Disclosure: Some links on this page are monetized by the Skimlinks, Amazon, Rakuten Advertising, and eBay, affiliate programs. All prices are subject to change, and this article only reflects the prices available at time of publication.

Update: Before you try all of this, you may want to try using WinToFlash, a utility designed to create a bootable Windows flash drive for Windows XP/Vista/7/Server. If this works for you, you can skip the section on preparing a flash drive and jump straight to the installation instructions. Also, keep in mind, these notes were written for installing Windows XP on the HP 2133 Mini-Note. Although many of these steps will apply for different computers, some of the commands may differ a little bit.

Update 2: If you’re trying to install Windows 7 on a netbook, Microsoft is making things even easier. Just use the Windows 7 USB tool.

Installing Windows XP or any other operating system is easy if you have a USB optical disc drive. But if all you’ve got is a USB flash drive and another computer with a DVD burner, you can still install Windows XP (or many Linux distributions for that matter) on a disc drive-less ultraportable like the HP Mini-Note or the Asus Eee PC. After spending most of Saturday installing Windows XP on my HP Mini-Note I thought I’d share my results with you. Remember, your results may very, so while these are the steps that worked for me, they may not work for you. For example, depending on the version of Windows XP you are using, you may need a different hotfix to install the audio drivers.

There were two resources that were extraordinarily helpful. Bsumpter at MiniNoteUser wrote up an excellent tutorial for installing XP on a Mini-Note, and EeeGuides has a great walkthrough for installing XP on an Eee PC using a flash drive. By combining these methods and a few other, I was able to setup my Mini-Note with a Windows partition, a spare partition for installing Linux, and a large data partition for shared files.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 USB flash drive, 1GB or larger
  2. 1 Windows XP installation disc
  3. Assorted files that I’ll describe as we go along.

Preparing the flash drive

First up, we need to prepare the flash drive.

  1. Download and unzip this file (alternate link 1) (alternate link 2). It should contain 2 folders: 1 titled Bootsect, and the other USB_prep8.
  2. Navigate to the USB_prep8 folder and click on usb_prep8.cmd. This will bring up a Windows console window.
  3. Press any key to continue and a PeToUSB window will open.
  4. Make sure your flash drive is selected, and click start to format your flash drive.
  5. When the format is complete, click OK, but do not close the PeToUSB window or the Windows Console.
  6. Open a new console window by typing “cmd” into the run box in the Windows Start Menu.
  7. Find your Bootsect folder (if you’re not used to DOS commands, you can type “dir” to list directories and files, type “cd foldername” to navigate to a folder name – called foldername in this example, and if there’s a long folder name you can save time by typing the “cd” and just the first few letters and then hitting the Tab key to fill in the rest of the name).
  8. Once you’re in the Bootsect folder, type “bootsect.exe /nt52 g:” if “g” is the letter assigned to your flash drive. If it’s E, then change the letter to e. If it’s Z, make it z. Get it?
  9. When this is done, you should see a message letting you know that the bootcode was updated, and you can close this console window (but not the other console window).
  10. Close the PeToUSb Window, but make sure not to close the remaining console window yet
  11. You should now see a list of 8 options in the console.
  12. Select one and find the drive with your Windows installation disc.
  13. Select 2 and pick a random drive letter (but not one that’s already on your PC, since this will be a virtual drive used for copying your files).
  14. Select 3 and enter the drive letter for your USB flash drive.
  15. Select 4 and follow the rest of the on-screen directions and you should be all set.

The process should take about 15-20 minutes. When it’s done, you should have a bootable USB stick that you can use to install Windows XP the same way you would if you had a CD/DVD drive.

A few notes here. First of all, there’s a chance you may get down to step 15 and the program will tell you that it can’t create the virtual drive. This may happen if you’ve already gone through the whole process and are trying to do it again to fix problems. The solution seems to be rebooting your computer and trying again. Or at least that’s what worked for me.

Second, if you use NLite to shrink/slipstream/otherwise modify your Windows XP installation file, make sure you do not remove “manual installation files,” or your USB stick will be pretty much useless.

Installing XP on the netbook

Now it’s time to load Windows XP onto your Mini-Note. If you have a USB CD/DVD drive, you probably skipped all the stuff above, and that’s fine. Most of the following steps should work as well. These instructions should work whether you’re installing Windows XP on a system that came preloaded with SUSE or Windows Vista.

  1. Insert your USB flash drive in one of the USB ports on your Mini-Note.
  2. Power on your computer and hit F9 to bring up a boot device selection window. This Fn key may differ if you have a different computer model.
  3. Choose your flash drive, or if you’re using a USB optical disc drive, select that instead.
  4. Select 2 for a text-based installation.
  5. Make sure to delete all of the partitions on the hard drive. While you may have some success creating separate partitions on your hard drive using this method, I did not. If you find yourself with a Hal.dll or bootloader missing error when you’re finished, there’s a good chance it’s because you did not delete all of the partitions. Note that I will be providing instructions in the next section for partitioning your hard drive after installing Windows XP, so you can still create a Linux partition later.
  6. Create one large NTFS partition (using the quick option will save you a lot of time)
  7. Follow the on-screen directions.
  8. At least once during the install process, you will be prompted to reboot your computer. If you try to let it boot from the hard drive, you’ll get an error message. What you need to do is hit F9 again when it reboots and this time select option 1 for a GUI setup.
  9. Once you’re done installing XP, you may notice that you are unable to boot into Windows from the hard drive. If you have the USB disk installed, again hit F9, and select the GUI option again. Windows should start. You’ll need to edit the boot.ini file:
    1. Type “msconfig” into the run box in the start menu
    2. Select the BOOT.INI tab
    3. First, try the “Check All Boot Paths,” option. This may solve your problem by finding and removing the incorrect boot settings.
    4. You may also need to edit the boot.ini file manually if it doesn’t read something like ‘multi(o)disk(0)rdisk(o)partition(1)Windows=”Windows XP Pro” /fastdetect’
    5. The most likely problem is that wrong partition is selected. It may say (0) or (2) or something like that. The steps below will show you how to backup and edit it.
    6. Open your System Properties by right-clicking on My Computer and choosing Properties. Alternately, you could type “sysdm.cpl” into the run box in the start menu
    7. Select the Advanced Tab
    8. Click the Settings option under Star
      tup and Recovery
    9. Click the button that says Edit to open up your boot.ini file in Notepad. It’s a good idea to save a backup now by selecting Save As, and saving the file to a place where you won’t forget it.
    10. Now you can (somewhat) safely edit the boot.ini file, changing the partition number or other settings to more closely resemble the one I listed above. Save your file, and hopefully you’ll be able to reboot without your USB stick.

Configuring Windows XP

While the steps above will allow you to install Windows XP on your netbook, you may still need to download drivers from your manufacturer before all of the hardware works properly. For instance, to configure the HP Mini-Note 2133 I had to install wireless, audio, and display drivers.

Update: HP has added Windows XP drivers to its support page for the Mini-Note. You should try these official drivers before using the drivers listed below.

Using Parted Magic to create new partitions for Linux or other operating systems

While I tend to use Windows XP on a day to day basis, I wanted to make this a dual boot system so I can install Linux on a separate partition. Most Linux distributions aren’t very particular about where they’re installed. You can put them on a second or third partition, or even on an SD card in your card reader. But Windows likes to have the first partition all to itself. So while you may be able to use the Windows installer to set up partitions on the hard drive, I had more success installing Windows XP first, and then using Parted Magic to resize the Windows partition and create additional partitions.

The best time to do this is right after you install Windows. Your main partition will be fairly clean which will make the resizing operation go much more quickly. We’re talking about the difference between a minute or two and a half hour or more. You’ll also save yourself a lot of pain and heartache if something goes wrong and you wind up wiping your Windows partition, because you won’t have spent days loading and configuring all of your favorite programs yet.

I’m going to assume you’re still using a USB flash drive, but you can also use Parted Magic from a CD-ROM. Detailed instructions for setting up either a flash drive or a CD-ROM are available from the Parted Magic homepage. The main difference is that if you’re using a flash drive, you need to use SYSLINUX to make it bootable.

Once you’ve got your installation media:

  1. Reboot your Mini-Note with the flash drive or CD-ROM plugged into a USB port.
  2. Hit F9 and choose the device you want to boot from.
  3. From the boot menu, make sure to selection option 4: Failsafe Settings
  4. W
    ait a few minutes until you’re presented with a command prompt that says “root@PartedMagic:~#”
  5. Type “menu”
  6. Choose Xvesa (if you had tried almost anything other than option 4 in step 3, the system would try to boot using Xorg and your display would look all funny/unusable)
  7. You should now see a graphical user interface that looks a bit like this:
  8. Click the little blue icon on the bottom of the screen that says “VisParted.” This will bring up a partition manager
  9. Your primary hard drive should be listed as /dev/sda. But if it’s not, it shouldn’t be too hard to find since you probably only have one 120GB hard drive connected to your PC. Note that VisParted will say your hard drive is actually closer to 112GB.
  10. There should be one large partition labeled as /dev/sda1. You can right click on this and choose the resize/move option and then resize the partition either by dragging the edges or entering a value into the “new size” box.
  11. Once your Windows partition is shrunk, you an either leave the rest of your hard drive unpartitioned for future use, create an ext2, ext3 or other partition for Linux, or do something else altogether.
  12. Click the Apply button to execute.
  13. When Parted Magic is done working its magic, you can reboot your system by clicking on the shutdown menu at the bottom right side of your screen. If everything went properly, you should still be able to boot into Windows, but you’ll find that your Windows partition is smaller.

Personally, I decided to make a 25GB Windows XP partition for files and settings, a 15GB ext2 partition for installing Ubuntu or other operating systems, and I made a third NTFS partition for storing data that will be accessible no matter which OS I use.


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377 replies on “Install Windows XP on a netbook (USB stick method)”

  1. Good day everyone,

    I ended up in a rather different situation here today. I have had this machine HP (COMPAQcx6120) for a while and the dvd rom was broken. a couple of months ago I followed your instruction and it went like a charm and i had a WinXP professional installed on it. few weeks ago I encountered the machine to be displaying some system file errors which turned out to be due to my young nephew messing with it while i was away and i decided to redo the same procedure only this time, I am always at this dead end.

