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ervindm 03-17-2007 09:54 AM

How to Install Windows XP without CDROM Drive, Bootable USB, and floppy
Hi guys!

I'm new year I am browsing the net for a day just looking for a solution to install windows xp on my toshiba notebook that doesnt have floppy, cdrom drive and cannot boot using USB devices.

I have tried the pxe install but without success. I always recieve not enough memory errors while loading the pe image on the ramdrive. I only have 256 MB of RAM thats why using neither BartPE nor Windows PE type installation is a good solution.

My notebook specs are as follows:
notebook pc
256Mb of RAM
1.1 Ghz Cetrino

One solution I can see is removing the laptop harddisk and connecting it tru my computer using Mobile Harddisk Enclosure on USB interface.

Is this possible? Do you have a walkthrough or guide of doing this?


William_Wilson 03-17-2007 01:00 PM

The exact thing you're looking for is in the tutorials:
install XP without drives

ervindm 03-17-2007 08:29 PM

Thanks! I'll be looking into it.

ervindm 03-19-2007 10:47 AM

Thanks, It works! :)

archking 03-22-2007 11:24 AM

first post hope I'm in the right spot.
I have a a fujitsu b2131 laptop that I've messed up. had win98se on it, but was having issues after loading aol on it. I wanted a fresh start with Windows, but had no drives, floppy or cd-rom, to reload with. If it helps I do have a usb cdrom, but not much good out of the windows enviroment. I found this thread detailing how to install os with no drives. Before attempting these steps I made a backup of my drive using Norton's Ghost so I would have something to fall back on if I failed. I thought I followed the steps as described, but when attempting to start the laptop was greeted with the error "invalid system disk" I put the Laptop drive back in the desktop and boot from it. (worked fine into dos.) I redid the steps but only in so much as to install dos on the drive with same results. (I did a quick format in between tries.) I attempted to reinstall the the backup from norton's with the same result. I tried to putting just the formatted drive in to see if It would read a different message is said something to the effect of no os loaded. I tried going into the bios and having it redetect the drive. (Which it appeared to.)
Before one answers and says I must have a bad laptop or drive let me add that I have another laptop and drive that are identical that have met with the same results.
Let me step back to add the non technical questions for those that are interested.
My boss and I share identical laptops for work. He chose to install AOL on his though I told him it was a mistake. His laptop was not working correctly. So I planned to make a back up of mine using ghost and then restore it to his drive. The problem was that somewhere in the back of my mine I hosed the drive. That's when I conceived to reinstall windows on mine so that I could go with that. I did the steps as described, but met with failure. But I broke a pin off my Laptops drive somewhere in this process. I couldn't be certain when the drive was damaged. So I had no way of knowing if I had failed to follow the instructions or if the bad drive was to blame. So I took plunge and took the drive from the laptop. I successfully backed it up. (The difference was the first time I tried to do it across usb the second time I had a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter straight on the IDE.) Once it was backed up I formatted it and tried again. And failed. I have since tried everything as described above.

William_Wilson 03-22-2007 10:36 PM

The tutorial does work, i have used it on many laptops and many different situations. Make sure that you are creating a bootable partition, a mistake in doing this could result in the error of an "invalid system disk".
The steps have to be followed carefully since any tampering with file locations or using the drive in windows for too many operations will cause the drive to become switched into a slave mode drive.

Are you formatting the C:\ partion with the DOS installer?

archking 03-25-2007 12:56 AM

Not sure about the dos installer unless you're asking about the dos 7.1 disk that can be downloaded from this site.
I downloaded the dos 7.1 from this site and then I installed the the laptop drive into the desktop as the master. I then started the computer with the dos cd in the drive. Went through the install including the part where it asked if I wanted to let the disk write it's own MBR. (Which I did let it write.) When the process was done I turned off the computer, took the drive out and put it directly in my laptop and it failed with the invalid system disk. I can't think of what else to do.

William_Wilson 03-25-2007 11:34 AM

The DOS MBR should work just fine it is similar to the Windows bootloader and linux grub. The DOS installer should format and install DOS on the drive, try rebooting your desktop after installing and see if your desktop can load DOS, it may be something other than the hard drive which is wrong with the laptop.

archking 03-25-2007 03:24 PM

I have verified that it will boot into dos on the desktop which it does. I also have two laptops both of them respond the same way. Before I damaged the second hard drive it responded the same way too.

archking 03-25-2007 05:04 PM

I just grabbed a 40gb drive out of a external case that I have here and formatted it to the fat32 and then installed dos 7.1 onto it by hooking it up to my desktop as the master via the 2.5 to 3.5 adapter. Then put it in a laptop and it worked! I then stuck it in the other laptop and again it worked. I knew that this tutorial looked like should work, but couldn't believe two drives would fail in the same way and that they working before I started this project. Oh well, Now I'm off to tell my boss that we need to either pitch these laptops or buy two hard drives for them.
It sucks that I have to deliver the bad news to my boss, but it's a relief to finally know for sure what's happening. I've been beating my head against the wall on this problem for about a week now.
Thanks for your help on this.

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