January 25, 2006

XP In Your Pocket

If you’re a computer tech that works on a lot of systems, you know that sometimes you run into the worst beast of all: an unbootable computer. Here in my office this isn’t such a big obstacle; I’ve got a workbench, and tons of other computers that I can pop the hard drive into to figure out what’s going on. But if you’re in the field and you run into one of these stubborn SOBs, you’re usually out of luck. There aren’t many diagnostics you can run on a computer that won’t even boot up.

What you need is an easy way to run Windows on a system like that, and that’s where this tip comes in. Fred Langa has an article this week on how to install Windows XP to a bootable USB thumb drive. You can then plug this drive into any non-working computer you come across, and instantly have a running copy of Windows to work with.

I haven’t tried doing it myself, but Fred Langa’s articles (and his LangaList newsletter) are usually spot on.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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