    Since the same HP (Compaqcx6120) had been setup with WintoFlash I decided to go with it. everything went OK except when I plugged in the USB to boot i was stuck on the prompt with cursor flashing for 10 mins and no magic whatsoever, not even the menu TXT or GUI.

    next i went manually setting up as you mentioned above and everything was a OK, USB booted the machine to Windows setup and up until the Partition part. I see 2 partitions of which one can be deleted and repartitioned however the other one which comes up as either D or E is an NTFS about 30 GB and cant be touched by windows setup since it says its a system partition and needs it for files to copied later on for setup to complete, the USB drive comes listed separately so i m confused why.

    the other problem is if i select the other partition to setup windows it goes until formatting is done and the point at which setup starts copying files it gives back an error that setup can not copy files _default.pif with only opton to quit to setup.

    As to what I understand I fear the partition that can not be deleted or used to setup the WinXp seems to be an old WIN7 partition, (i have had win7 on it too long ago but like I said i did your tutorial to setup the winxp before on the same machine not too long ago) what else can be done to remove all or completely format the disk at this stage?

    other thing is, what is causing my installation to stop copying the files it seeks (naturally the setup says it wants to copy from CD which infact are to be copied from the USB in this case) ?



  2. Sir i got an error : An operating system wasnt found.Try Disconnecting any drives that dont contain an OS

  3. Please can you re-post the .cmd file? All three download links no longer work, and I would prefer to do this manually, rather than using a third-party tool to manipulate my OS install data.

  4. can anyone post a new link to the files i need because the 3 links won’t work !!! thanks, my mini hp 2133 is empty (had vista home on it) i want to install my xp pro => made a usb with wintoflash but it installs and after restart it won’t go to windows again ????

  5. Only a little problem….on my HP 2133 mini-note, pressing F9 key on boot, don’t allow the boot via USB. There are only HDD and ethernet boot option. The original HDD was heavy damaged and not utilizable so I need to install xp on a new HDD but with USB port that are not recognized at startup this is impossible.

    Do you have any idea for solve this problem?
    Thanks in advance


  6. thanks a lot.i have  install
    xp   in on the hp2133.its really nice this is good work.

  7. Please can someone help. I have tried to install xp on my hp2133 using this method. all works well up to the point where it asks to make ntfs partition or use the exisitng one. Then if I choose either of the optoins I get a message saying 
    ” setup has determined that D: is corrupted and cannot be repaired. ( D seems to be a recovery disk ). #then it says ” setup cannot be continued, to quit setup press F3″
    This is a second hand hp2133.
    Can anyone help?
    has anyone else had this problem?
    Am i doing something wrong?
    Am i supposed to format the hard disk before I boot from the xp flashed usb stick??

  8. For multi boot usb flash drive
    visit this link https://making-a-bootable-usb.blogspot.com/2012/01/make-usb-bootable-windows-7.html

  9. Alternatively download the latest ubuntu iso and usb install utility from the ubuntu homepage. Then change your boot order in bios to boot from usb. Answer some very simple on screen questions and there you go.

  10. It’s a shame the process is this long, in the end I installed Ubuntu instead.

  11. Hey, i just used this process to install Windows on my netbook and it worked great!

    Also if you are having troubles with the final step of telling your computer to boot off the Harddrive and not the flash drive, i had some troubles. The steps i followed were this:

    1) Remove the USB Flash Drive, Open start, run, type “cmd”, in the command prompt type “msconfig”

    2) Select the boot.ini tab

    3) Click the option “Check all boot paths” (This was suggested above in the walkthrough)

    4) The NEW step i tried was the button NEXT to the above mentioned one, called “Set as default”, when i clicked it, i noticed it modified some of the information in the little window above that shows the boot.ini info.

    5) Then when you say ok, it will ask to restart, say yes. At this point it booted up for me properly!

    I hope that helped you guys out!!!

    Thanks for the walkthrough!! 

  12. Hey, i just used this process to install Windows on my netbook and it worked great!

    Also if you are having troubles with the final step of telling your computer to boot off the Harddrive and not the flash drive, i had some troubles. The steps i followed were this:

    1) Remove the USB Flash Drive, Open start, run, type “cmd”, in the command prompt type “msconfig”

    2) Select the boot.ini tab

    3) Click the option “Check all boot paths” (This was suggested above in the walkthrough)

    4) The NEW step i tried was the button NEXT to the above mentioned one, called “Set as default”, when i clicked it, i noticed it modified some of the information in the little window above that shows the boot.ini info.

    5) Then when you say ok, it will ask to restart, say yes. At this point it booted up for me properly!

    I hope that helped you guys out!!!

    Thanks for the walkthrough!! 

  13. Everything went perfect! thanks you so much for sharing this info!! Love!

  14. Man, this is total hard work bullshit, just download a windows pack from torrents and put it in the usb , voila

  15. i have a netbook (samsung) with MeeGO. i want to install XP also. will i have to remove Meego to install XP?

  16. Thanks a ton. This really helped me in the crisis when my CD/DVD drive was not functioning.

  17. I’ve succeded to find windows XP. but i cant delete the partition C: to build a new one with my new xp. how do i delete the “recovery” disk? caus now when i got xp on USB it wont be needed.

  18. doesnt work for medion akoya E1210, wintoflash makes somekind of bug on win7 with my usbflash and doesnt show up on the netbook bios 

  19. Just to let you all know for people who maybe having problems installing xp from usb there is a simple solution.
    I had tried every possible way to install xp on my netbook from usb and every way gave me a BSOD error. By then i pretty much gave up and stuck with windows 7.
    Then one day i sat down and tried again. Using wintoflash i put xp onto the usb booted up and same again BSOD so of i went into the bios to take a look at some settings. I then changed the sata setting from AHCI to IDE and bang it worked straight away and i now have xp on my netbook.
    I never looked in the bios before as usualy netbooks/laptops have very limited option in there but this litte tweak did the trick.

  20. LOVE you man. You solved my problem.

    n those worrying about migrate dialogue box. select “No” there.

    thnkx man. u the best 🙂

  21. I get the following

    Closing Existing Virtual Drives if any ….
    Virtual Disk Driver for Windows version 3.1

    The Virtual Disk Driver is not installed.
    Virtual Disk Driver for Windows version 3.1

    The Virtual Disk Driver is not installed.
    Existing Virtual Drives if any are Closed

    Reading above I see the vdk is 32 and my Windows 7 is a 64 bit,
    So can I assign a real drive?
    Now what? is there a VDK in 64 bit?


    1. OK, I think I finally solved this after extensive research.  The problem is that 64-bit Windows 7 requires all drivers be signed.  You need to download a third party app. to disable driver signing, then restart your PC, and restart the process of the USB script.

      1. Sorry, forgot to mention that you must also download the 64 bit version of VDK.exe, just google it I found it there.  Just merge the folder in your USB-PREP8 folder.

  22. When I enter the setup for WindowsXP it tells me my flash drive is the installation destination. Any help possible.

  23. ONE PROBLEM – the C drive is now the E drive as the C was the USB stick
    Please can I change this – i believe it it impossible – unless you rebuild again?

  24. This took ages and loads granular of messing and tedious frustration about I used WinToFlash to cut out the first part – many thanks for this – one of the most difficult things I have ever encountered – just installed XP Pro on Mini-note HP 2133!!!

  25. ok so far i have had no luck been doing this with xp sp3 and cannot load certain files trying sp2

    1. nope not working, keep getting “not able to copy file” ARRGGGG!!!!

  26. Ok giving this a second try, i had an aspire one given too me with PROBLEMS! had to fix bios and os not working. first try was not able to copy files so am trying again.

  27. Hello All,

    my netbook has windows 7 trial version and want to use winxp. i followed steps using wintoflash and successfully have bootable usb equiped with winxp.

    by the time i’m trying to install it in my netbook, i encountered error saying “missing/corrupted hal.dll”.

    Please do advice how to resolve the issue and continue installing windows xp and totally erase windows 7 trial version.


    1. Format 2 flash drives fat32. Make 1 flash drive bootable using win98se.iso or .img found on net.
      Copy i386 directory on 2nd flash drive.
      A: will be first flash, e: will be second
      Copy smartdrive.exe found on win98se oem cd toolsoldmsdos or on net to flash drive containing i386 directory.
      Boot machine with both flash drives. May get error “Missing operating system” while bios looks for bootable hdd. OK
      Fdisk, Format and install from i386 directory on second flash drive using “winnt”. (load smartdrv.exe first)
      Recommend good high speed flash drives on newer systems to avoid timeout errors during install or copy i386 directory to formatted hdd.

  28. hiya, It was all fine until I tried using usb_prep8 and selecting option 1, it says “please give the location to your windows XP setup source files ‘CSCRIPT.EXE //NoLogo u_scriptFolderSelv.vbs’ is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file. Error: the patch does not contain windows xp source files’

    what to do???

  29. WinToFlash worked like a charm with installing an Win7 Iso to a USB stick using WinXP. So far the easiest solution. I did use ImgBurn to create the propper ISO file. Thanks!

  30. I get PeToUSB Error. it says: FormatEx(11): An Error Occurred Formatting the drive.
    Please help

    1. format your usb to FAT. dont use FAT32… possibly a 2GB usb drive

  31. If you accidentally left the drive partitioned and are now getting the Hal.dll error, what do you do? I can’t do anything in mine except run through the same dead-end, useless menus.

    1. Hello Mono, were you able to received answer on your question? i’m also exepriencing the same problem.

      I have mininote with window 7 trial version installed and wanted to have xp on it but can’t proceed on installation.

  32. Hello,

    Thank you very much for your tutorial. It worked perfectly and especially I want to thank you for all the warnings where it can go wrong. It was very helpful. I have a Samsung NC10 and I don’t know why but I couldn’t install the driver for the wireless. Instead I installed the driver for the LAN and after that it worked perfectly. Once again many thanx after so many failed attemps with other tutorials on the web.

  33. This was such a life saver for me. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions and all of your time and effort.

    I had an issue initially with the installation not seeing the hard drive, and showing me a BSOD. I managed to get around this by changing the SATA settings in the BIOS, I disabled the setting that said “SATA Only” and everything worked lie a charm thereafter.

