XP install right on to Hard Drive

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Brownberry

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Oct 6, 2008
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So I have a laptop without a CD drive and I've done this before so I know it came be done, just can't seem to find the googled page that i found last time with the how to. I want to take the laptop HD out and put it into a USB mobile disk enclosure, then from my desktop in my windows xp RUN command I wanna set the XP CD in the drive to copy all its install files to the blank HD and start the XP installation but NOT RESTART after its done. Then take the HD out of the enclosure, pop it back into the laptop, boot up and have the install do the rest from there.
 
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Just create a folder on the drive and copy the CD into it. Then start the setup from a boot floppy (if you have one).
 

Brownberry

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yeah i can get a floppy on it, just trying to move ahead and not use floppys :p

I've done this before where the drive it self boots up and goes right into the XP install. Just looking for any info on how to do this. All had to do is type in this one line into Run, it copied the whole CD onto the drive and started the XP install when it was done I had set it to not restart and just put the drive back into the laptop and started up and it went into the after restart part of the XP install.
 
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If you want the drive to self-boot, then you need to make it bootable. If you format the drive FAT 32, and then use the "sys C:" command from a DOS-based environment (like Win 98 or DOS running in the A: drive on another machine), you will then have the DOS system files copied to the drive. Then you can boot the drive into DOS and start the XP setup from the i386 folder (winnt.exe).

After the installation finishes, you can then convert the drive the NTFS with XP or another hard drive tool, like Paragon Partition Manager (free one available).
 
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Welcome to TSG!

I think you are referring to using winnt32.exe switches.
I've never tried this, but I think something like this might work:

D:\i386\winnt32.exe /tempdrive:X /syspart:X
You may also need the /noreboot /makelocalsource switches.
This will copy all installation files from the CD (drive D) to drive X and install Windows onto that drive, and will not reboot after the copy phase, so you should be able to remove the drive, reinstall it into the original PC and turn it on and it will continue the install.

See the description of the syspart switch here.

HTH

Jerry
 
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