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Installing XP from a device other than a CD

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by ~~Alan~~, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. ~~Alan~~

    ~~Alan~~ Flightless Bird

    Until I can get to the store, I need to (re)install on a PC that, for the
    time being, does not have a working optical drive. How can I do this? I do
    have another PC to prepare and/or serve out the installation media.

    Thanks,
    ~alan
     
  2. DL

    DL Flightless Bird

    Does the PC hardware support boot from usb?

    "~~Alan~~" <a.shepro-NoSpam@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:eWCc$$yuKHA.3408@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Until I can get to the store, I need to (re)install on a PC that, for the
    > time being, does not have a working optical drive. How can I do this? I
    > do have another PC to prepare and/or serve out the installation media.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > ~alan
     
  3. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    ~~Alan~~ wrote:
    > Until I can get to the store, I need to (re)install on a PC that, for
    > the time being, does not have a working optical drive. How can I do
    > this? I do have another PC to prepare and/or serve out the installation
    > media.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > ~alan


    Take the hard drive to another PC.

    Place two empty FAT32 partitions on it.

    Copy the contents of the installer CD, to the second FAT32 partition.
    (That is so the first partition will naturally become C: during installation.)

    Now, move the drive back to the original computer.

    Boot the original computer with an MSDOS diskette.

    Change directory to the D:/i386 directory.

    Run the installer. There is a "winnt.exe" and a
    "winnt32.exe" file. One of those runs in DOS, while
    the other would run in a Windows environment. Once you
    start that program, the installer will then copy files
    from the i386 folder of D:, as needed, to the empty C:
    partition.

    My current copy of WinXP was prepared in that way (just for fun).

    I made the mistake once, of creating the partitions in the
    wrong order, and my install ended up booting as D:. If you
    create the partitions on the empty drive in order, the first
    partition becomes your install partition, the second holds
    the contents of the CD. So if you had an 80GB drive, you'd
    make the first partition 78GB (for C:), and the install
    partition could be the remaining 2GB. That leaves room for
    you to store the contents of the CD, in the 2GB partition,
    as well as load drivers, any other bits and pieces of software
    you think you might require. Without a CD drive in the original
    computer, you might not have any means of adding networking
    drivers, chipset driver, video drivers and so on, to make a
    workable system. Leaving 2GB of space for D:, gives you room to
    throw in those goodies as well. For example, you may even want to
    install your AV software, before connecting the computer to the
    Internet for its first Windows Update.

    The hardest part of that exercise, is making a decent MSDOS disk.
    I wasted the better part of the day, tuning up a diskette to do that.
    I started with an MSDOS diskette made in Win98. And added caching
    to it, on the theory it would speed up the install. But by wasting
    all day tuning it up, I didn't really gain anything by making the
    "ultimate" MSDOS boot floppy. If you don't tune up MSDOS, you may
    find the initial copy operation, from D: to C:, is rather slow.
    But you can walk away from the computer until it is finished.

    You can download an MSDOS diskette image from the Internet.
    But I happened to have a trusty crusty one made in Win98 days.

    If you want to spend the time tuning up the MSDOS floppy, I
    got some info from this site to help me along the way.

    http://www.vfrazee.com/ms-dos/6.22/help/

    Once the installation is finished, if you want to make the first
    partition NTFS instead of FAT32, there is a "convert" utility
    in Windows, that can do that. The purpose of starting with two
    FAT32 partitions, is so the (Win98) MSDOS environment can see
    both partitions during the initial copy. Converting the first
    partition to NTFS, means your crusty MSDOS floppy won't be
    able to see the first partition any more.

    There are various ways to format a large FAT32 partition. On your
    preparation PC, the OS may not like to produce a FAT32 partition
    bigger than 32GB. If that is the case, you can use this program.
    If will handle a partition larger than 32GB. There are other
    ways of doing this, but this is a direct solution to the problem.

    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

    http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/download/fat32format.zip

    The limits of FAT32 are listed here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat32#FAT32

    "...limiting volume size to 2 TB on a hard disk with
    512 byte sectors."

    So in theory, you could start with a 2TB disk, and make
    (almost) a 2TB first partition.

    Good luck,
    Paul
     
  4. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    By far the quickest and easiest way to handle this problem is to take
    the optical drive out of the other pc and put it in the pc with the bum
    drive and proceed to install Windows. When done return the drive to the
    other pc if you like.

    John

    ~~Alan~~ wrote:
    > Until I can get to the store, I need to (re)install on a PC that, for
    > the time being, does not have a working optical drive. How can I do
    > this? I do have another PC to prepare and/or serve out the installation
    > media.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > ~alan
     
  5. ~~Alan~~

    ~~Alan~~ Flightless Bird

    Yes, I can boot from a USB Thumb drive. I would imagine I can also boot
    from an external HDD as well.