    1. This is a great tutorial on how to install Windows from USB. I was able to start Windows setup, but could not see the hard drive.

      I am trying to install Windows XP on HP Mini 110-3130NR. Unfortunately, there is no SATA Compatibiliy option in BIOS setup. I downloaded Intel Chipset for NM10 drivers (iaStor and iaAHCI files). In the setup “F6 to load drivers” option would not work because there is no floppy drive in the NetBook. I used nLite to slipstream the drivers into a the windows install.
      This part worked! I was able to install Windows on the hard drive, and get past the boot.ini issue as described above.
      My problem is that Windows reboots repeatedly after mup.sys with a Stop Error 0x7B. It has the correct SATA AHCI drivers.
      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    2. Great advice! It got me past the BSOD. In BIOS I needed to disable Native SATA. I have an HP Mini 5101.

  34. I used an external usb cd-rom, extracted the xp files into a folder I created on the usb stick, then used a linux live cd and copied over the folder to C. Then I restarted and booted with xp installation and when it couldn’t load from external usb cd drive I retyped c:(the folder I created)i386. I had to reenter that about twenty times for each file. Then it took over and started copying from usb cd drive. It worked great!

  35. Long winded guide with no good troubleshooting, this method failed at the copy boot file to the flash drive portion.

    USB stick format successful using the PeToUsb program.
    Failed to copy boot sector to flash drive using the:
    ” CMD ” then “bootsect.exe /nt52 g:”
    So the rest of the tutorial was mute.

    Guess I’ll keep googling, or find a USB CD/ROM drive.

    1. i know it has only been three years, but future reference as well


  36. Please help,

    i can not finish this step.

    Find your Bootsect folder (if you’re not used to DOS commands, you can type “dir” to list directories and files, type “cd foldername” to navigate to a folder name – called foldername in this example, and if there’s a long folder name you can save time by typing the “cd” and just the first few letters and then hitting the Tab key to fill in the rest of the name).
    Once you’re in the Bootsect folder, type “bootsect.exe /nt52 g:” if “g” is the letter assigned to your flash drive. If it’s E, then change the letter to e. If it’s Z, make it z. Get it?

  37. nevermind my question I didn’t realize that the prompt would automatically delete the partion at the very end of the setup.
    Now i have a new problem. My reason for making this windows xp home edition sp2 bootable flashdrive is to fix my netbook.
    When I boot it up it says WindowsSystem32ConfigSystem is corrupt. So I decided to try to repair my registry with the original windows cd.
    I changed the boot device to my USB drive in the Bios and I attempted to boot it up but this time using my USB drive. Then I choose TXT Mode Setup Windows XP. Then it displays the blue screen with WIndows Setup at the top and the loading files at the bottom. After loading every file all the sudden I get the (blue screen of death) STOP 0x0000007b error code.
    I am 100% positive my netbook was running windows XP I am just not certain which service pack it had. That might be my problem but I am not sure.

  38. after creating the bootable USB drive, how do I get rid of the Virtual Drive partion of my hard drive (T:/) and have that 956MB of space back on my primary drive?

  39. i did all the steps and for some reason my hard drive says that i only have 3.2GB Capacity, i have a hp mini note 2133, so confused, any help here would be appreciated.

  40. I couldnt even get started, I didn’t see no dirextions in the usb program like what you describe.

  41. This was an excellent site for Mini 2133 XP installation. Very clear and precise. Worked very well for me and my machine 10x better than Vista business. PS. If you are looking for wintoflash gui version use https://wintoflash.com/home/en/ – this GUI version works well Thanx. ST from South Africa , Johannesburg

  42. Thank you SOOOOO much for this tutorial. This really helped out. For some reason I was not able to install from the CD directly and this way actually worked!

  43. Just tried re-installing xp on my mininote to sell it and have come accross a strange problem. Its gets to the point of loading files to copy after formatting and says bootvid.dll missing, even skipping this more files come up saying missing. Im using the same disk i used to install it the first time and that went ok. I even used another USB disk that i used to install xp on another mininote.
    I opened both disks on a windows 7 laptop and dll files show as .dl_ ? 1 or 2 show as .dll though? Dont understand this? Any ideas?

    1. Hi JB, try to reload the OS image on the USB. If you attempt the installation first time – seems like for some reason the files on the USB are updated from the installation and when you try to re-start installation comes up with these errors of missing files.

  44. I created the bootable usb without any problems, but when I tried installing xp – right after selecting the text based installation – it gave me the blue screen of death. Any suggestions????

    1. check in your BIOS if you don’t have storage as AHCI. Switch it to IDE. that helped me.

  45. Actually, I’ve got the problem fixed…

    For some bizarre I had the idea to redo the WinToFlash application. It makes no sense to me, since I had used the flash drive only hours before and it bought up all the same info as a CDROM, but when I reformatted the USB device and reran WTF I was able to use option 1 and reformat the drive of the HP Mini on which I was trying to install XP. No hal.dll error. But it makes no sense. How could something in the install process have written to the flash drive?

    Anyway XP is now sucessfully installed onto the Mini. Now I have to put all the drivers from the Drivers Recovery CD onto another flash…. sigh…

  46. I screwed up. I chose to install and then REPAIR xp. It went through the whole thing and then gave me the msg “The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted” when I got to the enter password screen. Now when I try to do it all over again, I get the msg “Windows could not start because the following is missing or corrupt: hal.dll. Please reinstall a copy of the above file.”

  47. Hi Everyone! thanks for the very outlined details on how to install windows fro USB. I took my good 12 hours to finger out and still have gotten to the desktop yet. I came across several problem including not being able to copy $WIN_NT$….. files which hinder me to but properly. I came across the AHCI problem as well which forced me to learn slipstreaming again. Well here I am finish installing winxphome with genuine key that comes with laptop, i was successful activated but still couldnt login and now its asking again to activate.

  48. I have no boot menu on my laptop.
    And installation Windows 7 DVD was scratched.
    What i did was:
    1) download windows 7 installation ISO;
    2) unpack it on flash drive;
    3) boot from any installation CD/DVD (just to get close
    to command promt);
    4) format c:;
    5) copy contents of flash drive to c:;
    (xcopy f:*.* c:);
    6) reboot.
    The PC will boot from c: as it was some DVD and will actually install Windows on itself.

  49. many..many thanks, after an hour of google search finally found this page, your instructions, the programs…had an old 1gb pen drive..made it in..2 hours without any problems. u rule dude, this is my boss’s crappy nocd mini notebook that he handled me to resolve, and i;ve done it 😛 thanks a million.

  50. I’m stuck between #3 and 4 in preparing your flashstick. Im getting options that say:

    0)Change type of usb drive…..
    1) change xp source path…..

  51. Thats great, i have a i just in stalled winXP 2 in sylvania g nebook 13001 and i cant find the drivers as there is no sound coming out.please help m disparate.thanx in advance.

  52. I tried with an external CD/DVD, that is regognized, but when it comes to installing it cant detect the harddrive….
    What to do ?

  53. I just had a 16GB USB Stick only…
    It could be formated in another Windows machine with Fat 32…
    The installation on the USB was no problem
    But When I try to boot on the USB I just get a message “No Bootable Partition in table”
    Is that because of the Fat 32 ?

  54. I’m getting the blue screen of death when I start loading windows from my usb stick. Is this normal? Did I do something wrong?

  55. It worked for me, thanx a milion.. finally.. after alot of trouble it worked with this option! Ive tryed alot of things and only this way worked. So now im installing xp once again on my Hp 2140 Mini… basicly dont have any use for a cd drive now when this works!

  56. First I’d like to thank for the tips. I had followed the instructions carefully but one thing really kick my butt is when I set in cmos the hard to 2nd and the flash drive to 1st, the hard drive cannot be detected in boot priority options, the installer smoothly run but when it comes to format the drive it shows only the flash drive and the hard disk is none. I changed the set up in the cmos and make the hard disk as 1st and flash drive at 2nd but in boot priority options it only shows the hard disk, my flash drive not detected so it cannot be boot up from the flash drive.

    anyway the asus netbook has sflashtop installed so every time it boot the sflashtop open.

    any idea is greatly appreciated

  57. Thanks for the guide, I’m planning on trying it out today on a friend’s netbook that has no CD/DVD drive.

    1. My notes:

      – Error 11 in PeToUSB occurs when attempting to format a USB stick larger than 2GB (as noted in PeToUSB release notes). Installed USB LocalDisk drivers from https://www.lancelhoff.com/make-windows-see-any-usb-flash-drive-as-local-disk/ to be able to create a 1900 MB partition on a USB stick larger than 2 GB using Win XP Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management.

      – Blue screen of death during Win XP setup after the USB stick successfully boots caused by an older image of WinXP. Use a WinXP SP3 image.

    2. One more comment:

      – After installing Lancelhoff driver, USB stick appears in PeToUSB as USB Fixed (rather than USB Removable).

  58. Thank you very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very much buddy I will never forget you for this helpful article. Contact me if you wish @ “[email protected]

  59. Hi!
    I’ve got an eee 2g, and every time I try to boot from usb, I got the message: wrong disk inserted, press any key. What could be the problem?

  60. To answer my own question, the missing ntldr error was sorted out by simply running WinToFlash a second time. I didn’t realise that the windows installation altered one or more files on the usb device.

    And I now think that my driver problem was not so much the order in which I installed them but the fact that I hadn’t rebooted after each driver installation. My advice is to reboot after each driver that asks for it, rather than leaving any reboots until later.

  61. Can I add my gratitude for these helpful instructions.
    My experience in installing xp over the suse os on the hp 2133 is that there was a driver conflict which stopped the netbook seeing the wireless ethernet adapter so i had no wifi
    a system restore sorted that out.
    then i installed another driver and it went again. i didn’t keep a note of the orders in which i installed the drivers but they were the official hp ones.

    if anyone can help with the following i’d be grateful:

    to get around my problem above i have decided just to do a re-install from scratch again. but when booting from the usb drive i now get the “missing ntldr” message, both with the original boot.ini and also with the boot.ini modified in line with what the msconfig utility altered the boot.ini to once the first install was done. i don’t understand why i can no longer boot from the usb device…

  62. These comments are very useful ones for any IT literate man. Thanks a lot for them.

  63. Here’s how I did it on my Toshiba. My problems were getting my Win XP netbook product key to work with the WinXP install disks I had laying around. And wiping the hard drive was difficult too.


