Does Windows XP still hold a special place in your heart and meet your computing needs? If your answer is yes and want to install it on your computer system using a bootable USB drive, then this guide will be very helpful for you. Now Let's walk through four easy-to-follow ways to create a Windows XP bootable USB and run this classic OS on your personal computer.

In this article
    1. Using WinToUSB – The Simplest Method to Followhot
    2. Via WinSetupFromUSB
    3. Through Rufus – The Fastest Method to Follow hot
    4. Using WinToFlash
    1. Unable to find the bootable USB drive
    2. USB failed to boot
    3. Disk boot is unable to load the bootable USB drive

Why Windows XP Still Matters?

windows xp

You may be wondering why the craze of Windows XP is still alive in the era of Windows 8, 10, and 11, and believe it or not, you are not alone in the club. It was released on October 25, 2001, and is still regarded as one of the most loved versions of Windows.

Here're some of the reasons to follow:

  • Public sectors still use Windows XP because they often lag in technology upgrades which require complex approval processes, high costs for new licenses and extensive staff training.
  • Businesses and organizations still rely on Windows XP due to compatibility issues with specific software or programs which are crucial to operations.
  • Many users have grown accustomed to Windows XP after years of use. Switching to a different OS, like Linux, might require a steep learning curve, making XP the preferred choice.

4 Ways to Make a Windows XP Bootable USB

Now that you are well aware of why Windows XP is still preferred, it's high time to learn how to create a bootable media and install Windows XP from USB. Below are listed the four simple yet effective methods to get started.

Way 1: Using WinToUSB - The Simplest Method to Follow

The easiest method to create Windows Installer Media is to download WinToUSB and follow the on-screen prompts to kickstart the process. WinToUSB is a lightweight software that helps create Windows and Linux bootable USB drives.

Here's how to do so:

  1. Download WinToUSB and a Windows XP ISO file using You will also get the product key there, uploaded officially by Microsoft.
  2. Choose Windows Setup Bootable Wizard and click the radio button in front of the I have ISO image or archive option.
    select windows setup bootable usb wizard
  3. Tap Select on Windows File Path and browse the ISO file of Windows XP you've downloaded.
    select windows files path
  4. Choose the USB you want to use for creating Windows XP Installer and format the drive when prompted. Wait for a couple of minutes, and the USB drive will automatically get converted into a bootable installer, and the process completes here.

Way 2: Via WinSetupFromUSB

The second best tool to create a Windows XP bootable USB is WinSetupFromUSM. With this, you can add multiple sets of Windows setup files, single WinPE1 source, and many other ISO images.

Follow the instructions to begin the process:

  1. Insert the USB stick on a modern PC and format it as NTFS.
    select windows setup bootable usb wizard
  2. Once done, extract your Windows XP ISO file to a folder using a 7-Zip tool.
  3. Move forward to download and extract WinSetupFromUSB and run WinSetupFromUSB_1-10_x64.exe when the extraction is completed.
    extract winsetupfromusb file
  4. This tool will then auto-detect your USB drive. Go to the Add to USB Disk option, and locate Windows 2000/XP/2003 Setup.
    locate windows xp setup
  5. Tick the Checkbox and identify the Windows XP source folder. Accept the Microsoft EULA and tap Go to create the bootable Windows XP Installer.
  6. Ensure the USB stick is readable and comprises the following files.
    ensure usb stick has these files
  7. Eject the USB stick, and now you can begin the USB Win XP install process.

Way 3: Through Rufus – The Fastest Method to Follow

Rufus is the fastest and most convenient tool to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows XP on your computer.

Here are the stepwise instructions to follow:

  1. Download Rufus and visit the Device menu.
  2. Select the appropriate device you wish to turn into a Windows XP bootable USB. Ensure the file system is NTFS and not FAT32.
  3. Open the Partition Scheme and Target System Type, and choose MBR Partition only.
  4. Click the small CD icon to the right of Create a bootable disk using: and load the Windows XP ISO file.
    use rufus to create bootable drive
  5. Tap the Start button after perusing the File Manager for an ISO image, and the tool will automatically create a bootable Windows XP USB in seconds.

Way 4: Using WinToFlash

The next method to create a bootable Windows XP drive is using WinToFlash. This tool has a simple interface and offers multilanguage support.

Scroll down and have a look at the step-by-step guide to get started.

  1. Download WinToFlash and launch this Windows XP Installer.
    launch wintoflash
  2. Connect your USB drive to the computer and click the green tick mark for Windows Setup Bootable USB Wizard. Select Next to Continue.
    select windows setup bootable usb wizard
  3. Tap I have an ISO file, and tap Next.
  4. Select your ISO image for Windows File Path and choose the USB drive. Choose Next to confirm your choice and click the Continue button when a format warning pops up. It will then start the Windows boot transfer conversion.
    continue creating windows xp bootable usb
  5. Click Exit.

Common Problems

Here's a quick rundown of problems you might encounter when creating a Windows XP bootable USB.

Unable to find the bootable USB drive

This problem may appear due to a number of reasons, including the ISO image doesn't have the boot information, or due to some security options that may prevent booting from USB devices.

Don't go crazy. Try to enable the USB legacy support and let your system detect the bootable USB drive. You also should use a USB 2.0 port, as Windows XP doesn't offer native support for USB 3.0 ports.

USB failed to boot

The second most frustrating problem is that the Windows XP installer starts, but your USB fails to boot. In that case, do not change the boot order and keep them in the default manner. If the boot order is untouched, your computer will then initiate the process from the HDD. Press F12 immediately and perform this task three times to avoid the USB failed-to-boot error.

Disk boot is unable to load the bootable USB drive

This often happens when you prepare an inappropriate bootable USB drive. Hence, it's advised to remove the latest hardware installed on your computer and check the jumpers on the hard disk.


That's all about it. Hope these methods will inspire you on the journey of creating a Windows XP bootable USB. Whatever method you choose, stick to the instructions and ensure to check the boot order to get effective results. If, unfortunately, you've lost any data from unbootable Windows XP, try Wondershare Recoverit to get back your lost or deleted files. This powerful data recovery tool supports 1000+ data types and formats and can bring all your data back in three simple steps.

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Alex Nappi
Alex Nappi Apr 15, 24
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