Interesting question on how to install XP on a fresh drive..

OK, I just finished building my PC, but I can't figure out how to install XP (don't stop reading, it isn't that easy).

I get XP Pro SP2 through the Microsoft Campus Agreement for free, since I'm a full time student, it's legit. Problem is, they can only provide it as a self extracting executable. I can't get it on a bootable cd.

I want to do a clean install, without installing a previous version of windows and then installing XP pro on top.

I have copies of:
XP home SP1 (dell version), bootable
WinME upgrade disk

I have Win98 and WinME startup disks. Neither of these disks will recognize my CD drive.

I have a bootable Ubuntu CD. If I boot with it, then try to switch CD's to the XP exe, it freezes.

I have my old hdd (IDE) with WinXP Pro SP2 on it, it brings up the menu saying windows didn't start correctly, do you want to start in safe mode, but it won't boot, it always restarts. Thought maybe I could just boot it up and use it to install XP onto my SATA drives. Can't put my new drives in the old computer, since it has no SATA.

The 6-disk set of windows xp boot floppies gets to "detecting hardware" and then reboots, it keeps doing this until I manually power off the computer.

So with what I have available, is there anyway I can do a fresh install? Or do I have to install XP home (will it even install? it's from dell)

Thanks for any ideas.
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More about interesting question install fresh drive
  1. How come you didn't get a student version cd?

    FYI! You never have to install a previous Windows version first. You only have to present it to the cd drive when asked.

    Can you download the executable to your machine?

    From there you can extract all the files with Winrar; then burn a bootable cd using Nero 6. Instructions are here (ignore the SP2 integration stuff) - follow them from the "Creating a Bootable CD" part:
  2. I called IT to get a CD, but they said as part of the campus agreement, they can only provide the exe.

    I will have to install windows if it tells me when I run the exe that it has to be in windows to run.

    Gotta go to work now, will try to make a bootable disk tonight.
  3. IT is being lazy and don't want to order/make discs
  4. Contrary to what they told you, you don't have to be in an old Windows to run the executable. Not knowing anything, that WOULD be the only way. But you've enlisted this forum for help, and we'll get you through it.

    You need to be at a computer which has an app that can burn cd's, preferably Nero 6 (who's program is outlined in the article). Get a couple/three blank CD-R discs. You can use boot.ima, which is part of Nero, for the boot loader.

    Print the article I pointed you to. Also download into a new folder (call it Test) the executable, & winrar.

    Extract the executable with winrar into a new folder (call it XP). Copy boot.ima there, then follow the instructions.
  5. Thanks for all the help, it turns out that I was at the wrong IT dept (I'm in med school, so there's a separate one for the Health Sciences Center). I made a few call and had to go over to main campus, but I got a bootable disc of both the x32 and x64 versions. Only had to go through three separate IT departments. Same school system, but they don't anything about each other....
  6. Install the 32bit.
  7. why not the 64?

    (since it's almost done now.....)
  8. still not enough drives/support/products for 64 ;)
  9. looks like maybe I should have stuck with 32 bit, I can't install norton SW or IS 2006 on x64
  10. You should listen to your elders when YOU KNOW they are smarter than you in this arena.

    You're going to have to kill the partition you set up before.

    Reboot with the 32bit cd - hit Enter at the first Repair screen. After you hit F8 to accept the EULA, you can delete the partition in the next screen.

    Then re-partition and proceed with the install. Format NTFS (not Quick).
  11. It's not that I didn't listen, it's that by the time you made the suggestion, it was already finalizing the install....

    I'll try it out for a few days and if I don't like it, I'll switch it over.
  12. not saying I'm switching yet, but....

    I know I have to nuke the OS and application drives if I switch back to 32 bit, do I have to reformat the data drives too?
  13. when installing an operating system the drive that needs to be formated in the one that windows is gonna be installed on, so if you have other files on other drives you can leave them alone, if your data is on the drive that is going to be formated then save data to some place else then format then install

    hope that is what you meant
  14. yeah, that's it, thanks.
  15. np, good luck
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