Windows XP installation from USB

I wrote this piece back in March 2006 before transferring it to my new blog. It’s quite possible that bits and pieces of this HOWTO are outdated. If any are and you find a solution, then please leave a comment for the rest of us.

— Roderick

What follows is a recipe on how to install Windows XP from USB. You can cut right to the chase or read about how it happened to me first. Sit tight, you’re in for a ride!

Case In Point

You’ve got this Acer laptop with a malfunctioning DVD drive. Specifically, you removed it from its bay and now Windows XP crashes when you plug it back in. Knowledge Base article 310664 matches it to a tee.

Provided solution: update to Service Pack 1, or disable DMA in the BIOS. Current situation: running SP2 and blessed with a “user-friendly” BIOS that doesn’t allow you to disable DMA.

Your luck just ran out, but – being the geek that you are – you don’t whine about it. Instead, you come up with this bright idea: let’s install Linux, that’ll work some magic! And so you get Gentoo Linux installed using a home-bred LiveUSB distribution. And much to your dismay, no proper hot-plugging implementation is provided for your laptop. Curses.

So finally, you call the support line to have them collect your laptop for repair. One problem here: you’re betting they won’t like seeing Linux boot up and, hoping to forego service costs, it’s up to you to reinstall Windows XP.

One problem here: you don’t have a working CD-ROM drive to install Windows XP off, and from experience you know that Windows XP won’t install from an external drive. Blasted!

Enter the cavalry.


The procedure here is provided without any warranty or support whatsoever. It worked for me and so it might for you. It also might blast you and your laptop to pieces. Some of the procedures described here can wipe all of your data. Thought I’d warn you.

I don’t mean to be inventive here, either. In fact, all the technology has been laid out for us and is readily available. All I’m doing is wrapping it all up in writing. Shouts out to everyone who provided the technology!

That being said, let’s get down to business.

Ground Zero: Ingredients

You’ll be needing ample space on a USB storage device like a thumb drive or external disk drive. 1 GB of storage will suffice. Possibly, you could access the setup files from a network share in which case you’ll only need a 256 MB thumb drive, but I haven’t tried that.

Personally, I booted off a 512 MB thumb drive and put the Windows XP setup files on an external disk drive. So a combination will do just fine, but just make sure that you’ve got enough USB ports: all USB devices will need to be plugged in and stay plugged in while we’re booted into BartPE later on!

You’ll also need a bunch of software, including a valid copy of Windows XP. The other software components can be downloaded freely:

Q: Why Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1? I want to install XP!

A: Well that’s exactly the trick, though it’s a bit technical. During booting, Windows resets the USB port and loses your boot device. That’s why installing from USB normally fails. But by using Windows 2003 Server’s ramdisk feature in the early phases of booting, we avoid that problem.

Don’t be mislead though: you’ll be installing Windows XP all the same. It’s just that we’ll be using two Windows 2003 Server files from the Service Pack to do it.

You can also do a Windows 2003 Server installation using this same procedure, save that you’ll be needing to update to Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1 instead of Windows XP SP2, below. That’s assuming, of course, that you’ve got a valid copy of Windows 2003 Server.

You will also need an already functional Windows system to prep the USB disk from. In addition, your target system (the one that needs reinstalling) should support booting from USB. Virtually all modern ones do though.

Finally, not all cheaper USB devices properly support being booted from. The BartPE forums have a partial list of ones that don’t.

Step One: Preparing the Windows XP Setup Files

For this procedure to work correctly, you’ll need Windows XP to be at Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2. Many newer Windows XP CDs already have either one included.

You can check by inserting the CD-ROM and looking at the files in the top folder. There should be a file named WIN51P.SP1 or WIN51P.SP2. If you see either one, fast forward to step two.If there is no such file, or you’ve got a SP1 CD that you would like to update to SP2, proceed as follows:

  1. Copy the Windows XP CD-ROM to a location on your hard drive. We’ll be assuming C:\winxpcd. I strongly recommend you to use such a vanilla CD. Users have reported strange happenings with custom XP distributions.
  2. Download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Network Installation Package.
  3. Unpack Windows XP SP2 by running WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe -x. Note the -x parameter that will allow you to specify a location to unpack to. We’ll be assuming C:\winxpsp2.
  4. Integrate SP2 into the setup files by running C:\winxpsp2\i386\update\update.exe /integrate:c:\winxpcd.

If your system needs special drivers to run, this would be the time to include them (called “slip-streaming”). Doing so isn’t exactly trivial and should only be necessary if you, say, need non-standard SATA support. The process is beyond the scope of this article, but fortunately Google is your friend.

Step Two: Prepping BartPE

First we’ll prep the USB drive we’ll be using for booting. This is by far the largest step in the process, though it shouldn’t be difficult for anyone to follow. It requires a functional Windows system.

