I have a rather peculiar problem. I have a laptop that has no way to boot off anything but the HDD. There's no CD, no floppy, nothing external. Only HDD. The HDD has been formatted and partition with this: Part 1: Active 27gb Part2: 2.5gb Both are blank. What I need to do is manually place the needed files onto these partitions in order to install XP onto partition 1. I have thus far copied the entire contents of an XP Pro SP2 CD to the 2nd partition. From this partition, I have to run the "winnt.exe" file from "i386". Then I copied the 3 necessary XP boot files to the active partition, which let's the system know something is there. My thinking is that somehow I can edit boot.ini to point to partition "3" to "i386\winnt.exe". And then Xp setup will start from there. When I tried this, it gave me the proper OS loading screen where I choose my 2nd partition but it just throws an error saying missing "<systemroo>\system32\hal.dll" and doesn't do anything. So then, how can I, by manually placing files directly on the partitions, get XP to install? I know it can be done, it's the same concept as OEMs putting "Recovery Console" or a system image to a 2nd partition and letting you reload Windows from there. I just don't have a way to see how they did it. Any ideas?