Copy XP CDROM to Hard Drive?



In my youth, to install Win 98, I would always fdisk and format my HD, then copy all/most of the files from the Win98 CDROM to the HD.

Then, from the HD, I would launch Setup to install Windows.

The benefit was (1) it was fast to install, and (2) since it was loaded from the HD, the same HD was the location of the CAB files when any updating, etc., was needed. No need to get the CDROM and insert it.

Question: Can this be done with WinXP? Under FAT32? Under NTFS?

Hmmmm. My head hurts......



Nissan Powered
Originally posted by Iceman38
Neat thing about XP, you never have to put the CD in for upgrades of drivers and stuff.

Thats not intirely true, if you go to a web site that is like in japanese when you go to install the lang. it asks you to insert the windows xp cd. :) Granted this isn't a driver but it's still part of the os.


Yes m8.. but when you 1st install XP it asks wot language u want.. the average user DOESNT suddenly change languages !!!!.. so thats a daft comparison..true.. but NOT the normal.


Whoa! Slow down!!!

Nice to know it can be done.

The question is:

If I fdisk and format the drive as FAT32 from a boot diskette, and copy the CDROM over, how do I get the drive converted over to NTFS? Will it ask me during the setup? (<---my best guess. Do I win???!?)



But wait, there's more---!

Do I copy only the i386 folder from the CDROM, or do I need the whole CDROM?

Does it make a difference if it's an Upgrade Version versus a Full Version? (WinXP Prof.)


If the XP upgrade is like the 98 upgrade was there is no real diffence. You can do a clean in stall with the 98 upgrade disk, and you will just be promped to insert a 95 disk to prove that you qualify for the upgrade.

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
Found this. Use FAT32.

You'll have to use xcopy... there are important subdirectories, unlike the win9x setup files.

Let's just assume that your cdrom drive is E: while booted with a win98 startup disk. Smartdrv is loaded automatically when you choose CDROM support... so trying to load it again will only display statistics, so don't bother for this stage. Ok...

C: (change to the C:\> drive... can be another partition where you store the setup files, substitute correct drive letter if so)

md i386 (create a directory)

A: (change back to A:\> prompt)

xcopy e:\i386 c:\i386 /e

That will copy the contents of the i386 directory and it's subdirectories, to the i386 directory on the C: drive (or wherever we put it). The /e switch is the only one required for this (copy directories, including empty ones) Go for a coffee, for it will take a while.

When it's finished, reboot again with the Windows 98 startup disk. This time, choose 'Without CDROM support' for we no longer need that driver overhead.

Now, we need to load smartdrv or the file copying phase will be slower than a constipated tortoise. From the A:\> prompt...



cd \i386


The installation should now be under way.

ps Make sure the boot disk has smartdrive on it.


Re: Whoa! Slow down!!!

Originally posted by CEichhorn
Nice to know it can be done.

The question is:

If I fdisk and format the drive as FAT32 from a boot diskette, and copy the CDROM over, how do I get the drive converted over to NTFS? Will it ask me during the setup? (<---my best guess. Do I win???!?)

Yes during setup you get the option to format the drive with NTFS.. recommended :)


Received and understood!

Thanks for the walk through. All makes sense. This will be fun!

Now if I can just get fastfat.sys to extract without creating an error message. (Separate thread.)



How to Re-install?

The good news is that fdisking and formatting the 15 Gb HD with Win98SE went fine. I floppy-booted and created the I386 folder, and copied the I386 foldser from the WInXP Pro Upg CDROM. I then ran WINNT and installed XP, then converted the drive to NTFS.

That all worked fine. No driver issues, no problems at all.

I then downloaded the critical and recommended Updates. (Skipped a few recommendations that were obviously inapplicable, and accepted a couple that were mysterious.)

Now I get into the startup screen, the HD light stays on and the system locks. Stop me if you've heard this before.... ;-))

I tried MSCONFIG and even with nothing else running, the problem is the same. I removed ALL the adapters except the video card (nVidia TNT 64) and it still happens exactly the same way.

System Restore is not helping at all.

Problem: I can't go back to Updates to try to uninstall them because I can't go online (because Safe Mode won't load my friggin' WinModem?) Worse, since I can only get to Safe Mode, I can't get online from that machine at all, it seems.

If I can't find a way to do get online and uninstall the updates, I would like to Repair or total reisntall.

I can't seem to find my way to the Repair installation. F8 didn't list it. If I had installed from the CDROM I could go from there, but I can't figure out how to do it from the \I386 folder on the HD.

As for a total clean reinstallation, I can't figure out how to "uninstall" WinXP so I get back to a clean HD with a folder of \I386 so can reinstall from scratch. (It's all NTFS now.)

Must I FDISK the whole thing from a W9x boot floppy and start all over again?


Asus P3B-F
128 Mushkin PC133
15 G Maxtor ATA/100/5400 HD
ESS Sound card
nVidia TNT 64
PCTel Mach 2 WinModem
Netgear FA311 NIC
PS/2 KB and mouse


Like magic, sorta

Much poking and prddding later, I went to Windows Explorer and rrna WNNT32 from \I386. Lots of whirring and guessing later, I did a reinstall that was clean, not just a repair or over the old files. That brought me back to where I started, and working. So now it boots all the way through Startup to the Desktop.

Now I'm afraid to do anything for fear of doing whatever I did before that screwed it up so it wouldn't boot!

All I wanted were the Updates, Norton AV, and Drive Image 2002! Norton was the first crash and the Updates finished it off!

Stand by for news...



Third time's the charm?

I did it first with only one big change - I copied the entire CDROM to hte HD. There was a single file that refused to coy (not in the i386 folder.) For some reason it wouldn't truncate from the longer fileneame. Weird.

All the problems I have described ensued.

Total wipe and start again.

Then I did it EXACTLY the way your message above suggested.

Same problems. Hmmmm.

Then I did a reinstall of the whole XP.

Same problems.

Then I plugged the keyboard ALL THE WAY into the adapter. :rolleyes:

No more problem. (Except that I may shoot myself......)


I hate when that happens...:eek: :rolleyes:



Glad I didn't pull the trigger after all.... POS just hung again......!!! After starting correctly about 8 times. I have added the Updates. And it booted fine. Then, after another good boot - SPLAT!

The system is polling devices, then right about the time it gets to the KB, it makes a "blip" sound through the speakers, then may or may not light up the kb, then hangs, with the HD running forever.

The Event Viewer usually shows two errors that make no sense to my uneducated brain. One is COM related and the other is about Shadow Copying.

Conflict/Sharing has three items:

- IRQ 3 is shared (I shut off COM2 in the BIOS.)
- A memory address is shared between PCI Bus and something
- A Port is shared between PCI Bus and something.

It doesn't say whether these are just shared or in conflict. How can one tell?

Device Mangler shows no problems.

Safe Boot works fine.

This is getting to be discouraging.

Thanks for the advice and support.

I can start swapping components....?:(


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