Sometimes, it is true the boot-able USB does not work properly. If works, may be perhaps all of a sudden installation is terminated without any reason.
If your laptop has a network adapter, the capability to boot from PXE (network), and a router or crossover cable, you can install Windows XP (of course one more PC is required). Another way is to install from floppy drive (but I think your laptop does not have)…. by chance, click here.
Also you can bring a external CD /DVD drive with USB port support and plug on to your laptop and install XP. But it goes slow to do so because it’s being transferred through a USB port, as opposed to a direct connection from a drive as normal. You also have to change the Boot sequence from BIOS for that purpose.
Although what Rechil said is true, there are some bad combinations of BIOS/Motherboards, etc that can cause problems like the one you’re talking about, I have been using for a couple of years now this method with great success.
It was built when Netbooks started to proliferate, but it got it working on any USB bootable Desktop/Laptop etc.
The fact you don’t need to burn CDs / DVDs when testing, is only by itself a good one.
You should give it a try.