Installing XP no CDROM or floppy

  lezperez 21:51 27 Jan 2009

Hiya after a bit of help. Basicallly old laptop with no floppy drive and the CD drive has died. I want to re-install XP coz its corrupted no i386 folder on hdd. Have managed to make a flash drive into basically a win98 boot disk, but this is where my problem is. When i boot using the stick, i get a c: prompt, so when i run the xp installation, it tries to install on the flash drive rather than the hdd. Any ideas? Thx

  mgmcc 22:01 27 Jan 2009

If you boot with your flash drive "Win98 boot disk" and then format the Laptop's hard drive as FAT32, when you reboot, the Laptop's own drive should be recognised in DOS and appear as the "C" drive.

To install XP from DOS, you will need to run the Winnt.exe file in the i386 folder which, presumably, you have in a flash drive too?

  Eric10 22:13 27 Jan 2009

Slight correction to mgmcc's instructions. The file you need to run is actually Winnt32.exe.

  lezperez 22:17 27 Jan 2009

I formatted the laptops hdd to fat32 using fdisk. The problem i have is when DOS is booted off the usb stick, according to fdisk c: is disk 1(usb) and d: is disk 2(laptop). Now when i run winnt.exe from the laptop hdd ( i copied the i386 folder to it) it wont install xp on the laptop hdd, it doesnt even give me a choice just starts installing it on the usb stick

  mgmcc 08:00 28 Jan 2009

OK, if you boot with the flash disk to a C:\> prompt, can you run the command...

C:\>sys d:

...which will transfer the "System" files to the hard drive so that it is bootable? It should then boot itself as your "C" drive, from which you can run the Winnt.exe file (which is the correct file to run from DOS).

  lezperez 18:05 28 Jan 2009

Hiya mgmcc. There is no on a 98 bootdisk. So i copied one from a dos 6.2 bootdisk but it wont run, says incorrect dos version. So i made the stick a dos bootdisk but sys wouldnt work then either! Then i tried reformatting the hard drive using format /s but it just says insert dos disk in drive a and press enter! So i copied the system files to the hard drive, and used fdsik /cmbr 2 to create a bootable mbr on the hard disk but it still wont boot!

  mgmcc 20:00 28 Jan 2009

No there isn't a SYS.COM file on a Win 98 boot floppy, but running the command "sys c:" from the A:\> prompt will transfer the System Files to the "C" drive and make it bootable. It transfers the same files as adding the /s switch to the "format" command.

It may be that your USB stick isn't behaving exactly as a 98 boot floppy would and I don't know the answer to that. Can you "beg, borrow or steal" a USB floppy drive so that you can use a proper Win 98 "boot floppy"?

  Terry Brown 20:51 28 Jan 2009

I have an old Winme floppy disk which I can convert to an ISO file (For burning to a CD rom).

This will enable you to run FDISK to clear the old operating system off of C: and re-format it using Fat32.

You should then be able to select c: to install windows.

If you are interested let me know and I will create the ISO file for you to burn to a CD.

  Terry Brown 21:03 28 Jan 2009


If you are loading any programs you will need a CD /DVD drive sooner or later.

  woodchip 21:34 28 Jan 2009

You should be able to copy CD to Flash Drive then Copy to Hard Drive and run direct from Hard Drive.

  lezperez 22:40 28 Jan 2009

Thx for all the replies.

I have all the boot disk images i will ever need! But thx terry.

Woodchip: Problem is when i run winnt.exe it installs xp on the flash drive because that is the primary drive. It wont even recognise the laptop hdd at all. But it is there coz it shows up in fdisk as disk 2.

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