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installing winxp from hard drive

Posted on 2009-03-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi,

have an old ibm thinkpad that keeps failing on install for xp coz cd rom is bad so am trying to copy i386 directory from cd onto hard drive.  I used my old win98 startup diskette and ran fdisk to create primary dos partition.  I was advised to copy i386 contents into folder of my c drive but cannot see c drive using win98 disk since it uses virtual disk for cd drive and i think it cant see my physical hardrive since i have 4gig on that partition but it says only 1/2gig available.  I think maybe i am creating primary dos partition and shouldnt be in the first place.  Any advice?  thanks
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Question by:dankyle67
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by:ITHelper80
ID: 24015674
Your 98 boot wouldnt see the XP partition becuase it is in NTFS.

Your going to need more thant the i386 folder to install XP.

I would suggest copying the entire cd to an external hard drive or flash drive.

This will point you down the right road.

http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/578/windows-xp-installing-from-harddrive/

http://www.eeeguides.com/2007/11/installing-windows-xp-from-usb-thumb.html

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by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24015791
Old systems will not be able to read the Flash Drive, that only came about within the last couple of years.

Try the hard drive one, but the USB will not work for you.

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24016000
I was able to see my c drive after i formatted it.  Problem is that it gives me similar message from cd install where it says "setup cannot copy the file: ftdisk.sys or some other file so don't know if somthing is wrrong with hard drive since i was able to copy whole i386 folder to hard drive from cd drive.  If i copy enttire i386 directory from xp cd is that sufficient or do i have to copy entire xp cd?
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by:prd00
ID: 24016019
Is the file in question always the same file, or randomly changed?

Have you try to obtain from different source? If the file that could not be copied varied randomly, the problem is not with your CD-ROM. I suspect that your RAM might has some minor trouble.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24016028
Its always a different file so maybe you are correct about ram.  How would i check that?
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by:Kechka
ID: 24016040
As far I can remember it's enough, run WINNT.EXE from DOS to run install.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 24017650
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24017688
I was able to copy i386 directory into hard drive but when i ran winnt it got through half of the install but failed again on one of the files.  Could my hard drive be bad?  The copy process from cd to hard drive in dos took long time so cd should be ok but failed 2 attempts when installing from c drive.
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by:prd00
ID: 24017701
http://www.memtest.org/

This is to test RAM.
There is another possibility, bad source
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by:Kechka
ID: 24017839
Also check the hard disk for errors, you have Win98 boot floppy, If my memory is OK there should be scandisk and chkdsk tools.
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by:nobus
ID: 24017861
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24024234
ok running scandisk now so wil see what it turns up.  If it comes up clean, what else do you think could be causing it not to copy file into harddrive?  Doesn;t make sense coz when i ran winnt from dos it copied all files into c drive but all files are already there i thought since it is no longer trying to copy from cd since all files are on harddrive.  
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24024517
Hi,

scanddisk reported no errors on drive.  Was wondering if i am missing something.  I copied i386 directory from cd to harddrive but am i supposed to copy any other files?
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by:nobus
ID: 24026374
just found my notes :
Sometimes it isn't possible to install Windows XP from the CD. But with the assistance of Windows 98 you can load Windows XP quite easily.

Follow these steps:
-connect the drive to a desktop PC, as only disk
-boot from a bootable win98SE floppy
-format the drive as fat32 (to be able to be recognised by win98)
-issue the command sys C:
-copy the xp cd to a folder (or just the i386 folder)
-copy the himem.sys and smartdrv.exe files to the root (you find them on any win98 system
-create an autoexec.bat file containing :     smartdrv.exe
-create a config sys file containing :           device=himem.sys    
now put the drive back in the lappy, boot it up, and navigate to the i386 folder, start the xp setup by typing :
winnt

download smartdrv.exe here :   http://vetusware.com/download.php
http://searchwinsystems.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid68_gci955465,00.html
http://www.fan.tv/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=14023&PN=1