  64. i am following the steps from above to create a bootable usb to install XP on my laptop with no CD or floppy drives. I have the usb_prep8 and when i get to the point where under a command prompt to enter the 8 fields the number one field says “Error: The path input error: There is no script engine for file extension “.vbs”. does not contain Windoes XP source files” what am i doing wrong?? please help

    1. You mean the tool that’s linked to in the first sentence of this post?

      WinToFlash wasn’t available when I first wrote this post, but as soon as I was made aware of its existence, I updated the post recommending that users try it first.

  65. Thank you so much! I read this before you posted the update, and it wouldn’t work for the life of me. After using the WinToFlash program, the installation was a breeze!

    Thanks again!

  66. i have an acer aspire one note-book and need to re-install xp, now im getting stuck on Preparing the flash drive part 4, i dont know how to select my usb drive, its drive letter K. but it says (Not in menu – Wong selection – try again).
    I did format my card using the Novicorp WinToFlash and got all my Windows files on to the usb, but half way through the install it says (setup cannot copy the file: _default.pif) now if im getting stuck at part 4 should i just give up?
    thanks in advance

  67. I’ve just used your method to install WinXP SP3 on my HP 2133 and it all worked fine 🙂

    Small note: Even if my boot.ini said multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1), msconfig kept telling me that the path is not valid and asked if I want to delete the line. Since I had the backup of boot.ini file, I’ve decided to give it a try and it works fine.

    Second thing: WinToFlash thingy didn’t work for me – the installation was crashing at EULA part with result: EULA not found 😉

    Third thing: Dunno why, but bootable iso file created by nLite crashed the installation process – some files were missing. The same nLited winXP, but burnt with Nero Burning Rom worked fine.

    Fourth thing: You don’t have to burn the files to CD – you can use virtual drive aswell – it will work without any problems 😉

    I’ve used 2GB Kingston DataTraveler stick 😉 – worked perfectly without any problems 😉

    Thanks a lot for the walkthrough!

    1. I am getting the same error EULA not found while installing windows xp from USB. pls tell me the solution, if u hv got it..
      pls tell me thru a mail

  68. thank you soooooo much. worked like a charm. my only issue was when the USB key was drive D:, it said not a valid drive. I changed it to a more uncommon letter as specified by one of the persons in the comments. (thanks to you as well) I used a 4 gig Key and it worked fine – some people said a key over 2 gigs wouldn’t format.

    HP is really ridiculous giving people a “recovery cd” that is all but worthless. How many users own an external usb optical drive?? They should give a recovery usb key.

  69. Hey, I just wanted to say a big THANKS! It worked for me. The most detailed explanation I found out on the net on this subject! Updates are also great.
    Good luck!

  70. I have to say this article was fabulous and extremely helpful! Thanks very much guys, keep up the good work!

  71. THANK YOU! You finally explained how to do this in a way that a relative newbie like me could get it done. You are a lifesaver.

  72. tried this for a Fujitsu Lifebook P1120 – Didn’t work. Guess I’ll have to take it to the shop after all to have an O/S Installed

  73. Hi, i tried what you wrote, but it wont start if the usb is not connected :S, the boot.ini is only in the usb, and the main drive is D: how can i correct this?

  74. Reason I’m here is because I’m trying a fresh XP install on a desktop (via USB key) how I landed on this Netbook post, I honestly don’t know. Figured I’d give this method a shot, as well as then Win2Flash version.
    Desktop is hanging on the boot sequence, surely selecting the USB boot but then the underscore is stuck flashing like it’s not going anywhere… I chose to do this with the USB key because it seems my Win XP cd is corrupted… or the drive is dead! At the end of every install I’ve attempted, I get a HAL problem and I’m asked to reboot.
    I somehow doubt the BIOS update I had done caused this problem.
    I’ve also tried several linux flavors to see where the problem might be at but also no avail there.
    Very odd at the very least…

  75. carefull with this peace of shit software,it doesnt work in windows 7 and its bullshit completely.

  76. Hello world

    I hope it works 😀 and in general thankyou for the advice on how to do it.

  77. Hey there,
    I did everything step by step as listed and at the end, I can’t boot the Windows XP from hard drive, only when I select booting from USB and then GUI. I changed the boot.ini line as well but that didn’t help and frankly I don’t know why would it.
    When I try to boot from HDD, I receive a message:
    “Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your reference manuals for additional information”
    Any ideas?

    1. Also, at this moment I recon I’m screwed. I tried to change the boot.ini line (the partition number I believe) and it was wrong, so at this moment:
      – I can’t boot from HDD
      – I can’t boot from USB
      either way I’m stuck with one error or the other. I can’t seem to reinstall XP either as all attemps of selecting boot from USB end with the error (as Windows tries to load the system from the drive)

      ANY IDEAS?

  78. Gracias por este tutorial. Me ayudaste mucho.
    Saludos desde Argentina

  79. I’ve successfully done a xp bootable thumbdrive through this link.


    I’ve curious if it’s the same as your method. I could not reformat my Hpmini110 preloaded linux with the link above. It recognises the thumb drive but when it boots through the thumb drive it goes back back to the linux desktop. Any ideas?

    I’m yet to try your method when I’m free.

  80. Thanks, u saved my life!

    Hope it wont crash again because of that damaged hal.dll thing!

    Thanks again,


  81. Tnx for the tutorial on preparing the usb stick..but when i had ti install the OS in my HP mini, it cant show the usb device when i tapped the F9..it only shows two options, the notebook harddrive and network ethernet..but i have tried my bootable usb on my desktop and it works.Someone can help me about this?Tnx

  82. Thank you so much! I used this on my Sylvania G netbook (gnet 13001 , not meso), and it worked flawlessly. After days and nights of frustration this technique came as such a relief. I will link other people with my netbook problems to your page. Thanks again!

  83. Wonder Fullllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll….. it worked great.

  84. i didnt read all the comments but if you get the hal error or if you need to preserve your old partitions, all you need to do is edit your boot.ini

    i put knoppix on my usb drive, booted into knoppix, changed the rdisk from 1 to 0 like it should be and reloaded my usb with windows and let the os install fiinish, then redid grub, giving me a dual boot system, preserving my old partitions, it’s not very difficult. Just edit that boot.ini (you can’t do it from the recovery console because there is no “edit” program from the recovery console).

  85. Thanks, this method works…
    For those who faces the problem below, this is due to you are using USB DISK PRO, which formatted your USB to FDD and HDD. And you have set to boot with FDD first, that’s why NTLDR cannot be found from FDD.

    NTLDR is missing
    Press any key to restart

    1. There is a little bug in menu usb_prep8.cmd (downloaded from
      https://www.megaupload.com/?d=XV2WJEY3 )

      On line 194 it is written;
      set _ok=
      After that program is echoing echo ***** Target USB-Drive !_ok!: does NOT Exist *****

      You can add manualy your USB drive letter as
      set _ok= F:
      “%usbdrive%” = F:

  86. thanks for sharing this well-prepared doc. With casper minibook, i managed to install windows smoothly.

  87. For those of you who have problems with it saying that you cannot use the drive D, the program seems to have a fail-safe for certain drives (probably C and D i would imagine). My thumb drive came up D:, and it wouldn’t work, so i made an .iso image, and used the DEAMON tool to open that (so the D spot would be taken), pluged in my drive (now G), and it ran fine :3

  88. I Keep getting the same error as someone else that doesn’t seem to have a resolution – after booting ok & formatting the drive, the following comes up as it goes to copy files:

    The following value in the .SIF file used by Setup is corrupted or missing:
    Value 0 on the line in section [SourceDisksFiles] with the key “binifix4.cmd.”

    I’ve gone through the whole USB setup process 3 times and always get the same error – what can I do?

  89. I have a problem with step 8 installing the files. After i deleted all the partition drives and formatted to ntfs, when i press enter to install windows files i get the messages “setup cannot access the cd containing xp installation files”. I cant understand what i have done wrong! Can anybody help me?

  90. This is a nice guide. The stick works great. I tried to do a repair install, but after pressing enter on the initial install screen, I am not prompted for the f8 agreement and I don’t have the OS detected for an OS repair install. Does anyone have an idea as to why this happens?

  91. when i first tried this it didn’t work, it failed at step 15, just like described, but it din’t work again until i moved the bootsect folder (and everything else) away from the desktop, to C:/, and then it worked just like it should 🙂

  92. heyy brad..im stuck wid a problem..all the steps worked perfectly but when i tried to assign the target usb drive wich in my case is ‘D:'(step 14 on prepin flash drive)
    i get the msg D: is not a valid drive..im using a kingston 2 gb flash drive..i did everytng as u mentioned n i redid all the steps to no avail..im using a vista..plzz help me out..thanxx in advance

    1. If it complains that the USB pen is not a valid drive, check that the USB pen is not any of drives A: B: C: D: E: or Z:. If it is, change it to a different letter by going into Start – Run – diskmgmt.msc, right clicking on it and selecting ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths…’.

  93. Hi,

    the command “bootsect.exe /nt52 g:” isn’t working in DOS. I am getting a message that bootsect is not a recognized internal or external command. What do I do now?

  94. It’s a good description of what to do. I have got as far as preparing the USB-stick and in my case it will be the Chinese version of WinXP. My wife is Chinese and for a lot of applications she want to use the EEEPC 1000HE have to run from the Chinese XP.
    One thing is concerning me: You write that the intallation will start with formatting the disk. That’s something I’m sure I don’t like.
    At another PC it was possible to install WinXP-CN next to WinXP-NL on a seperate partition.
    Just try to install – without format – and look what will happen???
    What is your opinion??

    1. Hi
      I am having problem when I try to install XP Prof with USB.
      I was able to make the USB stick and boot my HP Mini 2140 but it does recognize my SATA HDD. I checked on HP site and downloaded the drivers on another USB stick and hot F6 for additional driver option during the install startup but it always look for disk in A: drive and does not read my other USB stick for the drivers.
      Any ideas?

  95. Has anyone encountered the problem where after installing XP, the laptop reports as running “on ac power” even when it’s running on batteries, and you can’t see a meter to tell how much battery life remains?

