Almost everyone who has worked with computers for any length of time at all has run into at least one situation in which a problem left a PC unbootable. What if you could return the machine to a bootable state just by inserting a USB flash drive though? Believe it or not, it is actually possible to install a bootable copy of Windows XP onto a flash drive and then boot a PC off of the flash drive. From there, you can use applications that you have installed on the flash drive (anti virus, anti spyware, disk repair, etc.) to fix the PC’s problem. In this article, I will show you how.

What’s the catch?

As with most cool new techniques, there are a few catches. For starters, not every PC is capable of booting from a USB flash drive. For the most part, computers manufactured within the last two years are generally able to boot from a flash drive. Older systems may require a BIOS update, or might not be able to boot from a flash drive at all.

Another catch is that not every flash drive will get the job done. The primary factors that limit your use of a particular flash drive are capacity and speed. Technically, speed isn’t really a limiting factor, but booting Windows will be painfully slow unless you use a flash drive that supports USB 2.0. More »

Windows XP has less stringent Windows Product Activation algorithm compared with Windows Vista. For example, PC computers from branded OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is activated out-of-factory, and most hackers and pirates go for volume licensing (commonly known as VL or VOL) version of Windows XP Professional which when installed with a volume product key (VLK), does not require user to activate again online or by phone.

However, Windows XP does require product activation too. Doesn’t need (as in the case of when using OEM or VLK product key, which is instantly and automated activated) to perform steps to activate Windows XP doesn’t mean that Windows XP is not activated, and activated Windows XP is one of the requirement for the installed copy of operating system to be considered by genuine by Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Validation Tool.

To check, view or verify the Windows XP current activation status, open Run command from Start Menu, and run the following command: More »

If you experience problems with Windows XP, the cause can often be related to system files. With a fresh installation of Windows XP, these files are installed and are of the correct version. Unfortunately not all programs deal with the Windows installation correctly, so if are experiencing Windows XP errors after installing and using programs that have not been programmed properly, chances are that your system files are corrupted.

Corrupted system files can lead to many different problems, depending on the applications executed at that point in time. Some programs will not work while programs show undefined or erratic behavior. Worst case scenario, your PC crashes regularly.

To fix Windows XP problems that are related to system files, the best solution is to run a system scan for corrupt Windows installation files. Follow the steps below to execute a scan of your Windows XP system files: More »