Boot XP from USB drive?

#1
I have Win 7 loaded on my system drive but have XP loaded on an an old IDE drive that's not connected to my system.

In reading the new release notes, it looks like I am able to boot from an external USB drive but I can't find the details in the documentation.

Can someone please let me know the process/procedure to set this up in NeoSmart (I am familiar with NeoSmart, just not sure how to set up and external USB drive as a boot option).

Under "Add new Entry" in the Portable/External Media - Bios Extender section there's an option to Install PLoP. What is that? What needs to occur after that's installed to allow booting to the external drive? What changes does that make to the system?

Thanks in advance!!!!!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
You Installed XP on this external drive ?
Or this comes from an old PC where it used to be the OS ?
If the latter, you can't just boot it on a different PC.
Windows is not designed to be booted from an external device, in fact it's designed not to be bootable externally.
The Windows EULA is for one PC. When you install it and activate it, it links itself to that set of hardware. They don't want you carrying it around and using it on any PC, so they design it so you can't.
There are published hacks to modify XP, but they won't be discussed on this forum, where we don't help anyone to circumvant the MS EULA.
Even if you put the IDE drive inside your PC, where XP can run, an old OS from a different PC won't run on your hardware because all of the drivers will be wrong. At the least, you'll need a repair install, so that the drivers are correct for the new PC, but if the XP came supplied with another PC, it will have an OEM license which means it cannot be used on new hardware and MS will decline to validate your attempt to activate the OS.
 
#3
XP loaded from machine

Terry, thanks for the long reply! XP was loaded on the machine I will be booting it off of, so that's not a problem. It's the OS I was running before I took the drive out, put it a new drive and loaded Win 7 on it. I have just kept it as a backup to boot the machine as there are several programs that only work in XP 32 bit (I am running Win 7 64 bit now).

All of that notwithstanding, are you saying that EasyBCD will NOT allow me to boot from the drive as an external USB drive? Or can it be set up to boot from? There appears to be an option to set it up (per my original post).

Thanks again.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If it was previously the OS in that same PC, there's no problem with continuing to use it internally, and EasyBCD will dual-boot it in a trice. All the EULA stuff mentioned doesn't apply in that case. It's legitimately licenced for that hardware.
The device is already bootable, it doesn't need EasyBCD to make it so. That's a facility designed to change a storage device like a flash-drive into a bootable device, but that doesn't get over the MS design that prevents use of a Windows OS from a portable drive.
Why can't you connect it internally ? The performance will be streets better than down a USB wire.
 
#5
I Could

I could connect it internally although it's an IDE drive and I only have two IDE connections (currently taken up by two DVD drives).

It was more of an intriguing idea when I was looking at what was possible with EasyBCD. I would only have to boot from it maybe 1 or two times a year so I didn't want it sitting in my system and having to disconnect a DVD drive for it.

Not a huge deal, just thought this could be a very cool way to boot into XP if I ever needed to run one of the programs that's incompatible with Win 7.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
How big is your SATA drive ?
You could clone the XP to some freed-up space on there.
If you consider it, check this out first because cloning XP can make it unbootable.