Booting And Installing Windows XP Setup From Any USB Drive

A Complete Guide For A Successful Attempt

windows xp pendrive
Bootable Windows XP Pen Drive

I have read some tech forum threads and am surprised to see people stuck with a myth that ‘it’s impossible to make a bootable Win XP setup with a portable drive’. With my effort of busting this myth, i will share a step-by-step but a slightly crooked method to install Windows XP from your portable drive. Whether it be a memory card, pen drive or even your digital camera, all are welcome.

Make sure you are prepared with the following perquisites:

  • A Portable Drive with at least 2 GB free space (Higher capacity is recommended),
  • Intermediate level of knowledge and experience of using a computer and Windows XP,
  • Windows XP Setup Disc or ISO (Setup packs that have been stripped for performance and other tweaks may not work!),
  • A Computer capable of booting the computer from a USB drive,
  • Tools that will do the job: USBPrep8,  PEtoUSB and Bootsect.


  • Extract the PeToUSB_3007 contents into the USB-Prep8 folder,
  • Go into the folder named USB-Prep8 and double-click the following  usb_prep8.cmd),
  • Make sure you select the newly created command prompt window and click any key to continue,
  • A new program is started (PeToUSB) Do not change any of the settings, just click start and let it run,
  • Once PeToUSB is finished, DO NOT CLOSE any of the windows the program created,
  • Go your start menu and click run if your using classic start menu,
  • Enter the following command into your run window (CMD),
  • Once you have run that command, a new window will appear with the words command prompt,
  • Providing you have used the file setup suggested, input the following ( cd bootsect ),
  • Type in the following ( bootsect /nt52 :R ) Replace R with the drive letter of your usb drive,
  • You will see the message (Bootcode was successfully updated on targeted volume) if it worked right,
  • You may NOW close all the windows except for the window that was created when you ran USBPrep8,
  • Providing you closed all the right windows, the USBPrep8 Window will now contain 7 Options,
  • Press 1 on your keyboard, this will bring up a window, locate your XP folder and highlight it, click ok,
  • Press 2 on your keyboard, the program will ask for a used drive letter, example: T or Z,
  • Press 3 on your keyboard, the program will ask for your USB Stick drive letter, enter it now.Press 4 on your keyboard to start the USBPrep8 process,
  • The program will ask you if it is ok to format a drive contained in the letter you gave in #14, click yes,
  • The program will start to copy the needed files, be patient,
  • The program will then ask you if you wish to copy these files to the USB stick, click yes,
  • Finally once it has finished copying the files, it will ask you if you want to make the stick the preferred boot drive, click yes after which it will ask if you wish to un-mount the usb stick, click yes.
  • Now, restart your PC and set the boot sequence priority to ‘USB’ and you will successfully boot the Windows XP setup from your portable drive!

Thanks to Geeks! blogger Chronious and for sharing this great idea.