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Can XP machine boot from USB stick?


glnz
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I am unable to get my XP machine (Dell Optiplex 755) to boot from a USB stick.  I have put Macrium Reflect Free (Rescue Media) on the USB stick, but the XP machine just won't boot from it.  The same stick will boot my Win 7 machine and run Macrium reflect in its PE 3.1 environment on that newer machine.

Is there a way to get my XP machine to do the same?

Thanks.

 

 

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Mikey - it says "3.0 ... compatible with USB 2.0". 

And when I first made it on my XP machine (which has only 2.0), it showed the files I had copied into it but just wouldn't boot.  I also tried re-formatting it as FAT and exFAT and NTSF, and on the last occasion first turned the Macrium Reflect into an .iso and burned it onto the USB stick using Rufus.  Nothing has worked so far to make it boot,

Edited by glnz
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cdob - thanks, but that article is 1,000% beyond my abilities.

I had hoped Macrium's rescue media creation tools would just do it, but I guess not.

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1 hour ago, glnz said:

cdob - thanks, but that article is 1,000% beyond my abilities.

I had hoped Macrium's rescue media creation tools would just do it, but I guess not.

The issue is likely the machine, quoting cdob elsewhere "It's a DELL!".

But it may be *something else*, it is not particularly difficult to troubleshoot, but you will need some patience.

It is not clear (to me at least) if the machine actually starts booting (and then it fails with a BSOD or similar, which is what cdob posted a possible solution to if you are attempting to boot an XP ON the USB stick) or if it is a generic issue (which is what I can understand from your attempt with Rufus).

On the other hand, your reference to having "formatted it" makes me doubt that you actually partitioned it (you cannot normally partition a USB stick under XP unless you use a trick or two or a dedicated tool) it is possible that you made a "super-floppy" like device, and that won't boot on most BIOSes, let alone a DELL one.

Possible other (common) issues:

1) "wrong" geometry of the USB stick detected/adopted by the BIOS
2) "too big size" of the USB stick
3) "too little size" of the USB stick (leading to #1)

Try the following:

1) get the Easy2boot program:

http://www.easy2boot.com/

2) go here:

http://www.easy2boot.com/add-payload-files/wizard/primer

and follow the simple instructions in "Make an E2B drive"

3) Check the "List of tested ISOs/payloads page" to see if your tool is among those tested (there isn't, I just checked)

4) the Macrium Reflect Free is (should be) however a "normal" WinPE .iso, so it can boot just fine in Easy2boot 

5) in any case it can be made working manually;

https://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/macriumreflect

Report what happens, and please describe it, "doesn't boot" or "won't boot" is not descriptive enough to understand what the issue can be.

jaclaz

 

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jaclaz - thanks and greetings.  When I reboot the XP machine and hit F12 for the boot menu (white letters on black background), and then select USB Device, I get only error messages - F1 to retry, F2 reboot and F5 diagnostics.  No BSODs.

But if I put the same stick in the 7 machine and hit F12, when I select USB Device the machine boots into the Macrium PE environment.

Earlier, after the initial failures, I partitioned the stick, cleared it, followed the Macrium instruction to format it with NTFS -- all no help.  The final was to redo it as FAT32, back to the starting point.

There is a chance that the stick doesn't have the right USB drivers in the right place, but I'm not sure about that.

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Well, the F12 on some BIOSes simply doesn't work :w00t:

You need to try entering the BIOS setup and change disk drives order there (supposedly the F12 should do the same, but on a temporary basis, only that often enuogh it doesn't work).

NO drivers are needed to "boot" a stick missing (or wrong or both) drivers come into action much later and may cause a BSOD or - if you prefer - a halt in the booting of the OS.

Normal booting sequence of a Windows NT (simplified) :

BIOS->MBR->PBR of active primary partition->bootloader/bootmanager (either NTLDR or BOOTMGR)->configuration file (either BOOT.INI or \boot\BCD)->choice->chosen OS

Any issue on the right (after) the bootloader/bootmanager step is the OS not booting (and produces an error, usually a BSOD),

Any issue on the left (before) the bootloader/bootmanager step is (while still having the effect of not booting) totally independent from the OS and its driver(s), and still there are usually printed on screen error messages (coming from either the MBR or PBR code or a flashing cursor or a g or j in the top left of the screen.

What you report seems more like the USB stick being not recognized as media or not accessed at all.

jaclaz

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jaclaz - your info prompted the fix!

I didn't actually follow what you wrote, but your detail above made me realize that possibly my OTHER USB external hard drives were grabbing my PC's attention during F12 bootup ahead of the USB stick.  The F12 menu only mentions USB device once, generically, not a list of my three USB items.  Of course, my two external USB hard drives are NOT bootable - they are just extra storage.  So the PC was looking to one of them first and giving up before trying the stick.

I unplugged those two USB cables from the back of the machine, and now the machine boots from the USB stick!!!  Macrium Reflect loads up and is ready to go.  (Haven't run it yet - more work before I do.)

[Before thinking of this, I also went into Device Manager, marked down the actual driver files (sys and dll) for the various USB items in Device Manager and then copied those exact sys and dll files onto the stick in about twelve places.  Probably irrelevant, but hasn't hurt.]

Molto grazie!  Sorry for the weather in Europe!

 

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1 hour ago, glnz said:

[Before thinking of this, I also went into Device Manager, marked down the actual driver files (sys and dll) for the various USB items in Device Manager and then copied those exact sys and dll files onto the stick in about twelve places.  Probably irrelevant, but hasn't hurt.]

I would call that surely, totally, and utterly :w00t: irrelevant, but it doesn't really matter,

1 hour ago, glnz said:

Molto grazie!  Sorry for the weather in Europe!

 

You are welcome :), and - at least where I live, central Italy - it hasn't been as bad as it is depicted on the news, thankfully.

jaclaz

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