Saturday, September 10, 2005

Hey, if all else fails, boot to a USB drive, right? Only problem is, who wants to haul around an external hard drive?

Actually, Tom's Hardware has an article on installing and running Windows XP on a USB flash drive. Windows in your pocket - it doesn't get much easier than that eh?

Boot up, access the Windows install and do whatever you need. Great idea.

Notes from the article:

  • A USB flash drive with at least 256 MB of storage is enough for the uses described in this article. Additional system tools or applications require more space. The upper bound limits for storage in this case is 2 GB - a byproduct of the tool's use of FAT16 for the local file system.
  • Most new motherboards recognize USB flash drives as valid boot media. But conventional motherboards that are more than two years old aren't likely to boot from a USB flash drive. But in many cases, this omission can be remedied through a BIOS update for that board.
  • 1.5 GB of unused disk space is the maximum needed for the tool to do its job, particularly if you want to pre-install Service Pack 2 and RAM disk capabilities. 190 MB of unused space is all that's needed to use PE Builder and the applications described in this article, however. Additional plug-ins will increase storage requirements, as will additional tools or software.
  • 512 MB of USB flash drive storage space is needed only if boot-up works from a RAM disk. Otherwise, 256 MB is big enough.
  • Access to a USB 2.0 port is not mandatory, though booting with a USB 1.1 port takes about five times longer.
  • A Windows XP Setup CD works fine as a foundation for PE Builder to generate the USB flash drive's contents.


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Geek Out | Tech
Saturday, September 10, 2005 7:39:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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