Install the system into a USB flash drive

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Author: User
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Most of the boards produced in recent years support starting systems from USB devices. With this function, even if the Windows XP operating system installed on the hard disk of the computer suddenly fails to start, the user can also start the flash drive through a pre-prepared USB for system check and repair. In the past, the simplest USB boot disk may only be a DOS operating system with some dos tool programs. Now, we can proceed further with the Linux or Windows XP operating system. Based on the usage habits, the XP-based USB boot disk is more popular, so today I will introduce you to how to make an XP @ USB boot disk.

  1. Prepare a mb usb @ XP flash drive

(1) Preparations

It is not difficult to create an XP @ USB boot disk. You only need to have a pe-bulider tool and a Widnows Server 2003 SP1 installation package, A Windows XP installation disc (or an installed XP operating system) can be used.

The required materials are as follows:

1. USB flash drive:

For the most basic installation mode, the capacity of MB is sufficient (figure 1 ). In addition, the computer system used requires MB of system master memory.

Figure 1

2. pe-buider:

I believe many senior computer users know bartpe. Using the pe-buider program developed by bartpe (Figure 2), you can install the XP operating system on a CD or DVD, to run Windows XP without a hard disk. The latest version of PE-buider now supports the installation of the XP system to a USB flash drive. The preparation procedure is slightly different from the preparation of the XP boot disk, therefore, Pe-buider is the soul of the USB boot disk of the self-made XP system.

Figure 2

3. Windows Server 2003 SP1 upgrade package:

Windows Server 2003 SP1 was originally provided for Windows Server 2003 OS upgrade, but this upgrade package contains two files (setupldr. BIN and ramdisk. sys), but it makes it feasible for the USB flash drive to successfully start the computer. Setupldr. Bin and ramdisk. sys are stored in the SP1 update package as compressed files. We need to extract them before using them.

Windows Server 2003 SP1 official download URL: (the file size is about 323.5 MB)


4. XP operating system file source

Windows XP operating system file source, can be from an XP system installed on the hard disk, or an XP installation CD. Although pe-buider can create XP boot disks that support Chinese characters, we recommend that you use the XP operating system in English or the installation disc to simplify and save space.

(2) test whether the motherboard can be started from a USB device


If you want to create an XP @ USB boot flash drive, the most difficult thing is that you do not know whether the motherboard supports starting the system from a USB device. If you do not have this startup item in the motherboard BIOS, you certainly cannot start your computer using a USB flash drive. However, this setting may not be successful even in the BIOS of the motherboard. The reason is that boot from a USB device is divided into two methods: Hard Disk boot and floppy disk boot. In addition, if your USB flash drive is incompatible with the motherboard of a certain brand, the USB boot function cannot be used.

Based on the above compatibility issues, before installing the XP operating system to a USB flash drive, we 'd better perform a simple test to see if your USB flash drive can boot on the motherboard.

The test uses the Windows-based format utility for HP drive key tool software designed by HP to format a USB flash drive into a DOS boot disk. If the USB boot disk can boot into the DOS system, the USB flash drive has a great opportunity to complete the XP boot disk.

Windows-based format utility for HP drive key download URL:

Http:// 8068/200507/1/hpusbfw.rar

Download the software from the Internet and start it after installation. If the computer has a USB flash drive, the program will soon detect it. Select the "fat" File System in the "File System" column on the main interface of the program, and then select "Create a DOS Startup Disk" (create a DOS boot disk, click "start" to format it (Figure 3 ). Before performing this operation, we need to prepare a DOS boot disk (for example, Windows 98 boot disk) to allow the program to extract DOS system files from it.

Figure 3

After the dos usb flash drive is created successfully, restart the computer and press del to enter the BIOS settings window of the motherboard. Change the system boot device in the BIOS to USB first. Then restart the computer. If the DOS operating system on the USB flash drive is successfully started, we can proceed to the next step.

(3) Prepare the setupldr. Bin and ramdisk. sys files.

As mentioned above, we need two files in the Windows Server 2003 SP1 upgrade package-setupldr. BIN and ramdisk. but these two files exist in the Windows Server 2003 SP1 upgrade package in the form of compression, so we need to extract them first.


1. Extract the setupldr. binfile

The Windows Server 2003 sp1file downloaded from the Internet is a single. EXE executable file. You can double-click it to install it only in the system (if you are using an XP operating system, in fact, it cannot be installed ). Because we only want to open it, we can use the "-X" parameter in the command line mode (desktop → start → run → cmd) of the XP operating system to decompress it. For example:

Windows Server 2003-k889101-sp1-x86-chs.exe-x

(Note: Windows Server 2003-k889101-sp1-x86-chs.exe is the name of the SP1 update package file, which may vary depending on the version you downloaded ).

