Install XP FROM USB Flash TO USB Flash Dell Inspiron 910 Mini

I was given a Dell Inspiron 910 Mini notebook that had a bad SSD. I removed the SSD and am now trying to install XP on a USB Flash instead of buying a new SSD, but I have to install from a 2nd USB Flash because this latop has no CD/DVD drive.

I followed a few different tutorials, first making a copy of XP that is capable of installing on a USB drive:
Second, copying the ISO to a 4GB USB drive using usb_prep8:
I have formatted the 2nd 8GB USB drive using HPUSBFW.exe as a NTFS drive.
When I boot the laptop with the XP Setup USB drive, I run txt based setup, it starts fine.
Setup shows the empty 8GB USB Drive as NTFS.
When I select the drive, hit enter, keep filesystem intact, I get a generic error saying that the drive is corrupt.
When I tried to format using setup, I get a slightly different generic error, but still says disk is corrupt and cannot format.
When I delete the partition, I can create a new one but cannot format the new partition, it says corrupt.
I have tried to format the empty drive as a FAT32 using HPUSBFW before starting XP setup, same errors.
As I have stated, my XP installation has been modified to install on USB Drives, and I have triple checked the 6 files I changed during that (the 3 .IN_ have all been repacked).
I made sure my ISO was saved properly in WINISO and mounted properly in D-tools before transfering to USB.
I have tried with different combinations of USB Flash Drives and USB Hard Drives of varying sizes.
I am using XP Pro SP3 March 2011 build.
Please help solve the disk corruption error as I do not want to spend any money on this if possible.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. External DVD drive is the best solution. I had issues trying to install XP via USB thumb drive as well.
  2. That is not an option for me as I don't know anyone with one. I know it is possible to install XP TO a USB Flash following that tutorial, also I know it is possible to install XP FROM a USB Flash using the other tutorial, but why not together at the same time from one to the other? Is it because the SSD is no longer present? Could the Controllers for USB/SSD be bad? The USB Drives show correctly in BIOS and I have attempted to install to NTFS and FAT32, same corrupted disk error on both. The SSD would not even allow setup to boot when it was still in the notebook. Also I have swapped the 2 sticks to have setup on the 8GB and an empty 4GB to install too. The windows xp has been properly modified and verified, could it be SP3? Does this need original XP or SP1?
  3. Zoron said:
    External DVD drive is the best solution. I had issues trying to install XP via USB thumb drive as well.

    Not always. I have ata/sata > USB convertor cables, and has installed Windows many times with success. One exception: Dell mini-9 won't accept installing on USB external drive. Situation is same, SSD are passed out and I try to install WinXP Sp3 on USB thumb drive...

    Always I got blue screen of death with famous STOP Error 0x0000007B: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE
    STOP error 0x7B means that the Microsoft Windows operating system has lost access to the system partition during startup. STOP code 0x0000007B may also display "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE" on the same STOP message.

    Sure, I can spare 2 weeks and buy new SSD through, but it's interesting problem, and I wish force my mini-9 work from USB flash :D
  4. Yes, an interesting problem.

    I too would like an answer.

    I have had two SSD burn out on my Dell, so also won't replace again.

    I currently run it with Linux Puppy 5.20 and it runs brilliantly from a USB stick into RAM.
    Very fast, very convenient. And cheap to copy/replace my entire OS, should I need to - just a USB stick.

    My problem, I have just one proprietary program that I can't run without windows (WINE won't run it).

    So I too am looking for a solution.

    Any answer to getting xp to run from a usb stick (or a second stick, or partition)?
  5. I just had two SSD's burn out on two different 910's.

    First part, when I try and reinstall (from a key drive) on the 8GB drive that came with it I get the same 0x0000007b error as above. I figured the drive to be burned out.

    So I purchased 2 brand new 16GB msata drives. When I put those in the machines and hit the power button and it just shuts off with no display. It is almost like it is shorting out, could it be the wrong type of drive? I purchased 2 16GB msata 50mm, fits in the socket correctly, screw hold in the same place. Maybe those 16GB drives are bad?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance
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