  1. Install BartPE. We’ll be assuming that you install to C:\pebuilder.
  2. Unpack PE2USB to C:\pebuilder.
  3. Unpack Windows 2003 SP1 by running WindowsServer2003-KB889101-SP1-x86-ENU.exe -x (that’s assuming that you downloaded the English version). Note the -x parameter that will allow you to specify a location to unpack to. We’ll be assuming C:\server2003sp1.
  4. Create a folder named C:\pebuilder\srsp1.
  5. Copy C:\server2003sp1\i386\setupldr.bin to C:\pebuilder\srsp1.
  6. Expand and copy ramdisk.sys by running expand -r C:\server2003sp1\i386\ramdisk.sy_ C:\pebuilder\srsp1.
  7. Start PE Builder from the Start Menu. Point “Source:” to the location of your Windows XP setup files containing SP1 or SP2.
  8. Make sure the “Output:” is set to “BartPE”. If using SP2: go into the Plugins configuration dialog and enable “RpcSS needs to launch DComLaunch Service First – SP2 only”.
  9. Hit “Build”.
  10. When it’s done building, insert the USB drive you intend to boot from and run C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f [drive:], replacing [drive:] with the location of your USB drive. This will destroy any data on your USB drive! The drive shouldn’t be partitioned any larger than 1 GB. If it is, then repartition it using Computer Management in the Control Panel.
  11. Copy the Windows XP setup files to the USB drive (or another USB device if you have insufficient space left). You’ll only need the i386 folder.

If no errors occurred in the process, you should now be all set to boot from USB!

Note: it’s possible to use Windows 2003 Server as the operating system to boot from, but I don’t recommend it. Many of BartPE’s included utilities won’t work properly.

Step Three: Configuring the BIOS

You should now reboot and go into the BIOS configuration to boot from USB. Instructions for doing so wildly from system to system, but generally entail the following:

  1. Reboot the system.
  2. While booting (before Windows starts loading), get into the BIOS configuration screen by hitting something like F1, F2, Delete or Escape. Hotkey instructions are generally provided on the screen.
  3. Go to the section that has your boot devices.
  4. With your USB drive plugged in, the USB drive should be listed. If it isn’t, your system might not support booting from USB. Assuming that it is supported (as happens with almost all modern hardware), promote your USB drive to the primary boot device.
  5. Exit from the BIOS configuration, saving all changes.

If you’re completely new to BIOS configuration, BIOS for Beginners over at Tom’s Hardware might be a good primer. Be aware though, that you can seriously screw up your system by providing incorrect settings!

Step Four: Booting into BartPE

Assuming that you properly configured your BIOS and your USB device supports booting, BartPE should now load. Depending on the speed of your USB device, this may take a while.

If it isn’t working, then double-check the following before making a scene:

  • Is your BIOS properly configured for booting from the USB disk? (Is the USB device listed and does it have top priority?)
  • Have you correctly prepared the USB disk in step two? (Restart the procedure.)
  • Does your USB stick properly support being booted from? (Try another one!)

Step Five: Prepping the Hard Disk

You need to make sure that your hard drive is partitioned and formatted properly. Especially if you’ve had Linux or some other operating system on it, you’ll need to repartition and format it. BartPE has DiskPart for disk partitioning and A43 File Manager to format your drive.

If you are sure that your hard drive is set up properly (i.e. it has only run Windows, it has a valid FAT or NTFS partition) then you can safe yourself the hassle and skip this step.

This procedure will destroy any data on the hard drive.

To repartition:

  1. From the Go menu, navigate to DiskPart.
  2. Enter the commands needed to repartition your drive. For example, try the following: select disk 0 (select the first disk), clean (purges the entire drive, essentially resetting it), create partition primary (creates a single partition from the entire disk), assign (assign the partition a drive letter), exit (quits DiskPart).

This procedure will destroy any data on the hard drive.

To format:

  1. From the Go menu, navigate to the A43 File Manager.
  2. Right-click on the target drive (e.g. C:) and click Format. Should be self-explanatory.

Step Six: Launching Windows XP Setup

With your drive all ready, you can now launch the Windows XP setup with a few custom parameters. Let’s assume that the files are available at D:\i386.

Plugging in a device now won’t work. Remember that all USB devices will need to be plugged in right from the start while using BartPE.

  1. Run D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource. Replace C: with the drive you want to install Windows to.
  2. Proceed with the installation. When asked to convert the installation volume to NTFS, answer No. The setup program incorrectly believes that your USB drive (which is formatted as FAT) needs conversion.

The setup program will then silently close, which might make you think that something went wrong. Don’t worry though. Reboot your system, remove the USB drive(s) and – if all went well – you can now finish setting up Windows XP. Congratulations!

513 replies on “Windows XP installation from USB”

Hi Roderick – just wanted to say thanks a million for this excellent guide – I got it working nicely after a couple of goes – to fix a laptop with a dodgy dvd drive – exactly as per your example… Worked a treat!

Thanks again


Paul P

Hello Roderick, this guide is excellent. All was very clear and worked very good. Thank you.

Best Regards.

Everything seemed to work until I try to boot the system when I get the following

Remove disks or other media.
Press any key to restart

I do have another USB stick with a DOS boot on it that works fine and is the same make and model as the one I am useing for XP and have even tried useing that one with the same results.

I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Installing Windows XP from USB, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

Thanks for this wonderful guide, I am going to try your method now!

“Foolproof” you could say 😉

So today I followed your guide by the letter! But It didn’t work, but fortunately I found the sources of the problems.

1. All 4 USB Sticks of mine resisted getting booted from…

Solution: I tried a program named “FlashBoot” (Demoversion will be sufficient) and used a BARTPE-ISO to convert from (you can get this ISO in STEP 2 – Point 8 of this guide,just activate “create iso” or something like that and there you have it).
It worked!

