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Portable Windows XP Booting issues

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#1 Klypto


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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:08 PM

Hello, I am not 100% sure that this topic is in the right section but here goes...

I have a portable, bootable, Windows XP Professional SP2 built with USBoot on my Toshiba 400GB external USB HDD. It works perfectly for when I run virus scanners and cleaning utilities at work as well as do photo editing and 3d modeling at school. The only problem is I've been able to boot it on every computer that supports USB 2.0 so far, except for my own computer at home.

My home computer is a Dell Dimension 8300 and it does support booting from USB devices. (I use to run Slax, and then Kubuntu off of it and they booted fine off the drive on my home system but it was frustrating to have to deal with their incompatibilities in a mostly Microsoft world...) Unfortunately now when I try to boot portable windows from it on my home system I get "Error Loading Operating System" which leads me to believe that the Bios is at fault.

An idea I had was to bootkick it from some CD or use some form of boot loader that points to the USB drive and doesn't fully rely on the Bios' ability to boot it. But I have no idea how to do that for Windows XP alone or if it's even possible. What would be really cool is if the CD could also help with booting it on systems which their Bios doesn't support USB booting, But if there's some other way that I can use to make this work I would love to hear about it.

It's 12:27 AM and I'm tired so I'm not sure if I included everything that's needed, but as far as I know that's all I have to say.

Any Suggestions or Help would be very much appreciated.

Edited by Klypto, 03 June 2009 - 11:29 PM.

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#2 Roger Stace

Roger Stace

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:06 AM

Hi There

Its actually not a good idea to have windows XP on a portable drive as when you move it to a diffrent PC the configuration of the OS changes to that PC, So I would recommend Installing XP onto your home drive and do not try booting XP from a portable HDD again as this damages the files on the disk as the OS has to install new devices everytime itstarts

What you could try at work is , go system properties , advanced , enviroment varibles and set the following system varibles :Varible Name: devmgr_Show_non_present_devices Varible Value : 1

Now go to device manager and click show all devices (hidden devices) , the one's that are greyed or washed out icons , you could uninstall without affecting your system. This should work

#3 Klypto

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:43 PM

I am aware of hardware configuration changes from moving a normal windows xp from system to system. I did not simply install windows to the HDD. My Windows has had it's registry and some of its core system files modified to allow booting from foreign systems. It does run "found new hardware" for the few things it can't configure automatically (advanced graphics and sound cards, or other agp/pci cards, which can be installed manually on a first time basis) and is able to locate drivers for almost everything else, because this setup is designed to handle drivers with extreme flexibility.

So far on the other 7-8 completely different systems that I've booted it from there has been no conflicts whatsoever. In fact I had to Install an Antiwpa.dll to allow it to run without having license conflicts from hardware changes :thumbsup: .

I can see the disk and all its files when I boot my Dell home system that isn't an issue. The problem lies in trying to boot the drive itself on the Dell. As I have said before I receive "Error Loading Operating System" when booting it at home and nowhere else. The issue is more of an external device/Bios recognition&booting problem I guess... sorry.

Edited by Klypto, 05 June 2009 - 05:02 PM.

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