Creating an external, bootable USB Windows XP installation


Tom Penharston

Hello to several crossposted groups,

I have several new Dell Latitude systems. I need to create an image of
the current XP installation and applications. I wish I could simply
boot ghost.exe from a floppy but it's simply not an option; there's no
floppy drive. I'd be tempted to connect a floppy drive straight into
the mobo if it supported it, and it wouldn't break the service

I tried PXE boot but I couldn't obtain a DHCP address. As it turns out
our server admins aren't available and won't be for a couple of days to
look at this. Even if PXE boot does work, I'm then dedicated to
working with the Ghost Console and 3COM PXE server. This looks like
too much overhead. We own a version of Ghost Enterprise, but we've
only used it for Ghostcasting. The Console environment and PXE server
is really going to set me back a couple of days and I'm going to be
stuck using it for all of my new systems. I'm really looking for a
method that's quick and portable like a floppy.

CD boot is a third option. I'm NOT addressing CD boot in this thread.
It's an altogether different bag of worms.

Right now I'm just trying USB boot with XP on an external drive.

First, I enabled USB boot in the Latitude Bios; now when I boot the USB
option is clearly available. Great. Unfortunately, I've tried three
times to install Windows XP on an external USB drive. The XP
installation proceeds normally until the first restart. After the
black Windows XP splash screen I get a blue screen:

- - - - -

"A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent
damage to your computer.

"If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart
your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

"Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard
drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure
it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check your
hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.

"Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x0000007B ..."

- - - - -

So, this question really has nothing to do with Ghost. I just want to
create an external, bootable USB drive. How do I do this?



Jerome M. Katz

If you had been checking the Windows XP newsgroups with any
regularity, you would have seen this question many times. IT CANNOT BE

Mike Redrobe

I have several new Dell Latitude systems. I need to create an image
of the current XP installation and applications.

CD Boot is your easiest option, use that and stop asking for
the impossible.

Shenan Stanley

Tom said:
CD boot is a third option. I'm NOT addressing CD boot in this thread.
It's an altogether different bag of worms.

Make your floppy diskette with drivers/etc.
Use something like NERO to make it into a bootable CD.

That is your fastest and most reliable solution.

Although I have created bootable USB drives in the past - the CD thing is
much easier and more reliable.

Tom Penharston

While I was waiting for your responses I tried an external USB floppy
drive from SmartDisk. In the F12 boot menu my SmartDisk appeared as
"Diskette Drive". I couldn't believe it worked. I've created a GHO
with a GHS on a FAT32 partition.

I will still try the CD because it's "fastest and most reliable".

Would anyone like to advocate the PXE boot? The way that the Symantec
literature talks about network boot and Ghost Console, you'd think it
was an amazing improvement. Well?



Gerry Hickman

Hi Tom,

I don't understand what you're trying to do, and there seems to be three
different issues discused here:

1. How to boot USB (something or other)
2. Ghost requirements
3. PXE booting
4. CD booting

I don't use Ghost because it does not appear to fit with creating builds
for disparate hardware, but in terms of creating boot environments for
"normal" Windows installations, here are some comments:

1. On Dell systems, you can boot to a USB memory key on systems that do
not have a floppy drive.

2. PXE boot gets round the problem of needing hard-coded static IP
addresses at build time, and it also gets round needing a USB memory key
or floppy at all! You just power up the machine and everything else is
automatic - done over the network.

3. I personally use CD boot because it works on a much wider range of
systems, and you can also inlclude a lot of tools on the CD.

The part where you were talking about installing XP to a USB hard drive,
I didn't understand that part at all.

Star Fleet Admiral Q

The Ghost CD is bootable, version 8/9 I know (Ghost 2k4/2k5) as I use it
quite regularly to restore user drive images - it even has network
capability, either static/DHCP with DNS resolution works just fine.


Star Fleet Admiral Q @ your Service!
Google is your "Friend"

Tom Penharston

No problem. You did not understand me regarding USB, because my
premise was way off. So, it was my understanding, not yours. Even if
XP could run from and external USB drive, that would not help with
Ghost.exe. Ghost.exe will not run from 2000, NT, or XP. I was heading
in a direction that doesn't exist. (The Ghost Console application,
will however, run on Windows XP, but it's outside the scope of this
thread. I think the Console applications supports cloning member
computers, but I haven't actually managed to do anything useful with
the Console yet.)

Admiral Q,
Although it's not mentioned in my original post, I also tried the
application CD from Ghost 9 Personal Edition. This CD will restore
images, but it will not create images.



cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user)

On 12 Aug 2005 11:09:53 -0700, "Tom Penharston"
CD Boot is your easiest option, use that and stop asking for
the impossible.

I agree; if you go here... will see that building bootable CDRs is familiar territory,
with lots of canned downloadable solutions and excellent forum
support. You will also see threads about bootable USB sticks and HDs,
and how difficult (impossible?) it is to get any sort of Windows to
boot in this way - possibly because USB driver support is started too
late in the boot process to support that process properly.

-- Risk Management is the clue that asks:
"Why do I keep open buckets of petrol next to all the
ashtrays in the lounge, when I don't even have a car?"


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