2nd problem:

(Im a tablet-user, so you most likely wont have this problem)
Windows XP wanted to have his precious “TPGWLNOT.DLL” during the installation… I didnt have that because I only copied the i386 folder to my stick!
Win XP does work but… you cant use your pen…

2314257th attempt in progress! 😉

I wanted to write here thanking both you, Roderick, and you Timothy for sharing this information. At the place I work, we deal with custom POS machines, and they do not have either floppy drives or CDROMs, so we have a difficult time re-installing the OS if something goes bad. This is great!

Thank you!

Great guide, a real bacon-saver – thanks loads – i’m using a slightly customised version of this to deploy an image, great for machines without dvd drives.


I have tried this and got to the stage where to usb stick allows a boot up til I get missing or corrupt txtsetup.sif. I overcome this by copying the file from an XP i386 folder to my usb stick but then get biosinfo could not be loaded error code 18. I could get passed this but editing the txtsetup.sif file but then fails on another file. Has anyone else experienced these kind of issues??. Any help appreciated.


pe2usb has been packaged into the bartpe newer release. There is no need to uppack PE2USB in Stpe2 2.. Also, it would be nice to add the note that in BartPE build, add /srsp1in custom line.


I want to say thanks for making the guide, but unfortunatly, it does not work 100% for me. For some strange reason everything goes according to the guide, but after I reboot the system (usb key out) it goes back to the file copying portion of the install and if try to select a partition again to install Windows on, it can’t find the files anymore…

Please help,,,

Hi Roderick, I just wanted to say thanks very much! Initially, I tried a different method for installing WinXP on my Asus Eee PC and it didn’t work at all. Your method worked perfectly! Happy Xmas 🙂

Btw, if anyone’s interested, I used a single USB stick – a 2GB PNY ‘capless’ model that I picked up yesterday. Interestingly, this one was bootable, but two other sticks, including an older PNY 512MB ‘Attache’ turned out to *not* be bootable.

Also, I couldn’t work out how to partition the stick as you suggested, so I just left it as 1.8GB. It worked fine. I read somewhere that anything over *2GB* may be a problem.

I am able to follow your directions until I reboot without the key, I get sent to the file copy screen, and it copy’s, restarts, then goes right back tho the same place, any help will be greatly appreciated.

I like the tut and everything! There is one problem though for me. When I go to boot up the USB drive, it comes up with error 14: ntoskrnl.exe could not be found. I have checked in my i386/system folder on my USB drive a lot of times and it is there! What i386 directory should I load onto my USB drive, the one on my computer or the one on my XP CD? I dd the XP CD. Help please!

E-mail support to [email protected] thanks!

I finally got it all fixed, but I’m stuck on step 6. I typed in the same thing for command prompt except for drive X: where it is. It came up in cmd with the whole “this isn’t here” thing but it’s there where I had it on the USB’s iso. I’m lost now…

Why not use HP’s USB flash disk utility to make a bootable flash drive with dos. Copy the installation files to the drive and then run winnt.exe (instead of winnt32.exe). Sounds like a lot less work.

Nick: haha, installing XP on a Asus Eee PC. The reason I came here in the first place! (Just picked mine up at the store a few hours ago. I found that booting from USB didn’t work well, but booting from the SD card does (if you hit Escape during the bootup and select Boot from SD slot)

I had Hp laptop dv5278ea, dvd drive not working, vista installed, got virus, then wont boot. Had this guide to work perfectly except for one reason, booted up to BartPE perfectly, just that it was not showing the the hard drive of laptop .then had to integrate hard drive drivers downloaded from HP website into the I386 folder with nlite(can download from google,freeware).
Thanks for the Stuff.

These instructions along with the program PeToUSB saved me! I was finally able to install Windows XP with out a CD-Rom.

Ray- you need to copy the files over to your harddrive, because when it reboots to access the files, it cant install windows because the files you need are on the flash drive!

Hello, I did everything as it told me to and it all worked fine until i tried to boot from the usb. i selected the usb stick in the boot window and then when i tried to boot it said

Remove disks or other media.
Press any key to restart.

Does anyone know how to fix this?

The solution to the issue where it tells you that a file is missing can be resolved by copying the entire SYSTEM32 folder that BartPe creates onto your USB. I had the same issue as you did and that did it for me.

This is to Stephan who said:

Hello, I did everything as it told me to and it all worked fine until i tried to boot from the usb. i selected the usb stick in the boot window and then when i tried to boot it said

Remove disks or other media.
Press any key to restart.

Does anyone know how to fix this?

Stephen or anyone, is there a way to get around this problem me and a couple others are having?

Also, are we speaking of “installing XP onto Hard Drive from USB OR are we speaking of “booting windows xp from USB flash drives”

Thanks in advance.

I want to answer to the problem:

Remove disks or other media.
Press any key to restart.

are some posibilities

1. u did not create a bootable flash drive
2. your flash drive cant support booting from.
3. your system did not suport booting from USB

try find answers about this points and come back.
if u read the entire solution and coments u can understand that . Try other flash drive or “restart procedure”.

And i was almost forget –
i have problems with my dvd drive from laptop too. Is an excelent guide. I’ll try it too.

when i go to install xp, after i choose “no” to the NTFS format, i get an error that says there is no system partition found? any ideas?

Tried with both a IBM T43 and IBM X61s, but no luck!

I was using a USB hard drive and correctly followed all the steps. Got “No Operating System Found!” message while booting from the USB hard drive. Any ideas?

i followed these steps. did the boot menu, and got the 2 files from server 2003. and created the bartPE.iso file.
but i still have a proble. when i boot it says operating system missing. my bartPE file was 78,386 kb.
is this what u guys got.

