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startup bios cant see portable HDD to install windows XP on.


FPCH New Member
Dec 21, 2008
PC Experience
hi, I'm just trying to install windows XP on to run from my new portable HDD. I have a hewllett packard PC and i press F8 and go into the startup bios and there is no option to boot fromm portable HDD, only from CD or Floppy DD or inbuilt HDD or PCI. I select boot from my XP CD but when i try to install on my new portable HDD it says my computer cant see it to install. i can create a partition on it and format it but cant install XP onto it. Is this because the computer cant boot from portable HDD on startup that boot CD wont let me install onto it ? if so how can i get around this, i was thinking i either need to upgrade the startup bios or select boot from Floppy DD or CD with a program that allows startup access to Portable (USB) HDD. I have an old version of "Norton Ghost" on floppy and have tried to coppy HDD to HDD but it doesnt seem to see the portable HDD either only the inbuilt 1. I can install XP onto my USB HDD thru another computer I think but only options to boot from startup will still be CD, Floppy DD or inbuilt HDD. Thankyou for reading this and any efforts to help would be greatly appreciated. Merry christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!:)


Hi Kenny

Welcome to Free PC Help

Ok well your on a road to nowhere fast on this one for the simple reason that you do not have the option to boot from a USB connection in the bios.

I'm assuming this is a fairly old HP box yes?

The options that you have mentioned like " I can install XP onto my USB HDD thru another computer" won't work either because the XP install on that drive in that scenario will contain the hardware parameters for that other box so even if you did have the ability to boot it from the HP box the parameters would not match.

The only way round this would be to strip the drive out of the casing and install it internally to the HP box as Primary Master and if the board only supports IDE connectors you better make sure that it is an IDE drive in the casing.

If it's sata which I suspect it will be then obtain a sata to IDE converter.
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