How can I install Windows XP on my netbook with no optical drives?

Nirdesh Naagar January 8, 2013
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I don’t have an optical drive. Please tell me how to install Windows XP from a bootable USB onto a netbook.

The last time I tried to make pen drive bootable, and when I started the setup, it started but then came blue screen with some error and used to come again whenever I used to start the setup.

  1. Paul Pruitt
    January 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Do you have Windows Vista, 7 or 8 currently on the machine? If so you can use Virtual XP Mode. Both solutions use the free Virtual-PC from Microsoft. Windows 7 XP Mode is supported by Microsoft; the Windows 8 version is an apparently simple hack. See the links below:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/default.aspx
    http://lifehacker.com/5965889/how-to-run-windows-xp-for-free-in-windows-8

    • Paul Pruitt
      January 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Looking more closely at your question, I see you have Windows 7 Starter, which is unfortunately not eligible for XP mode :-(.

      If your Windows 7 machine is on a network you can share the DVD drive on another machine and then connect to it with your driverless one.

      There is a piece of freeware that allows you to do this fairly painlessly apparently: http://www.paragon-software.com/business/net-burner/download.html

  2. Ahmed Musani
    January 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    use WIndows 7 dvd/usb tool from
    http://images2.store.microsoft.com/prod/clustera/framework/w7udt/1.0/en-us/Windows7-USB-DVD-tool.exe and select windows xp iso to usb. boot from usb and you'll be able to install.

  3. Elan Chezhiyan
    January 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    get the iso image file of xp from xp site.
    use some software like power iso or deemon tools and make bootable usb.
    insert the usb in netbook and restart.
    press F10 and choose USB.
    then everything would go fine

  4. susendeep dutta
    January 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    To make sure that a bootable USB drive with XP to be working,both the netbook and pendrive must support booting a OS i.e. the netbook's motherboard must support USB booting and the USB must have enough read/write speed with OS booting as not all pendrives are created equal.

    Kindly try the solution listed in the link below to make your USB drive bootable -

    http://www.megaleecher.net/Make_Bootable_USB

    You can try two methods to create a bootable USB flash drive with Windows OS.

    The step mentioned in the link below suggest use of Power ISO and BartPE -

    http://www.poweriso.com/tutorials/how-to-make-winxp-bootable-usb-drive.htm

    Or if you repel from trialware softwares then -

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/illustrated-walk-through-creating-a-bootable-usb-flash-drive-for-windows-xp/6160062

    This link suggest a popular WintoFlash tool and also shows how to check whether your netbook supports USB booting or not -

    http://my-tech-site.blogspot.in/2012/01/how-to-make-bootable-usb-for-xp.html

  5. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    January 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Maybe you did a mistake when creating the bootable pendrive.
    http://en.kioskea.net/faq/3065-installing-windows-xp-from-a-usb-key
    Try different method of creating the bootable pendrive.

  6. Nikhil Chandak
    January 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    check this one , it would be great for u , but I dont no that does that process requires optical drive or not ... u can give them a comment about the optical drive
    http://liliputing.com/2008/04/install-windows-xp-on-mini-note-usb.html
    And also check the answers on this forum - http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?224997-Installing-Windows-XP-on-netbook-with-no-optical-drive

  7. Silhoutte James
    January 9, 2013 at 10:47 am

    One way that may be possible, You would go on line and get a CD boot image and install it to the flash drive, then copy all the contents of the Windows CD onto the flash drive. This allows the flash drive to be recognized as a CD, not a flash drive. Windows needs to be installed from a CD and that is why you use a CD Boot image.
    http://www.mizwhiz.com/computer-and-mom/netbook-a-must-have-device-for-parents.html

  8. Zhong Jiang
    January 9, 2013 at 4:17 am

    To boot from a USB, your BIOS must support this function and arrange it as is on the boot order. You'll need an image of the system and necessarily boot files, in order to activate the setup process.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      January 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      I think that netbook already support USB boot because the asker was able to boot it, though she/he got bluescreen error.

  9. ha14
    January 9, 2013 at 1:01 am

    how did you made the usb live windows set up?

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