You may need to install Windows XP from a USB flash drive in various situations, the most obvious of which is the need to install Windows XP on a weak netbook that is not equipped with a CD-ROM drive. And if Microsoft itself took care of installing Windows 7 from the USB drive by releasing the corresponding utility, then for the previous version of the operating system you will have to use third-party programs.
It may also come in handy: booting from a USB flash drive in the BIOS
UPD: an easier way to create: a bootable USB flash drive Windows XP
Creating an installation flash drive with Windows XP
First you need to download the WinSetupFromUSB program - there are plenty of sources where you can download this program from the network. For some reason, the latest version of WinSetupFromUSB did not work for me - it gave an error when preparing a flash drive. With version 1.0 Beta 6, there have never been any problems, so I will demonstrate the creation of a flash drive for installing Windows XP in this program.
Win Setup From USB
We connect the USB flash drive (2 gigabytes for normal Windows XP SP3 will be enough) to the computer, do not forget to save all the necessary files from it, because they will be deleted in the process. We start WinSetupFromUSB with administrator rights and select the USB drive with which we will work, after which we launch Bootice with the corresponding button.
formatting usb flash drives
format mode selection
In the Bootice program window, click the "Perform format" button - we need to format the flash drive accordingly. From the formatting options that appear, select USB-HDD mode (Single Partition), click “Next Step”. In the window that appears, select the file system: “NTFS”, agree to what the program will offer and wait for the formatting to complete.
Installing the bootloader on a USB flash drive
The next step is to create the necessary boot record on the USB flash drive. To do this, in the still running Bootice, click Process MBR, in the window that appears, select GRUB for DOS, click Install / Config, then, without changing anything in the settings - Save to Disk. The flash drive is ready. Close Bootice and return to the main WinSetupFromUSB window, which you saw in the first figure.
Copy Windows XP files to a USB flash drive
We will need a disk or installation disk image with Microsoft Windows XP. If we have an image, then it must be mounted to the system using, for example, Daemon Tools or unzipped to a separate folder using any archiver. Those. In order to begin the final step of creating a bootable USB flash drive with Windows XP, we need a folder or disk with all the installation files. After we have the necessary files, in the main window of the WinSetupFromUSB program we put a tick in front of the Windows2000 / XP / 2003 Setup, click the button with the ellipsis and specify the path to the folder with the installation of Windows XP. The tooltip in the opening dialog indicates that this folder should contain subfolders I386 and amd64 - the tooltip may be useful for some builds of Windows XP.
Burn Windows XP to a USB flash drive
After the folder has been selected, it remains to press one button: GO, and then wait until the creation of our bootable USB disk is complete.
How to install Windows XP from a flash drive
In order to install Windows XP from a USB device, you need to specify in the BIOS of the computer that it boots from a USB flash drive. On different computers, changing the boot device may differ, but in general terms it looks the same: we go into the BIOS, press Del or F2 when you turn on the computer, select the Boot or Advanced Settings section, find where the Boot Devices order is indicated and set the boot device as the first boot device a flash drive. After that, save the BIOS settings and restart the computer. After rebooting, a menu will appear in which you should select Windows XP Setup and proceed with the installation of Windows. The rest of the process is the same as with a typical installation of the system from any other medium, for more details see Installing Windows XP .