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I have two laptops - a Compaq 15Inch and a Samsung netbook. Both run Windows 7 Starter. I also have a powertel dongle and an android phone. So what I want to do is share my powertel between all these devices. The problem is conectify and virtual router WILL NOT work with Win7 Starter - I've googled it, Binged it, Yahoo'd it, checked, double checked and triple checked - it just dosen't happen!Connectify even says so on their site.

Now I can boot Ubuntu on a flashdisk, but it can only share over Ad Hoc network. I've managed do do this already for the laptops - boot Ubuntu on the netbook and then connect the Powertel dongle, set up a network on Ubuntu and share the Internet with the other laptops. It works beautifully. But I can't connect my android phone. Apparently androids cannot recognize ad-hoc networks unless running a custom rom - and I have no interest in putting one on my phone. My phone is not rooted, its running the original firmware and I have no desire to root or flash or whatever.  Besides, I need to be able to provide Internet for other people who have phones and tablets that have wifi but also don't recognize ad-hoc. My GF for example has a Nokia Asha with wifi - but also WILL NOT recognize ad-hoc networks, only routers and access points. My brother has a Blackberry. My friends have iPads - you catch my drift I'm sure.

So my idea is to boot XP from a flashdisk, then install and run Connectify or Virtual Router - so that I can share the connection with ALL DEVICES - not just other computers. I have done an extensive search for Connectify/Virtual router alternatives in the linux world. There is no connectify equivalent, which was a BIG SHOCK to me; it sounds like something right up the open source crowd's alley. There IS a way but the driver support is limited and the whole process seem incredibly complicated.

So is the XP thing a viable solution? I remember when netbooks first came out they had no hard drives - they ran purely on flash memory so I'm guessing XP should feel quite at home on a 8 or 16 GB flashdisk. Would I be correct in that assumption? The reason I wanna put it on flash and NOT just replace the Windows 7 starter is simple - the netbook will be harder to sell if I remove the good, legal copy of Windows and replace it with a dodgy copy of Windows XP. Upgrading the Win 7 Starter on an Atom netbook is not an option either. I'm trying not to spend a Single cent on this, just a bit of midnight oil.  

So what do I need to get it done?

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4 Answers

–1 vote
by Expert (19.6k points)
Best answer
i ddnt actually test the process, but from what i read , i think it might work,.....try this

+1 vote
by Guru (57.6k points)
edited by
Windows XP was never designed to run from USB media full stop, windows driver support was never written for booting the windows kernel from USB media for Win XP

doing so will likely fail and only succeed in destroying/wearing out your flash drive 10-100 times faster than normal you will have to remember to disable swap completely if you want any level of normal performance and make sure you have enough RAM to run everything you need to without it crashing

the method described in the article that tendyfish links effectively puts a PE environment based on XP on your flash drive, you can never install applications except through the special PE interface used to initially install the OS and its not simple - PE environments are mostly supposed to be used by OEM's for preparing and configuring new machines (it stands for Pre-Install Environment) that means its designed to boot from USB or network media to bootstrap the install of an actual OS and custom software to the computers disk in a more efficient manner.

netbooks had/have flash memory via a mSATA interface (microSATA) to the OS it just appeared like a normal SATA/SSD disk - the flash memory is basically the same memory used in SSD's just in a smaller package compared to a standard 2.5/3.5 inch disk and has a fairly similar visual look to a stick of ram

i just googled "Virtual Router Linux" and came up with this result - is it something you are looking for? http://nims11.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/hostapd-the-linux-way-to-create-virtual-wifi-access-point/
+1 vote
by Guru (88.1k points)
edited by
The nearest thing l can come up with if you want to use XP is  to install Ubuntu on one of your laptops, then download and install vmware player on Ubuntu. Then install XP inside vmware and run it as a virtual machine, its as good as stand alone machine, that is how l use Windows.
Or you can just install vmware on win 7 as well the install xp inside vmware. Bt l find Ubuntu more stable as a host for virtual machines

The second option is using your phone as a AP. I dont kno what version of phone you hav bt on mine l can use aes encryption and it is as good as a standard wifi router.
–1 vote
by Guru (27.3k points)
think the only way feasible way here is to upgrade from win starter to ultimate or proffessional..since u dont wanna spend big bucks... i suppose u aint comfortable buying an upgrade key from MS, depending on your ethics and values u could obtain an upgrade key that works from...*cough* cough*... ahem...u knw where...
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