  96. Thanks a lot for this post i was going around the 6th hour trying to make the USB flshdrive to boot. for win XP thnx a lot

    my hp+compaq notebook had a malfuction one night and would not boot after that. there is no disk drives on it so i had to find help this way

  98. It works all perfect and thanx 4 the post! The only problem I am getting, is to boot from the hard disk directly without the USB Stick. I tried everything is written here and nothing yet. But I installed some of my favorite apps (DAW programs) and my Mini 2133 is much much better with XP then with Vista. So thanx once again!

  99. You are the man, I don´t have words to express my gratitude.
    Thanks a lot is what can I say.

  100. I used just the part for creating the boot/install stick and it works great. Tnx for the guide, this little thing finally works as it should :))

  101. Hi,

    I followed the instructions in ‘Preparing the flash drive’ and ‘Installing XP on the Mini-Note’ to make a bootable installation disk for a Samsung NC20 (12″ Netbook with VIA Nano processor). I used the CD drive of another machine to copy the recovery CD from Samsung. It worked great. Fortunately I used a smaller size partition for Windoze and left the rest of the disk free. The files from driver DVD (not a CD) from Samsung was copied to a USB stick. It had a bloated driver installer with some junk software (Macafee, UCam etc, recovery program). I opted out those and could install the rest. Now comes installing Linux. I wished to try Gentoo this time. UNetBooin running on Windoze, is a real time saver to make bootable USB installatiion disk for many Linux distros. It is pretty straight forward – download UNetBootin from Sourceforge, select the distro from net or a downloaded ISO image, insert USB stick and start. In 5 minutes I got to try different distributions. But no luck after spending a night with Gentoo. That is the maximum I could patiently spend to get it working. Ubuntu Jaunty and Ubuntu Netbook Remix did not install out of the box for me. I did not spend much time. Finally my tried and tested Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04LTS) booted and detected my WLAN card. Brilliant! Now I am going to install it. Hope it goes well. So I am skipping PartMagic portion.

    Sad thing is that I wasted a little too much time trying other ways before reaching here. So I am leaving some keywords here for other users to reach here.

    Thanks a lot Brad Linder,

  102. Wow! awesome guide, just what I was looking for and painlessly quick 😀



  103. THANKS … this was the 4th try after many other techniques, and this one was the one that worked, thanks

  104. PLEASE HELP! I want to install Win XP (Pro, SP2, OEM) on my Mini 2140. The USB-Stick may be prepared correctly, including SP3. I disabled “SATA Native Mode” in my BIOS, otherwise The XP-Setup doesn’t find any HD.
    The XP-Setup tells me that the installation data can’t be loaded.

    I tried all the steps three times – what should I do?

    1. I have no problems with preparing the usb, but very soon after the windows setup begins I keep getting the blue screen with critical error and the setup doesn’t continue
      anyone knows solution to this???
      I’d be soooo grateful 🙂

      1. there are to things that I think might be important:
        1. in usb_prep8 there is choice between usb-stick and usb-harddisk (option 0). I tried both options, my HP always detects it as USB-harddisk though.
        2. During copying the files, i get informaton, that file “bootfont.inf” wasn’t copied. I wanted to copy it manually, but there’s no such file on my XP installation CD.
        I only have one more idea – that my flashdisk isn’t working properly, I’ll try with another one. If that doesn’t work, I have really no idea what to do 🙁

  105. Hi.. there.. I have tried to format my USB Flash drive (step 4)….
    but in the PeToUSB window my USB flash did not appear eventhough I clicked refresh button many times. Please help…

  106. Keep getting an error:
    The following value in the .SIF file used by Setup is corrupted or missing:

    Value 0 on the line in section [SourceDisksFiles] with the key “binifix4.cmd.”

  107. After I finished make the bootable usb stick (step1-15) everything is done fine.

    I try to install in my minibook – kohjinsha sc3, I choose – 2. text only mode but the screen show “NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart”

    Please help me.

    Best regards,

  108. Hi!

    This worked perfectly, but I still have an issue with my USB port. Windows doesn’t start if ANY pen is plugged in… It can be an empty pen drive, but the usb port MUST be with a pen plugged in… otherwise it gives me a blue screen and windows doesn’t starts…
    In BIOS I’ve even disabled the boot from usb, but the error remains…
    Can you help me please???
    Kind regards

  109. You helped immensely in unbricking my Toshiba laptop. I deleted a Ubuntu partition, and thereafter Grub gave “error 17”. And then the CD-ROM drive wouldn’t work, leaving me with USB and network booting. I followed your instructions and hoped to use recovery console, but in the end it wasn’t needed. The XP image on the USB stick booted into the copy of Windows I already had. Then I just used the program MBRfix in a command prompt, and my problems were over. Thanks again!

  110. Thanks man 🙂 It works great for me !
    You have done nice job here.
    My acer aspire one is ready for a new life now !

  111. hey after i choose USB Flash Memory 5.00 from boot device menu i get this

    NTLDR is missing
    Press any key to restart

    can you please help me with this

    DESCRIBED ABOVE UNDER SECTION > Preparing the flash drive step7. & 8. where is the Bootsect folder ? is it on the Windows Install disk ?
    or in a installed Windows build ? I searched for ” bootsect.exe ” and it was not in Windows .

  113. I tried to do something similar on a P3 VAIO sub-notebook. It did not have the option to boot from USB. Is your method here just for the HP mini note, or is there a means to get an older machine to boot from USB by something on the USB?

  114. Thanx a lot 🙂

    But i have one problem…
    I can only start the windows with my usb key plugged in the notebook… If i unplug it and restart, all i see is just black screen. I think that problem maight be in Boot.ini file. Does anyone know what shall I do?

  115. Brad, excellent info. One question…
    I have an Asus Eee 900 with Linux, 512 RAM and 4Gb hard drive. Will all this procedure work for this model?

  116. Hi, Brad,

    I got part way through installing and then when XP ask me for the serial i realised i had lost it, i then decided that i would my other CD as i had the serial handy.

    When trying to re do the steps i got back to the install and it try to continue, how would i go about formating the hp mini to start again?


  117. thanks very much for your help and the effort u put into this. it is much explained and very easy to follow.

    most appreciated.

  118. Hi, excellent writeup worked fine except i would like to add a few things.
    Lot’s of mini notes are beign shipped with this GRUB 17 loader problem, I do not know how to fix it nor do i care as I am not a fan of linux anyway.
    So use the above method to install your XP cd onto your USB pen.
    A few pointers that would have helped me are these.
    When you start this method to install XP make sure the first thing you do is set in the BIOS to boot from USB drive as default 1, you will get HAL errors if you do not do this, also set in the bios SATA composite rather than native, you can use 4GB USB memory sticks, I used a 4gb Sandisk Cruzer which is a very popular one and fast, just use the PE tool above to do the biz.
    The Mini Note comes with 1gb ram and 120gb hdd, runs Windows XP perfect, Office 2003 installs a dream, to remove the boot message about choose operating system it’s easy, just load up windows XP, right click on “my computer” choose properties and select the “advanced” tab up the top, click on startup and recover settings, then remove the tick in “time to display list of operating sytems” All done.
    So to sum up nake sure bios is set correctly, build USB pen drive you can use 4gb, install XP as per instructions above, reboot after install and choose GUI boot not txt boot, then you good to go, download the drivers from HP website.

  119. Followed all instructions step-by-step. I now have a HP Mini-Note 2133 running Windows XP (with SP3). Works wirelessly with everything functioning.
    Thank you so much for your in-depth guide.

    Also, for anyone attempting this and from previous comments in this forum, there are now a full set of drivers on the HP website for this notebook. See here:-

    1. Oh, BTW, I had the same problem with booting from the hard-drive rather than the USB drive after installation in that the notebook would not recognise the hard drive so followed the earlier post by “rollstwenties” and just deleted the BOOT.ini file from the hard drive then rebooted without the USB drive. Perfecto!

      Also thanks to everyones comments which also helped a lot.

  120. everything was fine till the point where it start coping windows file just after formatting the partition. it came u with the same problem value 0 …..biniflik4.cmd…… i don’t know what i’ve done wrong with the process or any missing files i left cz it seems like it can’t find loding the file. anybody pls help me.

  121. Hi Bard,

    I am stuck o0n step 7 in the “Preparing the flash drive” section. I don’t seem to have a “Bootsect.exe” file on my system so cannot do step 8. Can you give some more details here?


  122. I get this error at the end of step 4:

    Failed to open file ‘tempimage.img”.
    The system cannot find the file specified.
    Input correct patch:

    Note: I am using Windows XP Pro over VMWare Fusion 2.0.2 over Mac OS X 10.5.6.

    Any idea how to fix it? Thanks.


    2. check your C: drive there is a chance of low memory. at least it should have 1GB. have the fun……………

  123. I get a “FormatEx Error[11] when the format process finishes on Windows XP, using a TDK 16GB TRANS-IT USB Flash Drive. Any idea? I want it to boot as Windows on MSI Wind U100 to install Mac OS X 10.5 on it (actually, I have installed it, but now Windows does not boot and I must repair it without external DVD drive).


  124. I am about to get a mini note to take to Iraq with me while im away. i have heard the mininote can suffer under vista. As i am a complete novice when it comes to computers this guide is a gem. You truly are a legend Brad and many many thanks, ill look forward to giving it a try………cheers

  125. im having problems in changing xp setup source path, it says, its currently none ([]) and when i press 1 and then enter, it says, please give the location to your windows xp setup source files ‘CSCRIPT.EXE’ is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. pls help im stuck in usbprep.

  126. Hi, quick question — I already have a dual-boot system with XP and Ubuntu, with another partition for shared files. I’m now looking to re-install XP (from a USB stick) and retaining Ubuntu. Would this method work, with the Linux partition still being around? Or would I have to wipe everything clean and start anew?

    Thanks in advance.

  127. All is OK … I install it on two 2133 .. and Bricko pack OSX Leoprad for Xp 🙂 … looks awensome but i must off some details .. grahic card is so poor 🙁

  128. How come my boot drive is now D: ?
    I tried changing it based on Microsoft instructions and broke it, so I’ll start again (even last known good didn’t fix it.)

