How to run Windows XP from USB flash drive

Today you’ll learn you how to run Windows XP from USB flash drive throughout this article. Yes, Windows XP golden days are long gone and today Windows 10 is the most commonly used Operating System. However, there is still a niche of users using XP.

How to install and run Windows XP from flash drive?

Before the installation of Windows XP in your thumb drive, you first need to prepare the drive for installation. As mentioned earlier and unlike newer Windows versions, the process needed to run Windows XP on USB flash drive is not as simple as plugging in the USB disk and installing Windows on it.

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You need to have a particular program to help you run Windows XP from pen drive.

A step-by-step guide to install and run Windows XP from USB hard drive:

  • Restart your computer and enter the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). Typically, you can enter BIOS by pressing the F2 or DEL keys on your computer as it is restarting, but you can check the specific method for your computer by looking it up on the Internet.
  • In the BIOS screen, check your boot settings under the “Boot Device Manager” or “Boot Device Property” Menu. Select “USB-HDD” boot as your first boot device. If you cannot find the USB boot option, then you may need to update the computer’s BIOS firmware. If you do not see the option even after updating the BIOS, then you may not be able to boot your computer using a USB disk.
  • Check the USB disk manual and see if it is bootable. If it is, simply use the disk and if it is not, make it bootable using the Command Prompt on your computer. Please make sure that the USB disk is empty and has at least 4 GB of capacity.
  • Go to Start>Run and then type “%systemroot%” in the run menu and press enter. The System Root Folder will open now.
  • Go to Control Panel>Folder Options and click the “View” tab and check the “Show Hidden Files and Folders” option and click “Ok”.
  • You will notice that now there are some other files in the folder. Copy the “boot.ini”, “ntldr”, and “ntdetect” from your System Root Folder and paste them in your flash drive.
  • Download PEBuilder and install it on your computer. This utility will help you to make a bootable copy of Windows XP in your flash drive. Note down the version number of PEBuilder.
  • Insert your Windows XP installation disk in your CD or DVD drive. Run PEBuilder and click the “…” next to the “Source” filed and select the Windows XP installation files from your CD.
  • Leave the “Custom” field empty in the PEBuilder and the “Output” field as “BartPE”. Click “Build” to create the Windows XP installation copy.
  • Go to Start>Run and launch Command Prompt by typing in “cmd.exe”.
  • Write “cd \” and press enter to go to your computer’s root directory. Now type “cd pebuilder (version number)\plugin\peinst\” and press enter. Note that you need to just write the PEBuilder version of your copy without the parentheses.
  • Now type “peinst” and press enter. A menu will appear before you. Type “1” now and you will see an option to “Change source path”. Type C:\\pebuilder (version number)\BartPE.
  • Now type “2” and press the enter key. Type the drive letter (for example G) and add a colon (G:) Type “5” now and press the enter key again. Windows XP will now install on your USB drive
  • After the installation, you will be able to run Windows XP on flash drive.

Wrap UP

Despite its ancient roots, there are still some people using Windows XP these days. There is no longer much information regarding this operating system throughout the web, as it’s getting obsolete and out of use for most.

But, if for some reason you’re one of those XP faithful users and you’re after information on how to run Windows XP from flash drive, we hope this article was clear and useful.

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