 server in ~8 seconds:

http://www.hermann-uwe.de/blog/linuxbios-with-x11-server-completely-in-flash-rom

THere is already a challenge to see if you can get to X in less than ~8 seconds...
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