install DOS/XP on usb drive to make it bootable on another PC's internal sata

Michhoho used Ask the Experts™
Hi I have this problem. I have no floppy drive, no optical drive. I have this blank external usb Hard drive.

I need to make the external hard drive to be "BOOTABLE ON ANOTHER COMPUTER WHEN INSTALLED AS INTERNEL DRIVE".

I know there are plenty tools to make a "BOOTABLE USB DRIVE", but will the drive be bootable if it is installed as a primary internal drive?
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Quid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.

If you are putting a running XP onto this drive then the two computer motherboards need to be similar or fairly similar for what you want to do to work.

If they aren't XP will moan and crash on you.

If you are intending to just install DOS on this USB drive and then place the XP install files on it as well for installation on this drive once transferred across to the other computer then this will work.
Top Expert 2010

First, not all BIOSs support booting to a USB-attached HDD or even CD/DVD.  So before you get too deep into it, check out the specs of your PC/BIOS and make sure your hardware is capable of doing this.   I have several older Dell 1U rackmount systems with USB ports, and they do NOT support USB booting.  I had to actually add a SCSI controller and SCSI-attached CDROM to re-install the O/S.

TechnoChatWintel Administrator / Cloud Computing
You can not install XP on USB to boot it on any system, however you can create  WindowsPE and install it on your USB Drive, which can run on other systems.

Here you can fine some stuff for booting from USB

Here You can find help for WindowsPE

You can also use user BartPE.

And support forum

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Top Expert 2010
One more thing , after re-reading, is it your intention to install XP so you have a bootable USB drive, but then you want to take that same disk drive and physically attach it to that other machine as a SATA device?

If so, that is a whole 'nuther can-o-worms, and you are going about it the wrong way.  XP has no native support for installing on a SATA drive, so you have to slipstream the SATA drivers. Some motherboards also have things like fake-raid intel matrix SATA controllers which present themselves as SCSI devices, and need special drivers.

If you are just trying to figure out a way to do this for one particular machine, then just cannibalize the USB device now, stick the HDD on the SATA port, figure out what drivers are necessary and create a slipstreamed custom boot CD.  Forget doing it the way you propose, it will probably never work, or at least you will have to do a lot more work to be successful.
Will not work since Originally you are installing on an External USB and then you are asking the Same OS to boot off SATA. Controllers are different.
Its the same as saying I'm writing you a letter in English but make sure you read it in German. LOL Hope this makes sense
Please give more details:

Is there any reason why you cannot install the drive internally into the other PC and then install XP on it? Are both PCs lacking optical disc drives?

You can copy an XP install CD to a bootable USB flash drive. People do this for installing XP on PCs without optical drives, like netbooks:

Alternatively, you could put the drive into an external eSATA enclosure, and it should be able to be installed and booted from it like a regular SATA drive. You'll need an eSATA connection on your PC.

If you migrate the install from one PC to another, you'll have to reset all the hardware settings on the install. There's various pay programs that will do this, such as Paragon Adaptive Restore.

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