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Moving a Windows XP Installation

Here is how to move (clone/copy) a Windows XP installation to another disk or partition: View Video 4 min

It is a good idea to make a backup (e.g. using ntbackup.exe) of the source's registry, before proceeding with the following preparation: Open a terminal and tap "regedt32.exe" to open the registry. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices. Remove all entries! (I usually leave my optical drives J, K and L) The history of drive letter assignments will otherwise confuse at the target's first boot.

Now boot another drive and copy everything (e.g. using Windows Explorer) from the source to the target, and add a Windows XP bootloader, e.g. using the command console of the source, with the commands "Fixmbr" for a drive or "Fixboot" for a partition.

Registry: Mounted Devices
After deleting most

After copying it might be a good idea to restore the registry of the source. And after booting the target drive it is a good idea to review the drive letters with Windows Disk Management or the EXT2 Volume Manager (Ext2Fsd.exe).

It is not possible to use this method when the target is a USB Flash drive. Well, actually it is, if you repair (install over) the copied installation using a specially prepared installation CD - with modified usb drivers, see here!"