    Any ideas how to build my 2133 with C: as the boot drive letter? Some software still doesn’t install properly if C: isn’t the boot disk

    1. I had this problem and broke my installation following the Microsoft fix. Any ideas as yet?

      1. It does actually say in the command window; the last message during the process of setting up the bootable USB to quit out of the install by pressing F3 once you have created the primary partition. Works great.

  129. thank you for this great article, i went through your website and clicked all the sponsored link i found ))

    1. Please don’t do that. It’s called click fraud and it does more harm
      than good. If you find a link that you’re actually interested in,
      that’s one thing. But you shouldn’t click links just because you think
      it’ll help a blogger get paid. It could actually have the reverse
      effect as advertisers penalize click fraud pretty severely.

  130. Tks for your doc to install xp into a netbook without CD-rom drive, after I follow the step to create a USB xp installation drive and start to install, an error message display as “GRUS Loading stage 1.5 GRUB loading, please wait.. Error17” . what does it means and what I need to do? Tks for your advice .

    Fr: Dennis

  131. When I run USB_prep8 and it pops up a Windows console window. Then I press any key to continue and a PeToUSB window will open and I can not find my flash drive in the destination selection.

  132. Dear Brad:
    thank you very much for the time and effort place on this. It was the perfect help for me.

  133. Thank you mate. Installation gone just perfect on a LG X110 netbook! Your instructions were really really really simple and helpful!

    Oh/ And thanks God I had kept Windows drivers, bloody LG has zero (0) support on its site.. 🙁

  134. I have similar problems with the boot.ini file. Is there some way of finding out the partition, disk, rdisk values etc for my computer? My usb disk is labelled as the c: drive and my hard disk as the d: drive. Would this affect it? Any help would be much appreciated as i’m soooo close now.

  135. hi,
    thanks for your detailed description. was very helpful for us.
    best regards from germany

  136. Thanks for the very good tutorial. Wonder if I can do the same with Win 7 Beta.

  137. Hi everybody, great guide!!! may boot.ini file is this:

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=option /fastdetect

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”USB Repair NOT to start Microsoft XP Professional” /noexecute=option /fastdetect

    I want boot from hd, how i have to change boot.ini file? can you please help me?

    1. I have a stupid problem, I’m trying to do this on Vista.

      I follow all the steps, but if I run the first .cmd file as normal PEtoUSB does not detect my flash drive. If I run it as an administrator, PEtoUSB does not launch.

      If I run the cmd file and then run PEtoUSB manually, it finds the drive and I can do all the steps in PEtoUSB, but when I try and do step four in the console window I get this:

      ‘VDK.EXE’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      ‘VDK.EXE’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      ‘vdk.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      ‘vdk.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      ‘vdk.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      ‘vdk.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.

      Temporary Virtual Drive O: Created, lets Format it

      Specified drive does not exist.

      TEMPDRIVE O: Not Formatted – Program will be Ended

      Closing Existing Virtual Drives if any ….
      ‘VDK.EXE’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      ‘vdk.exe’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
      operable program or batch file.
      Existing Virtual Drives if any are Closed

      I know I shouldn’t be running PEtoUSB Manually, but it’s the only way I can get it to work.

      1. Don’t know if this was answered but this is the solution: Rightclick petousb.exe and go to properties here go to the compatibility tab and chose compatibility mode and run as WIn xp sp2, and check run as administrator..after this just make sure your usb stick is formated as fat16. Then run the usb_prep. I got the info from here: https://www.ubcd4win.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t9841.html worked great.

        1. oh, and the vdk part. If you read the error message, it has a link to the vdk (virtual disk driver). Only works in 32 bit OS though. Fortunately, I have a machine with Vista 32 on it.

  138. I tried this many times, after first reboot it loads up again and says I have a missing or corrupt hal.dll file. I tried two copies of XP, so its obviously not my copies.

    1. I’ve tried to use this method for installing xp on my mini note but I always got stuck..

      I’ve made the usb stick, and I can boot from the usb stick and when I first press second option when booting from the usb everythings goes fine but when i have to reboot after the first part of the installation their is a problem because I press the number 1 and then my screen turns black and nothing happens anymore.

      What am I doing wrong? Could it be because I kept my Vista and Recovery on the disk?

      I’ve already tried it a couple of times with two different XP versions (home oem, and XP pro) and I’ve had to times the same result..

      So please help me because running vista on the mininote is not really great.. :-s

  139. When I go to install XP, i get an error that says isStor.sys is missing. Then reboots. Anyone else have this issue? And how did you fix itt?


  140. Great post! Thanks. Worked perfectly for me in making a XP install USB. I tried another one with BartPE first… didn’t work.

    The tip about “Compatibility Mode” for the SATA setup solved my problem of missing drive in the list as well. Thanks!

  141. I got problem while installing i searched in the Google and i found your post is better then any one thanks for your beautiful post.

  142. this is great! but i’m stuck trying to get XP on my flash drive, i get to the last step whenyou need to select the diferent numbers to set the source and drive letter and such. when i type number 1 and hit enter it says i need to enter a source drive. i don’t know what command to type to to set it to my cd drive.

    thanks for your help

  143. Solved a customer’s problem with his ODD by following this.

    Epic instructions are epic. You’re a lifesaver.

  144. When i come to the part when i have to delete partitions and install XP, i am a little unsure of what i should delete and what i shouldn’t… i deleted all partitions on the HDD, there is only my kingston 2 GB flash device left as a partition and another partition thats is BIOS that tells me its risky to delete it because its a system thingy and will be needed for the computer hardwares to work properly… do i have to delete these too or is ok like i have done?

  145. Brad thank you for this wonderfull guide.

    I have one problem and I`m getting crazy becausse of it, I hope someone can help me.

    When I want to prepare my USB I can`t get passed step 8. When I type in “bootsect.exe /nt52 E:” I get the folowing message: “bootsect.exe is not being recognized as a internal or external command, programm or batchfile

    I have tried this with different USB-sticks and on different laptops or desktops.



    1. Just like he said in step one:

      1.Download and unzip this file, which should contain 2 folders: 1 titled Bootsect, and the other USB_prep8.

      Unzip to where you like and copy the whole content to usb,
      Place bootsect folder under c: (or another hd drive)
      delete the other stuff…

  146. You may want to add that installing sp3 on the 2133 is nigh impossible due to a lack of storage drivers – install sp2 and then update to sp3.

    Also, in regards to booting to Parted Magic, you might want to mention unetbootin, which runs on all platforms. If you don’t know what it does yet I highly recommend just using that instead of messing aroung with sysconfig…

  147. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou this is excelent took me a few attempts to get it working proper but just excelent exactly what i wanted to do so again thankyou!

  148. Thanks bro this avoided me from buying a external dvd. the instructions were awsome!

  149. Thanks for documenting all this stuff!
    From one more HP mini-note user

    You’ve did great job

  150. Just wanted to say thanks for this! Was cursing HP, SUSE Enterprise and all their ancestors when my mini note first arrived, but now have it all set up and working with XP and can start enjoying the thing!

    1. Windows XP Pro SP3 does not recognize the SATA disk but SP2 does. So I recommend to try SP2 if you have problems installing Windows XP when the setup does not found the SATA disk.

      I spent almost a whole day trying everything possible to get SP3 installed. SP2 worked immediately. What a waste of time…

  151. Wow, thanx a lot. I’m really glad I found this, after my first attempt to install XP on the mini failed. This tut and the software worked just fine for me. I’m a bit happyer again. 😉 (Oh and on hp2133guide.com you can find some patch for the sound drivers etc.)

  152. Hi,

    I am trying to install XP from my USB stick but like some of the other posts above it won’t detect my HDD when trying to partition. I have set the SATA to compatible in the BIOS but this doesn’t solve the problem. Where can I ge the SATA drivers for the 2133?


    1. I’m going to try it with sata on native and drivers from via website (viaarena). AHCI driver is in RAID pack (8237). Drivers integrated with nLite – this tool is very nice. I’ll try to post if it works or not.

      well… for the problem of hal.dll after first part of instalation if the disk wasnt fully formated:
      just run recovery console type ‘map’ and write down the name of device and Harddisk number where your xp is installed (newly created partition).
      Should be sth like this:
      DeviceHarddisk1Partition2 or similar (you will know which one if you select significant diskspace when you create partition for XP)
      also check the drive letter (you should be in C: but if not remember this one (mine was D: ))

      Now take the usb stick out (note: when its not in use – turn off mininote or sth) plug it in to your regular pc/lap and edit BOOT.INI (make back up first!)
      change the lines with the Devicesth to the right ones, and make sure the drive letter is proper (it says C: but if you have got mininote with Vista Recovery partition, the actual C: is assigned to this recovery and you need to change it to D: (e.x. mine) or whatever your windows partition letter is)
      Now save and put the usb stick back to mininote. Restart. You should be able to run GUI setup without any “missing hal.dll or sth else” errors.

      hooray i saved the vista recovery (or i hope so 😉 )
      strange… resolution seems to be set totally wrong… cant see thing – make sure you had set as much as you could in the “Unattended” mode during “nLite” step so you dont have to guess where to click, because most of the screen is outside the visible area 😀

      or try including graphic drivers to your XP installation with nLite, but… good luck with it 😉

      sorry for the messy post but… good advise: you can try adding all drivers to installation disk as additional files or as integration at the end of nLite wizard, but remember – you will need a lot (3-4GB?) of disk space if you want to make all steps from the beginning of this tutorial to the very end without deleting .ISOs, temp images, unpacked drivers, and so on. I mean on your regular pc/lap


      What i cant fix, is this stupid problem with the need to boot from gui mode from usb stick… boot.ini which i try to edit is still on the C:, and even editing it via sysdm.cpl it still tries to change the boot.ini on hp_recovery!

      Above seems to be fixed – for me the proper selection is multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS
      it is since my XP is on second partition (huh… i know it should be obvious but.. eh… its 3 a.m. here and still lots to do 😀 )
      there is one thing i need to check about this… remove usb stick 🙂

      oh… i suppose i’ve messed up the Vista boot.ini and in the end I won’t be able to boot up the hp_recovery… May some good soul send me boot.ini from hp_recovery ( jabcok_jabcok(put_at_here)wp(put_dot_here)pl )or post it under this great tutorial.