Roderick, thanks a lot for this guide. I’ve been trying to make a fresh install on a tablet PC without a cd drive, and your instructions have been quite useful. I just want to add something to your guide. I came across the same problem that Timothy, the solution for that is to add the :all parameter to step six. So the correct line for installation would be:
Run D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource:all
Otherwise the tablet pc components are not installed.
Now my tablet pc is working perfectly.
Thanks Roderick!!!!

Hi, I have the same or similar problem of REY…
The usb key boot, i can copy all the stuff with these commandas:
D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource

I put all on a primary partition of the disk (the other space is unpartitioned for then install linux)

When i reboot, without usb key, start a bluscreen of windows installation i do it and after setup and 15 pc reboot, but surprise i see again the blue screen of windows install.

I follow all the steps, what’s wrong? Could you help me?

Thanks to all. Great Roderick!!!

I have a flybook v33i

hi there..
Pretty good instrucional manual.
Just was following as you told.But i got this error while booting from USB
“NTLDR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”.
Could you please help me out with this. I have the following in my USB flash drive:

My flash drive is of 2 GB capacity

can you be so kind to let me know if there is an option to install Windows XP to USB drive and be able to boot Win XP from it

I had issues with this with my 4G U3 flash drive, until I

1) Removed the u3 partition
– in windows, assign a letter in disk management to the 5M U3 partition. Open the drive, extract the removal program to a disk, and run it to remove the U3 contents and delete the partition

2) Created a 1G FAT partition, in Linux with fdisk, and formatted it with mkdosfs -F 16

Then it worked.

Great instructions! I did exactly what you instructed and it worked well… after spending a week trying to revive my laptop hard-disk I feel relieved. Thanks a lot…

Thanks. This was excellent. Worked very well. I had a problem of installing XP onto a PXI controller for measurement and automation. Used your step by step guide and got XP installed.

Hi. I tried installing Windows using pendrive, but it didn’t work for me (I didn’t try kevin’s idea with reparitioning the pendrive, mine was 2GB). Instead i borrowed (and now even bought one) an IDE/SATA > USB adapter, and connected DVD drive form my desktop. Works like a charm. And since you’re using this guide (therefore have no working cdrom), it will probably come in handy anyway.

Best regards, Michael.

Excellent, except (for me) very important notice from:
CJ, on December 2nd, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Works wit Canyon 256MB USB 2.0 and HP laptop nx5000, but not with industrial PC with Phoenix AwardBIOS (boot from USB HDD can be set).

Any idea?


Awsome guide! Just one request… can you post a link to the ramdisk.sys file from the 2003Server SP1 instead of the entire SP… M$ site really slow took 2.5 hours to download it.

I encountered a problem while trying to run C:\pebuilder3110\pe2usb -f [drive:]

when I hit run, I always get the error message
USB target drive set to “I:”
Checking drive “I:”
Checking files…
Error: File “C:\pebuilder3110\srsp1\ramdisk.sys” not found!

I’m not sure if I copied ramdisk.sy_ correctly, because I ran
expand -r C:\server2003sp1\i386\ramdisk.sy_ C:\pebuilder3110\srsp1

but the file wasn’t copied. So I manually copied it to the location.

Does anybody know, what seems to be the problem?
Thanks for the help…

same problem as Rain, Ray and xilvio.
keeps restaring the blue screen installation keeps asking bout partition, then restarts back to the same install screen any help would be greatly apreciated.

I managed to get BartPE working, but now I got a new problem.
When I enter D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource
I always get the error message: Setup could not locate help file winnt32.hlp. Help is not available.

However, I found winnt32.hlp in the i386 folder. Does anybody know, how to fix this problem?

Hello, from Spain.

Thanks for the tutorial. It really works in my COMPAQ PRESARIO 2500.
The first time I follow the tutorial, it didn’t work. But, the second time I payed more attention and worked fine.

Thanks again.

same problem as Rain, Ray, xilvio and vdChild – does anybody know how to sort this out? cheers

Just like Ray, I am having the same problem. I had booted from the USB drive, ran the command to initiate the first instance of Windows XP setup, then restarted the computer. The installation process started, copied files to the hard disk, then restarts. However, upon rebooting, it just boots into the same screen over and over again.

I had even copied the installation files from the USB drive to the hard disk manually, then restarted. Same problem.

Absolutely great tutorial!!! Installed XP on my Latitude D410 from a pen drive without any problems.

Hi guys ,
I have made my install as the instruction manual was but i’m allways booting into the first stage setup again and again what shall i doooo please hheeeeeelllppp

Thanks for the guide!! Everything worked until I had to enter the windows XP key. Since my xp disk is an OEM version (Dell) I do not know the key. Any way to find out or workaround??
Your help is very much appreciated

I got the USB to boot on the computer that does not have a CD ROM. To the BartPE screen and menus. I am not a windows guy. What do I do next to re-install windows xp on the laptop computer. I do not care about anyting on the laptop. I just want to re-install windows xp, the laptop does not bootup now.

Your guide was great for getting to point of booting on the USB drive with BartPe.

Thanks for any help

Thanks a million for this guide.
Just would like to add that if you start BartPE in a notebook and the hard disk doesn’t show up, try to disable SATA in the bios. Worked for me in a hp pavilion dv2050us.

