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Question about installing windows from an usb-key

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I want to know if it is possible to install windows from an usb key even if i have to boot from a CD-Rom.

I means my Ua XPCD content is on the usb key and a special cd boot and run the setup from the key.

And if it is compatible will it be compatible with oem installation RunOnceEx and some integrated driver wich are integrated witch BTS driver pack (the method with setup replacement)

Thanks in advance.

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Yes, it is possible to install from the USB key. If your system suports booting from the USB key, then you won't need the CD at all.

You will need some sort of boot system. You can use Windows PE, or Bart PE, or a number of other OSes like Linux. For the sake of keeping things simple, you could use BartPE to build a bootable CD and then run the install off of the USB key drive.

You will have to treat the install as a network installation. So, first off, your $OEM$ folder will be INSIDE the i386 folder and not off of the root like a CD install would work. You will also need to execute setup (winnt32.exe) with the parameters pointing it to the unattended answer file (winnt.sif), target drive, etc.

There are many postings in the forums here that will go into great detail on how to do this sort of thing. Treat this like you were installing Windows over a network. Instead of having your installation files on a network share, they'll be sitting on your USB key drive. So anything that discusses installing over a network will be helpful to you.

Hope this helps to get you started.

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yes, pe is very helpfull in that way.

however, today i seek a way to run a self contained xp setup from usb.

It involes adding the required boot-sector...copying source files to usb obviously,

and some modifications to txtsetup.sif, changing SetupSourceDevice perhaps.


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There are some ongoing threads on the topic.

With reference to my post here:


Method 1) and 2) are OK, though method 2) might require a more verbose howto, method 5) is in the same thread almost complete, thanks to cdob, method 4) is almost working, thanks to porear here:


Any taker to test method 3) ?


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