How to install XP without CD, floppy, USB and network

By wolfram
Jun 23, 2009
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  1. Hey guys,

    Today they brought me a very old SONY PCG-C1XS "laptop", with a screwed up Windows installation.

    So I formatted it, and now I can't find a single way to reinstall XP on it, because it has no cd drive, no floppy, doesn't boot from USB or network. Basically I think I'm ***** up, but I hope there is a way around this...

    I took out the hard drive (something difficult in this model..), and used an USB case to plug it to my main PC. So I used my own XP cd, booted from it on my main PC, formatted the USB disk, and it looked like it was gonna work that way. But I got a BSOD on the next reboot.

    Is there any way to make this laptop usable again? I could even install Win98 on it and just upgrade from there...but how? :dead:

    Thanks!
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,748   +156

    Use an USB external CD/DVD
  3. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Some of those old Sony PCG models do not allow installs from an external drive. You may have to download the latest BIOS from the Sony site, in hopes of finding a way to use external drives. Then copy it to a flash memory drive, then copy that to the sony hard drive to install... and of course you cannot do that without Windows installed.
    You might get a friend to install your hard drive in his laptop, then install the Windows.
    When you move that installed drive back to your Sony PCG, you will find that it doesn't work because Windows has detected that the hardware has changed, making the install illegal. But then you can use the Windows CD on the external drive to fix that with an update install.
  4. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,605   +9

    Hey guys thanks for the replies!

    Today I've bought a 2.5 to 3.5 IDE adapter, I'll try something I saw on another post. Will reply back :)
  5. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,605   +9

    OK I've finally got it working a few days ago. If you are using an USB case, you're just wasting your time! :) All I had to do was...

    Connect the laptop HDD to an old PC (my main rig just doesn't like very old software lol). I used a P2 400 mhz and booted with a win98 se bootdisk.

    Create two partitions using FDISK and copy the XP CD to the second one.

    Format the first partition using the FORMAT C: /s /u command, which makes the HDD bootable.

    Put back the HDD on the laptop, and a lovely DOS command prompt appears.

    Install XP using the winnt.exe method.

    And it worked! All this sounds really simple but it took me a lot of time and googling to figure it out :D Thanks guys for the suggestions!
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