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Windows XP Pro (x86) on a Flash Drive.


Well I'm debating whether to stick this in the Operating System forum or put it here. I may try both, eventually. I have a simple question: Has anyone in frihost managed to successfully run Windows XP off a flash drive?

If so, which guide did you use?

I have the contents of a Windows XP CD, an ISO creating/editing/burning software, and a computer which can perform the installation. I do not have (but can get) BartPE.


Personally, even though I'm a Windows fan, I'd put a distro of Linux on your drive. Honestly, Windows would be super slow on your USB stick. Try Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux on your flash drive, they're meant for that type of use.
Fire Boar
I agree with Diablosblizz: Windows is definitely not intended to be run on anything but a hard disk. What exactly are you trying to do? If you want a recovery USB stick, forget about Windows and go with Puppy Linux (DSL is too complicated) which installs very easily onto a USB stick (there's an option in the installer). If you... er... actually, I can't think of a single situation where I'd want to have Windows on a USB stick, sorry. But if you're in such a situation... yeah, you're in for a rough time.
I agree with the other posts and really advise against doing this. Perhaps you can tell us why you want to do this and we can think of a better alternative? (Linux Distros are a better choice for running off a usb as they are intended for it)

Windows OS is not made for running of a USB drive, for one thing its very big so you'll need a large USB drive and thats not cheap. However if you intend to do it heres a good guide to follow:

Note that this is more of a hack than a method from Microsoft so it may or may not work.
Agree with the above. Running Windows XP (or any other version for that matter) off a flash drive is just crazy. Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux are designed to boot off flash drive and would be much easier to use.

The reason for having an O/S on a flash drive from my point of view is to be able to boot into it should the PC/laptop you're working on fails, as it could still give you access to files (if you keep everything on a "data only" partition).

Maybe the Original Poster wants to be able to carry around his operating system and files everywhere, instead of having a backup OS? In that case, I'd recommend carrying around a portable harddrive, not a flash drive. You can get small ones. And you can also connect them to a computer with a USB cable.

Hope this helps,
Somehow or another the OP managed to forget about creating this thread, and sincerely apologizes for the late reply. What I was initially trying to do was to be able to boot into a Windows XP environment where I have full administrator privileges. At the place where I work the boot sequence of the computer is NOT locked, therefore I can boot from a flash drive (and I verified that I can indeed boot from USB using Damn Small Linux).

However, I need to run a windows platform based server from my computer when I leave for the end of the day. Assume that its a specialized program with its own function that isn't available as a package for linux, and isn't compatible with WINE.

So, I needed windows on a flash drive.

I have since er.... forcibly found the local administrator password to the computer, and have been using that surreptitiously in lieu of a better solution, but that's a rather dodgy situation involving Ophcrack, a few loaded rainbow tables, and yeah... better left unsaid.

Anyone have a solution for me? I have a spare copy of XP.

im not sure if its working, but there are the pe versions of xp and vista. i have on a cd to boot from and its like an xp system, you can use the same preograms as in xp, it should only be a portable version - means im not sure if you can install things in this version. it shouldnt be a problem to bring the cd on usb. if you try it, please tell me if it worked and how you did it in the end!
yes i have tried that... i will have to look for the iso... i am not at home right now so i wont be able to get it for you... it will include a 2 batch file that will tamper with the registry one would lock your OS so that nothing can be save (like a deepfreeze). the other batch file will unlock the windows and that will allow you to save file... you will need a minimum of 2gb flash drive

but one problem i encountered with this is that you will get a bluescreen while booting especially if you will unlock it... Just on my assumption the reason why you will get a bluescreen error is because the HAL.dll which loads the driver of your OS

for example if you tried running the flashdrive on a Via chipset motherboard for the first time it will be ok... no BSOD but once you have tried running the flashdrive on a different motherboard chipset you may get a BSOD because of a driver conflict... but again it doesnt happen all the time it depends on the motherboard...

anyway i will get you that ISO...
but if anyone has a better image please share it...
so we can all play with it
You can try a mini Windows Xp Portable Windows Xp that runs from CD/USB/Ram Drive, with Network and SATA support

Hiren's BootCD is a wonderful live CD containing various programs such as Hard drive recovery, Hard Drive Partition, Hard Drive Backup, Hard Drive Testing, RAM (Memory) Testing, System Information, MBR (Master BootRecord), BIOS, MultiMedia, Password, NTFS (FileSystems), Antivirus, AntiSpy, Process, Windows Startup, Registry tools, Windows Cleaners, Optimizers, Tweakers, and many others...
Yes, portable editions are good. However, if you have nothing but a Windows XP installation CD in your hand. A 2GB or 4GB flash drive in your other hand, and a computer... you can still install windows on the flash drive and run it from the flash drive.

Here's what I did.

Tutorials: Solutions Base Article or Ngine Article.
Try Windows Embedded. I havent tried it but I know you can install it on your USB and boot it from there.
Try Google chrome its quite fast i have tried it.
<- Here is a link to Google chrome, oh another thing you will need a Google account of some sort whether it may be gmail or youtube or whatever
dazzsser wrote:
Try Google chrome its quite fast i have tried it. Here is a link to Google chrome, oh another thing you will need a Google account of some sort whether it may be gmail or youtube or whatever

This thread has nothing to do with Google Chrome.

try windows embedded. it is especially for flash devices.
There you can lock the configuration to minimize the write cycles.

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