Ask a question »

Installing Windows XP from a USB key

May 2016

Windows XP can be installed from a USB key. This may be required if the optical drive is not working on the PC or if the user has a netbook. Then, Windows XP can be required to be booted from a USB flash drive. For this, a bootable USB key must be created. This process requires certain requirements like a USB key with a capacity of 1 or 2 GB, an official CD of the Windows OS, WinSetupFromUSB software and a PC with both a USB key and a CD ROM drive. Additionally, the key must be fast to avoid interruptions during the installation procedure and most importantly the configuration of the system must accept the boot on the USB key. Once XP is downloaded, the user can proceed to install the XP with this key.

This tip explains how to create a key with Windows XP without addons but know that many options are available such as adding Linux UBCD4WIN or Service Pack.

Being able to boot Windows from a USB memory stick can be very useful, especially if using Netbook or a PC that does not have a CD/DVD drive

Creating your bootable USB key:

First of all, you will need:

You need to make sure that:
  • Your USB key is bootable
  • Your machine allows you to boot from your USB key (check the BIOS)
  • Your key is fast enough to avoid delays during installation of the OS

Installing XP

Once downloaded, run the installation software and follow the installation wizard. At the very end of the installation, the software will launch.
  • Insert your Windows XP CD into the CD ROM drive and click Browse
  • Enter the destination path on the PC
  • Select your CD ROM with the Windows XP in and click OK
  • Click Refresh and then go to the small arrow just to the left and select the USB key that you used to boot XP
  • Select Fixed
  • Ciick Go to begin the procedure
  • Once the process is complete, close the program

Installing Windows XP:
  • Connect the USB key to your computer and enter the BIOS
  • Set your BIOS to boot the PC from the USB key
  • Once done, save and restart your PC
  • Here, you'll have two lines in the GRUB menu
  • The first is to select the startup of the installation procedure
  • The second line will be for the rest of the installation and the first boot of Windows XP
  • Therefore boot on the USB key until Windows XP is fully installed
  • Follow the installation instructions as for a normal installation

For unlimited offline reading, you can download this article for free in PDF format:

See also

In the same category

Cómo instalar Windows XP desde una memoria USB
By Carlos-vialfa on June 29, 2009
Installer Windows XP avec une clef USB
By Polonwn on June 26, 2009
Instalar Windows XP com um pen drive
By ninha25 on January 9, 2011
Instalacja systemu Windows XP z napędu USB
By Karolllla on April 17, 2014
Original article published by Polonwn. Translated by jak58. - Latest update by Jeff
This document entitled « Installing Windows XP from a USB key » from CCM ( is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.