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Setup 250Gb external USB as XP setup, won't go to setup

By dankhippy ยท 12 replies
Jan 15, 2010
  1. So, long story short, my girlfriend f***ed up her computer and it wouldn't even boot into XP. Her laptop doesn't even have a cd drive and the hardrive wont fit into my computer so i could just use my CD.


    now after 5 painstaking hours, i've managed to take my 250 Gb Western Digital external USB hard drive, partition out a section in front (Partition Wizard is AMAZING!), make it bootable, and manage to get the boot options from boot.ini up and showing me my options (Windows (default))


    when i click on "Windows (default)" it comes up with the "Cannot boot because of computer hardware configuration problem" thus preventing me from reinstalling windows because i can't get to the setup.

    so. perhaps the paths on my boot.ini aren't quite correct? perhaps its not guiding the system to the proper place? i'm not sure, this is where i need help.

    give me some ideas or some input please. i don't need an angry girlfriend >=)
  2. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Ok have you change the boot option in Bios for it to boot from USB (External HDD)? If yes then have you the option to install on the HDD in the laptop not your External?
  3. dankhippy

    dankhippy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah, it boots just fine. takes me to the boot screen to choose my OS (obviously there isn't a working one, but yeah) and i don't want to install xp on the hard drive, just the laptop.
  4. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Did it detect the Laptop HDD? You may find it after clicking on F8 etc...
  5. Kevork

    Kevork TS Rookie Posts: 73

    I would take a different route. I would purhcase an external USB CD/DVD drive. Go through the install then return the USB device.

    Booting of external HD while having an setup ISO on it is not trivial.
  6. dankhippy

    dankhippy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well no, that would defeat the whole purpose now of having a mobile version of xp on my hard drive, i already had it, no point to return it, i have music and whatnot on it. and no, when i have the external HDD on the broken lappy, it doesn't detect it. when its on mine, i can boot xp from it.
  7. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Hmmm so I think that maybe the HDD in the laptop may be dead. Or if not the cable are not well connected.
  8. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    I was under the impression that XP will NOT install to an external drive.
  9. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    No Windows XP can be install on an External HDD even on a flash drive you can install for portable basis.
  10. dankhippy

    dankhippy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    >_< this isn't about the laptop, i know how to fix that. this is about booting from my portable HDD.

    google "Ngine" they came up with a method to install xp on a portable drive. yes, microsoft said you can't do it, but now you can.

    so, on the ACTUAL subject here. i've gotten xp installed on the drive and it boots to the OS choose (by the boot.ini) and it gets to the load screen. but then right after it starts to load, it crashes to the BSOD.

    so i turned off the auto-reboot after failure, and its the "Check your computer for virus...yatta yatta... Check configuration of your hard disk... yatta yatta..." stop message.

    so this is my new point of being stuck. only a little further down the road.
  11. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    If you got a BSOD it may be a hardware conflicting with the laptop. It may be the External HDD or a hardware in the laptop. Try to disable the laptop HDD for checking
  12. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    None of the drivers installed on the portable's HDD have any relevance to those required on your own PC. Different motherboard entirely. This would explain the symptom you have (unless I have completely misunderstood the description of what you are doing). The only way to get the HDD of the portable HDD working is actually in the portable, Without a CD drive you are effectively stumped.

    As far as I see, you could get a 2.25" to standard PC drive adaptor for next to no cost ($2 or so) and hence plug the portable HDD directly into your own PC. Then you would be able to check if that HDD is faulty. You can also backup copy the data from the HDD if it can be read. But no way can you successfully reinstall an XP or anything else except on the actual portable,

    I dont beiieve you can do anything, whatever the condition of the portable HDD, to repair that OS unless it is mounted in the portable. So you need a plug-in CD or similar, although first you would need be sure the portable WILL boot off the XP install disc in that add-on CD drive. If so, you could take the boot option to repair the XP installation when on that PC.

    If the HDD is dead, you obviouosly need to replace it, which also requires an install CD on the portable.
  13. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

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