Okay, so I have one of those "Ultra Portable" laptops that have no physical drives other than the HDD. It's an HP/Compaq NC4010 (not that that makes much difference).
Anyway, long story short, the XP install is screwed (how and why is not really important) and I want to do a complete reinstall. Now, when I say "screwed", it IS operational and I CAN boot and launch applications - I'm actually writing this on the machine in question.
I have no access to another machine (so swapping drives around is not an option) and even if I did, I have no laptop/IDE converter to facilitate this.
My plan therefore, is to use Partition Magic to jiggle the partitions and create a tiny second, bootable DOS 7 drive with a multiboot option so I can boot to dos. I also intend to create a third partion, on which I'd copy the i386 folder to so I can then (theoretically):
1. boot to DOS
2. format old XP install
3. reinstall XP from drive 3
4. boot to XP
5. remove other partitions with the aid of Partition Magic again.
See? Good plan eh?
My questions therefore are:
1. does that sound feasable?
2. how do I install DOS from XP with no bootable CD/floppy?
3. how do I create the boot menu from XP
4. Have I forgotten anything?
I guess my main issue is 1 as everything I've read about installin DOS 7 involves boot disks (floppy or CD, which are not available) oh, and in case you were wondering, System Restore is not an option (already tried and failed) and the machine (insofar as I can tell) is too old to boot from USB (again tried and failed).