Creating an external, bootable USB Windows XP installation

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Tom Penharston, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Hello to several crossposted groups,

    I have several new Dell Latitude systems. I need to create an image of
    the current XP installation and applications. I wish I could simply
    boot ghost.exe from a floppy but it's simply not an option; there's no
    floppy drive. I'd be tempted to connect a floppy drive straight into
    the mobo if it supported it, and it wouldn't break the service

    I tried PXE boot but I couldn't obtain a DHCP address. As it turns out
    our server admins aren't available and won't be for a couple of days to
    look at this. Even if PXE boot does work, I'm then dedicated to
    working with the Ghost Console and 3COM PXE server. This looks like
    too much overhead. We own a version of Ghost Enterprise, but we've
    only used it for Ghostcasting. The Console environment and PXE server
    is really going to set me back a couple of days and I'm going to be
    stuck using it for all of my new systems. I'm really looking for a
    method that's quick and portable like a floppy.

    CD boot is a third option. I'm NOT addressing CD boot in this thread.
    It's an altogether different bag of worms.

    Right now I'm just trying USB boot with XP on an external drive.

    First, I enabled USB boot in the Latitude Bios; now when I boot the USB
    option is clearly available. Great. Unfortunately, I've tried three
    times to install Windows XP on an external USB drive. The XP
    installation proceeds normally until the first restart. After the
    black Windows XP splash screen I get a blue screen:

    - - - - -

    "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent
    damage to your computer.

    "If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart
    your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

    "Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard
    drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure
    it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check your
    hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.

    "Technical information:
    *** STOP: 0x0000007B ..."

    - - - - -

    So, this question really has nothing to do with Ghost. I just want to
    create an external, bootable USB drive. How do I do this?
    Tom Penharston, Aug 12, 2005
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  2. If you had been checking the Windows XP newsgroups with any
    regularity, you would have seen this question many times. IT CANNOT BE
    Jerome M. Katz, Aug 12, 2005
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  3. Tom Penharston

    Mike Redrobe Guest

    CD Boot is your easiest option, use that and stop asking for
    the impossible.
    Mike Redrobe, Aug 12, 2005
  4. Make your floppy diskette with drivers/etc.
    Use something like NERO to make it into a bootable CD.

    That is your fastest and most reliable solution.

    Although I have created bootable USB drives in the past - the CD thing is
    much easier and more reliable.
    Shenan Stanley, Aug 12, 2005
  5. While I was waiting for your responses I tried an external USB floppy
    drive from SmartDisk. In the F12 boot menu my SmartDisk appeared as
    "Diskette Drive". I couldn't believe it worked. I've created a GHO
    with a GHS on a FAT32 partition.

    I will still try the CD because it's "fastest and most reliable".

    Would anyone like to advocate the PXE boot? The way that the Symantec
    literature talks about network boot and Ghost Console, you'd think it
    was an amazing improvement. Well?
    Tom Penharston, Aug 12, 2005
  6. Tom Penharston

    Ben Myers Guest

    Yes, a USB floppy is the obvious solution... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 12, 2005
  7. Hi Tom,

    I don't understand what you're trying to do, and there seems to be three
    different issues discused here:

    1. How to boot USB (something or other)
    2. Ghost requirements
    3. PXE booting
    4. CD booting

    I don't use Ghost because it does not appear to fit with creating builds
    for disparate hardware, but in terms of creating boot environments for
    "normal" Windows installations, here are some comments:

    1. On Dell systems, you can boot to a USB memory key on systems that do
    not have a floppy drive.

    2. PXE boot gets round the problem of needing hard-coded static IP
    addresses at build time, and it also gets round needing a USB memory key
    or floppy at all! You just power up the machine and everything else is
    automatic - done over the network.

    3. I personally use CD boot because it works on a much wider range of
    systems, and you can also inlclude a lot of tools on the CD.

    The part where you were talking about installing XP to a USB hard drive,
    I didn't understand that part at all.
    Gerry Hickman, Aug 12, 2005
  8. The Ghost CD is bootable, version 8/9 I know (Ghost 2k4/2k5) as I use it
    quite regularly to restore user drive images - it even has network
    capability, either static/DHCP with DNS resolution works just fine.


    Star Fleet Admiral Q @ your Service!
    Google is your "Friend"
    Star Fleet Admiral Q, Aug 12, 2005
  9. Gary,
    No problem. You did not understand me regarding USB, because my
    premise was way off. So, it was my understanding, not yours. Even if
    XP could run from and external USB drive, that would not help with
    Ghost.exe. Ghost.exe will not run from 2000, NT, or XP. I was heading
    in a direction that doesn't exist. (The Ghost Console application,
    will however, run on Windows XP, but it's outside the scope of this
    thread. I think the Console applications supports cloning member
    computers, but I haven't actually managed to do anything useful with
    the Console yet.)

    Admiral Q,
    Although it's not mentioned in my original post, I also tried the
    application CD from Ghost 9 Personal Edition. This CD will restore
    images, but it will not create images.
    Tom Penharston, Aug 12, 2005
  10. Tom Penharston

    ohaya Guest

    ohaya, Aug 13, 2005
  11. I agree; if you go here... will see that building bootable CDRs is familiar territory,
    with lots of canned downloadable solutions and excellent forum
    support. You will also see threads about bootable USB sticks and HDs,
    and how difficult (impossible?) it is to get any sort of Windows to
    boot in this way - possibly because USB driver support is started too
    late in the boot process to support that process properly.

    "Why do I keep open buckets of petrol next to all the
    ashtrays in the lounge, when I don't even have a car?"
    cquirke (MVP Windows shell/user), Aug 14, 2005
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