Windows XP boot off disk or external HDD

Hey i need some advice on making (if you can) Windows xp to boot from disk

Don’t get this confused with a windows XP boot disk I want to Boot XP from a disk…

Long story short, I’m helping a guy with some pc’s and I’m out of hard drives (have a few duds laying about tho :confused: ) so i was wondering weather you can boot XP off an external HDD or from a disk… don’t want to install xp on this system i just wanna be able to boot XP from either external HDD or disk.

If you understand what i mean, i know it can be done with Linux as i have it in my draw but didn’t know if it can be done with XP…

Any links or even a no you cant would be gladly appreciated


What OS is he running currently? If it’s Windows 7/Mac he can simply install something like VMware/Oracle VM and use virtual HD’s on a regular HDD.

External HD is very possible if I get your meaning. The thing is, you would have to install XP to that external drive. It would BE the OS though. I currently have 7, but one of my drives still has XP installed. If I just boot from that drive, I am in XP.

The same should be true of any storage media that can install XP to. I don’t think a disc can hold a usable copy of XP.

I have Windows 7 installed technically on my C:/ drive but I symbolic linked it and put all the files on a separate hdd. Therefore Windows 7 still thinks the OS is on C:/ and functions like normal, when in fact all the files are on a different hdd.

Not sure if that’s what you’re after though

I still think my method is easier XD

I’m not sure if you could fit a full installation onto a CD or DVD, or even boot from it for that matter.
Hdd’s are easily enough installed onto and booted up from the boot priority menu in your bios or such.

Does it have to be XP? cause things like ubuntu can boot from a cd or even a small usb. So why the reason to use XP on a cd?

Kyle is right and that’s what I would do IMO. I’m not sure if you can with a disk, since I don’t think you can make “live disks” like Ubuntu can. I don’t think VM’s make sense here…

All great advice, All i wanna do is boot an os from a USB(external HDD)/CD in order to run a 1 simple prog to find all system information, Personal if i had a spare HDD sitting about i would throw that in an wack xp on it then check system info only use xp as i know it best.

SO how would i go about setting XP or any equally as good os that will be able to show me full system info. Its all my mates brothers old pc’s and when he died my mate collected them an wants to know full system spec so he knows what hes dealing with in order to fix up/keep or sell.

Catch my drift :confused:

Ty all

My guess is to use a boot disc of linux since it can run from flash or cd. System info should be readable, but I have not looked for info like that from that OS.

thanks for all the help an ideas guys :slight_smile: