View Full Version : how to install xp pro from hard disk

02-14-2009, 11:09 PM
i think i have a crappy cd-rom drive on one of my laptops and i can never install linux or windows from CD (get missing file errors, etc.). in the past i've had to move the install files to a partition on the hard drive and install from there... but i haven't done this for a couple of years (it's like a 4 year old laptop).

i'm not trying to install xp again, and i remember having to make a SIF answer file, but it's been so long that I can't remember exactly what files I need to create to do this, and how to boot the pc and start the install (do i need a batch file frpm win98 CD e.g.).

anyhow, before i waste my whole weekend reading and figuring this out again, i was just wondering if anyone has done this recently and can tell me what i need to do...

i have a USB hard disk, and acronis disk director so i can format and copy files any way i want. i'm just not sure if i need an nlite-style .ini file or an answer.sif file in %/i386, and what is the best method to boot the laptop and run those files from the disk.

to complicate things, i put documents and settings on a different partition, but that's not so much the problem..

i just need to figure out: 1) how to boot the install (winnt.exe in i386), 2) what to do about fat32 or ntfs if i have to boot from win98, 3) what file to tell winnt to install to a specific partition.

any ideas? like i said, i've done this before and i can do it again, but just checking if anyone can help before i spend my weekend reading and doing trial and error until i can f8igure it out.

02-14-2009, 11:16 PM
First one on Google :thumbsup:

02-14-2009, 11:19 PM
yea... i've been through that, but win98 formatting results in a FAT32 partition, and I want NTFS. i know i can convert it later, but i also know that I can get it to install onto a ntfs partition from the beginning. so that's what i would prefer to do.

02-15-2009, 12:18 PM
hrm, i've been thinking about it more and I think I need to move installation files to a partition, and the from bartPE use winnt with syspart flag, e.g. Run D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource

gonna give this a try

and then i can use an answer.sif file with winnt.exe to tell where documents and settings should go, etc.

02-15-2009, 12:20 PM
In case anyone is ever trying to do this, i installed successfully by making 3 NTFS partitions in acronis (a 12 GB C:\, a 2 GB B:\, and a 30 GB E:\). the idea is to install system files and apps to C:, installation files on B:\, and documents and settings on E:. Then, i put the I386 folder on B:\I386 and created an answer file called B:\I386\winnt.sif (in that file profilesdir="E:\documents and settings").

Then, in BartPE i ran the following command:

winnt32.exe /s:B:\I386 /unattend:B:\I386\winnt.sif /syspart:C: /tempdrive:B:

this wouldn't work without a CD-rom though, but it works great when you have a crappy drive and get install errors

the B:\ was actually D:\, however I keep getting :D when i type it sop wahtever