linux and windows tips, mathematics, and some recipes

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Creating a Bootable Windows XP Setup CD

There are a number of reasons why you may need such a CD:
  • Your copy of Windows came preinstalled, and you'd like to have a backup in case something goes wrong.
  • You want a 'slipstreamed' setup disk, i.e. a setup disk which will install XP Service Pack 2 as part of a full install.
  • You want access to the Windows Recovery Console.
I actually fall into the last category — having decided to remove Debian Linux from my computer, I also wanted to remove its boot loader, GRUB, and replace it with the Windows boot loader. Unfortunately, this can only be done using the fixmbr program which comes with the Windows Recovery Console!

If you already have a Windows Setup CD, then all you need to do is to follow the instructions given in Paul Thurrott's web site. However, if you have a preinstalled version of Windows, you may find that the contents of the Setup CD are located somewhere on your hard drive. In my case, (with an Acer TravelMate 4151LMi) the Setup files are in C:\i386. You need to follow the instructions in Bart Lagerweij's web site to create a bootable CD from the Setup files.

If you have SP2 then you'll also need to 'slipstream' the Service Pack. Unless you already have the Service Pack file, you'll need to download it from Microsoft. Instructions for downloading and slipstreaming are given as Steps 2 and 3 in Paul Thurrott's web site (you need to modify the instructions a little to work with Bart's procedure).


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