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by:dankyle67
ID: 24027607
Hi

will try those steps but not too sure about connecting drive to desktop pc.  How do i go about doing that.  Do i have to take the drive out of the laptop?  Im thinking that maybe the source xp cd i used is bad but dont know how to test that aside from running the cd install on another machine but dont wanna start an install and not finish on a working pc.
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by:nobus
ID: 24029441
yes, of course - you may need an ide 2.5 to 3.5" adapter cable http://www.mini-box.com/HDD-Cable-Adapter
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by:prd00
ID: 24030507
Actually, the fact that you have copied to the drive alone, shows that your CD can be read perfectly.
Have you test your RAM?
All my experience having a random error copying caused by bad RAM, or bad source.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24038100
Sorry how do you test the ram again?  I know the drive is ok since i ran scandisk with no errors and as mentioned i have copied entire contents of i386 from cd into hard drive.  
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by:Kechka
ID: 24038244
You can test it with Memtest86+

Take a look at http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24039405
running memory test now but takes a long time.  Over 1 hr already.  Does that sound reasonable?
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by:nobus
ID: 24040075
it depends on the amount of ram, and it's speed.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24040361
only 512ram so shouldnt take that long.  It seems like it is repeating the tests but i've never done this test before so dont know what the completion looks like.  
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by:nobus
ID: 24040483
it does not stop -  you can stop it after 3 full passes, for normal testing
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24040776
Ok, i stopped test after more than 3 passes and got no errors but shortly aferwards i tried installing xp pro this time with another cd and it says setup cannot copy file: esent97.dll which is a different file than the other 3 times i tried installing.  2x from cd and once from harddrive.  So scanddisk reported no errors which means drive is ok and memory test came up clean so don't know what it could be.  I used different source cds so source can't be bad on all 3.  Doesn't make sense.
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by:nobus
ID: 24040925
it can be a bad disk - did you test it? if not, here the diags :
   http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24041106
I tested the disk using scandisk but i will try the link you gave as well.  Just to let you know, as another test, i installed freenas server from iso cd and it loaded fine and is running on the laptop now.  That's such a quick and small install however so not sure it that is a good indication of whether cd drive or hard drive or ram is the culprit.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24041139
Also, how can i find out what manufacturer is my hard drive.  Do you think i should flash my bios since it is 2003?
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24042809
Ran an install of win2k instead of xp by copying i386 into  c drive and it went through the lengthy copy process but no errors and then when the message came up that ms dos portion of setup completed which is after it copied all files it needed from c drive to windows directory then it restarted and it failed pretty quickly with another file it couldnt load.  If ram is bad, it seems it doesnt affect it in dos but once it starts loading windows it seems to fail.  
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by:prd00
ID: 24046965
Can you try to run linux liveCD?
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by:nobus
ID: 24047005
>>  I tested the disk using scandisk    <<   that is NOT a disk diag; it tests tyhe file sytem.
Please do as suggested; run the diag.
>>  how can i find out what manufacturer is my hard drive    <<  several ways :
-take it out and read
-from the BIOS
-from OS in device manager
>>   If ram is bad, it seems it doesnt affect it in dos but once it starts loading windows it seems to fail.    <<  starnge but possible - i still suspect your disk...test it...
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Accepted Solution

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prd00 earned 150 total points
ID: 24047013
Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
Knoppix: http://www.knoppix.org/

Live CD can run directly from CD ROM.
I recommend ubuntu, because it can be installed on the fly. If you have succeeded booting into the system, try to install to the harddrive.

If you can't get into the desktop, there should be something wrong with your system (mainboard, ram, or CPU). If the error occured after you reach ubuntu desktop, and while you are installing, the problem is your hard drive
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by:prd00
ID: 24047033
--- If ram is bad, it seems it doesnt affect it in dos but once it starts loading windows it seems to fail.  
DOS only use 640KB, while windows uses full RAM. There is possibility, but when windows could not start, it can range between bad RAM, BIOS, storage controller, hard drive, mainboard, even processor cache or even the processor itself. Too low of processor voltage can affect that too.
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by:dankyle67
ID: 24049094
Ok will try the ubuntu site.  I really think it is cd rom since i borrowed a friends cd just to test and it also failed so can't be 4 bad cds.  Would you happen to know the command line to invoke control panel?  I am having strange problem where i cant access control panel on my other laptop which i am using to work on the bad laptop.  I also couldn;t get into services but i know that command is services.msc.  thanks
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