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Installing XP without XP CD.

Last response: in Windows XP
October 14, 2010 11:37:52 PM

A fresh installation of XP PRO SP3 is required in an old system. Its CD ROM has gone defective. USB boot options are unavailable i-e can't boot from a bootable USB stick. Just for the heck suppose there is no option of getting another working CD ROM into this system.

What I did and What I want

removed HDD of that system and placed it in another system 'system-b' ( which has a working CD ROM). Booted from system-b 's own HDD, when in Windows copied entire contents of XP CD in another partition of victim HDD.

now removed system-b's own HDD and placed victim HDD only in system-b. booted from CD ROM to some partition utilities. prepared the victim HDD partition for installation.

What I want is correct?

I wish to start XP installation in victim HDD placed in system-b such that installation should get its source from other partition of victim HDD. secondly, installation should go smoothly till the text portion of installation ( copying files) is over and first 'restarting your PC' appears. when the system-b will restart at that moment I will power down it, remove victim HDD, place it in its own PC and restart that system , so the remaining installation continues in that PC and installation source it should get automatically from other partition on same HDD.meanwhile system-b will be reverted back as before.

Is it a good idea?

Another problem I am facing is to start installation without XP CD in system-b with victim HDD.

suppose I do'nt boot system-b with XP CD and wish to install via DOS mode by using

'E:\XP-CD\I386\winnt /s ( with source path )'

How to run 'E:\XP-CD\I386\winnt /s ( with source path )' in DOS mode, from what I boot? I do'nt have win98 strtup disk to boot to DOS, all partitions on HDD are NTFS.

I am to boot via some utility 'NTFS DOS' from a utility boot CD but it does'nt execute e:\... winnt setup file.

How to execute it without using floppies, Usb stick, WinXP CD. any ways?

More about : installing

October 15, 2010 2:28:57 PM

Um.. you need to boot the PC somehow. How can you boot even to DOS if you can't use any boot media? It's like asking how can I go across the river but I can't swim use a boat or fly and there are no bridges.

If the 2 systems you are doing the hardware swap are fairly similar (especially the storage controller), you may be able to install XP in one system and move the drive to the other. You'd just need to keep the drivers for the second system handy when Windows starts asking for them.
October 15, 2010 5:15:21 PM


I believe nothing is impossible in this digital world.

Two systems are not similar neither their controller, so i would'nt install completely in one system and swap HDD's

By putting the required HDD (alone) in a working system, I am able to do everything on this HDD.

I can install XP from CD to required HDD in that working system.
BUT I wish to install in this manner that installation gets its source from HDD other partition ( where XP CD already copied)

provided above scenario, and having only XP CD to boot, how to configure setup to achieve that above?

although I have several other boot CDs and utilities,HDD all partitions are NTFS, so many DOS type boot options does'nt recognize them after bootup.
from what I boot, or how I boot from XP cd to be able to execute the
...I386\winnt.exe DOS based setup file. so that I can give it source path
like ...I386\winnt.exe /s:...path...

That's my idea details:
place required HDD in working system
copy XP cd contents to some other partition in that HDD
start installing XP in working system on required HDD
use configuration options so setup gets source files from within HDD partition which has the entire CD content
keep on installing untill the phase comes that on next reboot it could boots from HDD and does'nt require XP cd anymore to boot.
Stop this working PC
remove that HDD
place that HDD in its own system and start the system
remainnig portion of setup should continue there using source from HDD other partition.

any ideas how to achieve this?
Related resources
October 15, 2010 5:27:31 PM

How about just taking the working CD/DVD drive from the 2nd PC, and temporarily installing it in the 1st PC. Do your install, then put the drive back in the 2nd PC.
October 15, 2010 7:49:09 PM

aford10 said:
How about just taking the working CD/DVD drive from the 2nd PC, and temporarily installing it in the 1st PC. Do your install, then put the drive back in the 2nd PC.

Yeah that is quite obvious, easy and should be the choice

But if I do it that way, I will loose the chance of testing my idea which is One more complex way of doing a simple thing.

I want to do it hard way.