Windows XP Home copy?

  User-1252932 12:37 25 Mar 2008

My mum has a Windows XP Home which was preinstalled on a computer ordered from Time/Tiny.

Unfortunately, there is now a problem with the hard drive.

Is there a way to create a copy of the operating system from the computer (in effect make a full install setup CD of the operating system)? So I could reinstall it. She had never received a CD or recovery CD from Time.

If it is possible (I would prefer the operating system itself without the usual Time bloatware included), would it be legal?

Many thanks in advance!

  alan2273 12:42 25 Mar 2008

Provided that you have the installation ID number (this should be on a sticker on the side of your machine) you can use any XP disk to do the install.
If it is Home you need a Home disk and the same for the Pro you need a Pro version disk.
Before you start the install you will need to get all the drivers for the motherboard, a program like Everest home or PC Wizard 2008 will tell you what to look for.

  User-1252932 12:48 25 Mar 2008

Alan, thanks for your response. Yep, there is an installation ID number sticker.

Unfortunately, I do not have a Windows XP Home CD anywhere (I do have a Windows XP Pro). :o(

  Stuartli 12:49 25 Mar 2008

If you clone the hard drive to a new drive, the OS and all the hard drive's programs, applications etc will/should be retained.

  User-1252932 12:51 25 Mar 2008

Thanks for your response, stuartli - I would rather reinstall programs and applications individually myself so no old rubbish is transferred.

  Eric10 14:57 25 Mar 2008

Search your hard drive for a folder called i386 which should contain all the installation files needed to install Windows. It may be inside the Windows folder and you may need to "show hidden files and folders". If it is there you can burn this to a CD to install from. You need to run a file called WINNT32.EXE to start the re-installation. You will still need to source all the drivers as alan2273 says.

  User-1252932 15:32 25 Mar 2008

cheers Eric - I will take a look when I get home (the hard drive is currently set up as slave to my computer).

I take it that the newly burned CD won't be bootable? I will format the disk completely, convert it to NTFS then install a clean Win XP Home.

I am not too worried about drivers and will obtain as required from internet or CDs. :o)

Also can I use my Windows XP Pro drag-and-drop thing to write the i386 files or do I need something special?

  Eric10 17:45 25 Mar 2008

You can use anything you like to write the files and you are correct in thinking that the CD won't be bootable so you will need to boot from a floppy boot disk with CD drivers click here for a suitable source. The boot disk from here is Win98 so don't convert to NTFS before starting, you can format to NTFS during the setup. The other source is a set of 6 floppies from Microsoft which can read NTFS click here. Once you can read the CD just locate and run WINNT32.EXE. Just be aware that things can still go wrong if Tiny/Time haven't put the complete folder on the hard drive but I think it is your best chance for a clean install. If you do have another hard drive to clone the old drive to this would provide a safe backup and give you the extra confidence to proceed.

  User-1252932 18:20 25 Mar 2008

many thanks - I will try that. Before formatting the hard drive, I will test the CD on an empty disk.

Someone suggested to me that I can get a copy of Windows XP Home from torrent? Would this still be legal?

If the CD does not work, can I borrow a Windows XP Home CD from a friend (e.g. would the installation ID still be applicable)?

  User-1252932 21:45 25 Mar 2008

Sorry - one more question! ;o)

How do I find out what Service Pack version of Win XP Home is/was installed (via slave drive)? This is so I can download an appropriate version for boot disks unless it does not matter even?

Btw, the I386 folder within Windows directory size is 427MB - does this sound abotu right for a full operating system?

once again, thanks!

  Strawballs 22:21 25 Mar 2008

Yes that sounds about right.

You could use this site to create and slipstream XP and SP2 using the i386 folder and any copy of sp2 click here

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