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I want set up a virtual machine on a thumb drive and load it down with tools for repairing borked Windows installations. I figure i need just enough to piggy-back on the machine's installed drivers 'till i can download new ones. So first, I need to decide which VM software to use. Anything that'll get the job done, no bells and/or whistles needed.

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Do you want the guest and host to both live on the thumb drive? Are you trying to use the borked Windows install as the host? Why not just have a non-virtual OS on the thumb drive? –  Matt G May 21 '09 at 1:30
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

QEMU for Windows or QEMU is very portable, but slow. Should be fine for a no-frills machine. After that, Damn Small Linux is quite good, or do a custom Gentoo install (is there any other kind? :D).

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Wouldn't a bootable Linux "live CD" (such as Knoppix, Ubuntu), or a BartPE disc be a better solution? If the system is "borked", surely it's going to struggle to run any VM software..

It also means you can access/edit/delete files that would otherwise be locked

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There are a few to choose from in this little project - UNetbootin.

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