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Creating a Windows Installation CD from your Recovery Disk!


RAM-PAGE's Avatar
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25-Feb-2005, 02:52 PM #1
Arrow Creating a Windows Installation CD from your Recovery Disk!
Building an XP Home or Professional Installation CD suitable for also running SFC /SCANNOW from your OEM installation.

This is how I did it after first reading the article Creating a Windows Installation CD from your Recovery Disk

NOTE It is good practice to update your Anti-Virus and scan your computer before doing this operation.

If you have a Recovery CD from your computer manufacturer, the Recovery CD will install the Windows installation files to a folder, normally to C:\I386 or C:\Winnt\I386 or C:\Windows\I386 . Open the Windows Explorer and look for them. Make sure you have the file Winnt.exe, Winnt32.exe and EULA.txt. Each version of Windows has a different number of files and almost all the files will be compressed so they will have an underscore at the end of the file extension like "Shell32.dl_"

You can do a search for the folder I386. You will need to copy the entire folder to your CD burner. Do not change the name of the folder and do not make it a sub folder as in E:\Windows\I386 , it must be E:\I386. This folder will contain about 1000 or more files, in some cases nearly 1500 files.

The I386 Folder can be found by unhiding files and folders. (Explorer, Tools, Options, View.)

Now comes the easy part, getting the Windows CD Key. The NT platform does not store the CD Key in the Registry in plain text as on the Windows 9x platform. It stores only the Product ID, which is different each time you reinstall windows. So you will need to check your computer for it. My coputer has a Windows CD Key pasted to the bottom of it. Your Recovery CD may have it on its label, or your paper work has it written somewhere.
You can also retrieve it, as I did, using the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder

1. Follow these instructions to copy any OEM drivers. (NB I have NOT checked this out fully at this stage.)

If you have proprietary hardware or if you are not sure if you do, you should copy all your drivers to the CD as well. Most of the manufacturers use some proprietary hardware to cut costs in manufacturing. When Windows installs the hardware many times it sees that it needs a standard Windows driver like Serial.vxd. But the manufacturer's hardware may need a different driver. So they either rewrite the standard Serial.vxd or replace it with their own version of the driver once Windows installs it.

To determine which ones they are use the Device Manager. Right Click the My Computer Icon on your desktop, select Properties, click the Device Manager tab, now click on the plus sign, next to the CDROM icon. The first one should be CD-ROM. Click on the CD-ROM device(s). Now select the properties button and then the Drivers Tab. Now select Driver File Details. If the button is grayed out then there are no required drivers that you will need to copy. If not copy all the files in the window that appears after you click on the Driver File Details button. Many of these files may not be needed. But better safe than sorry.
These were the files which I copied for this particular machine.

Driver files copied to the I386 folder:


2. With all the driver files copied to the I386 Folder I then burned the entire I386 Folder with all of its contents to a CDR.

3. Now the tricky part. You need these files from a regular XP CD to get it to Autorun and to identify it as SP1.

If your installation is XP Home you MUST use files from an XP Home CD.
If your installation is XP Professional you MUST use files from an XP Professional CD.


You should now have a bootable Autorun XP SP1 CD.

4. Install AutoStreamer 1·0 and make sure that you have either the Free Microsoft SP2 CD or the 266Mb SP2 file from the MS Download Centre Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers

With the file name: WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe if you have an English language system.

If you have the Free SP2 CD copy the entire contents of the file to a folder on a hard-drive. (See: Screen-Shot.)

In this instance the CD-ROM drive is G: and the Service Pack File window reads F:\XPSP2\XPSP2.EXE

If you had the 266Mb download the Sevice Pack File line would read F:\XPSP2\WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe

After AutoStreamer Analyses the Service Pack File it will show the build. E.G. Build 5.1.2600.2180.(SP2)

Press NEXT and type in the .ISO file name for the new file. I.E. F:\XPSP2\XPHOMESP2.ISO

Now click FINISH to build the .ISO file. (This takes about 25 minutes.)

5. When the .ISO file is complete exit AutoStreamer and burn a CD-ROM(ISO) from the newly made .ISO file. (I use NERO Burning to do this.)

The finished result will be an XPSP2 CD, either Home or Professional, according to your particular installation, made from YOUR files in the I386 folder on your drive.

6. You should now be able to use this XPSP2 CD on your OEM installation to run SFC /SCANNOW or to do a clean install of XP when you no longer require the use of any of your outdated OEM software, or if you ever fit a new drive and don't want to do an OEM install procedure, as I did. (I had to buy the full version of XP Professional as I didn't already have XP.)


It is up to you to test this CD as to its suitability. I accept NO responsibility for what YOU do with YOUR computer.

I just hope that it may help you, if you so need it.

Original reference Creating a Windows Installation CD from your Recovery Disk
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Last edited by ~Candy~; 06-Mar-2005 at 12:25 PM..
Kenny94's Avatar
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25-Feb-2005, 05:03 PM #2
The Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder also retrieves Microsoft Office products keys on your computer. Microsoft Office 2003 etc,etc.... Handy to have when you’ve misplaced your key and need it to reinstall/repair a piece of software! Thanks Rampage.
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25-Feb-2005, 05:11 PM #3
Thanks for the link Iain ..............
RAM-PAGE's Avatar
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02-Mar-2005, 06:27 AM #4
It's a pleasure Jack, as always. I tried that with the pancakes and got nowhere.

Alligators can't get a pilot's licence is why.

You sure you're not a Lawyer?
RAM-PAGE's Avatar
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02-Mar-2005, 02:49 PM #5
Question ???
Have you tried it out Jack?
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04-Mar-2005, 12:11 PM #6
Originally Posted by RAM-PAGE
Have you tried it out Jack?
Not yet, Iain.
My intention is to get at it eventually, but since 99% of what I do is with 98se, I've been lax at getting around to it.

I've copied your last post for referrence

smilin' Jacques
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