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is it possible to install Windows XP onto a laptop which does not have a cd or dvd rom?

Posted on 2009-04-26
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Hi Everyone;

        I have a friend of mine with a failed hard drive which does not boot into Windows XP at all.  While I have not carried out any diagnoistics yet, I am wondering if XP can be reinstalled onto this laptop which does not have a cd or dvd rom.  It does have several external USB ports.  But, I am hoping we do not have to go out and purchase an external cd or dvd rom. A windows xp cd did not come with the Acer One laptop when it was purchased from Radio Shack.  

          Hypothetically speaking of course, I am wondering if we can access the harddrive of the failed HDD and perform a clean wipe and reinstall from there.

         Any help regarding this tricky situation will be appreciated.

          Thank you

          George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:gesquivel
gesquivel earned 200 total points
ID: 24238192
of course.
u have 2 options:
1- installa a external CDROM or DVDROM drive to make the installation
2- Remove the hard disk drive from your notebook and copy the i386 folder from the windows CD to the Hard disk Driveof the notebook . then create the boot files on the HDD(hard disk drive) and just using the DOS command run the install file in the i386 u copy on the HDD.
that's all.

Gustavo
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by:Wayne Barron
Wayne Barron earned 200 total points
ID: 24238365
How old is your laptop?
All depends on the age of the Motherboard BIOS on rather or not an External
CDRom Drive will work, as it will use USB, and USB was not introduced into the BIOS for bootable media until a few years ago. (Not sure when)

Maybe #2 from gesquivel will work.
Never tried it personally myself so cannot comment on it.

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 400 total points
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by:GMartin
ID: 24238554
Hi Everyone;

        After reviewing the information presented, I do have a few followup questions.  First, what is the correct DOS command parameter to use to copy the entire i386 folder from the XP installation CD to the HDD of the notebook?  The reason I ask this question is because I want to make sure I get all folders and files including the hidden ones.  And, secondly, what would be the steps in creating the boot files on the HDD?  I asssume this part is necessary to not only make the HDD bootable, but, also to provide the files needed by Windows XP to load itself.

          Any followup to these questions will be appreciated.

          Thank you

         George
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by:minthor11
minthor11 earned 200 total points
ID: 24238579
If you have a usb thumb drive and the ability to boot from USB, I would suggest you copy all the files on the CD to the thumb drive using the below command and booting from the thumb drive. Alternatively, if you have an iso of the cd you can use a program like winrar to extract all the files directly to the thumb drive.
XCOPY source destination /Y

Open in new window

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by:akahan
akahan earned 200 total points
ID: 24238762
You don't have to go through all that.

Just connect the laptop to a network where another machine has a working CDROM drive.  On the machine with the working CDROM drive, SHARE the drive.  Then, you can access that drive from your laptop, and install Windows from a CD in the shared CDROM drive.

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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 24238822
Hi

         I do have 3 pc's with working DVD ROM drives at home.  The only thing these pc's share is the internet through a Belkin 802.11 g wireless router.  All other resources such as files, printers, etc. are not shared.  Would it be very hard to setup a pc to share such resources?

         Thanks

         George
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 24238838
It's very easy.  You just turn on sharing for the DVDROM drive you want to share.  

Assuming your PC's are all on the same workgroup, it'll then show up on the other PC's in the network under "My Network Places."
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 24239060
Hi

       I don't think we ever really setup a network.  The only thing shared in the house is the internet through the wireless router.  We do have an SSID name which is the wireless name.  However, I don't think we have a workgroup name.  I am fairly sure we will need to setup a network with sharing enabled to get that option to work.  Is there a way of determining if the pc's are networked?

       George
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 24239379
hey George - just found your Question ; from 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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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 24242029
Here are Microsoft's instructions for setting up a network; come to think of it, though, the catch here is that you'd have to already have XP running on the machine in order to connect it to a network share on another machine.  So ultimately, I think this solution isn't going to work for you, and you'll be better off loading Windows from a thumbdrive, or one of the other suggestions in this thread.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 24292448
Hi Everyone;

        I want to apologize for the delay in getting back with everyone and providing proper closure to this post.   With all of the information presented, I needed time to evaluate each suggestion in order to figure out which one would best fit my needs and current resources.  And, I must confess, everyone really presented some very insightful and thought provoking technical strategies.  After careful consideration, I decided to try the following:

         First, I decided I would need to employ some kind of interface between the laptop harddrive and a good working pc.  Therefore, I went ahead and ordered a USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE Interface from tekgems.com.  I got a good deal on this too for $12.99.  This technical gadget will allow me to interface the laptop harddrive with a good working desktop pc using a USB port or interface.  As such, a drive letter will be assigned to this laptop harddrive on a good working pc.  

          Secondly, I decided to go ahead with using Windows 98SE bootable floppy disk to help start things off with a new bootable track with fresh system startup files.  Besides, I still have many Windows 98 boot disk and cd's still around and they still come in handy from time to time.  

         Thirdly, the i386 folder from the XP CD will be copied to the laptop harddrive.  Once in the i386 folder, I will go ahead and run the winnt command.  Prior to carrying out this third step, I will go ahead and configure a config.sys and autoexec.bat as suggested by nobus.  

          As wrap up thoughts, it is good to know that many of the past technical interventions successfully used back in the Windows 98 era can still be utilized today with great success despite of the advances made in operating systems since then.  At any rate, once again, I want to thank everyone for a great job done on this one.  Without a doubt, there were several visionary ideas presented to this post.  

            George
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