Modify HP's Recovery to Install Bare XP OEM OS Only?

Posted on 2005-03-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Has anyone tried to modify a Windows XP OEM setup to install the bare OS only? I purchased a Pavilion a810n which comes with a boat load of junk preinstalled. I have created the recovery DVDs, deleted all default partitions and created an empty one. I burned a CD with the i386 folder from the recovery with some of the obvious app folders etc stripped out. I started up with a win 98 bootable CD to kick off winnt.exe. It completes the first part of the install but then after it reboots into the 2nd stage it comes up with error: "File \$Win_nt$.~bt\system32\biosinfo.inf could not be loaded. The error code is 14. Setup cannot continue."

So I need to burn a new CD with i386 but wanted to know if anyone knows exactly how to stop all the HP stuff from installing before I try again. All I want is the bare bones OS, no drivers or anything else. There is a boot.img file which is > 80MB which I did not include in my first disk. Presuambly this is to boot into HP's default recovery. I'm not interested in purchasing a retail install. I've already got an XP license so I'm not about to give Microsoft another penny!!

Question by:Dan_JB

Author Comment

ID: 13638012
OK, I've successfully created a disk that works. From the first recovery DVD I copied the i386 folder to my hard disk and removed these folders and files from i386:
- apps
- drv
- fonts
- inf
- system32
- winSxS
- winbom.ini

I then copied the contents of i386\DIST to i386. This folder reverts the key files under i386 back to Microsoft's default and also recreates the default i386\system32 folder. I burned the remainder to a new CD-Rom, booted using a Windows 98 boot disk, used fdisk to delete the HP partitions and created what I wanted as FAT32. Rebooted and formated (again using the Win 98 disk). Then booted with the win 98 disk, loaded smartdrv.exe (I think you can get this off a Win 98 system), and then kicked off the install with i386\winnt.exe /s:e:\i386 (where e: was my CD drive letter). Worked like a champ! The license key on the case worked no problem.

Hope this benefits someone else! Worked great for me.

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