Is it possible to install Windows 11 to Framework Expansion Card?

I have an FW 13 (AMD) with Fedora. Recently, I ordered the 1TB FW Expansion Card thinking I’d install Windows 11 on it. However, during install, even though Windows 11 detects the expansion card, it presents various reasons as to why Windows 11 can’t be installed to the Expansion Card.

I’m wondering if anyone has done something similar, and if it’s even possible to install Windows 11 to a USB 3.2 Gen2 expansion card.

Yes. If you search you should find help

General search

I have Windows 11 booting from a USB memory stick.
I used “rufus” to create a windows-to-go install on the USB memory stick.
I assume it can also install to the expansion card.
The only reason I have the window-to-go usb stick is because some firmware update tools only work on Windows.

Hey @James3, I have installed Windows to Go using Rufus to a regular USB Flash Drive in the past, but Windows doesn’t recognize a USB 3.2, Gen 2 drive. That’s happened with both the FW expansion card and an ADATA USB 3.2 I bought from Amazon.

Currently, here’s what I’m doing:

  • In a Windows VM, install Windows 11 to a regular USB Flash Drive via Rufus
  • In Fedora, use dd to clone the Flash Drive to FW expansion card
  • Boot from the Expansion Card and extend drive size from within Windows

This is a rather roundabout way of installing Windows to a USB 3.2, Gen 2 drive, but nothing else has worked so far. Hopefully this approach works. I’ll report back here in a few hours.

Why the 3 steps?
The FW expansion card is the same as a USB-C device, so you can plug it into a USB-C port and use Rufus directly onto it.

Three steps because:

  • Windows running as a VM is unable to use the expansion card when it’s redirected from KVM (even though it can use regular flash drives)
  • Windows installer on bare metal FW machine detects the expansion card but refuses to install to it
    Screenshot from 2024-07-03 16-33-10

I did the same, but directly onto the 250G expansion card, and it works fine.
Can even boot from it into a VM.

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I expected I’d be able to install directly to the expansion card, but it’s not recognized in a VM setting, and Windows refuses to install to it on the bare-metal machine.

I was able to follow the three step process and get things working. Windows runs fine but updates are too slow (the computer practically hangs).