Installing WIndows XP on external USB HDD - query

  1. I have read the useful guide which explains that WIndows XP is not designed to boot from USB HDD so you have to modify the install CD so that certain config files and the registry are updated to allow USB HDD boot.

    I have also noted that queries on install guides might be better posted on the support forum, so I am adding my query here as well.

    Briefly, the install I tried (which failed for the above reasons) was using a USB CD drive and a USB HDD.

    The first part of the install was fine, but the reboot to continue the install failed (due to the above).

    This leaves me with an NTFS partition with Windows directory and a registry IIUC.

    So my question is:

    Is it possible to edit the configuration files and the registry on the half built Windows installation, instead of creating a new install CD, and then reboot to continue the installation?

    This might save a lot of faffing about unpacking and repacking ISOs and .cab files.


  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I recently installed XP Pro on an HP mini-computer using an external USB CD/DVD drive. The install worked perfectly. Why bother using a USB hard drive. Are you reading too much into this procedure?
  3. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am using a USB hard drive because it is an EEE PC 900 with a 4Gb main SSD which is too small for Windows XP without constant butchery to remove stuff. I could of course use the 22Gb slower SSD but there may be issues over making this bootable for XP.

    I happen to have a spare 40Gb disc out of a broken laptop, and have fitted it into an external USB case.

    I am proposing to restore the EEE PC to Linux on the 4Gb SSDs and have XP on the 40Gb external drive.

    So yes, I really do want to use an external USB HDD.



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