Great guide. worked perfectly until reboot after it had finishe copying files to the HD, then i got the message operating system not found.

3. Unpack Windows XP SP2 by running WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe -x. Note the -x parameter that will allow you to specify a location to unpack to. We’ll be assuming C:\winxpsp2.

Where does the “-x” come from ?
When I downlod it to my desktop and unpack it it does not give me an option for the install to location.


Excellent guide, and sincere thanks for it. But i have a little problem: when Loading RAMDISK Image finishes, the bartpe enviroment starts loading, and after two sec i receive this err:

“Setup cannon load ntoskrnl.exe

Error code is: 4

press bla bla.”

u guys have an idea of whats this about?

any suggestions?

thanks u in advance.

Thanks a lot for this great gude – everything worked just fine!

The only problem I had was that i couldn’t partition my USB stick (4gb) and so I couldn’t format it with FAT. I tried with NTFS instead and it seems to work just fine!


the guide is really nice, but i have a question before installing windows:
can i use the repair function/console, which is included in the xp setup program? because i need just this console to repair my xp and i dont want to install a new one.

and one more: the last step when i run

D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource

There’s a failure:

“D:[backslash]i386 refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to….”

What drive is ment with drive D? I know that D is the USB device.

i hope that so. can help me

Absolutely fantastic guide!

I got asked to fix a laptop as a favour, the optical drive is dead (or the IDE controller), and it also has no floppy drive… so that left me with Ethernet or USB

I don’t have USB optical drives, nor USB floppy drives… I hate laptops lol, so why I have these!

Anyway, I *tried* PXE booting, I went through all the rigmorol of setting up a TFTPD32 DHCP server and booting with syslinux and… man, what a mess about…

I probably could have got the net install to work had I known to use switches on winnt32…

Oh well, USB is a FAR easier solution if I need to do this again. I’m making an image of the fully installed system compressed with Acronis TrueImage which should be about 3.5GB, then I’m going to put the pebuilder folder together with the backup, adding the Acronis PE plugin.

Hopefully a 4GB flash drive will work… I used a 2GB PQI IntelliStick (in case there are different models, the USB connector slides out, it’s about 20mm x 13mm with the connector in) and it worked fine

Not working at all for 64bit winxp version. Layout.inf file not presest. What about 64bit ?

I got the USB drive all prepped up. No errors in that. I am trying to revive an old D400 lappy. The USB is not booting there. So I thot I wud try it on my brand new M1330. Changed the boot sequence, etc. It doesn’t boot to the USB there either!

Am I missing something simple and obvious?

Dude: you rocks. Question tho:

Can I use this procedure to reinstall or repair a windows XP that has a newer version (SP-2) than the windows CD?

I am having a couple of problems: 1) can’t download the windows xp pack; and 2) creating a slipstream cd is an incredible hassle. Seems like it would be much faster to create the “slipstream” cd on the thumbdrive and install from that?

Any suggestions?

Update : I went to my bios and it does not have a setting for a usb drive….only removable is a disk drive. My MB is maybe 2 years old so not sure why it doesn’t.

I managed to get BartPE working, but now I got a new problem.
When I enter D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource
I always get the error message: Setup could not locate help file winnt32.hlp. Help is not available.

However, I found winnt32.hlp in the i386 folder. Does anybody know, how to fix this problem?

Fresh – I just encountered the same problem! My solution was actually spelling! I’d missed a character out (tempdive I wrote) and I guess it searches for help for that command it can’t find!

I’m off installing now!

Hope that helps

Googled here and I got exactly what I needed. Followed the instructions and now my friend has a laptop with Windows XP on it again.

Thanks a million!

I have been all over the net trying to find something like this! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us! You might try to say all this information was available, but obviously it took more smarts and patience than I (and many others) had to get it all put together and making sense. Once again, THANK YOU!!

Great. I wish i’d known about this earlier, would have saved me a lot of time and energy.

Just a suggestion, put point 1 of step 6 all on one line, I missed the last option the first time round.

Also, in the bios setup, it could be listed under harddrive, and not have USB as a separate listing. I only realized this when a friend told me to plug it and check under the harddrive boot sequence. There it lists my USB drive as a hdd.

Rain, Ray, xilvio, vdChild, AFX, TGF… in step six
D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource replace with
D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C:
Hope that helps, this worked for me. Roderick, great work!

Thanks a lot! This is convincingly working.Hope you post a tutorial for Installing Linux OS from USB.


I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! I’ve been killing myself trying to find something like this for at least a few weeks now and I’ve tried pretty much every tutorial I could find.

Thanks again, this tutorial worked beautifully and the install went flawlessly!!


After a few minor hiccups and problems managed to work everything out using the directions above!!

Bumped into the “Bart PE” doesn’t see any hard disk – and solved this with the recommendation above of changing the SATA setting in the BIOS.

Thanks so much.

Thanx very much! With your instructions, I managed to install a Windows 2003 Server from a USB pen drive into a Proliant DL360 G5 without buy an optic cd unit. Thanx again!!! It works really ok!

This guide seems to work for many people, but unfortunately not for me. When I start booting with the fresh set USB drive from Step2 I get the following error:

Pen Drive Without Operating System. Remove Pen Drive and Reboot. Operating System not found.

Also the “pre-booting” is very slow, when the USB stick is plugged.

