need help installing XP Pro on laptop with no optical drive

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by MisterDNA, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. MisterDNA

    MisterDNA [H]ard|Gawd

    Feb 8, 2004
    Mods: I tried searching for a thread about this, but the system rejects small words and common words so that failed. I did my part there so on with my question.

    My Toshiba Portege 3490CT has no optical drive built in and though I can get a "docking station", this is the only thing I would use it for.

    I tried running a base XP Pro install with the drive in a Tecra 8200, but it would BSOD during boot, even in safe mode. Likely XP Pro locks itself to a particular system because it was the NT kernel that asploded.

    What I do have: 2.5" to 3.5" interface adapter

    I can put the laptop drive in my desktop but that's it. No floppy, nothing.

    I found a technique involving reformat of the drive with FAT32, install of DOS 7.10, copying of everything from the i386 directory of the XP disc and jumping through hoops but is there an easier way?
  2. DVAmon

    DVAmon 2[H]4U

    Aug 14, 2003
    I can think of two ways:. Either run an installation of XP from a USB flash drive by copying all the files to the drive, making it bootable and enabling smartdrive, then run the winnt command to do a DOS-mode installation. This will be slow though.

    You could also try an installation from the Tecra using the hard drive of the Portege, Sysprep it, and then replace it in the Portege to run. The sysprep, if executed properly should eliminate the BSOD issue (which was probably an 0x7B error due to incompatible mass storage controllers). You will need the i386 folder, a copy of the System Deployment Tools (which should be in the TOOLS folder of an XP Pro CD, in the DEPLOY.CAB) and all the necessary drivers for the Portege. The Setup Manager (setupmgr.exe) will help you make a Sysprep.inf file. Use the below link as a reference to Sysprep.;en-us;302577&sd=tech

    In the Sysprep.inf file, to help eliminate any BSODs due to incompatible mass storage controllers, you'll want to specify a:


    As a note the PCI\VEN asking for:
    "PCI\Vendor Device Instance ID = %systemroot%\%directory%\driver.inf" where driver.inf is the driver for the particular piece of hardware. Usually the chipset maker will have drivers for the mass storage controller if needed in their chipset installation package, or the microsoft generic as long as it's loaded will work.

    You can get this information from the Device Manager on the Details tab of selected hardware and the information you need is the Device Instance ID or from the driver.inf file associated with the type of hardware.

    Also setup the drivers and make sure when you run sysprep to select mini-setup to regenerate the SID for the laptop, once done, click reseal. It'll power off, insert into Portege, power on, and it should perform a driver install and the mini-setup.

    Now they might seem daunting but they're much easier than the method you're about to try. =) PM me if you need any further help.
  3. MisterDNA

    MisterDNA [H]ard|Gawd

    Feb 8, 2004
    Cool. A more involved and professional method. I didn't know about sysprep. Thanks!

    I don't know how to boot from a flash disk. I do have one, but the only USB device I know the 3490CT supports is a floppy drive. If it's possible to make it boot from that, that's yet another piece of info I didn't know about.

    By the way, it would appear that the portege supports booting from a LAN if I connect my port replicator to it. Know anything about that or if WinXP Pro can act as a server for that?
  4. alphanumeric

    alphanumeric Gawd

    Jan 27, 2003
    You may be able to do it with the syspart command. You start the install on one PC and then move the drive to the other PC to finnish it. I beleive it works for XP too.

    Using the "WINNT32 /SYSPART" Command

    In Windows 2000, the /syspart parameter for Winnt32.exe causes Windows 2000 Setup to copy all the necessary boot files and temporary Setup files to a drive and mark the partition as active. You can then install the drive in another computer, turn the computer on, and continue with Setup.
    To use the winnt32 /syspart command, the following conditions must exist:
    You can run the command from a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0-based, or Windows 2000-based computer.
    The server or workstation must contain two hard disks; the second hard disk must be the destination disk.
    The second hard disk must have a primary partition. The /syspart switch sets this partition as active..
    The second hard disk must be formatted so that Setup can copy files to it.
    There are no limitations as to the hardware in the target computer.