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Installing a OS on a USB drive

can I install an OS (lets say XP or 2000) on a 2 gig flash drive? It would be sort of cool to have an OS that you carry with you just in case and can boot your computer with. I have checked my BIOS and it detects a USB stick as a hard drive at start up.
Any Ideas?
Many thanks.
If you search the forum, you'll find several topics on this subject:

I'm not aware of anyone who's managed to install Windows on a flash disk, but you could always ask. Otherwise, there are plenty of Linux distributions available that will easily boot from a flash drive - see the links above.
In a fast answer: yes, you can, just gotta choose advanced mode in windows installation, and choose the flash drive, then configurate your bios to boot the flash drive, also you can install a linux as said above

but i would not suggest you to do that, it is insane slow, instead, if what you want to do is to move your operating system preferences and tools to diferent computers, i'd suggest you to do this: (Note: i dont know about windows, i'll just write for linux)

Write your root and desktop preferences in your flash drive, tools and whatever you want to use, then, write in it a linux boot loader, not a gurb or lilo, a boot loader to specify parameters, just like a live cd, then when you want to use it in a comp, boot the flash drive and write

bare.i root=/dev/(hard drive partition)/(Directory to mount) noinitrd rw

in example

bare.i root=/dev/hda3/mnt/linuxmounted noinitrd rw

after that, mount your root in the dir you specified

in example

mount /dev/(flash drive) /mnt/linuxmounted

after that, just init your X window manager with startx or xinit or whatever

hope this can help you
I managed to install XP on a flash drive and set my BIOS to boot from it. Just cann't get windows to boot. IT is sort of trying to, goes as far as XP start up screen then gives an error message and reboots, I gues it may be because usb speed is just not fast enough to handle an OS as Windows.
Well it can be that, but if you could post the error message it prompts, maybe we can figure out a way to make it run
You have to be careful about running an OS on flash memory as they have a limitted number of writes you can make to the disk.

Make sure your swap drive/file in particular isn't on it otherwise your drive could die very quickly, especially if it doesn't have a proper flash file system and uses something silly like FAT32.
DamnSmallLinux is also a good starting point - it will run within windows and piggy backs onto your PC network connections. I had great fun at work showing the sysadmin that I could run Linux on his 'secure' Windows network
Twisted Evil

damn small linux for usb drives (50mb, running on windows)
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