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Data persistence/ retaining setup/ booting with a Live USB release ?



My friend's laptop died.  She needs to reinstall XP but she has lost her
install disks and the XP install disks we have tried thus far don't work
for her machine. 

I like F10 so much I am thinking of recommending it for her machine.
I'd like to send her a USB flash drive with F10 on it that she could try
on her machine.

Here is the hitch: I'd like to set up some panels and add a few
applications to it before I send it to her.

I've never used a live USB flash drive version, only the live CDs.  How
is data persistence supported with the live USB version ?   If I add an
application, does it add it to the applications on the USB flash drive ?
What about desktop settings ?

I am not sure the BIOS on her computer supports booting from a USB
device.  Does the USB Live install have a clever way of dealing with
this ?

Thanks  


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