Installing Windows 7 from a USB drive is easier as you can simply make the installer USB drive. But what if you want to install Windows XP from USB drive? It is not so easy as like as you did for the Windows Vista, 7 or Windows 8. To install XP from a removable drive, you need to follow some advanced steps. Because, Windows XP does not have the ‘boot from USB’ drive feature. But, you can still setup Windows XP in your computer using a USB or flash drive by following this simple how-to guide.
Installing any operating system from a removable drive is always useful. Especially, if the CD or DVD-ROM of your computer does not work properly then this is a handy way to get your computer installed with XP. (Tip: Fix USB problems)
You might also like to read: Create multiboot USB drive for Windows 7 & XP.
When you insert the installer disk in your CD/DVD-ROM, the machine detects it and prompts for “Press any key to boot from cd”. By then, you can format the hard disk, make the partitions and then you can install the operating system in your system.
The same thing does not happen with you if you just copy the content of a Windows XP installer disk into a USB drive. You need to make your USB drive bootable. Here, in this article, I’ve discussed the best ways to install Windows XP from USB or flash drive step-by-step.
How To Install Windows XP from USB Flush drive
1. Firstly, download the software Win to Flash which does not need any installation. Just double-click the setup file and the following screen appears.
2. Head to the ‘Task’ tab and choose your task as the following.
Choose the Task type as “Transfer Windows XP/2003 setup to flush” from the drop-down. Click the ‘Create’ button.
Click the ‘Next’ button to continue.
3. Select the source path of the Windows installation disk. Or, locate the path of the copy that is dumped at your hard drive as well as the path of your USB flash/pen drive.
4. Click the ‘Next’ button and wait until the bootable copy is prepared into your USB Flash drive.
Once completed, you can start installing Windows XP. It is a pretty easy to install the Windows XP from that USB drive. Just boot your computer from that USB stick. To do that follow the steps below.
How to Boot your Computer from USB drive
- Press the F2 key ( or the DELETE key, it varies with the brand of your computer mother board) to enter into the BIOS settings.
- Head to the “Boot” menu and set the boot preference for the Removable disk as “First”.
- Save the setup and exit by pressing the F10 key.
Now your computer should boot from the USB/pen drive.
Hope this helps to setup Windows XP in your desktops or laptops which do not have CD or DVD drive. You can just do it from a USB drive.
Alternatively, you can go through a longer but more reliable way to install Windows XP from the USB drive.
Here, we’re introducing another way to install Windows XP from Pen Drive by creating a bootable USB drive using PeToUSB. Though this process is quite complex and lengthy it has a better result than the previous one.
Create Bootable USB Drive Using PeToUSB
After going through the following steps, you can make your USB drive ready to start setting up Windows XP from it. Then you can start the steps to install Windows XP. Follow the step-by-step guides.
1. Manage to get a USB drive with at least 1 GB memory.
2. Download the file, XP_FROM_USB.rar from this download link.
Update: You should use a Windows XP installed computer to prepare the USB stick.
Preparing the Bootable USB Drive
Step 1: Extract the file XP_FROM_USB.rar in a folder, say, Softslas in your
C: drive and open
C:>Softslas > PeToUSB. Double-click on the ‘peToUSB.exe’ file.
A dialog window appears like this:
Set the following values (refer to the screenshot above):
- Click on the ‘USB Removable’ radio button under the ‘Destination Drive’ section.
- Tick the ‘Enable Disk Format’ check-box.
- Check the boxes ‘Quick Format’ and ‘Enable LBA (FAT 16x)’.
Finally, put ‘XP-Softslas’ (or whatever you want) as the Drive Label and click the ‘Start’ button. Once clicked, a message box appears, click ‘Yes’.
Another message box appears again asking you to confirm the formatting of your USB stick. Click on the ‘Yes’ button.
Wait for a few seconds and the USB disk will be formatted.
Step 2: Open the Windows command prompt (press
Win key + R, type ‘cmd’ and hit the Enter key) and execute the following commands one-by-one.
bootsect /nt52 I:
cd.. and press the Enter key to change the base directory and run the following command.
And finally, execute this command to initiate the preparation.
Press any key to continue and the command prompt window will look like this.
Prepares Windows XP LocalSource for Copy to USB-Drive: 0) Change Type of USB-Drive, currently [USB-stick] 1) Change XP Setup Source Path, currently  2) Change Virtual TempDrive, currently [T:] 3) Change Target USB-Drive Letter, currently  4) Make New Tempimage with XP LocalSource and Copy to USB-Drive 5) Use Existing Tempimage with XP LocalSource and Copy to USB-Drive F) Change Log File - Simple OR Extended, currently [Simple] Q) Quit Enter your choice: _
Step 3: Insert the Windows XP installation media in you optical disk drive and perform the following tasks into the command prompt console:
- Type 1 and press ‘Enter’. Now browse the optical disk drive (CD/DVD drive) as the source path and click the ‘OK’ button.
- Similarly, enter 2 at the choice prompt. If the letter ‘T’ is assigned your computer then change it. Otherwise, do not alter it. After typing 2 in the choice prompt, it will ask to enter available virtual drive letter. Here, type a letter that is not associated with any drive letter of your computer hard disk. Let’s say, S is not a drive letter in your computer. So put S and press ‘Enter’.
- Now, it will prompt for the next choice. Type 3 and hit the ‘Enter’ key. Put the drive letter which represents the USB stick in your computer (open ‘My computer’ to see) and press ‘Enter’. Here, my USB drive label is I so, I put ‘I’.
- Again, input 4 and press the Enter key. It creates the new temporary image and makes a copy of it to the USB Flash Drive.
- Now you should wait for a few seconds and then follow the steps below. A warning message will appear like this: ‘WARNING, ALL DATA ON NON-REMOVABLE DISK DRIVE T: WILL BE LOST! Proceed with Format (Y/N)?’.
- Type Y and press ‘Enter’, you will get the message ‘Please wait………’. After completion of the formatting process, it will display ‘Press any key to continue’. Hit any key wait for completing another session. (The ‘Please wait………’ message is displayed again).
- Once completed, the ‘Press any key to continue’ message appears again. Just do that.
Step 4: Once everything go in the right way, a message box will appear showing ‘Copy TempDrive Files to USB-Drive in about 15 minutes = Yes OR STOP = End Program = No’. Click the ‘Yes’ button.
- After this, a message box appears asking, ‘Would you like USB stick to be preferred Boot Drive U?’. Click ‘Yes’ again. Another message appears asking, ‘Would you like to unmount the Virtual Drive?’.
- Click the ‘Yes button and wait for some times and complete the onscreen instructions.
Now your USB stick is prepared. You can start the installation process.
How to Install Windows XP from the USB Stick
1. Insert your USB stick into the USB port and reboot your computer. At the starting, enter into the BIOS setup and set the first boot preference as USB Hard Disk. Save the settings and exit from the BIOS console. Your computer will reboot again and the following screen will appear.
2. Choose the TXT Mode Setup and follow the onscreen instructions. After completion of the partition process, formatting the hard drive and copying files, the computer will restart again.
3. Now, choose the GUI Mode Setup option.
4. Wait for a while and your installation will be successfully completed.
Though this is pretty time-consuming technique, I’d still prefer this method. Which technique do your prefer? Let us know through your comments.