Thread: Windows system disk on an USB storage: possible?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Windows system disk on an USB storage: possible?

    Hello, I have this problem: I have a panel PC which has WinXP embedded and WinXP professional on two partitions. Only the XP Embedded partition is a system partition. Thi panel PC has only USB and NET ports (no disk neither CD drives). Yesterday I made a mistake, and with Partition Magic I set the boot partition to be the WinXP one, which wasn't a system partition => now the PC is not going to start!! I can't start it with the WinXP intallation CD or with any bootable disk. My ideas are:
    1) Write on this forum to get some hints.
    2)Try by using boot by ethernet, using Linux NTFS.
    3)Try to make a bootable USB disk containig the installation of winXP, or perhaps an MBR utility.

    Is it right to assume that swapping the partitions descriptions in the MBR would work?

    Thanks for any information.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    a solution

    I found a solution, I'm writing it here, perhaps someone would discuss it or find it useful.
    1) I formatted a USB pen drive with the "HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool", which can be downloaded from, here

    2)I copied with FAR manager the system files:
    i) c:\boot.ini
    ii) c:\ntldr
    iii) c:\

    3)I modified the boot.ini to give a big range of choices, and tried until I found the original bootable partition, here is the boot.ini I used (I edited with FAR Manager):
    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="0001" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="0002" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="0011" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="0012" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="0101" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="0102" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="0111" /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="0112" /fastdetect
    Then once back to the WinXP desktop, I changed the boot partition with Partition Magic, setting it to the original one.


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