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archieval 07-27-2011 05:47 AM

How to install Windows XP with no CD drive?
 
Hello guys,

This is the challenge that I have been pondering for days. I have a semi-old laptop, with this current specs:

OS installed is Windows XP
CD/DVD drive is not functioning anymore
BIOS has no option to boot from flash drive
Has 2 partition, C and D.

This has become difficult for me because of that dead CD/DVD drive. I have a portable CD/DVD drive which can connect to USB, but it cannot be detected during bootup stage. All I want is to reinstall Windows XP with only have one partition and because I think some of my drivers and settings are corrupted when I lent this laptop to my brother.

Can I do the reinstallation while running the current Windows XP? I also have an Ubuntu installation CD, can that help? If I install Ubuntu while running XP, can I afterwards install XP while running Ubuntu?

I hope someone can help me with this challenge.

Regards,
archieval

Snark1994 07-27-2011 12:59 PM

I once saw a floppy image which loads drivers to boot from USB... I've never been able to find it again, unfortunately, and have no idea if it actually worked anyway. Perhaps you might have better luck searching...

{BBI}Nexus{BBI} 07-27-2011 01:01 PM

You can copy the installation folder off the disc onto the hard drive. Restart to a command prompt and start the installation that way. Or put the drive in another laptop, install then put back in original laptop. Bootup and load safe mode to correct different hardware issues.

SigTerm 07-27-2011 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by archieval (Post 4426481)
How to install Windows XP with no CD drive?

Format drive into fat32, copy installation folder to drive along with smartdrv.exe, boot into ms-dos using floppy, run smartdrv, then run winnt.exe (winxp setup program for dos mode) from i386 folder. Done. Once system is installed, convert everything into ntfs. You can install it without smartdrv.exe, but it will take forever.

Quote:

Originally Posted by {BBI}Nexus{BBI} (Post 4426832)
Or put the drive in another laptop, install then put back in original laptop. Bootup and load safe mode to correct different hardware issues.

You might get BSOD if motherboards are different.

frankbell 07-27-2011 09:24 PM

If I remember correctly, the directory on the CD that actually contains the installation routine and files is the \i386 directory.

I used to copy that directory to my HDD back in my Windows days. That way, if Windows wanted the CD to install some utility or driver, it was already right there on the HDD. It's a trick I learned for the network guys at one of my jobs.

archieval 07-27-2011 10:35 PM

Hello SigTerm, I don't have a floppy disk drive in that laptop, it's old like 4 years old but not old in terms of hardware. I think I have no way of copying anything in the hard drive once it is formatted. I would like to try this but I don't want also unless someone tells me that this will work.

1. Since XP is installed in C:, install ubuntu in drive D: using Wubi.
2. Then reboot to ubuntu, then reinstall XP in drive C:

Will this work? Can I run the XP installer in ubuntu?
I am trying to find an updated BIOS for this also and probably it has support for USB bootup, but I'm not sure if copying the XP installer on the USB will work.

Regards,
archieval

TobiSGD 07-27-2011 11:17 PM

Installing XP from Ubuntu will not work. Any laptop that is only 4 years old should be able to boot from USB, I would just give that a try. Otherwise I would go an buy a new CD/DVD-drive for it.

archieval 07-28-2011 01:46 AM

Yes, that's what I was looking for but in the boot options there are only 3 options, CD drive, hard disk, and recovery. Maybe if I upgrade the BIOS, it can have more options. Another way is for me to take out the hard disk, put it in another laptop with a working CD drive, and reinstall the OS from there. I'm just not sure if it will work properly when I put it back to the original laptop.

Regards,
archieval

archieval 07-28-2011 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SigTerm (Post 4426881)
You might get BSOD if motherboards are different.

I thought installing an OS is just copying all the OS files to the hard drive, will there really be hardware issues if I install the OS to the hard drive through another laptop?

SigTerm 07-28-2011 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by archieval (Post 4427222)
Can I run the XP installer in ubuntu?

Ummm... no (AFAIK). But should be able to format other partition, create files, and make proper boot sector from ubuntu.

The easiest option would be to repair CD/DVD drive.

You could try installing linux system on D, installing DOS (MS-DOS or FreeDOS) on "C" from linux, booting DOS then launching i386/winnt.exe installer, then delete D and resize C using 3rd party partitioning program. This should work. I don't remember exact procedure, but if you copy all DOS-related files onto C, and make proper boot sector it should work. Since you don't need anything except smartdrv and command.com, I think you should be able to extract necessary files from image of rescue diskette.

Quote:

Originally Posted by archieval (Post 4427310)
I thought installing an OS is just copying all the OS files to the hard drive, will there really be hardware issues if I install the OS to the hard drive through another laptop?

Yes, if you have different motherboard, it is possible that you'll get BSOD on startup. This is related to HAL. Microsoft(or somebody else) has an article explaining how to avoid that issue, but I forgot where this article is located, so you'll have to google it.

archieval 07-28-2011 11:23 PM

Ok it seems that my laptop can support boot through usb. I had installed the windows xp installer to the usb flash drive through an instruction I found here. When I reboot, the windows setup continue, then I format the whole hard drive and continue setup. Then after the setup files are copied, it rebooted. Then there are errors on hal.dll, so I tried to renew the installation process. Then the next time it reboots, there is a lengthy message something drive configuration something, or if there is a new disc or drive controller and the setup cannot continue (not even on the windows xp setup). It seems that the hard drive cannot be detected, when I went to bios setup, the hard disk is listed there but I cannot change any configuration. Something really went wrong and I do not know if it due to the usb windows installation. I will post the exact error later. If the harddrive is corrupted, I could probably insert it to my other laptop, and format or find the problem... :(

Regards,
archieval

archieval 07-29-2011 08:52 AM

Finally xp is installing now. The hal.dll error was fixed with this. And then the error i got during bootup was this, but i don't know how it got fixed, i was switching between an external cd drive and usb flash drive and it just went through with the usb. I thought this whole process is complicated, now i know this is normal for mini netbook users.

Regards,
archieval

{BBI}Nexus{BBI} 07-29-2011 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by archieval (Post 4428438)
Finally xp is installing now.

Nice, can you now mark this post as [SOLVED].

archieval 07-30-2011 12:07 AM

How? there's no more marked as solved in thread tools.

Snark1994 07-31-2011 06:03 AM

There should be a link at the top of the page, below "General - This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!", to the right of "Post Reply" and above "Thread tools" :)


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