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XP Install To USB HDD Partition

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September 27, 2010 5:12:27 PM

I need to install XP SP3 (because of scientific software that does not run in Vista)

I have 1 TB WD USB HDD, and I want to install XP in to one partition of that drive, but have not been able to get XP Setup to want to install it. The partitions are detailed below.

I have run XP Setup in VMware (as an XP SP3 slipstreamed ISO file), and the setup sees ALL of the partitions, including the hidden ones and the ones with nonXP file systems. When the USB ext HDD is hooked up in Vista, it sees partitions 2 and 3 as drive G: and H: (in Explorer), and none of the other drives. In the Setup program inside VMware, it actually sees the partitions as drives C: and D:

XP Setup refuses to install to the selected partition however. Tricks like changing the .inf files for USB drivers don't work in the setup stage, although they might be necessary for XP to load drivers that communicate with the mainboard through USB connector. Running XP inside VMware can be done, but is complicated by the fact that this scientific software requires an Aladdin HASP key (dongle), and I am not sure if VMware can talk to a dongle.

There is no problem with BIOS booting from USB devices. I can install any Linux system to a partition and get it to boot from USB HDD or UFD, and probably from a gum wrapper too.


This 1 TB USB ext HDD has the following partitions (shown in GParted order of partitions):

1. one massive 800 GB NTFS primary partition: marked hidden for the time being to prevent any interference from Win installation

2. a 15 GB FAT32 partition to be installed with XP SP3, I hope: for now marked "boot" as seen by GNU Parted, "active" as seen by Windows.

3. now a 16 GB FAT32 primary partition, it will eventually be used for Ubuntu root (/), formatted ext3 (or whatever Ubuntu likes), containing /boot for GRUB to allow multiboot of Ubuntu or XP

4. Extended partition with four logical partitions (numbered 5-8)

5. 2 GB linux swap filesystem/partition

6. 25 GB ext3 filesystem (to be used as /home partition under Ubuntu)

7. 30 GB ext3 filesystem (to be used as /usr/local under Ubuntu)

8. 40 GB FAT32 to be used for Win XP data drive
September 27, 2010 6:32:40 PM

mavigozler said:
I need to install XP SP3 (because of scientific software that does not run in Vista)

I have 1 TB WD USB HDD, and I want to install XP in to one partition of that drive, but have not been able to get XP Setup to want to install it. The partitions are detailed below.



It's a process to get XP to install and run from a USB drive, of any kind.
The procedure I'm supplying the link to works with flash drives and hard drives.
It works nearly perfectly with one nag of an exception; Each time you plug in an new (to Windows) USB device you will get the warning that the device has not passed Microsoft Logo testing. Setup also gives this same warning a few times during install, just click to install anyway. Small price to pay for it actually working.

The process is not as daunting as it first appears...


HERE
Related resources
September 28, 2010 10:37:50 AM

Thanks to both Tigsounds and KingArcher for recommending the same article.

I have to clear the first hurdle here, which apparently is to make the WHOLE of my 1 TB USB physical drive available as a single partition instead of multiple partitions.

This means I have to find a place to put 400-500 GB of data on my 800 GB partition in various temporary places, then completely delete all partitions, create a single one, and then let it be formatted.

I hope that after I am successful in making a bootable XP on USB HDD, that I can then shrink the partition and again create multiple partitions without breaking the ability of XP to boot.

I will follow up on this thread if and when I show some progress/success.
September 28, 2010 8:29:06 PM

You could install XP, then do a complete backup, Re-size your partitions (format disk again) and then restore XP to the smaller partition.
!