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Possible Duplicate:
Install Windows XP to USB Hard Drive and Run from It

Like Linux, can I run a Windows XP live version from my USB flash Drive?

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migrated from Mar 7 '11 at 7:51

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by Mokubai, BloodPhilia, Not Kyle stop stalking me, Nifle, Sathya Mar 9 '11 at 13:17

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Not a legit version of Windows XP. – Rafe Kettler Mar 7 '11 at 6:13
Huh? Is BartPE illegit or something? And isn't there also Windows PE itself? It seems like a legit question to me, unless I'm missing something... – Mehrdad Mar 7 '11 at 8:02
Can be done – Moab Oct 16 '15 at 21:15

You might want to take a look at BartPE. (Be prepared for spending a few hours, though.)

If Windows 7 would work instead of Windows XP, you might also want to take a look at the Windows Automated Installation Kit, with which you can build Windows PE and put it on a flash drive.

The page might also be helpful.

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It's probably not a good idea, as elaborated here.

Why can't I install Windows on my USB drive?

A collection of limitations (both hardware and software) currently prevent Windows from booting and running off a USB drive. Some of them are described in this whitepaper from WinHEC 2003. Another reason not mentioned in this paper is that during any hot-plug operation, the USB bus is completely reinitialized. Windows really doesn't like it when it loses access to its boot device. Imagine, you plug in a USB camera, the USB bus reinitializes, Windows loses access to the boot drive, and oops the kernel needs to page in some data and it can't.


But who knows, someday maybe it will work.

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Just FYI: this isn't the case for the Preinstallation Environments, because the boot disk is (sort of) the RAM. – Mehrdad Mar 7 '11 at 21:38
The question is not "Can I run Windows from RAM" – Mar 8 '11 at 0:13