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Solved: Install and Run Programs on a USB Pen

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Lenny1882, Jan 16, 2008.

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  1. Lenny1882

    Lenny1882 Thread Starter

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    First things - boot an OS from USB is a no-no.

    What I want is some sort of OS or package that I can put on my USB pen to allow me to install programs on said pen, and run them, just as one would install and run them from a hard drive.

    For example, say I have Adobe Fireworks CS3 and I want to use it on a PC without it, but I don't want to install it on the PC. Instead I'll install it on my USB pen, and run it from the USB pen on the other PC.

    I've got the same sort of thing set up with my computer - Vista on the main HDD, and XP on the second. I've installed programs on the XP hard drive and can run them when I'm in Vista. I want to be able to do the same, but with a USB pen instead of the second hard drive.

    The reason I ask - there are programs I have that I'd like to run at school, but I obviously can't install them on the school system. I've also got a University Interview coming up (Jan 30th), and I'd love to show off some of the things I've done... which typically have to be in programs that regular PCs haven't got installed (Google SketchUp, for instance).

    Anyone got any ideas? I've tried DamnSmallLinux but the computer needs to boot from USB to run it. I've also thought about Emulators such as Windows CE (http://blogs.msdn.com/smakofsky/archive/2004/12/20/328001.aspx) but I won't be able to run them at school.

    In 2006 I found a nice package that contained lots of programs that ran on a USB, but I deleted it, foolishly. I've been trying to find it, failed, and have been trying to find another way of doing it, short of cracking out my XP disc and installing it on my USB pen (Corsair 32gb, by the way, so it's more than big enough. FAT32, though, so XP won't like it) or buying an external hard drive.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    That's pretty much not going to happen, at least with the majority of applications. Installation involves a number of complex steps, including placing files in many locations other than the Program Files folder and the creation of registry entries. Once installed, most apps cannot be run on a different computer.

    That being said, many people have wanted to do something like what you want to do. So if you do a search for "portable apps", you'll find a number of them, including whole suites of applications, that will run from USB.

    Another alternative is "Thinstalling". There is an application called a "thinstaller" that attempts to create portable apps from normally installed ones by monitoring all the changes that take place when an installation occurs and then mimicking those changes from a single exe program that can run as a "standalone" application.

    Most new machines can boot from USB and there are a number of operating systems (including altered versions of Windows) that can boot and run from USB.
     
  3. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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  4. Lenny1882

    Lenny1882 Thread Starter

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    You know what, Portable Apps may be the one I found in '06. Thanks, BH28.

    ---

    Thinstalling... sounds interesting. Methinks I'll give it a go.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    XP will work fine with FAT32. It simply won't have the stability or security. But using NTFS on relatively small drives is a bad idea since it will leave so little space for actual files after the MFT is created, so stick with the FAT (on 2 gigs or less because it's faster) and FAT32 (over 2 gigs)
     
  6. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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  8. Lenny1882

    Lenny1882 Thread Starter

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    Woooops. I've just remembered I never got round to replying again. :p

    First of all, thanks to all three of you - PortableApps has since been introduced to a few friends who wanted something similar, as has Ceedo, and I've been Thinstalling things left, right and centre. It works a charm!

    I was also given a 4gb U3 USB pen a couple of weeks ago as a "Thanks" from my Uncle for building him a computer.

    Just for those who might not know:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U3

    Methinks I can mark this solved now, too.
     
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