8:31 PM

Install Windows from a Pen Drive...!!!

Here is a way to install windows XP by booting from a USB.I had to find this out because, My friend came with a problem that his existing OS got corrupt and his CD-Rom had failed.So i thought of searching for a way to solve this issue and came out with an idea of installing by booting from a pendrive.I had to search for a long time to find an answer to make the USB boot.I don't want anyone else to break up their head as i did to find the solution.So I am publishing here what i did.
You need to download two files for this process:
2.Dos Files(less than a MB)
Extract the dos files(solution.rar) to c:\dos.now run the HpUSB format utility to format the pendrive and make it bootable.Run the Hp USB utility.select the USB drive(usually it selects automatically).select the check box create a dos startup disk and check "using DOS system files located at and select the target location where you extracted the DOS files.your utility should look like this.

Click start.
Now copy the other files in your extracted DOS files folder to the pendrive.your USB should look like this.

Now copy the setup files from the Win XP setup CD or from your hard disk.Thats it .Your bootable Win XP USB setup is ready.
In the bios ,set boot priority for the USB as first and perform the boot.the cursor will stop with a drive.Type nc and hit enter. Norton Commander will open.This will copy all files from pendrive to disk C.
[Note: You can also install directly from the pen drive by typing "cd I386" and then running "winnt" instead entering the norton commander].
Remove Your pendrive and reboot your system.The system will enter the windows setup wizard.Then the usual routine as installing from a CD.You are done..!!!

Check the new part two also Install Windows By Booting From A USB...!!!(PART 2 for NTFS)

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Nicky said...

Hi Kris,
I'm trying to install from my 1Gb pendrive, did what you said, formatted, copied over all files from the cd, everything correctly. My BIOS accepts boot from pendrive, so I changed that value, booted from pendrive, then the promt went to A: (C: and D: were unavailable at this time, although both are my HDs). Runned winnt and it got to the install blue screen with a message about no space for swap files.
I'm tracking down about this problem but no success so far. I've bought my pendrive recently and since I'm w/o a cd drive, I wanted to try to reinstall Xp from the pendrive.
I'm not gonna try the "nc" command because from what it seems I won't be able to format after using it to copy the files, I wanted to install directly from the pendrive, formatting, choosing the HD, etc..

Anyway, any clues/tips?

Overall, thanks for the files/explanation, it was the easiest I found so far.

Happy new year!


Krishna Prasad said...

Thanks nicky.Thanks for visiting my site.Hope i have solved your problem in my new post.
Install Windows by booting from a USB...!!!(PART 2 for NTFS)

Pandit Prashant said...

Hi, I get eror while formatting..it goes like this..


Krishna Prasad said...

May be you have not specified the correct path at "Using the dos files located at".Extract the archive given and then set the path.Thanks for visiting.

drtoxo said...

I cant believe how easy this was.. I was looking all weekend and spent hours trying different things.. but none as simple, and straightforward as this..


One quesiton, form first glance, this seems to only work with non customised XP cds?

Will it work with an unattended disks created with nlite, with custom drivers, apps, hotfixes, tweaks... etc.. as I notice it rebuilds the instalaltion source from the xp disk...

Krishna Prasad said...

ya...It will work...but you would have to copy the entire CD contents to the USB and the setup should be able to run at 16 bit like the winnt in an ordinary windows used to run.In a nlite modified version of windows .the configurations occur only after the 16 bit setup part gets completed.Thanks for your comment.Keep visiting...!!!

mario said...


I'm trying to install this in one Asus EEE PC. I installed straight from the pendrive. Everything worked very well. But i preferred to install windows 2000 server, because it has a smaller footprint. I installed and booted very well. But was booting from the USB Disk. If I remove the disk he told that there is no operational system.

Then I tried formating the disk in the EEE PC with the command "format d: /s", hoping to copy everything from the pendrive and then reboot without the pendrive and install. But the EEE PC don't acept this. Without the pendrive he didn't boot at all.

Any idea? It's problem of a MBR or is a problem of the laptop?

Krishna said...

@Mario:Its not the problem with your laptop.Its with the installation.Dont perform the installation from your pendrive.Instead copy the setup files to the HDD and then perform.

Marcus said...

I only have an nLite modified windows cd. It doesn't seem to have winnt.exe in the I386 directory. Can I still get this to work?

mEmE said...

Hi, Thanks for this wonderful tool.

I have a problem though, and I dont know how to fix it. When it first goes into DOS, the Pendrive is the C: and the internal HD is D:. But when it starts Windows XP Installation, the internal disk is C: and the pendrive is D:.

So this causes that when it boots without the PenDrive, it says that Windows cannot boot.

How can I force to change the letters in DOS?


Carlos Afonso said...

I'm Trying to Install the XP at an external notebook HD, at my EEE-pc.
It worked out with others pc's an notebooks, but I need to install XP with all internal HD's removed. As I could not find a way to remove the internal HD of the eee, I had installed XP, setting the internal HD as NONE at bios. But the XP install had deleted all internal partitions, and created another, 4GB. The XP then was running ok. So I restore the original partitions on the internal HD and now when I boot from XP at external HD it works until the windows reset the USB... even I had modified the install .sip and infs to add UDB drivers at boot.
Anyone has solution to install XP keeping Xandros OS as alternative? Or a safe way to physically remove the internal HD?

Neha said...

i want to know that this method will work when BIOS does not provide the facility to boot from removeable drive???

Jordan said...

Hi, i got as far as the NC screen but it then does nothing... Do i need to type or select anything? Thanks for your help

Krishna said...

hey jordan,
The NC jus helps u to copy the files to ur sys from the pendrive to speed up the installation.it doesn't do it automatically.

