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A few years ago, I found a small, portable Windows XP that I could place on my thumb drive and run from the same.

Upon running, it would open a full screen Windows XP, complete with a nice filesystem and everything.

Now when I try to find it, all I can find is "bootable" Windows XPs. I don't want to have to boot into it. The program I found, I could minimize and it would be the normal system.

I hope you can understand what I'm saying.

I'm trying to find this program again or something quite similar.

Anyone know where I can?

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You want Virtual Machine software, rather than portable XP. Note, however, that virtualisation is not lightweight and is non-viable on old or underpowered machines. Modern machines should have little issue, though. –  Phoshi Jul 4 '11 at 8:18

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Anywhere that lets you download a portable XP would be higly illegal, unfortunately. There is another alternative though:

What you're probably looking for would be a Virtual Machine. Virtual Machines let you run a different OS in a window, or fullscreen (as is the case here).

Please note that they will have severe performance issues if you don't run them with admin rights, so you'd need admin access on the machines you plan to run the portable XP on if you don't want it to be painfully slow.

Here are some links to portable virtualisation software:

Portable VirtualBox

Portable QEMU

I have used Portable QEMU in the past, and its fine, although it runs VERY slowly if you don't have admin rights.

I use a non-portable VirtualBox to run XP in a window on my machine, and its great.

The other alternative would be to install XP on a USB stick with some generic drivers, and boot via safe mode. But that is probably illegal, and would be really slow.

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Sounds a little like what ceedo and mojopack do - workspace virtualisation as oppposed to OS virtualisation

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as I know there is a way to create live CD from your own Windows XP installation for example with BartPE and then run it directly from the cd anywhere. It looks there should be no license problem when taking this into account:

Licensing issues

In order to make a BartPE installation, your must have a properly licensed copy of the operating system. BartPE does not grant users who do not have a proper Windows XP/2003 license the right to use a BartPE installation.

Also, according to the Microsoft EULA for Windows XP/2003, a user may not simultaneously use more installations of these operating systems than the user has license(s) for. This also goes for BartPE. In practice this means that the user may not use, for instance, a single license installation on one computer while simultaneously using a BartPE installation (created using that license) on another computer.

BartPE could be later copied to usb - maybe using this app. Here is some tutorial, but I did not try it.

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