What do you do when there is no optical drive in your PC or Laptop and you want to install a Windows XP on it? You can use a USB drive to do the same. Here is a detailed step by step procedure to install Windows XP from a USB Flash Drive in your computer. Before we Install, we should create a bootable USB flash drive with Windows XP loaded into it. This will be required if we want to reinstall the OS.
Previously we discussed How to Boot into Windows XP using a Flash Drive
Install Windows XP from a USB Flash Drive
In order to install Windows XP from a flash drive, first you should dump your OS into this thumb drive. In order to do that, you will need
a desktop or laptop with Windows XP/Vista/7
An optical drive in the PC.
The original Windows XP or Vista or Windows 7 installation disk.
A USB flash drive for Windows OS.
A software called ‘Komku-SP-usb.exe’
Here is the procedure to make the USB Flash Drive ready i.e., to make it bootable.
Step 1: Download and install ‘Komku’
Download the software ‘Komku-SP-usb.exe’ and execute it. The executable file will extract the necessary utilities to a folder called ‘C:komku’.
STEP 2: Prepare the USB drive
Once the package has been extracted, go to the folder ‘C:komkuPeToUSB’ using Windows Explorer. Execute the file ‘PeToUSB.exe’. Plug in the USB flash drive and make sure you choose the following (see image below) before clicking the start button.
Select ‘USB removable’, ‘Enable Disk Format’, ‘Quick format’, ‘Enable LBA (Fat 16x)’ and finally give the drive a name under ‘Drive Label’. Once it’s done, click start to let the utility format the drive.
STEP 3: Copy the boot sector to the USB flash drive
Next you will need to start the command prompt. Click ‘Start > Run’, type ‘cmd’ and press [Enter]. Then go to the ‘bootsect’ directory by typing the command ‘cd C:komkubootsect’ and pressing [Enter].
Now type the command ‘bootsect /nt52 F:’ and press [Enter]. (The ‘F:’ is the USB flash drive letter represented in ‘My Computer’. Check to verify the drive letter used by your USB flash drive). Let the utility do the needful. Do not exit the Command Prompt yet.
STEP 4: Launch the ‘USB_prep8′ utility.
Now you will need to change to the directory ‘Usb_Prep8’ by using the command ‘cd C:komkuusb _ prep8’ and pressing [Enter].
Here execute the command ‘usb _ prep8’ and press [Enter]. Press any key to continue and you will see a welcome screen with a menu appear in the Command Prompt.
STEP 5: Enter the source path for the Windows XP CD.
Now at this stage, you will have to insert the Windows XP installation disk into your optical drive. At the Command Prompt menu, type ‘1’ and press [Enter]. A new popup will appear asking you to choose the location (path) of the Windows installation disk.
Select the optical drive and click ‘OK’. Next choose ‘2’ from the menu and change the drive letter to any drive letter which has not been taken. It is drive ‘T:’ by default and you can ignore this step unless you do have a ‘T:’ drive on your computer. After this, choose ‘3’ from the menu and enter the drive letter of your USB flash drive (in this case it would be ‘F’).
Finally choose ‘4’ from the menu and press [Enter]. Wait for a few seconds for the process to complete and you will see a prompt to allow the utility to format the USB fash drive. Type ‘Y’ and then press [Enter] at this stage to let the utility proceed and install the necessary files from the Windows XP installation disk to the USB flash drive. This process will take a few minutes and depends on the speed of the flash drive.
STEP 6: Allow the utility to copy the data to the drive
After the files are copied, you will see a popup window asking you for permission to copy files from the temp drive to the USB flash drive. Select ‘Yes’.
STEP 7: Allow the changes to allocate a drive letter.
Next there will be another popup window asking you to allow the utility to change the boot drive letter of the USB flash drive from ‘F:’ to ‘U:’. Select ‘Yes’.
STEP 8: Unmount the virtual drive.
Finally, after all the processes are complete, you will see yet another popup window asking if you want to unmount the virtual drive. Select ‘Yes’. Exit the Command Prompt now and you will see that your flash drive is ready to install Windows XP to another computer.
To install Windows XP to the computer, you will have to do the following steps..
Go to the BIOS and enable the option of booting from a USB removable device. This option is usually found under the boot sequence menu of the BIOS.
Plug in the USB drive to the computer before you turn it on.
Now your computer will boot from the USB flash drive and will be ready to install Windows XP.
Follow the necessary steps to install Windows XP and your computer will be up, raring and ready to go and running Windows in no time. This is an easy and better way to install your Operating System as a USB port is available on every system.