William, just stumbled on this thread after 3 weeks of sleepless night researching on the internet on how to reinstall my Win xp with a faulty cd rom. What i have done so far, i read about usb booting, my toshiba m45 does not support usb booting, so i read about plop boot manager to make it become usb bootable. Thank God plop boot manager supports installation via floppy apart from cd rom, so i ordered toshiba usb floppy disk drive on ebay, downloaded it on floppy diskette and use it to fire up my system, setting my bios to boot from FDD, plop boot manager works magic as my toshiba was able to recognize usb bootable flash drive, unfortunate Win xp professional set up keeps getting stuck when copying files from my usb, i have inter-changed the RAMs and still cant successfully copy all files without getting stuck in 16%, 24%, 54% (i need expert advice on this first as usb booting this woud be great and time saving and can serve my PC in the future without stress, as your explanation of taking out HDD to another desktop seems equipment demanding and special computer skills) If i have to fly with your option, can i use usb 2.0 sata ide adapter to mount my laptop HDD on the desktop or do i really need to make a physical connection. I tried maybe not so wise way before, by using the usb sata ide adapter to mount the laptop SATA HDD on the desktop, the system recognizes the laptop HDD like a flash drive would work when put in a system for the first time, i was able to get into the HDD and see the content. I rebooted the desktop with win xp in the cd rom, it showed my laptop HDD and when i try to install xp directly into it, it get stuck with a message of desktop motherboard compatibility and i need a motherboard manufacturer software or something, to cut my story short, help me deal with first option of usb booting and make clearer the second option of any possibility of using usb 2.0 sata ide adapter, if thats gonna work other than the HDD pins, IDE channels and stuffs you explained. I am so confused about the pins and channels as my sata HDD is just a compacted piece of device with a fixed slot on the laptop. I make an SOS call on this adorable toshiba laptop before i make a decision to garbage it in 1 week.