|In a word, no. You won't be able to boot to it. You can access personal files but a full version of WinXP won't boot and run off a USB drive. This is by Microsoft design. One OS for one computer. |
Besides which how do you think that would solve the issue of a busted motherboard?
"For $650 I can get Acer Aspire One new with 160 G HDD".
Is there some reason you need to use a laptop. You have discovered why IMO they are not good values and should ONLY be purchased if you absolutely need the portability.
If you don't move your computer around buy a desktop. For $699 you can get much more computer than what would come as a laptop.