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I've tried for several days to make an USB Bootable with Windows XP, I want to install the OS in a computer that doesn't have CD.

I know there are some utilities that make this but the thing is I tried them all (I guess) and still I cannot make it works.

I've tried:

  • WinToFlash, (Actually the first post I saw was this)

  • WinUSBMaker

  • With Command Prompt

And a lot of tutorials that doesn't really works for me, I appreciate any help you could give.

The computer starts with the USB and everything looks normal, but before it begins the installation, the computer shuts down or blue screen of dead shows, the problem is the error of the BSOD is there is not a single error, and when I google them, they are unrelated between them.

The ISO I use it's the original distribution obtained from my school.

The computer has a Windows XP installation running, I just want to reformat the HDD

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What is the problem you run into? And how did you modify the XP image so that it understands how USB works? – Hennes Sep 29 '12 at 23:33
You can try this tutorial which tells you to make XP bootable USB through WinSetupFromUSB. If it works or not report me back :). – avirk Oct 1 '12 at 16:53

The problems as I see it is as follows:

Normally you install windows XP from CD the following happens: The PC gets started. It runs POST. The BIOS recognises a bootable CD and boots from it. This starts a program (the windows installer). This part understands about native ATA chipsets, ATAPI CDROMs, basic (VESA) displays etc.

Then you install windows using all these basic routines and finally you reboot.

The next boot is from the hard disk. You are now starting windows XP. XP starts and detects a lot of new hardware. It tries to install drivers for it. Once it find the USB controllers and finishes installing drivers for them it can access USB drives natively. It does not natively understand USB before this.

This means you either need to finish installing windows XP so that you can install it. (hello catch 22), or you need to teach XP how your USB controllers work before you reboot the first time.

Now this can be done. XP has an option to load extra drivers from a floppy. (Press F6 to load extra drivers.) Or you could change the files in the image (slip streaming)

Now there are two more things:

  1. I fail to see why windows fails with different errors. I would expect it to fail with a consistent inaccesable bootdevice.
  2. You also mentioned a few tools to move the iso image to USB. I think they worked perfectly and that the resulting USB pen drive will be bootable if the OS understands USB. (Note that win7 does grok USB.)
share|improve this answer
I appreciate your response, a few more things that I think are important: The computer has a Windows XP installation running, I just want to reformat the HDD, the errors are unrelated bettwen them, I tried to figure it out but I just couldn't understand, some says drivers, some says programs, some says hardware, the USB I use works perfectly with ubuntu, even I've installed MacOS, Windows7, BackTrack and many OS, just with WindowsXP I have had troubles... – poz2k4444 Sep 30 '12 at 0:17

Another option for you to do is to install a live OS like a linux distro to your flash drive, store the image for the windows iso on the drive afterwards and install it from within linux as most linux distros allow you to do this.

EDIT: I missed your last few lines of text, simple install a linux distro like ubuntu on the flash drive, and format your HDD from within the live OS.

share|improve this answer
The thing is it's not my computer, it's my mom's computer and she doesn't want to use linux, I tried a lot this haha, also it has a very poor processor (1.6 ghz) and ram (1gb) – poz2k4444 Sep 30 '12 at 0:27
I am not saying to install linux on the computer, you install it on the flash drive, just google pendrivelinux for instructions and software to do so, use it to format the drive in the computer and then you can just put the windows iso on the flash drive or another drive, plug it into the computer again and install windows on said computer. – user88311 Sep 30 '12 at 0:33
Ok, sorry, but will this work? I ask not to be rude, but to take precautions since it's my mom's netbook and she uses it a lot, I don't want to format it and then face the same problem that the USB doesn't work to install the OS – poz2k4444 Sep 30 '12 at 0:36
I would not have given you the advice had it not been something that would work. If you wish for more help on installing windows from inside a linux distro like ubuntu, go to the ask ubuntu site. – user88311 Sep 30 '12 at 0:40
Thanks, I'll do that and give my comments later ;) – poz2k4444 Sep 30 '12 at 0:43

Use the Microsoft USB/DVD DOWNLOAD TOOL. Best way to get a Windows OS on a USB drive. If that doesn't work, there is an issue with some BIOS setting Here's the link:

It says Windows7 I know. I have tried this for Windows 7,8,Vista and XP.

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Hey! Sorry for the long time, I've tried with your solution but I cannot pass the first step, it says, something that the it's an invalid ISO, but as I said, the ISO is provided by my school.. How could I fix this?? – poz2k4444 Oct 28 '12 at 22:10

Try slipstreaming SP3 into your ISO before copying it to your thumbdrive. I recall having a similar issues a ferw years ago and that solved it(for whatever reason). You also get the added benefit of bugfixes and newer default drivers.

I would also try a different USB thumbdrive. It's not a driver issues because the thumbdrive can boot the computer.....without any drivers available.

Also, since it is your mom's daily driver, I suggest you tread very lightly!

share|improve this answer
I'll try slipstreaming, I thought the same about USB, but I've tried like 4 or 5 different USB, also I've used like 4 differents ISO's and DVD's provided by my school, the weird thing is with any distribution of lunix, even with windows 7 the process doesn't stop (don't install cause she doesn't want linux and W7 is not an option) – poz2k4444 Oct 1 '12 at 22:34
Sorry for the long time, I've tried your method and it didn't work, same error, how could I fix this? :S – poz2k4444 Oct 28 '12 at 22:14
Does the install work as expected if you use a CD instead of a thumb drive? – Lee Harrison Oct 29 '12 at 15:22
I didn't try with CD – poz2k4444 Oct 29 '12 at 16:05
you might try burning the ISO of the install media to a CD and see how far you get with that. – Lee Harrison Oct 29 '12 at 16:39

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