      XP is loading while i’m writing this.. wait. Logged in. Man its on! Just THAT fast.

      Time for drivers!

      whoa takes a while. Especially (!) camera firmware flashing and drivers. Don’t ask me why…

      Done. Everything works.
      Thanks for this tutorial! Thanks for hints from these comments and thanks for help to my friend mazzi. Nice work ppl!

      p.s. – about the hp_recovery – well… i think it might run even without this particular boot.ini but if someone have a chance to check it, please give me info if its needed or not because i’ll try to install Vista on second partition soon (for comparison) so I hope not to spend yet another 8 hours trying to make it work.

  153. Hi,
    I have MSI u90 netbook and i need to install windows xp. Will this work for me?
    Or, if it doesn’t any suggestion?
    I appreciate your help.

    1. These instructions were written specifically for installing Windows XP on an
      HP 2133 Mini-Note computer. Many users have found them helpful for loading
      Windows XP on other hardware, but I can’t make any promises.

      1. Brad,can you shed any light on my questions?I don’t get how to put windows onto the memory stick?!also the CD I have doesn’t have SP2,how can I do it?cheers.
        Brad,I got my HP mini the other day and as haven’t used Linux before want to change it to XP.I have been reading your guide,which have to say is very good,still have got few questions,which if you or anybody else can help would be great.
        1.as I would need to put XP c/w SP2 on USB how do I do this?you have said how to prepare the usb memory stick and everything,but I am still not sure if you can help, please 🙂 what is not clear for me is,how the windows will end up on memory stick?does it come from the computer I am using???if you can clarify,cheers.

        1. Just make sure there’s a Windows XP installation disk in your CD-ROM drive when you follow these instructions. When you get to step 12, enter the drive letter of your CD-ROM. The first set of instructions are meant to be carried out on a PC that has an optical disk drive like a desktop PC of a full sized notebook.

          1. Hi again.thanks for the info.with regards to windows cd & SP2,do I need to integrate SP2 into the copy of my windows on my hard drive?

          2. Brad,ignore my earlier questions,now I am using my mini 2133 with XP thanks to your help 🙂

  154. Brad,I got my HP mini the other day and as haven’t used Linux before want to change it to XP.I have been reading your guide,which have to say is very good,still have got few questions,which if you or anybody else can help would be great.
    1.as I would need to put XP c/w SP2 on USB how do I do this?you have said how to prepare the usb memory stick and everything,but I am still not sure if you can help, please 🙂 what is not clear for me is,how the windows will end up on memory stick?does it come from the computer I am using???if you can clarify,cheers.

  155. Thanks for the guide it eventually worked for me,my 1gb pen drive wasn’t compatible,so i bought a cheap 1gb Maxell the next day and things went smoothly,

    I used xp pro sp3 cd

  156. ty so much man for this tutorial! mucho help :D:D

    Just a quick one for all those with the biosinfo not being found… edit the prep8.cmd with notepad and replace the following:

    Line 519 replace :
    xcopy %xpsource%!xpdir!!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h
    xcopy %xpsource%%xpdir%!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h

    Line 521, replace :
    xcopy %xpsource%!xpdir!!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log
    xcopy %xpsource%%xpdir%!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log

    Lige 525, replace :
    copy /y %xpsource%!xpdir!%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I
    copy /y %xpsource%%xpdir%%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I

    Line 527, replace :
    copy /y %xpsource%!xpdir!%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log
    copy /y %xpsource%%xpdir%%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log

  157. Has anyone found a way to get around XP not reconizing the hard drive during setup? I am trying xp SP3 also

    1. Yes, you must first enter BIOS and go to SATA config, and set it to “compatibility” mode. Then it’ll recognize the hard drive. I used this with SP3.

  158. Brad,
    Thank you very much! Installed WinXP onto Sylvania g netbook meso. Funny, one WinXP Pro disk gave blue screen, another worked fine. Overall, very nice and simple tutorial.

  159. Just 1 question, how do I install office on HP mini?I have the cd, but, lol, do I doit the same way or?

  160. This is very good, I done all you said and it works, thank God :D, also, for those who have mini note 2133 with Linux Novel, please also download a Grapchics patch from HP, so you can reduce your graphics to 1024×600(it looks mighty beter and you can see the run box :D), thx for making these steps dude 😀

  161. i install xp with usb stick. but it asked product key. i entered key. but it shows it is invalid.what i do

  162. Thanks a lot for this information. I tried this method and now have installed xp into a mini-note that is without cd-rom.

  163. Everything is fine but when I try to install xp on my mini it doesn’t see any hard drive at all.

    Probably it’ s something about sata drivers.

    But where can i Find them???

    1. I have the same problem with XP nit seeing the hard drive during install. Anyone find how to get around this????

  164. Wow! Thanks for a great tutorial! I only realized after the fact, but the boot.ini file would probably auto fix itself if you remember to unmount the drive before pressing the button.

  165. PreToUSB doesnt recogize my 2 GB Kingston Pen drive nr my 2 GB Transcend one.. what do i do … please help me !!

  166. I have tried to install XP pro on an Asus EEE 1000h (Linux preinstalled) using a USB stick (the way described above). At my attempt to boot from the USB stick I get the error message: “Reboot and select prober boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key”. I tried the method twice with different USB sticks, both with the same discouraging results. I guess the problem is that the bootability of the USB stick is limited to a DOS/Windows context and therefore does not work on a system with preinstalled Linux. I guess I would need to prepair a USB stick in a Linux way. Advice very wellcome.

  167. i want install window XP in hard disk by using pan drive.
    as cd player of my laptop is not working.
    plz solve my problem

  168. is it okay to use windows service pack 3 for usb flashdrive installer? because im having a problem when im already installing windows xp in my mini-note. when im on the setup, the xp installer cannot detect the hard drive of my mini-note.

  169. ok, great,, but do you have a simpler method, 15-20 min to prepare a usb stick in 2008 is somewhat a bit overkill, I can also rewrite the same things I saw 2004. So, how do you install windows XP from a USB stick, I have an iso image but need the computer to see it as a CD, an installation CD for XP.
    I just wonder how many times the same text is rewritten over and over again on internet….

  170. Nice tip. I ended up with a primary drive E: somehow which isn’t going to work. Going to see if I can do a repair install from the flash drive? (I’ve already adjusted the registry)

  171. Hi Brad!

    I’m writing regarding point 9.10 of the “Installing XP on the Mini-Note” chapter, as this is where I got stuck. It says:

    “# Now you can (somewhat) safely edit the boot.ini file, changing the partition number or other settings to more closely resemble the one I listed above. Save your file, and hopefully you’ll be able to reboot without your USB stick.”

    I tried all possible values in the boot.ini file (including the most common one “multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Windows xp” /FASTDETECT”, I have one drive with one partition on it) and my system is still unable to start without usb stick plugged in. I installed windows recovery console and that added another line in the boot.ini file on my hard drive but it made no difference in booting.

    Because the system is able to start from the usb stick I then changed one line in the boot.ini file that is on the stick, from: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1) to: multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1), hoping that this would make the system start from the hard drive. But it didn’t and resulted in an error saying about a missing or corrupted hal.dll file (I did format the hard drive as per guidelines).

    Have you got any idea what I could do yet to make the system start as changing boot.ini on the hard drive does not make any difference?

    1. I have the same problem … had you managed to sort it out ? reply pls

      1. Yes, I said f*** it, bought a usb dvd-rom on ebay and forgot about this whole windoze-on-a-stick farse. Saves a lot of time and is much less frustrating. Hope it helps 🙂

        1. I have the same problem. I did all the steps but i can only login with the usb plugged? Any suggestions?

          1. When you boot, goto the C: drive (make sure see hidden files is on) DELETE Boot.ini. Windows doesn’t need. it Reboot with the stick removed. You might see a little flash in the corner of the screen saying something like invalid boot.ini, but windows rights itself automatically and finds where it is installed on its own.

  172. the file to prepare the flash drive is not avalable… it says it has already reached download limit…

  173. This all sounds just great. Personally the HP2133 I had froze when I attempted to run a Suse application for installing software. I turned it off and subsequently it kept reporting BIOS errors and would not boot beyond the linux shell. Pressing F9 on the F.02 bios reveals only two boot options harddrive or network even with a bootable USB stick plugged in. I had down loaded the latest Bios F.05 from the HP website and created a bootable USB which boots fine on an IBM T41. Problem if your BIOS doesn’t support USB boot then how do you update the BIOS without a working OS or opening up the case to replace the HDD? I am interested to know which BIOS your using?

  174. i just wana thank you and I appreciate your desire to help. it helps me alot and keep my job:)). I was able to install windows xp on MSI mini note U100 using usb.
    Thanks a lot!


  175. If you can’t create a virtual drive, make sure that there is about 1 gig of free harddisk space…

    1. Thanks Jesper. I just had this problem.. It’s time to clean up my hard drive 🙂

  176. Brad….U added 2 d fun of having a Netbook which is so light in weight, well built and works like a charm….wanted to install Windows since the time I bought it, but after going through umpteen no. of walkthroughs which dealt with “booting Windows from pen drive” and not INSTALLING it…..I came across your article….went through it….and installed Windows easily….Thankyou so much 🙂

  177. thanx alot ….amazing instructions ….my laptop is up and running ………..ur awesum man

  178. Great instructions. Everything works except wifi. Did you ever get it to work?

  179. Hello. I am about to receive a HP 2133 with Suse. I have been told that 400 Mb of the HD is a recovery Suse partition. I would like to follow the procedure of installing Win XP but leaving this Suse partition in case I would loke to install it again. how can I manage to do taht and not having any problem with bootable win xp start?

    1. I was unable to discover a way to install Windows without wiping that
      partition. But if you contact HP support and ask for a SUSE recovery disc,
      they’ll ship one to you.

