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booting from removable disk


skoobah's Avatar
skoobah skoobah is offline
Junior Member with 1 posts.
Join Date: Nov 2003
26-Nov-2003, 12:50 AM #1
booting from removable disk
I am trying to find a way to recover easily from a hard disk crash on my laptop
(running XP Pro, SP1). This has happened to me twice already, and the recovery
process (reinstalling the OS, downloading updates and patches, reinstalling
applications, setting all the options, etc.) is very painful. Typically, it
takes me the best part of a week to get everything up and running and "tweaked"
to my preferences.

So I have "cloned" my C: drive (registry, MBR and all) to D:, an external USB
drive, hoping to be able to just reload everything if (when?) I have another
crash, without having to reinstall. (The "clone" process is done with a great
new tool now in beta test, called XXCLONE, produced by PixieLab).

But when C: fails, I find I have no way to "clone" D: back onto C: after
installing a new, replacement disk. I can't boot from the USB drive, so I have
to install Windows on the new C: in order to boot at all. But once that's done,
C: being the "active" partition, Windows won't let me restore the registry and
other files from my backup clone (D. I still have to reinstall everything. I
have also tried using a PCMCIA disk, but it has all the same problems.

My laptop has no slot for a second hard disk -- which would solve my problem
nicely -- so I can't use that solution.

I was hoping to find a way to run a minimal Win XP from CD, so that I could
clone D: to C: and then reboot. But the only boot CDs for XP seem to be the
setup ones, rather than CDs from which you can actually run XP in the absence of
a C: drive.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.
Squashman's Avatar
Trusted Advisor with 19,725 posts.
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 1265 Lombardi Ave
26-Nov-2003, 01:14 AM #2
Did you look in your Bios to see if you can set it to boot from a USB device. Is the USB device bootable. Does it have the necessary files to be bootable.

You know what I would do. If your hard drive is big enough, I would create two partitions on the hard drive. Install WIndows on the first partition. Buy a copy of Norton Ghost. Ghost your windows install to the other partition.

I usually do a partition to image and select the highest compression so that I can still use that other partition for saving files and stuff.

At this time, I dont know of anyone that has been able to get XP to run from a CD. I have seen it done with 98 but not 2000 or XP.
SizzleNutz's Avatar
SizzleNutz SizzleNutz is offline
Member with 70 posts.
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Las Vegas
26-Nov-2003, 01:16 AM #3
just a suggestion
first of all if a hard disk is the same as a hard drive, you can buy a portable add to your laptop..

also the link below has tons of help on boot disks and hard drives which may help out..
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