Installing Windows with a 'Helper' drive (E2B USB HDD)
Installing Windows 7/8/10 from an E2B Hard Disk (instead of a Removable Flash drive).
Note: Instead of using a Helper Flash drive, you can convert the Windows ISO into a .imgPTN file using MakePartImage. Then you do not need a Helper Flash drive and the install process will be the same as if you had just extracted the Windows Install ISO files to a bootable USB drive.Another alternative is to use WinNTSetup to install Windows.
1. Prepare your Easy2Boot USB Hard/Fixed disk as described in this tutorial.
Add your Windows install ISOs to the \_ISO\Windows\xxx sub-folders and check that the menus work and can detect your Windows ISO files.
Run WinContig (RMPrepUSB - CTRL+F2) to make the files contiguous.
2. On any small spare USB Flash drive that you have available - this drive must be seen by Windows as a writeable, removable disk which is usually the case for small USB flash drives - check that RMPrepUSB reports it as (Removable):
Copy the 3 files - Unattend.xml, AutoUnattend.xml and WINHELPER.USB files from the \_ISO\docs\USB FLASH DRIVE HELPER FILES folder to the root of the USB helper Flash drive using Windows Explorer (e.g. U:\).
IMPORTANT: When you use the Easy2Boot USB Hard disk+flash drive combination, the only \WINHELPER.USB file in the whole system, on any disk volume or filesystem, should be the one on the USB 'Helper' Flash drive. Do not copy WINHELPER.USB to the root of your Easy2Boot USB hard disk or anywhere else! The USB 'Helper' Flash drive (or any other drive in the system) should not contain the Easy2Boot \_ISO\E2B folders, otherwise Easy2Boot may get confused (certain files are searched for during Windows installs and so the only Easy2Boot files should be on the boot device).
3. To install Windows Vista/7/8/etc. (or XP via WinPE method) onto a target system, connect both the Easy2Boot USB drive and the USB flash drive - but boot from the Easy2Boot drive.
This will only work when booting from a real system (it will not work under a Virtual Machine or Emulator). Even just using a single E2B USB removable flash drive will not work because a USB Flash drive is seen as a hard disk by VM's and so the AutoUnattend.xml on the flash drive is not found by Windows Setup.
Using ISO+XML files under Virtual Box