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booting from removable disk

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by skoobah, Nov 26, 2003.

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  1. skoobah

    skoobah Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2003
    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.
  2. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

    Apr 4, 2003
    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.
  3. SizzleNutz


    Oct 26, 2003
    first of all if a hard disk is the same as a hard drive, you can buy a portable hd..to 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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