Booting XP on USB

Talk about installing other operating systems on the micro PC.
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Booting XP on USB

Postby Stheno » Fri Apr 24, 2009 00:40

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, and I did a minimal search and skimmed to see if this was already brought up and didn't spot anything so here goes...

I have successfully booted my UX280 into XP off a couple different USB flavors with full success. The drives were a Sandisk 2gb stick and a really old 2.5" Pata 4gb laptop drive both were connected to the USB port ON the 280, not the docking station (the docking ports seem to not support USB drive boots even on a nix setup unless I am doing something wrong and overlooked it).

The reason for posting this is I found it to be quite a performance increase as far as boot time and system to drive performance (obviously this won't really effect anything else like bus and cpu performance).

My CrystalMark scores were interesting to say the least.

I have only slightly tweaked the original XP install on the internal drive, (just bought this thing from a store where it was a running display model for 6 months) so it had all the bloatware installed. I removed the vast majority of it and all drivers were installed and updated.

Now on the USB drives I tested it right out of the gates (meaning right after setup was done and all drivers were windows default) I installed NO Sony drivers, no drivers from the driver packs here, nothing, just bare bonez windows install.

The reason for me saying all that is, with no real drivers running on USB I scored slightly better on USB boot than the hard drive boot.

Overall Crystal scores were 22k on hard drive boot and 23k on USB.

So I have yet to fully setup the USB drives as I want them with drivers and all, but plan to test again once I do. Just thought I'd post this to share this experience.

I'd much rather not crack the case open and hack in a different ZIF drive and use a decent external drive if I can get much more size and slightly better performance over the internal. I am not worried about lightning speed disk access as the other hardware limitations of this device will shortly come if I were to be that picky.

My only issue so far is I can't get it to boot off a 320gb western digital sata drive that is in a USB enclosure. It likes to blue screen on it. But that I am troubleshooting and posting on the forum that was made for XP on USB.

Go here if you are interested
in the first 2 lines of the page there is a link to the forums on this.

edit: FYI to those that might want to try this. I doubt this will work with the recovery dvd that the original XP on the UX generates, as it is missing files that this instruction page goes through. Altho it would be nice if it would work. I had to use a retail generic XP Pro cd and use it's key as the XP key from our UX don't seem to work on other XP disks.

Also this site I linked to does not offer warez downloads, you need to have your own XP CD and/or ISO. It walks you through how to make your install disk USB installable only.

EDIT #2:
I have successfully gotten my 320 to boot with XP externally. What I did wrong was I didn't allow for the 320 to have a windows that had drivers for the sata side of the enclosure.

I plugged the 320 in once I booted to the 4gb external, allowed it to detect and install needed drivers for the 320. Then I ghosted the 4gb to the 320...

Thereby I now have a 320 externally booting XP on my 280.

I will next try to see if I can get the stock restores for the 280 to somehow allow a usb install, I have doubts but who knows. I will post progress of any substantial quality as it happens.

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Location: England

Postby bradley160794 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 09:23


How did you get your 280P to boot from a usb flash, mine will only boot from usb HDD in the bios usd flash is not shown how can I boot from a FDD

Intel Core Solo@1.2Ghz, 1Gb RAM, 40Gb HDD
Windows Vista Ultimate SP2

Intel Core 2 Duo@2.00Ghz, 2Gb RAM, 160Gb HDD
Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT - 831mb shared, 64mb Dedicated
Windows 7 Ultimate RTM

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Postby Stheno » Mon Apr 27, 2009 16:35

You have to put all the USB boot options before the hard drive in the bios if you haven't.

Otherwise it is all in how you create the USB. Also the stick seems more picky about how it is formatted. I had to format mine with the HP Format utility mentioned in the guide I posted a link to in the first post. With that utility I could get it to boot in any format.

Another thing you might try if you haven't already. Just to make sure you "can" boot to a stick. Try creating a linux live boot stick. I don't know all the linux types that can do this. But I use Ubuntu Ultimate 2.0. This can be found here:

The option to create a USB stick is on the Live CD that you download and burn. Once you get to desktop its under one of the drop down menus.

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Postby sleevefreezer » Thu Mar 11, 2010 06:58

I have succeeded in installing and booting XP Pro SP2 on an omega USB external USB drive thanks to the site ngine .

It works fine on my laptop (the one that I used to install to the USB drive), but I am not able to boot the drive on any other computers.

Having read through the forums it seems that this is a known issue, but I am hoping that someone here might know of a "workaround" !..

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Postby ceehoppy1st » Sun Apr 04, 2010 02:59

This is one the best sites I've seen on XP from a USB drive/stick.
In a nutshell you tweak a running/installed OS (back it up 1st) then copy it over to a flash drive using something like BartPE. You can make it "semi" universal by changing some settings in hardware manager to "standard".I have one stick that will run on 3 computers fine but will BSOD on 3 others. The problem is no 2 manufacturers have standards for how they design BIOS.

If you want to boot the UX from USB go to the BIOS update thread in this forum's software section and download the 1107321-UN.exe file.
Once the BIOS is updated, follow Boot-land's tutorial with these notes.: Format the stick with HP format tool to create the MBR.Use a stick with the fastest read/write speeds you can find.(You could try a USB SSD but $$$) I have a class 6 microSD card in a micro reader - it is some slower than normal HDD oper but it's tiny.I installed USBbootwatcher on the parent OS.I prefer the Hitachi Microdrive filter-works great & allows you to multi partition almost any flash memory device.Before you copy the OS over, plug the flash drive into the parent computer. Open Regedit & go to HKLocalMachine\System\Mounted devices. Find your flash drive ,(match up the letter with windows explorer) and write down the ID #.After you copy & before trying to boot, open regedit on Parent computer-go to HKLM-click File from top of screen-Load Hive. Navigate to Windows\system32\config\system & open it. Name it anything you want when prompted.(ie "flash") open HKLM\flash\mounted devices. Find the ID for your flsh drive & rename it to DosDevices\C: click on flash again - go to file again & select unload hive. Now you can try booting.
The UX doesn't need grub4dos or multi partitioning in order to boot after the BIOS update.

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Postby heidy678 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:10

Thanks ceehoppy1st
i visit the link . Its very informative.
Thanks for sharing with us

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