A dialog box is displayed, asking you to select the path to save the extracted SP1 update package (for example, D: \ w23sp1, figure 4 ). After decompression, find the setupldr. binfile in the d: \ w23sp1 \ i386 folder and copy it to another folder to save it separately.

Figure 4

2. Extract ramdisk. sys

In the extracted SP1 file, the file in the D: \ w23sp1 folder in this example has a file named ramdisk. Sy _, which is also a compressed file. To decompress the package, run the command line command (figure 5 ).

Figure 5

Expand-r ramdisk. Sy _

The extracted file is ramdisk. SYS. Save it to another folder.

Now, the setupldr. Bin and ramdisk. sys files have been decompressed, and other files stored in the D: \ w23sp1 folder have no use value. You can delete them all.

(4) Start pe-buider


Currently, the latest version of PE-buider tool software is 3.1.10a. After downloading it, install it first. After installation, run it in the "program" of Windows XP.

After the pe-buider is started, the program will first automatically scan the available windwos source files in the system. Available source files include the XP installation disc or the XP operating system installed on the hard disk. After selecting the source file, on the main operation interface of PE-buider, you can enter the name of the Save folder of the XP boot disk file (in this example, bartpe) in the "output" column ). The "bartpe" sub-folder will be created in the C: \ pebuilder3110a folder (that is, the installation path of the pe-buider software ). In addition, because we are not creating an XP boot disk for the optical disk, you can click "NONE" in the "media output" column ". Of course, if you want to create an XP boot disk for an optical disk, you should click "create ISO image" or "burn to CD/DVD" to directly burn it to the boot disc (figure 6 ).

Figure 6

After completing the settings, click the build button on the main operation interface of PE-buider to start the output. Generally, the output process does not have any problems. It takes more than 10 minutes and the total size of the output file is 156 MB.

(5) import the output file to the USB flash drive


In this step, we need to use the setupldr. Bin and ramdisk. sys files extracted from the Windows Server 2003 SP1 upgrade package.

In the c: \ pebuilder3110a folder, add a sub-folder named "srsp1" and copy the setupldr. Bin and ramdisk. sys files to it. Then, find an executable file pe2usb. CMD in the C: \ pebuilder3110a folder. In command line mode of the XP operating system, execute the following command.

Pe2usb. CMD-f x:

"-F" indicates formatting, and "X:" indicates the drive letter code of the USB flash drive (figure 7 ). Next, enter "yes" as prompted to confirm the formatting and export the XP system to the USB flash drive. After 8-10 minutes, the export process is complete. You can exit the command line mode when you see the "done. Now, the USB flash drive of the XP system is successfully started. You only need to set boot from the USB device in the BIOS of the motherboard (figure 8), and the USB flash drive can be started into the windwos XP operating system.

Figure 7

Figure 8

(6) add more plug-ins


In the example in this article, the storage space used by the USB flash drive is only more than 150 MB, so the Windows XP system (or bartpe System) started has only some basic functions, for example, network, WordPad, paint brush, calculator, and task manager.

To enrich the functions of usb xp, you can click the "plug-ins" button on the main operation interface of PE-buider to start more function plug-ins (figure 9 ). However, these plug-ins need to be downloaded from the Internet, such as the official website of bartpe or those websites that specifically release bartpe plug-ins. The installation of plug-ins is generally very simple. As long as you carefully read the prompts on the web page, there should be no difficulty in making the plug-ins.

Figure 9

After the plug-in is installed, the size of the USB Version XP will undoubtedly increase, but users can get more practical functions, such as CD burning, anti-virus, anti-spyware, surfing the Internet, backup, and so on.

2. Create a full XP @ USB flash drive



This section describes how to install the pe-builder XP operating system on a USB flash drive. Although a successful USB flash drive can boot and run on the core of the XP system, this solution is only a bartpe version from the beginning to the end, in terms of functions and operations, there is still a gap between the hard disk boot version and the XP system. This is definitely not an ideal answer for users who really want to port the XP operating system to a USB storage device. Then, is it feasible to install the complete XP system on a USB flash drive or other USB devices? The answer is feasible. For details, please refer to the XP @ USB practice report introduced by the author below.

(1) reasons for failure in starting hard disk XP from a USB device

In fact, some friends may have tried to install the XP operating system directly to a large-capacity USB flash drive, a memory card in the USB card reader or a USB mobile hard disk, but the results are mostly losers. The main cause of the failure is that after the XP operating system is started, the USB flash drive will be re-identified as an external USB memory instead of a local disk, which causes a USB flash drive ID conflict, A blue screen error occurs when the system is started.

Although there are many failed attempts, there are also many successful cases. On the Internet, a German friend Dietmar shared his success experiences in some forums. In the reply, many netizens have successfully installed the XP system on a USB flash drive according to the Dietmar method.

