Installing XP on a PC without an optical drive

Discussion in 'Windows XP / Older OS' started by sandy-bridge, May 10, 2015.

  1. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    #1 sandy-bridge, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
    Hello.

    So, I have this netbook with no optical drive and no OS that I would like to install Windows XP on. First, I tried making a bootable USB with Rufus. That worked until the 2nd phase of the install, where it would get halfway through Installing Devices and then slow down a lot, even mouse movement took a lot of time. Then, I tried using a USB ODD, same results. Then I used a Ubuntu Live DVD to make a fat32 partition on the HDD, copy the XP installer to it, boot from a DOS live USB and launch the installer. The MS-DOS phase completed successfully, but it wouldn't boot into the text-based mode normally, and I had to use the DOS USB again, which somehow got the NTLDR MBR written onto it. Then the 2nd phase wouldn't launch at all. I tried several commands to repair the MBR (fixmbr, fixboot and bootcfg /rebuild), but none worked. Attempting to boot from the HDD would result in an error: Missing Operating System. So, how should I install XP on this netbook?
     
  2. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Download XP again, the FAT32 method should have worked
     
  3. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    I have tried this with several different ISOs, all with verified hash. Maybe I should first install FreeDOS on that FAT32 partition so I don't have to have the USB plugged in? Or is it safe to remove the USB while it's installing?
     
  4. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

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    Did you boot into DOS and run setup from i386 folder?
     
  5. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    Yep. FreeDOS USB with himemx.exe. I loaded smartdrv and ran winnt.exe from the i386 folder. Would it be safe to remove the USB?
     
  6. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

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    Once setup is running yea I'd think so, why?
     
  7. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    Ah, okay. Just wanted to make sure that setup wouldn't crash. This should prevent the MBR from being written to the USB.
     
  8. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    It seems that the MS-DOS based setup drives to the C:\ drive, which is the USB. How would I make it write to D: (the HDD) instead?
     
  9. tonto11

    tonto11 MDL Addicted

    Jun 18, 2012
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    #11 tonto11, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
    Two methods:
    1 Use a USB optical drive if you can get the bios to boot it. I used this method on an Aspire One

    2. Take the hard drive out, put it in a usb carrier and clone an XP version
    from another computer (with a similar chipset) onto it.
    put it back in your netbook and patch the drivers to get it running.

    Use Linux on a usb to identify all your chips and components
    XP can be awfully stupid at this task

    ...T
     
  10. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    USB ODD didn't work, and I don't have anything else with a similar chipset.
     
  11. urie

    urie Moderator
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  12. urie

    urie Moderator
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  13. Atari800XL

    Atari800XL MDL Addicted

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    Did you use extra drivers with WinNTSetup, or the standard XPSP3 iso?
    You can either integrate extra drivers in the iso (DriverPack solution), or let WinNTSetup do the integration during the "apply" phase.
     
  14. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    Standard Home Edition SP3. Should I integrate drivers?
     
  15. urie

    urie Moderator
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  16. coromonadalix

    coromonadalix MDL Senior Member

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    you should use an pro retail, pro oem or vlk version, had network troubles with the home version, less complete network settings than the others ...
     
  17. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    Hate to say this but... XP Pro has the same issue. Stuck at Phase 2, installing devices. Guess I'll just use 8.1 then.