Dual winxp sp2 install - no cd no disk. Advice?

By sharps
Jan 18, 2007
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  1. Hi Im hoping someone savvy can share some advice:

    I have a Dell laptop with a dead optical drive and no disk drive, and its time to do a fresh install of winxp to clear up all the residual crap. My plan is to make a new partition on the hard drive, copy the install cd onto the partition, then somehow boot into that new partition and go from there, (install afresh, wipe the old partition etc... )
    My main issue is that Im not sure how to get my computer to boot onto the new partition and not my normal C: partition. And I guess Im not sure windows will let me install from the hard drive Im trying to install to.

    Any advice here would be much appreciated. If someone has a better approach to this situation, Id love to hear it! Thanks..
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    You could boot from an USB CD-ROM (you don't have to bother with the partition either) or an USB flash disk (you do have to do the extra partition thing), provided that the machine supports booting from USB.

    Or, if you insist on doing it the (difficult) hard drive way..
    Not the only way:
    Format the hard drive as FAT32 and make it DOS bootable (you have to do this in another computer). Copy the i386 folder from the XP CD. Put the hard drive back in the laptop. Boot. In DOS, run the XP setup program. You probably want to convert the partition back to NTFS once you are done.
  3. sharps

    sharps Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks nodsu

    Thanks for the ideas Nodsu! I am pretty sure my bios won't let me boot from usb (too bad). Removing the HD seems like it will be hard work but a very good idea. I hope my girlfriend will let me put it in her laptop to set it up! If not, maybe there is a way to do it without removing the drive?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    The trick is to have a partition that is DOS-bootable or to boot straight to the Windows installer.

    Both are doable, but I am not sure how exactly to go about it..
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