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

I have disconnected faulty HDD from my PC & trying to install Windows XP into a removable 8GB drive.

Windows XP setup detects this removable drive as 8GB partition, but when selecting this partition to install windows. I get this error -

System startup can not access the selected drive

Is it possible to use removable drive as primary HDD in the system ?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Simon Sheehan, Mokubai, ChrisF, Dennis Jan 2 '13 at 1:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Is it USB, Firewire or eSATA? If it's eSATA, is it a dedicated eSATA port or just connected to a SATA connector on your motherboard? – Canadian Luke Jan 1 '13 at 18:38
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Windows XP is not able to install onto a removable drive (USB or Firewire), for many reasons.

  1. Piracy would be easier. Microsoft does not want people moving Windows XP from computer to computer so easily; that is why there is activation that includes the hardware it was installed on
  2. Driver Support. Every device needs a driver, and not all devices use the same driver. When you install Windows XP, it installs the drivers it knows of, then you add any extras. If the drivers are not there, the hardware sometimes does not work
  3. USB Drive Support. USB drive support is not built in to the Windows XP Setup program as a destination

Now, if you have the SATA drivers loaded (i.e. Windows XP SP2 or 3), you may be able to put it onto an eSATA drive, but I have not tested this. You would run into the same issue as 1 and 2 above, if you move it to another computer and attempt to boot from it.

As well, pkobylin's answer above is true as well; part of the search for drives include looking to the BIOS to see what it supports booting from. If your drive is not in the list, it will fail installing, as it can't load the boot loader

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It depends on computer. Exactly on the motherboard and BIOS. If BIOS has ability to boot from external device - yes, you should be able to use it as primary drive.

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