My desktop is full of useless things, so I want to format my drive.

I have made some changes in C:\WINDOWS to run some software and themes, but perhaps due to this WinToFlash is not working. I don't have a CD/DVD-ROM drive, I just have a half-filled 16GB flash drive.

How can I format my drive and reinstall Windows XP Professional SP3 again without having a CD-ROM drive?

Details of my desktop PC:

  1. Windows XP Professional SP3 (Version 2009)
  2. Pentium 4 CPU 2.80GHz 2.79GHz
  3. 0.99 RAM DDR 667
  • Google "How to install windows xp from usb". lots of info already available online. – ItsNotAboutTheName Jun 22 '12 at 12:18
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    Please do yourself a favor and upgrade to Windows 7. Windows XP SP3 is NOT secure operating system. – Ramhound Jun 22 '12 at 12:42

You can write a bootable ISO of Windows XP to a USB stick using WinSetupToUSB (download). I've used it a lot and it works like a charm. Of course, you should have an ISO image of XP (and a valid licence).


You can also try with Windows USB Maker, Rufus or WinToFlash.

Download UNetbootin.

UNetbootin can create a bootable Live USB drive, or it can make a "frugal install" on your local hard disk if you don't have a USB drive. It loads distributions either by downloading a ISO (CD image) files for you, or by using an ISO file you've already downloaded.

This way you can get the XP image fitted in the flash drive and load XP from it. Your BIOS should support booting from USB drive.

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  • Have you already tried that? Because I don't remember having succeeded this way ... I think UNeTBootIn is not intended to make a Windows ISO to USB bootable, because the Windows installer won't run with the Linux bootsequence, it requires the ntloader instead. – cedbeu Jul 31 '12 at 1:36

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