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taj

Booting Windows XP from USB Storage Device?

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Hi everyone,

I was wondering if any of you have tried to boot Windows XP from a USB Storage Device? I am not talking about BartPE, but a full version of Windows XP. It seems it is possible, but is quite difficult (for me at least) and unpredictable - a lot seems to depend on your hardware setup and / or USB Storage Device.

I have been following this thread at the 911CD Forums pretty much since it originated, and there over 1,500 posts in that thread, with numerous methods of how to achieve XP booting from USB and numerous reports of success and failure alike.

I figured that some of you might be interested in this, or might have already been following this thread or a similar one elsewhere. I just wanted to get more of you involved, as the more brains working on this, the more can be achieved, and you never know, we might eventually get some instructions from Microsoft on how to attempt booting XP from USB...

If you are able to boot XP from USB, please post what steps you took to achieve this, and your hardware setup.

Thanks,

- Taj

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You can but it's hard configging which 16-bit program to start.

Google it. Also google for "hp boot key utility usb"

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Thanks for the replies.

The website www.winusb.de is the website of the starter of the thread on the 911CD Forums, and has downloadable versions of the tutorials which may be useful. I have been using the HP USB utility for some time now, but with no success - I get the same results when I format the USB drive with the HP tool or with Windows. I always get the message 'Your computer's start-up program cannot access this device' or something like that when trying to install Windows XP onto the USB drive. The XP Setup Program can 'see' the drive, but when I select it, the error message above appears.

- Taj

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Usb Mass Storage device drivers aren't installed yet. Does your stick use generic drivers or did you have to manually install it in windows?

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The USB drive uses generic drivers. I have tried using an External USB Hard Drive Enclosure with a 20 GB Maxtor HDD and a Corsair Flash Voyager flash drive (512 MB)... so I am focusing on using the USB HDD Enclosure.

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Sometimes disks under 1Gb aren't read (read it on a webpage somewhere). Is your bios configured properly? Because for me, across multiple reboots, I have to set my Usb stick as the first boot device.

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Hi T D

I understand that it is unlikely that I will be able to install a full version of XP on to the Corsair Flash Voyager 512 MB; I was just seeing if it would get past the 'Your computer's start-up program cannot access this drive' error message, if only to be met with a size limitation message.

My motherboard is a MSI K8T Neo-V with the latest BIOS updates and retains the boot device order after reboots (unless there are 4 reboots in quick succession), but this doesn't seem to be the problem. I can boot from both of the devices into MS-DOS, so I am sure my mobo is capable of booting from USB. I think the problem is more to do with the Windows Setup Files and if the correct USB drivers are being loaded in text-mode setup or not, or to do with the format / boot sector of the USB drive which Windows will accept (try to trick Setup into thinking the USB drive is a hard drive?) The USB hard drive (enclosure) is detected as a 'Disk on disk' by Windows XP text-mode setup, but appears as a fixed local disk under Windows XP.

Thanks for your help,

-Taj

Edited by taj

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I have been following this thread

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=14181

at the 911CD Forums pretty much since it originated

Hmmm, :unsure:

and you did not succeed with tutorial 3, 4, 5 or 6, nor with the other tutorials by Bshoang ? :o :

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=16760

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=16696

Did you try the apps from:

http://www.usboot.org/

(I DO NOT use them, as all the other methods worked for me :whistle: , but they are reported to work.)

jaclaz

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Hi jaclaz,

I have tried Tutorials 3, 4, 5, 6 - most of the things I can see in the thread at 911CD.

I tried the app/s at www.usboot.org, but they gave me a BSOD when I tried to boot from the USB device.

I attempted Bshoangl1's tutorials with the nice pictures (all tutorials would be easier to follow with more pictures or a movie - but I suppose no-one has the time for that???) but no success, yet.

I have recently followed a guide at Ngine.de on booting XP from USB. Now this guide was very easy and straight forward to follow, and I am *sure* I did everything right, but I got the 'Your computer's start-up program cannot access this drive' message. Link to Ngine.de's guide by Emanuel

I am going to repeat most of the tutorials in the near future when I get some time.

- Taj

Edited by taj

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@taj, that's what I mean, you might get problems w/bootability and accessing the drive w/less than 1Gb w/out the generic (or not, but in this case generic) drivers installed.

What filesystem is the disk? Ntfs, fat/16/32 or what?

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@T D

Thanks for the help.

Forget about the Corsair 512 MB Fash Voyager, theres no real point in trying to install XP on to it.

I would like to focus on the USB External HDD enCLosure with a 20 GB Maxtor HDD in. At the moment the 20 GB has got one NTFS partition. If I try to partition the whole 20 GB with the HP tool as FAT16 or FAT32, I get an error saying 'Partition too big' or soemthing like that. So should I make a smaller partition for FAT16 or FAT32, or is NTFS recommended for booting XP from a USB drive?

Just out of interest, have you succeeded in booting XP from a USB drive? And if so, which hardware did you use?

- Taj

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Did you tried to change the XP CD from which you're trying to install ? Perhaps, there's a problem with the XP CD (i heard oem XP CD have many limitations).

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I have attempted to use XP Professional SP1 Retail, XP Professional SP2 Retail and XP Home SP2 OEM CDs... so I am not sure the XP installation files/CDs are the problem here. However, it would be interesting to see what CDs the people who have succeeded in booting XP from USB have used.

- Taj

Edited by taj

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Successful in booting from FlashDrive_OT_USB2 by some unknown manufacturer w/1Gb <_<

@allen2 Soz, but u heard wrong, the only limitation is you can only format a drive w/it, you can't upgrade.

From a Hdd, don't use the Hp tool as it's only designed for pen drives. Check on the net if you can use boot.ini and bootcfg.exe to boot i386\winnt.exe

Or a floppy disk trick: make a ms-dos startup disk via my computer>right click floppy drive>format>check box "create msdos startup disk">wait forever :P>boot from that floppy. You'll get to a dos prompt like in win9x where you can choose to reboot into ms-dos mode. cd\ to ur hdd and run i386\winnt.exe and see if it works.

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