    ~alan

    "DL" <notvalid@spoofaddress.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:eiEWsQzuKHA.812@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Does the PC hardware support boot from usb?
    >
    > "~~Alan~~" <a.shepro-NoSpam@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:eWCc$$yuKHA.3408@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >> Until I can get to the store, I need to (re)install on a PC that, for the
    >> time being, does not have a working optical drive. How can I do this? I
    >> do have another PC to prepare and/or serve out the installation media.
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >> ~alan

    >
    >
     
  6. philo

    philo Flightless Bird

    Paul wrote:
    > ~~Alan~~ wrote:
    >> Until I can get to the store, I need to (re)install on a PC that, for
    >> the time being, does not have a working optical drive. How can I do
    >> this? I do have another PC to prepare and/or serve out the
    >> installation media.
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >> ~alan

    >
    > Take the hard drive to another PC.
    >
    > Place two empty FAT32 partitions on it.
    >
    > Copy the contents of the installer CD, to the second FAT32 partition.
    > (That is so the first partition will naturally become C: during
    > installation.)
    >
    > Now, move the drive back to the original computer.
    >
    > Boot the original computer with an MSDOS diskette.
    >
    > Change directory to the D:/i386 directory.
    >
    > Run the installer. There is a "winnt.exe" and a
    > "winnt32.exe" file. One of those runs in DOS, while
    > the other would run in a Windows environment. Once you
    > start that program, the installer will then copy files
    > from the i386 folder of D:, as needed, to the empty C:
    > partition.
    >



    That will work

    I've done it but you need to load smartdrv.exe first

    if not , the installation will take "forever" if it even completes at all


    > My current copy of WinXP was prepared in that way (just for fun).
    >
    > I made the mistake once, of creating the partitions in the
    > wrong order, and my install ended up booting as D:. If you
    > create the partitions on the empty drive in order, the first
    > partition becomes your install partition, the second holds
    > the contents of the CD. So if you had an 80GB drive, you'd
    > make the first partition 78GB (for C:), and the install
    > partition could be the remaining 2GB. That leaves room for
    > you to store the contents of the CD, in the 2GB partition,
    > as well as load drivers, any other bits and pieces of software
    > you think you might require. Without a CD drive in the original
    > computer, you might not have any means of adding networking
    > drivers, chipset driver, video drivers and so on, to make a
    > workable system. Leaving 2GB of space for D:, gives you room to
    > throw in those goodies as well. For example, you may even want to
    > install your AV software, before connecting the computer to the
    > Internet for its first Windows Update.
    >
    > The hardest part of that exercise, is making a decent MSDOS disk.
    > I wasted the better part of the day, tuning up a diskette to do that.
    > I started with an MSDOS diskette made in Win98. And added caching
    > to it, on the theory it would speed up the install. But by wasting
    > all day tuning it up, I didn't really gain anything by making the
    > "ultimate" MSDOS boot floppy. If you don't tune up MSDOS, you may
    > find the initial copy operation, from D: to C:, is rather slow.
    > But you can walk away from the computer until it is finished.
    >
    > You can download an MSDOS diskette image from the Internet.
    > But I happened to have a trusty crusty one made in Win98 days.
    >
    > If you want to spend the time tuning up the MSDOS floppy, I
    > got some info from this site to help me along the way.
    >
    > http://www.vfrazee.com/ms-dos/6.22/help/
    >
    > Once the installation is finished, if you want to make the first
    > partition NTFS instead of FAT32, there is a "convert" utility
    > in Windows, that can do that. The purpose of starting with two
    > FAT32 partitions, is so the (Win98) MSDOS environment can see
    > both partitions during the initial copy. Converting the first
    > partition to NTFS, means your crusty MSDOS floppy won't be
    > able to see the first partition any more.
    >
    > There are various ways to format a large FAT32 partition. On your
    > preparation PC, the OS may not like to produce a FAT32 partition
    > bigger than 32GB. If that is the case, you can use this program.
    > If will handle a partition larger than 32GB. There are other
    > ways of doing this, but this is a direct solution to the problem.
    >
    > http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm
    >
    > http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/download/fat32format.zip
    >
    > The limits of FAT32 are listed here.
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat32#FAT32
    >
    > "...limiting volume size to 2 TB on a hard disk with
    > 512 byte sectors."
    >
    > So in theory, you could start with a 2TB disk, and make
    > (almost) a 2TB first partition.
    >
    > Good luck,
    > Paul
     
  7. Al

    Al Flightless Bird

    Booting from a USB HD or thumb/stick and installing OS relatively simple -
    copy OS files to the USB HD and install - an USB thumb drive must first be
    partitioned and made active (usually by using diskpart.exe) - Google/Bing
    for "USB boot" for info.
     
  8. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    Al wrote:
    > Booting from a USB HD or thumb/stick and installing OS relatively simple
    > - copy OS files to the USB HD and install - an USB thumb drive must
    > first be partitioned and made active (usually by using diskpart.exe) -
    > Google/Bing for "USB boot" for info.


    Or use a USB cd drive... For many making a bootable USB stick might be
    more complicated and time consuming than moving the cd drive, but if the
    BIOS can boot a USB device it certainly is a good way to do it.

    John
     

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