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Install XP with no CD drive

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November 18, 2009 7:34:32 PM

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post this, so if its not, I apologize.

I have an old machine I want to install Windows XP on. My problem is that the CD drive does not work. I also tried to install Windows XP from a USB thumb drive, (and after it failed), Linux Mint. The BIOS did recognize the USB drive as a boot device. Is there any other way for me to get a new OS on that machine? Would it be possible to remove the hard drive and hook it up to another machine, then install XP on the drive from that computer (and not have driver issues from switching computers)?

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a c 342 G Storage
November 18, 2009 7:43:07 PM

No, almost impossible to install on a different machine and expect it to work on yours when transplanted back.

Better option if you can is to borrow a CD or DVD reader from a friend and install it temporarily in your machine so you can install Win XP. Then remove the CD drive and return to friend.
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November 18, 2009 8:23:07 PM

Sadly, the mobo only has IDE ports, and all my CD Drives are SATA...

Is there anything else I can do? Or am I screwed until I purchase a new IDE CD drive?
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a c 342 G Storage
November 19, 2009 12:35:50 PM

If this machine is so old it has no CD or DVD reader in it, is it worth the effort to get it running? Anyway, best suggestion I can offer is still to borrow from a friend. Or else blow $30 on a cheap reader or burner, if you think it's worth it.
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a b G Storage
November 19, 2009 4:17:50 PM

"My problem is that the CD drive does not work."
So it does have a cdrom it just doesn't work, simple solution, replace it.
"Sadly, the mobo only has IDE ports, and all my CD Drives are SATA"
Go out and buy an IDE drive, it's not like they cost very much.
How are you planning on installing your programs after XP without a cd/dvd reader?
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November 19, 2009 9:07:58 PM

As PaperDoc said, the machine is so old it is not worth upgrading (or buying a new drive for). However, the processor is decent (2.4 ghz p4), and I could use it as a host for a small TF2 or CSS server.

As for the programs, I can just download them from the internet. All I need for a game server is steam or ventrilo (both free), depending on what I want to do with it.

Thanks for the suggestions, but it looks like I'm going to have to put up with the 5 year old install of Windows 2000 for now :(  .
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November 19, 2009 11:42:34 PM

I would go for an IDE/SATA to USB convert. probably cheaper than buying an IDE drive and its a nice thing to have around for other situations (pulling data off old HDDs etc). Just make sure the bios will recognise a usb boot device and you should be fine. I used one to install XP on a netbook and it worked flawlessly.
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November 20, 2009 12:05:45 PM

That's what I orgininally wanted to do, but the BIOS will not recognize a USB boot device. I hate working with old hardware... :( 
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November 21, 2009 10:30:36 AM

First check you bios ... see if it has boot from flash or something similiar , if it does (then usb should work) let me know and i ll give you a link to an excellent program that takes care of setting up a usb for you.

(most of the time when you do it manually, youve most likey done something wrong. Just to check try your usb in your computer to see if it even works )

If you feel the USB definately isnt it then connect the HDD to another computer and install windows xp on it there, then put it back........ make sure u disconnect ure own HDD first, trust me i accidently formatted my own HDD doing this once. Oh and this doenst always work... i dont have the techie knowledge why but if you got nothing else to do, then its worth a try
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November 21, 2009 3:32:44 PM

I actually did get this to work (finally :)  ). It turned out that the USB drive was detected as a hard drive, and not a removable drive, in the BIOS. Thus, I just had to re order the hard drive boot order so that the USB drive was first. Thanks for the help guys!
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November 21, 2009 4:11:25 PM

I can recall that once I installed XP to Toshiba Tablet PC without CD drive first booting from floppy to win 98 command prompt or whatever command prompt with fdisk and format commands. Created partitions c: and d:, rebooted formatted and attached to other PC and copied XP installation to D: and later started XP setup from D and installed to C:
It seems you could manage with your Linux and USB drive to do the same.
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November 21, 2009 4:12:38 PM

PS. after posting it I noticed that the problem had been already solved. Sorry!
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!