Dietmar's success stories disclosed on the Internet are stored as discussions, which are mixed with responses from other netizens and several different solutions, which are rather messy to read, in addition, some of them are vague, and readers may have to read dozens of pages to see the clues. Therefore, I specifically introduce the simplest and most feasible tutorial 2 solution to you, prepare the following reports for your reference.

(2) Actual Operation Process

1. Prepare a formatted blank hard disk and install the Windows XP with SP1 Operating System "fresh" on the hard disk (the first partition must be installed ). Before installation, if the CPU of the host is a processor with hyperthreading technology, you must disable this feature in the BIOS of the motherboard ). At the same time, the computer used to install Windows XP with SP1 cannot have other hard disks or connect to any USB device. In short, the simpler the hardware configuration, the better, the optical drive and the soft drive can be connected normally. The installed XP disc must contain the SP1 Patch package, but the sp2 patch package cannot exist. If SP2 exists, a blue screen error is displayed at startup. If you are interested in installing the sp2 patch package, please refer to other solutions provided by Dietmar in the online forum.

Dietmar did not explain in detail why the "hyper-threading" feature of the processor should be disabled. However, during the test, I found that if I did not close it, the XP @ USB system cannot be started successfully. However, if the XP @ USB system has been installed and the "hyper-threading" Technology is enabled in the BIOS of the motherboard during use, the startup and running of the XP @ USB system will not be affected.

2. After installing XP on the hard disk, do not install drivers of other hardware for the system. Simply use XP to install the drivers provided by the CD itself. In particular, for Motherboard chipset, drivers provided by Intel and other vendors cannot be installed. At best, drivers for NICs and sound cards can only be installed. If necessary, drivers of other hardware must be installed after XP @ USB is started successfully.

3. in the newly installed XP system, set the virtual memory to 0 by right-clicking the "my computer" icon on the desktop, click "attribute" in the shortcut menu that appears later. After the "System Properties" window is displayed, click "Settings"> "advanced"> "Virtual Memory"> "change" in the "performance" tab ", select "non-paging files" and click "OK" (Figure 10 ).

Figure 10

4. After completing the above preparations, insert a USB flash drive or USB hard disk to be used to install the XP system, so that the system can successfully identify the USB device.

5. When a USB flash drive is inserted into the system, run the Registry Editor (click "start"> "run"> "Regedit" on the Windows desktop in sequence) to modify the Registry file. The first thing to change is the four registry projects.


(1) In the registry project of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Services \ usbehci, change the value of DWORD "start" from 3 to 0, change the string "group" from "base" to "Boot bus extender", and the rest remain unchanged.

This is a registry entry that appears only when the system supports USB 2.0. In this example, because the XP SP1 @ USB operating system to be prepared does not support USB 2.0, you can skip this step.

(2) Change the "Start" DWORD value from 3 to 0 in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Services \ usbuhci item, change the "Group" string from "base" to "Boot bus extender" (figure 11), and the rest remain unchanged.

Figure 11

(3) In the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Services \ usbhub entry, change the "Start" DWORD value from 3 to 0, change the "Group" string from "base" to "Boot bus extender", and the rest remain unchanged.

(4) change the "Start" DWORD value from 3 to 0 in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Services \ usbstor item, change the "Group" string from "base" to "Boot bus extender", and the rest remain unchanged.

6. After modifying the above four roughly identical registry items, we need to create two completely new registry items.

(1) Under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Control \ criticaldevicedatabase \ REGISTRY project, create a subitem named "USB # root_hub" and create two strings in it:

Service = usbhub
Classguid = {36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}

Note: The braces "{" and "}" must be included.

(2) Under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Control \ criticaldevicedatabase \ REGISTRY project, create a subitem named "USB # root_hub20" and create two strings in it (figure 12 ).

Figure 12

Service = usbhub
Classguid = {36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}

Note: The braces "{" and "}" must be included.

7. After two new registry projects are created, you need to manually create two new registry projects. But before creating a registry, we must find some information in the Registry file.


(1) Under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Enum \ USB registry project, find the "VID _ & pid _ name" of the USB device to be installed on the XP system from one of the subitems ".

The structure of "VID _ & pid _ name" is vid_xxxx & pid_xxxx, where X represents a number. In this example, "VID _ & pid _ name" is vid_05e3 & pid_0702 (Figure 13), which is recorded in the notes for use in the next step.

Figure 13

(2) In the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Enum \ usbstor registry project, find the hardwareld string from a subitem in it and record the text symbols of the first line of the string. In this example, the text symbol to be noted down is: usbstor \ diskfujitsu_mhf2043at_0811 (Figure 14). At the same time, change the "\" symbol to "#", so change it to usbstor # diskfujitsu su_mhf2043at_08.

