Booting WinXP from USB stick

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Andrew Lee
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Booting WinXP from USB stick

#1 Post by Andrew Lee » Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:32 am

Someone has managed to boot a full version of WinXP off a memory stick. Apparently, this is the full version, not BartPE. From what I understand though from reading the thread, it is not exactly portable i.e. it only works on the original machine which WinXP was configured for.

If anyone has gone to the trouble to try this, I am interested to know: how fast is it? I have had less than satisfactory experience running Portable Thunderbird on a USB stick because of the sucky write speed (even with caching turned on), which is why I switched to a USB HDD. Now, we are talking about an entire OS!

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I read not...

#2 Post by J-P-W » Thu May 25, 2006 1:21 pm

I'm sorry I can't find the source of this but I definately read that XP won't boot off of a USB drive because during the XP boot sequence it turns off, then back on, all USB connections, which is why I now use, then I can access my extra apps on the USB drive :lol:

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#3 Post by cmmehl » Thu May 25, 2006 8:22 pm

J-P-W, knowing to read has clear advantages ...

UBCD is based on Bart-PE, and while this is beyond doubt a fantastic program, it compares to a fullblown XP-boot from a USB medium like a bicycle to a Ferarri.

It's still in development, though, which you could have easily found out by reading the thread quoted by Andrew, and nobody recommended you to use it.

Next time you'd better do some research before blasting your "knowledge" to the boards ...


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#4 Post by usdcs » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:13 pm

Oooo... cmmehl, and what intellectual contribution did you make to this discussion? None.

J-P-W seems to only being interested in booting a portable version of XP in order to run his portable apps. And for that, UBC4Win/Bart's PE does the job.

Perhaps, you should slow down and (re)read a posting before you spew your ignorance on the rest of us. Your posting is tantamount to a mugging in my view.

The next time, why don't you do something constructive, like doing some research that helps someone, rather than blasting your ignorance (Note, that ignorance is without quotes) to the boards...


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#5 Post by cmmehl » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:23 pm

Welcome to the forum, you have shown us clearly whom we have to do with :-)

Excellent first posting, speaks for itself!

Chris (that's what my name is - I stand to it)

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#6 Post by Fluffy » Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:49 pm

Well I'll be. I've seen some of them crazy laser fights in my day, but you fellers just took the cake. Now let's everyone just calm down here, brush our wild 80's rock hair, agree we're all tough as that there David Bowie, and get this settled quick - the spandex is crawlin' places only doctors are allowed to go and all this here black leather is makin' me sweat like I just told the wife that I'm in love with the milk man.

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#7 Post by atomizer » Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:05 pm

hiya peeps! been a while since i've rummaged through this great website!

XP, or probably any windows OS for that matter, can absolutely be run entirely from a UFD (USB flash drive). i've been playing with this for a few days and, although i have yet to fully succede, i know for a fact it can and has been done. people have done it with BartPE, but others have done it in other ways. BartPE is slated for a new version which supports booting from a UFD as well. i'm tinkering with BartPE and nLite to make tiny little installations (~90 MB).

i think what some are doing are booting to DOS and loading a ramdrive, then copying the OS to the ramdrive and booting it. this would make for a very fast OS, bypass the USB reset problem and would also eliminate the read/write to the UFD, which is a good thing since they won't last long if you write to it a lot.

i think one of the problems may be portability if you're unlucky enough to not have a corporate key however and have to register your hardware, or whatever it is you have to do with a normal NT license.

what is easier is to run SLAX linux from a UFD! i just found out about this distro the other day and it is very cool! it can read and, i'm pretty sure, write to NTFS. it's an awsome little OS. i haven't gotten the "killbill" edition to boot from a UFD, but i'm sure it can be done. that has WINE packaged with it, so you can run windows apps from within linux. SLAX uses modules, so if you want more stuff, you just download a module and stick it in the right directory before you boot -- very simple.

linux: - this will get the SLAX standard edition booting from a UFD - some interesting stuff for windows users as well


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#8 Post by AlephX » Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:58 am

THis thread is interesting...
I' ve found this too, which can be related... ... _USB-stick

How to install the System Rescue CD on the USB key

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#9 Post by Snow123 » Thu May 29, 2008 12:32 am

i also think what some are doing are booting to DOS and loading a ramdrive, then copying the OS to the ramdrive and booting it. this would make for a very fast OS, bypass the USB reset problem and would also eliminate the read/write to the UFD, which is a good thing since they won't last long if you write to it a lot. :D

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#10 Post by spaztastic » Thu May 29, 2008 3:39 am

Last edited by spaztastic on Fri May 30, 2008 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#11 Post by Queue » Thu May 29, 2008 8:42 am

Flash Drives get fragmented; it just doesn't affect read/write speed. The only reason you'd want to defrag a flash drive is to make deleted file recovery more likely to be successful (that is, recovery of files saved and deleted after the defrag; a defrag will hurt chances of recovering already deleted files).


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#12 Post by -.- » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:38 pm

i got winxp on usb drive and it isnt bartpe

:S but i dont remember where I downloaded it

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#13 Post by nycjv321 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:47 pm

check out winpe (bartpe is crappola lol)

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#14 Post by freewareking101 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:40 pm ... bstick.php
Try this link, it will help boot from your USB
I also learned it there.
Good luck!

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Schumi 053
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#15 Post by Schumi 053 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:40 pm

Additional info : and
General functionality.
- Possibility to fully or partially loading VistaPE at startup into memory (boot.wim)
- Support for a big number of SATA/RAID/SCSI/NIC drivers
- Capable to read and write on NTFS/FAT32/FAT/Ext2/Ext3 partitions
- Full networking support
- Automatic hardware detection (PnP)
- Booting from CD/HDD/UFD/Network
- Compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista
- A wide range of programs and shells (Explorer, LiteStep, BS Explorer ...)
- No limits regarding the maximum number of open processes
- Automatic creation shortcuts for programs
- Ability to remove VistaPE boot media while VistaPE is running (using boot.wim)
- Full multilanguage support
..and many other options.

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