  180. Hi everyone who has plobelms with the application and booting from the usb stick i currently have an hp mini note and i have used this application to install xp onto my eee pc with linux as defalt and it works great for those who has ploblems go to this website which has more detailed information [hi brad i am not stealing your traffic i just want them to know more about this application and please dont delete the link thanks also there are pictures for the xp to usb coping method]


    1. Iam having a problem to linstall my note book intel ataom N270,Iam un able to install via USB DRIVE when installing it keep on saying that the I must make sure that the SCSI IS PROPERLY TERMINATED. I have being spending sleepless night but no solution to this,please help me

  181. Hi everyone who has plobelms with the application and booting from the usb stick i currently have an hp mini note and i have used this application to install xp onto my eee pc with linux as defalt and it works great for those who has ploblems go to this website which has more detailed information [hi brad i am not stealing your traffic i just want them to know more about this application and please dont delete the link thanks also there are pictures for the xp to usb coping method]

  182. will this work if i tried installing it on my dell latitude d630 laptop?

    1. Will this Work if i pointed to the iso i used and created from nlite i had on my desktop seems to be stuck in the :Copying custom files and win….xp ..ect

  183. ASMS Problem during Xp installation. Cannot find ASMS error message.

    I’ve solved the problem by deleting the I386 folder on USB stick and copy the I386 folder from Xp cdrom to USB stick, reboot PC and continue installation.
    It worked on my Acer Aspire One

  184. somehow my usb wont get recognized by windows anymore!! i connect it and it syas “usb device found” then it says “Unknown device” ! WHAT DO I DO now!?!?

    my email is [email protected]

    1. Try rebooting your PC with the USB flash drive plugged in? Some computers
      only recognize a USB device if it’s plugged in during startup. You could
      also click on the unknown device in the device manager and see if you can
      find new drivers on the internet.

      1. ok i just tried booting with the usb plugged in but still wont get recognized. I can see the drive in the bios but not in windows and doesnt have a drive letter either as if wasnt connected

          1. Ok just found out i didnt have a usb flash drive problem at all…..my problem is that windows wont read any USB devices at all. Gonna have to do some researching ^_^

          2. My Asus eee PC 900 can’t find the hal.dll file, and I have done it exactly as it was written!

            What can I do?

          3. how to get rid of the msg cant find the file hal.dll during installation of XP from USB

  185. I’m using a Samsung 2GB Mightydrive USB stick which has formatted fine and I have gone through all the steps seemingly successfully. However, when I try to boot the MiniNote I get missing file errors (error 14), the first one being $WIN_NTS.~BTbiosinfo.inf could not be loaded. The error code is 14.
    I have checked the USB stick and it appears that the files are on the device but not in the correct folders??
    Any ideas?

    1. You might have to boot your Mini-Note with the USB stick plugged in. If this works, you’ll need to go into the MSConfig menu after Windows boots and fix your boot options.

      1. Hi Brad, thanks for trying to answer but I haven’t got as far as you think. My fault for not being too clear in my post, so I’ll try again. Sorry for the long post.
        I have formatted and produced a bootable USB stick with XP but when I try to boot the Mini-Note from the USB stick I get “$WIN_NTS.~BTbiosinfo.inf could not be loaded. The error code is 14.” I have manually copied this file into the $WIN_NTS.~BT directory and I get a little further before it tells me there is another missing file.
        I have rebooted my desktop XP machine and started over with the same result. I think that the “missing” files are present on the USB stick but perhaps not in the correct directories (folders).I’m not sure how this happened since I have followed your instructions to the letter (but I’m a newbie with this stuff). There is about 680MB of data on the USB stick. The only things I am unsure of are
        1. Do the booksect and usb_prep8 folders need to be in the root of the C drive on my XP desktop machine ? I put them in a sub-folder.
        2. Near the end of the process it prompts for some options regarding removing the virtual drive and chosing MkMigrateInf2 or MkMigrateInf (I think from memory)
        I was not sure what to do here.
        Aagin, any ideas would be helpful before I have to buy a USB CD Drive, which I really don’t want to do

        1. Hmm. I have two suggestions.

          1. Try repeating all the steps over again. Sometimes you need to completely reformat the flash drive and add all of the installation files to it again. I have no idea why.
          2. It’s possible that you have a USB stick that you cannot boot from. I’m not sure what sets some sticks apart from others, but I do have one stick that I can’t seem to mark bootable no matter how many different Windows or Linux tools I used. If you’ve got a different flash drive or an SD card that you can try, that may help.

          1. Brad, thanks for your help. There appears to be a problem in the code of the usb_prep8.cmd I downloaded in your zip file. I found a post on
            which suggests edits to some of the lines in the code. I edited the usb_prep8.cmd and hey presto, it all works. I now have a Mini-Note running XP Pro and I couldn’t have done it without you!!
            If you would like me to document the edits here, I will or I can email you privately
            Thanks again

          2. This same problem happened for me. Here was the fix, for anyone who is pulling out their hair!


            I solved the “biosinfo” as well at the missing file at the copy on the virtual disk.

            2 solutions :

            Do-it-by-yourself and modify usb_prep8.cmd.

            Line 519 replace :
            xcopy %xpsource%!xpdir!!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h
            xcopy %xpsource%%xpdir%!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h

            Line 521, replace :
            xcopy %xpsource%!xpdir!!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log
            xcopy %xpsource%%xpdir%!btfile! %tmpdrive%%btdir% /i /k /y /h | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log

            Line 525, replace :
            copy /y %xpsource%!xpdir!%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I
            copy /y %xpsource%%xpdir%%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I

            Line 527, rmplace :
            copy /y %xpsource%!xpdir!%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log
            copy /y %xpsource%%xpdir%%%H %tmpdrive%%btdir%%%I | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log

          3. Hi Stuart!
            I have been keenly following the problem with brad download of the software.Please give me the edited version of usb_prep8.cmd.

  186. It’s probably worth mentioning that if your USB stick is larger than 2GB, PeToUSB won’t be able to format it. Thus the walkthrough will fail at Preparing the flash drive, Step 5.

      1. I’m looking for an alternative method right now, but first I need to figure out exactly what PeToUSB does.

      2. I ended up using the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool to format the 8GB USB stick with NTFS and then used USB_MultiBoot_9 to make the stick bootable and copy over the XP install files.

        Currently installing XP as we speak!

        Your walkthrough is an excellent resource, thanks for writing it up and posting it.

    1. hmm, i’m using a kingston 4gb usb stick and petousb formatted it just fine…

    2. I too had the same problem , it failed in formating the usb stick,

      am using 8 GB Sony USB stick, some how i formatted using xp format,

      will it work/?? any suggestion please , thanks

  187. Brad, is there no way to preserve the system restore partition, i.e., just replace the larger VISTA partition with XP? While I don’t think I’d ever voluntarily go back to VISTA, it might in a pinch be useful if you’re on the road and the XP partition somehow becomes corrupted. Granted, I could also carry around my 1 GB USB drive to restore XP from scratch.

    Anyway, I tried to leave the VISTA restore partition behind and XP installed okay, but then the machine wouldn’t boot from the hard disk (always got some sort of “bad OS” error at startup). Booting from the flash drive worked, but mucking with the boot.ini didn’t help.

    Incidentally, when I then tried to do the XP install again with the same memory stick, the text mode option always failed with “INF file txtsetup.sif corrupt or missing, status 18” error. Bizarre. So now my machine is back to Vista factory image and I created a new XP image on my USB drive, this time with SP2 slipstreamed in. Wish me luck 🙂

    1. I started out with a SUSE system, so I didn’t have a Vista recovery partition to play with. But as for the second installation failing, I have noticed that for some reason this happens to me a lot when installing XP from a USB flash drive. Re-creating the bootable flash drive should work. It just means spending another 15-20 minutes.

    2. What happened at last? any success in keeping vista partition and restoring that partition after installing XP properly

  188. Thanks for the help real good have it all working except for wireless lan that is giving me some problems. Do you have correct drivrs?”

    1. Hi,

      I am having the same problem. Did you ever solve it? Could you share your solution if you did?

  189. One thing missing from your “You will require” section;
    A computer running M$-Windows.
    Those utilities are all Windows executables and I have not yet gotten them to run under Wine.

  190. Excellent writeup, Brad! This should be very helpful for those installing XP on their Mini-Notes. My Mini is working great, and I’m pretty happy with it thus far. The only issue I’ve had is installing the company’s Nortel VPN client, but other than that it’s ran everything I’ve thrown at it admirably.

      1. Hello el_nacho.

        2 GB of RAM here, but I’m not so sure it’s needed. Even with Lotus Notes, IE, Firefox, Word, and Photoshop open at the same time I’m still not using all the RAM. It’s nice to have it available – might need it someday. But if you’re wondering if you should go to 2GB in your Mini-Note, I’d say it would depend on your choice of OS. Vista – I’d go 2GB. XP – 1GB is probably fine for most cases. Linux – 1GB should do fine.

  191. Thanks for documenting all this stuff Brad. It helps a lot!

    Do you know if you can under or over clock the cpu, or change how much memory the onboard video uses?

    1. I haven’t gotten arond to over/underclocking yet, but I’ll keep you posted. The 1.2GHz processor is a bit sluggish for some tasks. But you’re also lucky to get 2 hours of battery life out of the standard 3 cell battery, so I’m a bit wary to do too much overclocking. At least the computer runs at its advertised speed, which is more than I can say for some laptops *cough* Eee PC *cough*

      1. lol, I know it… I’m getting the 1.6Ghz model and wanted to be able to under clock to save some battery. I just read over on the mininoteuser forums that there isn’t anything in the bios you can change for video or cpu. 🙁

        Thanks again!

        1. No under/overclocking options in the bios. I have the 1.6 Ghz model that runs pretty smooth with me. I have 3 FF windows open with at least 6 tabs a pop, a bunch of other software, my ram usage is at 1Gb, yes I know that’s a lot but i did max out my ram on this baby.

  192. This is good news. Next, please install some common software on there, and tell us how fast (or slow!) it is? I’d be interested in a typical student mix of Office, Firefox, Acrobat, and something like iTunes, all running at the same time. Thanks!

    1. Well, right now I’m listening to streaming audio using WInamp, I’m posting a reply to your comment in Firefox, and I have Pidgin open in the background and everything seems to be working pretty well. CPU usage is hovering between 15 and 30 percent, and my memory use is under 300MB. Switching windows and tabs is not quite as quick and zippy as it would be on a more powerful computer, but it’s passable.

    2. my cd-dvd drive went invisible as i started the program in the first step!! any one like that?? i’m using hp 530… the drive is tsstcorp

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