Figure 14

Note: any symbols, such as "." and "_", cannot be missing.

8. After recording the information obtained in the previous step, you need to create two registry projects.

(1) Add a subitem under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Control \ criticaldevicedatabase \ REGISTRY project. The subitem name is changed from "VID _ & pid _ name, in this example, It is USB # vid_05e3 & pid_0702. Then, two strings are added to the subitem (figure 15 ).


Figure 15

Service = usbstor
Classguid = {36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}

(2) Add a subitem under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Control \ criticaldevicedatabase \ REGISTRY project. The subitem name is taken from hardwareld in step 1. In this example, usbstor # diskfujitsu_mhf2043at_0811 is used. Then, create two strings (Figure 16) in the subitem ).

Figure 16

Classguid = {4d36e967-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
Service = Disk

Note: All the above modifications to the Registry file must be case-insensitive.

9. Under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ REGISTRY project, delete all the sub-item mounteddevices and its contents (figure 17 ).

Figure 17

10. In the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ setup registry project, delete the systempartition string (Figure 18 ).

Figure 18

11. Check the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ controlset001 \ Services \ usbstor registry project and confirm that the string "start" is set to 0. Right-click the "usbstor" project and select "permission" to prevent the operating system from making any changes here. You can click "system" in the group and select "deny" in the "permission" Column (figure 19 ).

Figure 19

The reason for this setting is to avoid the System Changing the start string back to "3 ". If you change to 3, a blue screen error occurs when XP is started. However, when the start string is O, XP will no longer automatically detect and enable other USB devices, which is also the biggest defect of the XP @ USB solution. The remedy described on the internet is that when you want to use another USB device, you can change the start string to 3 and remember to change it to 0. Otherwise, XP will fail to be started from the USB device next time.

12. After all the preceding settings are complete, close the newly installed XP operating system and never use it to start the computer.

13. remove the hard drive that has been installed with XP and install it on another computer that uses the XP operating system normally, boot with another XP operating system (remember not to start the computer with the newly installed hard disk ). Go to the desktop, find the new XP hard disk, and delete all files with the name of. Sav,. log, and. EVT in the windows \ system32 \ config folder.

14. Open the boot. ini file in the root directory of the new XP hard disk and check whether the file is the same or similar to the following materials:

[Boot loader]
Timeout = 30
Default = multi (0) disk (0) RDISK (0) Partition (1) \ WINDOWS
[Operating systems]
Multi (0) disk (0) RDISK (0) Partition (1) \ Windows = "Microsoft Windows XP Professional"/fastdetect

15. use the hp usb disk storage format tool to format the USB flash drive or USB mobile hard drive used to install XP. You can select either fat, FAT32, or NTFS file format, do not check "Create a DOS Startup Disk" (Figure 20 ).


Figure 20

16. Copy/paste all the files on the hard drive partition of the special XP system to the USB device. Note: Do not copy the recycle and system volume information folders. In particular, it is not possible to copy the content of system volume information, because the system will refuse during the process and the replication is interrupted.

17. After completing all the above steps, set priority to boot the system from the USB device in the motherboard BIOS. Then start the computer with a USB flash drive. Because this is the first attempt, you 'd better unplug other hard disks first to keep the original hardware configuration when installing XP! If XP @ USB can be started smoothly and runs repeatedly, install other necessary hardware drivers.

(3) Test Results

After changing a USB memory and multiple startup attempts, I entered the XP Safe mode to solve some hardware problems. Finally, XP @ USB can be started normally, the effect is not much different from the normal installation of the XP system to the hard disk. At the same time, in terms of functions, most of the functions in the usb xp system can be used normally like the hard disk XP system. In terms of speed, the author uses a low-speed USB 1.1 Standard memory and does not support the USB host, so it feels a little slower, but still acceptable.

We recommend that you use a USB memory larger than 1 GB (the current market price of 1 GB flash drive is less than 200 RMB) to avoid the problem that USB memory cannot be set active. In addition, because the XP installation has exceeded 1 GB without paging files, it is more convenient for USB devices with a capacity of more than 1 GB during installation. Of course, if you want to reduce the size of the flash drive after installing XP, you can use tool software such as nlite to pre-create a lite version of XP and then install it.

If the XP @ USB system is in normal use, it is recommended that you do not upgrade Windows Update online, because it may make XP @ USB unable to start, especially upgrade the sp2 patch package. If you want to upgrade SP2 to secure Internet access, refer to the report of Dietmar on the online forum.

Last but not least, flash storage devices such as memory cards in flash drives or USB card readers are not suitable for boot repeatedly because they may affect the life of flash drives or memory cards.


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