Install Windows XP without Floppy, CD-ROM, USB devices on a Laptop

zeotech
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I have a client with a pretty busted Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop.  The CD-ROM is broken, all of the USB ports are broken except one.  I have an external CD-ROM (usb) but it doesn't get picked up in the BIOS to boot from it and in Windows it never fully installs.  I have a laptop IDE to USB converter that i am using to backup the original data on the drive. What is the best method to get a clean install of Windows XP on this laptop?  I have never had any luck with installing Windows XP from a USB drive, and i don't particularly trust the 1 remaining USB port.  I am thinking there has to be a way to store the installation files from the Windows CD on the hard drive itself.  Ideas?

Thanks.
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Use Roxio or any imaging program, make a copy of the windows xp disc, then load it to a usb drive and boot from that.

Commented:
It looks like the USB option is your only option.

Commented:
if you formated the drive with your adapter to fat32, then copied the files to the hdd; you should then be able to use a dos boot disk to run the setup from that drive.  you might need to make multiple partitions but hsould work.  after setup is complete then you could convert the hdd from fat32 to ntfs if you would like.
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Commented:
Or create a installation file & boot to the NIC

or

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/cd_dvd_drive_problems
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Consultant
Commented:
Given that you can backup data from the laptop to USB using the IDE/USB cable:
  1. Copy the CD data (not image) to another computer (B) in say C:\WinXPCD.
  2. From computer B, copy the C:\WinXPCD to the IDE/USB device.
  3. From the IDE/USB device, copy \WinXPCD to laptop's C:\
You should be able to run the installation from C:\WinXPCD. If so, select a new directory to install Windows, say WinXP or WinXP2.
A byproduct of installing from the hard disk is that changes to OS components automatically install from there as well, so you don't have to grab the installation CD.
 - Tom

Author

Commented:
I still have 2 hours left on the drive imaging.

I'm trying out FlashBoot now to take my Windows XP install CD to a bootable USB drive.

TomRScott: sounds good, i'll try that out after flashboot.
Tom ScottConsultant

Commented:
When I can, I prefer installing from the hard drive for workstations anyway.
Good Luck,
 
Tom

Author

Commented:
I should be able to test out FlashBoot before the drive imaging completes.  I will at least be able to tell if it will boot from USB.  I am not quite convinced since the laptop is 5 years old (latest BIOS at least).

TomRScott: when you install from the same drive are you able to do a clean install when initiating the setup from Windows?
Tom ScottConsultant

Commented:
Clean install from Windows:  Yes, you just have to designate a NEW directory for Windows.  So check what directory your Windows is already installed into and pick another name.  If Windows, WinXP, if already WinXP, Windows or WinXP2.
Of course, do NOT format the C drive during installation!!!
 - Tom
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
There are two simple ways to install XP on that system ...

(1)  Replace the CD drive with a working drive

or

(2)  If you don't want to bother with another CD, remove the hard drive,  attach it to another system,  create and format a partition on it, and copy all of the files on the root and the entire I386 folder from an XP CD to a single folder (say "WinXPInstall").     Now replace the drive in the laptop, boot from a floppy, and run Setup from the WinXPInstall folder.     XP will install with no need for a floppy, CD, or anything else :-)

Note that you do not need to copy the entire XP CD  ==>  just the files from the root and the complete I386 folder.

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