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installing driver with .inf .sys and .cat

I am reinstalling Win XP on an HP workstation, the current installation sort of works - now when I try to reinstall that HP specific drivers, (softpack xxxx) it just creates a subdirectory with these files:
xxx.cat, xxx.sys, xxx.inf  xxx.cva.   I can right click the .inf file and "install" but nothing else seems to happen. If I manually copy the .sys file where I think it should go ( i386 ), and the .inf ( systems32) would that be enough ?  I  doubt it since it wouldnt update the registry. So, what to do ?
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XCLN
Asked:
XCLN
2 Solutions
 
SheddingCommented:
Your best bet is to go to the HP website (www.hp.com) and search for your computer's model.  The next page will show up a link that says "download drivers and software" click on that.  Then start collecting all the software you need for your machine (sound drivers, video drivers, etc).  If you don't have your network drivers.  You will need to go to another machine and download the driver and install them on your HP machine.   There is no real good way of installing drivers just using the inf file..  (there are instances where you can go to the device manager, click on the device with the missing driver and then click on "reinstall driver or update driver" and go to the location of the inf file.. this sometimes works).  however.. your best bet is to just get every driver you need and reinstall.  You at least know the driver will work and you are getting updated drivers.
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Vadim RappCommented:
one way: see Step 3 at  http://www.maximumpc.com/article/How-To--Slipstream-your-XP-installation?page=0%2C1

another way: use nLite from http://www.nliteos.com/ - this will slipstream thee drivers, service packs, tweaks, and much more.
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XCLNAuthor Commented:
OK - thanks, done. Would have liked to know the internals, but that isnt really necessary.
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