I also use an ACER laptop (Extensa 3000 Series) and the DVD-Drive is out of order.
I use a Kingston Data Traveler (1GB). In my desperation I did a linux-debian USB/Network boot before an installed this one, so maybe this could lead to this error? I copied the i386 folder to the USB drive manually per copy&paste (I just copied the whole folder, not the content directly to the USB top-folder – could this be the error?
USB-Booting is supported by my BIOS and the USB stick is visible in boot options.

I hope someone can help me!?

I’m using a Kingston DataTraveler 2GB with an IBM Thinkpad X40 and it’s not working for me either, same problem as Roman, though I’m not getting an error message, just a black screen with a flashing underscore. Perhaps these Kingston usb sticks simply don’t work with pe2usb?

Your method works but for step 2 I used the HP flash format tool to format 512mb sandisk thumb drive and to copy win98 boot disk files. I also had to copy smartdrv.exe Then copied i386 folder, mine was 450 mb, to the thumbdrive. But this did not work at all when I used a 4gb thumbdrive. wierd.

This worked really well and rescued me from an otherwise expensive situation, just wanted to say thanks!

For those having to wait for downloading the Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1, I highly suggest using PeToUSB. No need for a 330MB download.

Other than that, everything worked flawlessly.


My usb drive is the I drive, but when I run C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f [I:], it kept asking me to format my G drive. does anybody know why? Thanks.

Muchas gracias, thanks a lot,
After trying lots of methods, this was the only one that worked, my pc is a averatec 4100 with a bad cd-rom and the usb that I used is a 2GB flash voyager.

Again thanks a lot.

For all,,, If you have some trouble making bart-pe try again at least 3 times.

mike, take the brackets off the drive letter:

C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f I:

And Roderick, THANK YOU! Thanks to a small form-factor PC with no CD or DVD drive, nor space to put one, this was the only option I had when the hard drive needed XP put on it.

Thanks, Patrick, it worked, now i got another error, when I reboot from usb, it’s kept saying media test failure, check cable. do you know why?

For those having this problem:
When I enter D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource
I always get the error message: Setup could not locate help file winnt32.hlp. Help is not available.

However, I found winnt32.hlp in the i386 folder. Does anybody know, how to fix this problem?

I struggled with it also, but found a simple resolution: Reboot your computer after formatting your hard drive and try again.

When I tried it from the first boot, my hard drive was identified as drive D: and the USB stick was drive C:. Upon rebooting after the format process was complete, the hard drive was listed as drive C instead of D. My installation then ran great.

Hope this helps someone.

Does anyone here get a reply from the author when you have problems? Just curious why he would have a reply box and not post his answers from a few folks here who are having trouble.

Or maybe it is only what he stated…for “comments” and not questions.

@fish: here’s the author 🙂 I am reading all of your comments diligently and really appreciate them. It’s been two years since I used this thing myself however, so other commenters are much better equipped to answer your questions than I.

i have an acer laptop with a spoiled dvd drive nice coincidence…

so i have 2 partitions on a comp and 1 is a 137 gb partition with a lot of important data and 1 10 gb partition…
how do i install on the 10 gb without losing data??

Two problems initially.

First, PEBart would not boot from the USB device; turned out that that USB drive was not good for booting…tried another and it worked fine.

Second, PEBart could not install the network. I had to get the network driver for the computer in question and place the driver files (as a subfolder) in the PEBart directory drivers\net.

Once those were fixed and PEBart booted with network, I mapped a drive to a shared DVD with XP SP2 on it and installed from there.



Hi Roderick,

I have tried your solution on my Acer Aspire 3000 and it works like a charm.

It is probably a problem of BartPE, but the DISKPART tool does not work. So, I have included the “Swiss Army Knife” to manage my partitions. Formatting from A43 did not work either, but this was circumvented with the FORMAT command line tool.

Another tip, can be useful.

Create a file, named installxp.cmd in the root of your USB stick.

Add the lines
format c: /fs:ntfs /q /v:label
:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource

The “Diskpart” command now needs to be typed in the Run… area. It is no longer in the menu. It still comes up as a command windows and the commands as shown above are the same.

Works like a charm, for usb sticks larger than 2gb follow instructions on this link:

once you boot with bartpe, go to command promp and type the first line of member ArVie’s code to format hard drive. Then locate the i386 folder with the windows files and enter the second line of his code. Making a file like he says ended up not working, so just do what I did and enter commands manually in command prompt.

Bty, if you use something like isobuster to extract installation files from iso, make sure you only select extract and NOT “extract raw” or anything else for that matter otherwise you will get an error in bartpe and will be like wtf.

One last thing, you must use windows sp2 for bartpe, sp3 will not work, but this is only for bartpe. You can install sp3 but you need to use the bartpe sp2. Installation is no different.

Correction 2 posts above: in isobuster select “extract to and current to user data”….”extract to” and “extract raw” both lead to errors in bartpe…sry for the mistake

This is an EXCELENT GUIDE, THANKS A LOT RODERICK, THANKS for the comments guys, now I can install Windows XP in unattended mode and don’t have to burn a new cd every time I make a change in my answer file. By this method the installation process completes quite quicker than usual, because the copy procedure is completed in Windows not in DOS. It works also booting from cd by BartPE CD or UBCD and starting the installation from USB flash drive.
GREAT. I was looking for such a solution for a long time.


