xp pro install CD from i386

Posted on 2012-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-09-22
I have a Dell Vostro 220 machine on which i want to do a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP3 (the same as is currently running on the machine). I have done all the necessary backups of data, drivers etc. and do not want to do a repair install. The problem is that I have no install CD although I do have the correct product key.

I have tried using the i386 folder and running winnt32.exe to start the install process but cannot use this method to do a clean install as it is not possible to delete the existing xp partition due to it containing the temp files for the install. I also tried creating a new partition and copying the i386 folder to it figuring that the temp files would then be placed on the new partition but it still used the old XP one.

I have two thoughts about how to proceed. One is to create a partition large enough to take a full install of XP using the i386 file. After the install I would then need to delete the old XP partition and return the space to the new one. My only concern with this method is how to ensure that the system looks for the boot.ini file in the correct place after I remove the old XP partition.

The second method would be to somehow create an install disk from the i386 file. I have read articles about how this could be done but am still a little unclear as to the best way to go about it.

I would be very grateful for some expert advice.
Question by:grigorovsky
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Your best bet is try to contact Dell and get a Dell XP install disk.

    Alternatively you can check ebay or craigslist and see if anyone is selling a Dell XP Pro disk.  You want the Dell brand because it automatically activates, has better drivers, and if necessary your key will work just fine.

    just an example.
    LVL 39

    Assisted Solution

    Start here:

    You can also take OEM XP prof disk (if it was OEM installation) from any other computer.Drivers can be downloaded from DELL site.
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    You could copy the i386 partition to some other location, then use a utility to delete the partitions on your PC. Then using the same utility create a fat16 partition and after that format it using a DOS boot floppy disk, with the /s switch so it installs the DOS system to that partition. After that copy the i386 folder back to that partition. Now boot into DOS on that HD and run winnt from that partition (first use it with /? so you get a list of the available options. You probably need to use some of them so the setup will run properly).

    Tools you can use for partitions, copying etc are the PartedMagic LiveCD and maybe also the UBCD:

    Featured Post

    How to improve team productivity

    Quip adds documents, spreadsheets, and tasklists to your Slack experience
    - Elevate ideas to Quip docs
    - Share Quip docs in Slack
    - Get notified of changes to your docs
    - Available on iOS/Android/Desktop/Web
    - Online/Offline

    Join & Write a Comment

    Hallo! I guess almost every Windows Administrator must have got stumped with this question "Where does WINDOWS store a users cached credentials? Every user who had once logged onto a Server/Desktop while it was connected to the domain could sti…
    Have you ever had a hard drive that you can't boot into, but need to change the registry? Here is the solution! This article guides you through accessing and editing a registry of a non-primary drive. To read registry information on a non-prim…
    Windows 8 comes with a dramatically different user interface known as Metro. Notably missing from the new interface is a Start button and Start Menu. Many users do not like it, much preferring the interface of earlier versions — Windows 7, Windows X…
    In this video, we discuss why the need for additional vertical screen space has become more important in recent years, namely, due to the transition in the marketplace of 4x3 computer screens to 16x9 and 16x10 screens (so-called widescreen format). …

    734 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now