Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me to install windows XP for him and take care of finding and downloading all the necessary drivers to his machine.

He provided me with a copy of Winxp Pro Cd. However, the CD was not bootable and there were no boot floppy disks with it.. So I found a pretty simple way to do this. It took me a while to find the solution, so I feel compelled to share it with those who might run into the same problem: (you need another working computer with a CD burner to do this by the way)

  1. Get bootcd . Boot CD lets you create a bootable CD that has the necessary utilities to get your computer up and running for a windows install. It also allows you (among other cool things) to make your C: drive bootable so you can later on launch the windows install from the CD.
  2. Uncompressed the .zip file. The file contains an ISO file that you can use to create the Boot CD using your preferred CD burning tool. (I used Roxio)
  3. Boot up with the CD you created (don’t forget to activate booting from the CDROM on your BIOS settings)
  4. You will be given several options as to what CD driver you want to use.. press enter (first option offers support to most CDROM drivers)
  5. Switch to the R: drive (all the utilities provided on the CD can be accessed from there)
  6. Now depending on the state of your OS installation, you might wanna play around with fdisk or some other utilities to create a FAT32 partition, or format an existing one (refer to the README file that comes with Boot CD for the list of utilities and what they do). let’s assume for simplicity that you need a fresh install, call fdisk to create a new partition (and delete the existing one(s) if any), then format it using “format”.
  7. Execute a utility called setuphd so all the basic system files are transferred to the C: drive. This will make C: bootable and make the CDROM recognizable from the start.
  8. We’re almost there. Reboot your computer (remove the CD now or change your BIOS settings to boot up from the Hard disk)
  9. Insert the Windows XP installation CD and type R: to switch the CDROM.
  10. Go to directory R:i386, then type “winnt” to launch the install.
  11. At this point windows installation will take over.
    Quick note: You might wanna convert the FAT32 partition (if you formatted the whole disk as FAT32) to an NTFS one. The Windows installation program will prompt you regarding this. Or you can keep it until all is installed and use the NTFS conversion utility that comes with your XP.

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