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install full XP to USB stick


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#1 fmbOOtfan

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 04:42 AM

Hi,

First to the moderators: I believe this is probably the right section to post this thread, but if not, please feel free to move it to the appropriate place. Thank you & thanks for maintaining such a great and resourceful site!!

Now, on to my problem...

I realize the goal of installing a full instance of XP Pro to a USB stick is a difficult one, but I am determined to try and make this happen as it would be very helpful to me in a certain situation. Specifically, my goal is to use an old machine which supports (but just barely) Windows XP's system requirements and run it off the USB for a dedicated VOIP application which unfortunately requires a full XP install. (I already tried running the VOIP app on a LiveXP instance but the app wouldn't run citing an invalid XP version :worship: ) In any case, it would be nice to be able to run a full XP instance off a USB stick for other reasons as well, since a LiveXP instance does have certain limitations.

So far I've done some research and found a few articles about this process and decided to follow the instructions here, http://www.ngine.de/article/id/8/ , which seem somewhat promising based on the author's experiences.

However, while following these steps meticulously and double-checking everything I keep running into the same problem. I've tried this install on 2 PCs and a Virtual Box instance (that's how I got the screenshots). This first pic is what I see after selecting the USB stick as the install location. Note that the USB stick IS detected and is able to be partitioned but this screenshot is as far as the install will go.

Posted Image

When I plug in an internal hard drive XP detects the HD and USB stick and from the following pic you can see the difference in controller types which I suspect may be the reason why XP is unwilling to install to the USB stick. The stick does not have an ARC path it can reference, e.g. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/102873

This is the screen (below) which will come up right before the one shown above. When the USB stick is selected the error screen above appears.

Posted Image

Any ideas for how to work through this issue would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for any useful advice.

#2 sara - pmedia

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:09 AM

Even without modification the setup can show usb drives, But the error indicates that you did not do exactly what ngine.de say... I've used it successfully...

Anyway just so you know. This solution is not universal. It will work for you only on the first computer

the only universal xp is ''make_img" by wimb

There is no doubt bless those who will make a detailed guide for making real universal xp ....(without need to lerning proses on etch pc...)
So many people spend hours on it and some late Discouraged

#3 fmbOOtfan

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 02:13 PM

Even without modification the setup can show usb drives, But the error indicates that you did not do exactly what ngine.de say... I've used it successfully...

Anyway just so you know. This solution is not universal. It will work for you only on the first computer

the only universal xp is ''make_img" by wimb

There is no doubt bless those who will make a detailed guide for making real universal xp ....(without need to lerning proses on etch pc...)
So many people spend hours on it and some late Discouraged



I did follow the instructions at ngine.de exactly! I will double-check later to make sure but I've gone through the steps twice and checked them both times so am confident the setup is according to the instructions.

I understand this solution will only work on the first computer it is installed to. That is fine with me. As I mentioned in my initial post, I have a specific need to run XP from a USB on one machine for a dedicated application.

#4 ilko

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:52 AM

How did you add the USB stick to VirtualBox?
Is the USB stick formatted? What filesystem? Have you formatted it in advance, not during Setup?

In QEMU for example, USB disk added as a //./PhysicalDriveN works just fine, USB disk is presented as a regular internal QEMU disk with ARCpath.

qemu-system-x86_64.exe -L . -boot c -m 256 -hda //./PhysicalDrive1 -hdb test.img


#5 skyide

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:40 AM

If you can't get the above method to work (have never tried it) try: IMG_XP - Universal HDD Image files for XP and Windows 7

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553

#6 Just_A_Novice

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:37 AM

Wow! This is very puzzling however let me think. Okay so all throughout this setup your still in text mode during XP setup. Maybe we can create a custom dummy disk driver for that 4GB USB you have and slipstream it into your full XP (The XP your using of course to get the full install). That way it wont act crazy accessing the USB to write to it and alter the partitions aka disk controller. Now I could be wrong thou, but again just throwing ideas out.

**Only reason I can think of why the drives possibly show on the second image you posted is because in text mode it only reflects information that was pulled directly from the BIOS after a good P.O.S.T. Since the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) hasn't been built as of yet which gets built eventually later on during setup. Your Bios tells XP setup that there are drives connected but XP setup probably doesn't have the right driver (disk controller) slipstreamed into the setup files to be able to talk to the USB drive or etc. **

If you can format a USB to boot up as a floppy to go with this theory it might just work out for you. USB altered as a floppy has no partition table, which alters the USB drive to boot the first sector which contains just the operating system boot code. But in this case just your dummy driver of the USB and some other files might be in the root of your USB floppy if you decide to make one.

I suggest this only cause in text mode setup with XP. when you hit the [F6] key it'll be looking for a floppy drive on the host machine, to grab a driver to use as an emulated disk controller. So it can interact with whatever media storage its about to install on. And you might not have a USB floppy sitting around so you might need to go with the USB formatted like a floppy.

Hopefully this info helps and still relates to your issue at hand.

Also of course here at Boot Land we have some wonderful folks that helps with development of USB tools that I spoke of. Here is a link to one right below for future reference:

RMPrepUSB along with Tutorials

This is a theory I have not yet tried but it wouldn't hurt to give a shot. Good Luck!

#7 fmbOOtfan

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 12:54 AM

How did you add the USB stick to VirtualBox?
Is the USB stick formatted? What filesystem? Have you formatted it in advance, not during Setup?

In QEMU for example, USB disk added as a //./PhysicalDriveN works just fine, USB disk is presented as a regular internal QEMU disk with ARCpath.

qemu-system-x86_64.exe -L . -boot c -m 256 -hda //./PhysicalDrive1 -hdb test.img


RE: the attempt on VirtualBox... I added the USB stick through the GUI interface while the stick was plugged into the host. Then, as seems to be the recommeded procedure, I unplugged the stick and reattached it to the host before booting the VBox guest. Sometimes without doing this the stick will not be recognized by the guest. The stick was formatted using the latest HP USB Format utility and I believe I tried both FAT32 and NTFS.

I took your advice and tried QEMU and actually got further with the install. In my first attempt after I had removed the formatted partition from the stick I booted into QEMU using this command line:

E:\Qemu-0.13.0-rc1-windows>qemu.exe -L . -m 256 -rtc base=localtime -cdrom e:\xp-unattend-1205a-usb+nlite.iso -hda //./PhysicalDrive3 -boot d

The iso is created using an XP SP3 OEM CD, then slipstreamed with the latest Windows updates using nLite, and finally modified the inf and txt files per the ngine.de site for installing to a USB device.

Here is how the USB stick showed up. This time XP seems to see it as a hard drive, unlike before under VBox or on real hardware. This ISO is the identical one used for those other attempts so this suggests it has to do with the way QEMU is accessing the USB stick (e.g. as a PhysicalDrive, or hard drive)...

Posted Image

However, the installation promptly crashed at the end of the NTFS formatting routine:

Posted Image

So, my next attempt involved pre-formatting the USB stick using the HP Format Utility again with NTFS. This time the installation made it much further, all the way through the file copies and through the part where the reg hives are loaded and I believe it crashed right after that (e.g. the end of the text mode setup I believe). This made me sad :worship: as I was so hopeful :worship: it was going to complete the install this way:

Posted Image

I will look into the IMG_XP solution which was suggested, but I'd really like to get this method working if possible. Given this new info, any further ideas???




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