Thank you for this great guide! I was able to install Windows XP with SP2 network installation on an IBM ThinkPad X60s, which has no CD-ROM drive, using a 2gb Sandisk Titanium Cruzer flash drive. I did not run into any problems at all.

Thanks again!

Step 2, point 11, could you be more specific on how to copy these files over, do I just copy the i386 folder over? do I go into the i386 file an copy the folder contents from there? Or is it just the i386 folder? Do I still need to copy the other folders of the xp disk?
When I finish doing everything I get a ‘missing iastor.sys’ error when trying to boot from my usb stick. Anyone got any advice? I might be doing it wrong.

Thank you for this guide, worked like a charm.

just copy the i386 folder (with everything inside it) to the your pendrive. So you will have 5-6 files and the i386 folder in the root folder of your pendrive, and ~500G stuff in the i386 folder.
No other folders are required from the install CD.

The iastor.sys is required for installing onto an intel RAID or AHCI device. Disable the RAID and AHCI functions in the motherboard’s BIOS, rebuild your BartPE without adding any 3-rd party drivers and try again to install onto a pure ATA/SATA disk


Every time I try to boot my laptop using BartPE the message c:\system32\ntoskrnl.exe file missing or corrupt please reinstall this copy.
I’ve tried anything but until now the message still the same.
Anybody,Pls help me……

I had some trouble with booting from USB stick – it worked fine for me at first, but after I accidentely formated my stick and not my hard disk I had a hard time to make my tablet PC booting from the stick again (of course AFTER installing BartPE on my stick again 🙂
Anyway, after some more research I found a forum

that helped me create a bootable stick again…finally 🙂

For the “Remove disks or other media. Press any key to restart” problem:

In the BIOS, set the “USB Mass Storage Emulation Type” (or similar) to “All Fixed Disc” (or similar)

Hi everyone,

Did anyone get an error message saying, i need at least 500mb to install windows and i cant continue?
I suspect, it has something to do ntfs or sata.

Please answer.

Bart, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I have an Asus eee PC with no optical drive, and two separate internal drives (no idea why) – one is 4gb, the other is 8gb. By default XP Home is installed on the 4GB drive, and as you could imagine, after installing service pack 3 and other XP updates, it was completely full and choking! Thanks to your awesome guide here I was able to format both drives and put XP on the 8GB drive and live happily ever after! 🙂

On step 2, Item #5: I followed the instruction:
Copy C:\server2003sp1\i386\setupldr.bin to C:\pebuilder\srsp1.

However, there was no setupldr.bin in the i386 folder from the server2003sp1. There was a setupldr.ex_ file instead.

What do I do? Please help me.

I guess it’s not working with my flash drive. Can someone let me know what flash drives work for them? I don’t want to keep buying flash drives as a hit and miss.


Great guide! Majorly handy when trying to install XP from USB onto an asus eee pc.
Note: More information/instruction is needed on how to format a drive from a usb dongle if for some reason a user cannot get diskpart to work in bartpe (Which apparently is standard) using an HP usb disk drive utility and fdisk I was able to format a partition big enough to get XP onto the machine and format everything else.
Thanks though!


Regarding HD prep. diskpart will NOT function in bartpe, this is normal.
You need to download something like ultimate boot disk and use the cute partition manager to clear your drive (especially for an asus eee pc!)
Ultimate boot cd

I get the error “MBR Error 1. Press any key to boot from floppy…”

Can anyone tell me what’s wrong? I’m completely lost, I did everything correctly.

Great guide. If you have problems, it is a good chance you skipped a step. Thanks for the guide! Diskpart does work.

i’m installing Windows XP in a MSI Wind (subnotebook without cdrom drive) and i wanted to have a dual-boot setup

this is what i did : i created a 10G partition for my windows xp install and did this tutorial …at the end it didn’t wanted to boot windows xp install (the bootloader wasn’t written, and i was still seeing GRUB)…so BOOT into your linux and add an entry for windows xp MANUALLY to boot the install…after the first text-mode install it’ll rewrite your bootloader (no grub) and you’ll be able to go on with your install as normal…

in the end you’ll have to boot some mini linux distro from usb or something to restore your grub boot (with both entries in it)….


thanks for shareing your knowledge, there where many give up hope there I found your webside . unable to use CD-rom to reinstall my computer on Fujitsu Siemens Amilo L7320.

Excellent tutorial, good work! I succesfully installed XP on my Asus EEE laptop from a USB memory stick. It was a 4GB stick, but still worked perfectly.

Thx for this tutorial works fine with english XP.
Tried first with danish version, but got error when building the files.
Aniway to be able to build a danish version?


Thanks – I have just successfully replaced a buggy SUSE Linux distro on my HP 2133 with Windows XP. I had to use the PeToUSB utility to make the USB bootable – and everything worked fine. It was a coin toss between XP and Ubuntu – but these instructions worked a charm.
Thank you!

I am confused about the windows server2003 files.

Unpack Windows 2003 SP1 by running WindowsServer2003-KB889101-SP1-x86-ENU.exe -x (that’s assuming that you downloaded the English version). Note the -x parameter that will allow you to specify a location to unpack to. We’ll be assuming C:\server2003sp1.
Create a folder named C:\pebuilder\srsp1.
Copy C:\server2003sp1\i386\setupldr.bin to C:\pebuilder\srsp1.

But then they are never referenced again. Do they need to be manually added to the flash drive? If so where do they go?