Krishna said...

hey neha,
Sorry to say that it wont work with a system that does not support booting from a removable drive...

Jordan said...

Hi, im trying to install windows to an Eee Pc, when i get to the nc screen, both drives are C: but i dont know which drive the Eee pc is as both contain the same files / folders. My usb stick is E: do i change one to E: then proceed? Thanks for your help

Krishna said...

Hey how can two drives hold the same drive letter .its not possible.U must have mistook it..!!

Anonymous said...

I try your solution but:
- It's verry long time to copy all the files on the hard disk with ntfs4dos (4 hours)Diy you try ?
- Did you copy all the files with sub with copy ? How to do ?

Anonymous said...

Bardzo Ci dziękuje ze twój nareszcie porządny opis jak stworzyc dyskietke startowa. A przedewszystkim że zamieściłeś obraz dyskietki startowej który nareszcie kurde mi działa a nie mogłem nigdzie znaleźć na tylu stronach . Bardzo się cieszę że stworzyłeś tego Bloga. God bye Krzysiek

Ramya said...

Hi Krishna,

Thanks for your blog.. I have a windows xp which has virus and is not booting, except in safe mode. I want to reinstall the OS, if possible without loss of data. Can I follow the same procedure as advised by you, or do I need to format the hard disk (in this case, please let know how to proceed with the formatting). Thanks a lot!!

Anonymous said...

Hi krishna,

I completed all the steps but can't boot from pen drive. I am also missing the bootlog file. After prepearing the bootable pendrive there is no bootlog file.

Please advise.


Anonymous said...

can you please tell me why there is no bootlog.txt file? This bootlog.txt is also missing at dos folder after extract from rar file.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I followed the instructions given, I am able to boot from the Pen drive I get a screen with the cursor and c:\>, the I type nc and get a screen with two drive c and a menu on the bottom in a language i don't understand. 1. POMOC 2. Menu 3. podg ld 4. edytuj, etc. Tried typing in cd i 386 but i get an error bad command, please help me. Taty

kaspin said...

Hi Krishna,
Congratulations on clear instructions which actually work.I am however stuck with exactly the same problem as anonymous (ie 2 identical C: Nazwa displays, with 1-10 in a foreign language). Also, although I copied from my XP CD, I got the Win98 welcome logo! Thanks for any further advice you can offer.

Anonymous said...

hai i am hemant i have tried it there is no solution.My lap top is ee pc which dont have any cd drive in it and more over in the boot priority it is not showing any option for the usb apart from card reader and cd drive tell me what shall i do

Readersman said...

Krishna, you're my HERO!
I spent days trying to install straight from my USB on a computer with a faulty CD/DVD drive...
From BARTPE, editing the USB and Boot INFs to even buying software - and nothing...
With your simple instruction I installed in 5 minutes! Wish I found your Blog much earlier!

-= Nenad =- said...

Thank you. Polish Norton Commander, pervert... ;)
Luckily that I am old enough to remember "good old days".

F9 will open the menu. First file menu is for left part, last one is for right part. Last command on the list is for disk changing (or use a shortcut).
With * you will select all files and folders. F5 will copy selected items from one window to another. For selected folder will ask additional question, where just select first option and press enter to continue.

chev said...


Thanks mate.. much appreciated. after a long and tiring look on the internet for more then 4 days.. i was almost about to give up till i came across your blog.

thanks again.. though im havin a few problems.. but none with your concept just basic problems with windows installation files.

Anonymous said...

Dear Krishna Prasad ........

Thanks a ton.......

This is the easiest way I found so

far to install Win Xp.........

I must say u r an intelligent


Again thanks....

Warm Regards,

Eshwar said...

Thank you very much Krishna. I wasted a couple of days to boot XP from Compact Flash card using other sources of info. Your info is spot on. You made things a lot easier. Great Job.

Anonymous said...

hi kris.
just came across your blogsite just as my hdd gone down on my laptop,(everything else okay)
I was hoping I could run xp from my pendrive,followed all you suggest and files copy okay to pendrive get blue screen installs files but after reboot just get flashing curser.
Would appreciate any help,very clever on your tech info.

Anonymous said...

very informative blog and well formted...
really nice article about how to install windows from a pen drive as till now i know that it can only be installed through bootable cd..
Please visit my blog and leave ur valuable suggestions..

Neeraj said...

hi krishna prsad i m neeraj can u sent all instruction for install a usb window with support of usb on the my mail my e mail id is neerajjha309@gmail.com


Anonymous said...

i did everythin gyou said and when it boots up it goes to a black screen with a flashing "_" curser but i cannot type anything...I have tried both fat and nfts posts and I can't get it, any suggestions?

Varad said...

can u provide with another link to the dos files coz everytime i open the dos files link i am asked to register even though i m already registered

Petri said...

HELP PLEASE. The dos files-link is broken making this all impossible - Please a new link to get the dos files, ok ?

Dejan said...

Could you please upload again the dos files. The link seems to be broken.

கார்த்திக் said...

hw to download dos files?

Dating Ninja said...

Sir where can i download the Dos Files?

Term Papers said...

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reeva said...

I guess this video can help you out, check out USB boot drive

Gher said...

The simpler way to install XP from USB is FlashBoot.
It automates everything.

Rex said...

Thanks for this wonderful tool!USB Protection

LokIT said...

Hundreds of millions of USB flash drives are currently in operation around the world, with the vast majority not offering proper usb protection

rax said...

hi,thanx for post this useful information.usb boot drive

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I came to your blog just when I was surfing on this topic. I am happy that I found your blog and information I wanted.


venugopal said...

thanks for the tips man, i really enjoy reading your blog…so many great stuff… Formatting Hard Drive

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Tips And Tricks
Pendrive Tips And Tricks

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