Can I install XP thru a network?


I Just bought a new laptop (IBM ThinkPad X31), but it doesn't have any CD/DVD drive nor floppy and I would like to make a new clean install of Windows XP.

What options do I have?

Is there some easy way to install Windows XP over a Network connection. I have another PC that I could use for that.

In the bootup section in BIOS I can choose to boot via Network, removable device etc.

Are there other alternatives to network booting?

I own a 128MB USB flashdrive, if it could be used for something?

Any help is appreciated!

4 answers Last reply
More about install network
  1. The Boot to Network is normally reserved for something along the lines of Microsoft's Remote Installation Service, in which you would need a Win2k/XP server with RIS installed to do that.
    I would recommend purchasing the CD-ROM for your laptop and save yourself the headaches.

  2. I once had a laptop with a bad floppy drive, it was old so their was no usb or nic. So I pulled the hard drive out and put it into another laptop and the loaded DOS which has that utility to connect to PC's through a parrellel port and then used that to load win98 of the other computer's cdrom drive but ran into trouble when it wanted to reboot. When it rebooted it wanted the win98 cd to continue loading and I wasn't able to get it to find the cdrom drive of the other computer. But it still managed to boot into windows, albeit with missing drivers and all kinds of errors. When I got into windows a manually loaded all the missing drivers and files over the serial connection. It was an adventure.

    There are probably third party software (ghost, partion magic, drive image, etc)out there that will allow you to embark a simular adventure, but loading Windows even XP is TIME and headache enough when things go right. Buy the cdrom and avoid creating and booting from hidden partitions because in the end it would probably never be a truly clean install.

    Linux Is better!
  3. Hi guys!

    Thanks for your answers.
    I guess buying a CD-Rom would be the easist way out of this dilemma. But I'm a poor student, and buying a CD-rom just for this install wouldn't feel so good, since I dont think I will have much use for it after this. When I get this thing done I will have a network between the laptop and my other PC.

    I also hear that it is possible to Install Windows XP thru DOS, so I'm thinking about creating a small partition on the laptop and put the Windows XP files in there. And then boot to DOS with my USB Flash drive, and then install Windows from that partition.

    But the problem now is that I don't know how to make this little USB flash drive bootable, any Ideas?


  4. In your BIOS you can change your boot order and Boot to USB Device should be there. If you need files to boot to, I'm not sure since I have never tried this myself.
    You can always pull the hard drive out and put it into your desktop, but you would need a hard drive adapter that runs 5-15 dollars, then install everything from there, when finished, you can put the hard drive back into your laptop. I've had problems when trying this using different IDE Controllers, which might cause a blue screen under 2000 or XP.
    You can always try to borrow a CD-ROM and parallel cable.
    Have you tried to find someone else with a laptop that you could try to borrow to load that hard drive up?
    Norton Ghost and Partition Magic really won't be of any use for your situation. a CD-ROM is really what you need.

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