To Asus EEE owners:

How did you configure the laptop to boot from the USB stick? I can’t figure it out…

Or the Asus EEE doesn’t like my USB stick? It is a Kingston DTI/2GB, any experiences with it? I flawlessly installed desktop PCs from it…

Thanks for the procedure. It all worked great. I just have one problem now. i just put in a new hard drive into my laptop and i dont have the dvd drive for it….When i open bartpe and i go to the A4 explorer….but my hard drive doesnt show……even though the computer does she it as detected, but in A4 it doesnt show up….all the others do like the usb drives….can anyone help with that please

Thanks Roderick!

I used your writeup to install Windows from USB on an Asus EEE PC 904, they dont even have a CD/DVD-unit. Worked beautifully!


Hello guys,
I still have one problem.
After all the copying in BathPE is done, and after the restart windows starts the copy of installation files it needs to be restarted again so the install to continue. But my installaton starts all over again.
How do I get it to bypass the blue sceen and continue with the windows installation.

Having the same problem as the guy below, but I did a(n) update to my original from SP2 to SP3:

kalyan, on January 21st, 2008 at 8:49 am wrote:
“NTLDR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”.

Flash drive is 1GB capacity

Thanks Roderick. I had a lot of trust in this guide after trying 3 other ones previously without any success. Unfortunately, the result is the same here: at first reboot after posting the setup files on the drive, Windows cannot find them and keeps rebooting for ever. Before it reboots I get an error message saying: (isass.exe) ‘a write operation was attempted to a volume after it was dismounted’. I have asked for help in several forums without getting any response. Can you help?..

Thanks for the informations, but it keeps showing this error:
INF files txtsetup.sif is corrupt or missing, status 18. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.

everything ok until step 6. Not a file is copied from usb to hdd when i execute the i386\winnt32.exe……………. command so when i restart withou usb the hdd is not bootable it;s logical because nothing happens and nothing is copied to disk. it;s a complete failure.the overall proccess with the win 2003 sp 1 can be skiped there are already bartpe images with installers which work without having to build you own.except if the folder i386 need to be copied to hdd because i don’t see somewhere to say it needs to be copied.


Can you create an iso of the entire file setup that should be on the USB for boot?

I think this would be an easier solution to complement the instructions for those who are having difficulties creating it themself.

Well done my friend! After several other failed techniques, I tried yours, and it worked wonderfully!

Thank you ever so much!!!

Many thanks for this detailed guide! It was a lengthy process, but I finally managed to install Windows XP on my new MSI Wind netbook, which doesn’t have a optical drive built in, and I was reluctant to spend money on an external drive!

With your permission, I am going to create a forum post, with a link to this guide, as I’m sure it will help many others!

Thanks again!

MSI HQ Global forum moderator

thanx a bunch… had the most irritating problem first. the ol “no valid partition” thingy… but i was quick formatting! After 45 mins formatting my 250gb raptor…all is well in happy town!! 🙂

After i do everything right and restart
it tells me am missing
but its clearly there

any help
and i tried copyinthe sys32 folder nd didnt work

I had bought a hp 2133 mini notebook a while back that had vista on it by default, and no optical drive. Per your instructions, I got windows XP on it in under 3 hours. Great information.

I tried first with an older 1 gig imation thumbdrive and it stopped reading from the device a few seconds into the boot sequence, but it worked without a hitch with my 2 gigabyte earthdrive.


Thanks worked like a charm , just a few small things different with the newer BartPE but overall it was very easy to do …. big thanks !

It worked nicely after making my usb bootable with the “HP Drive key boot utility” from HP !

Many tanks

I am also wondering about the Server 2003 files.

Do I have to add the srsp1 folder into the “custom” directory when building? This includes them on the usb

But it boots straight to windows setup instead of BartPE! When does the ramdisk come into it?

Thanks so much for your article. I installed Win XP Pro SP3 from an OEM disk onto my Asus EEE PC using a USB drive. Whew, took me all day, but using your method, it looks like it is now working.

Yay for BartPE!

@ Kuld33p

Yes this still works great. i just finished mine today. works with XP SP3 too.

i am upset that it wont work with my integrated XP install, but hey, what is another 20 minutes…

I have to say thanks for this guide. I’ve set up several systems for unattended installations at work, so am familiar with the technologies. But I wanted something easy and simple for my machines at home.

I’ve read through countless guides and this is the absolute most simple and easy to follow set of instructions I’ve ever seen. Brilliant.



You’ve done great, but your not done! We need a floppy that will enable us to boot from usb if BIOS doesn’t support it. I know Linux can do this. Windows should too.

Do I need all this to do this with Vista? Or can you point me in the way for doing such a thing?

Roderick, I’m on step 6 but for some reason my winnt32.exe is not in the I386 directory on my Thumb drive… it’s in the XP Source on my PC… why would it have disappeared?


This is so frustrating, why cannot anyone actually spend some time making/writing things simple, I am having a USB stick, I just want to Install XP from that, NOT reading an Essay on the subject, and I do not like those answering on questions never asked, internet is too big for being off topic.
1. IS there an easy graphical point and click program to configure my usb?
2. I max want to spend 10 seconds with this prog
3 where is it?
4. the winsetupfromusb program is kind of the idea, but still is too complicated.

Thanxxx… you saved me… Works lika a charm when you add the /srsp1 in custom line….

Thanxxx again…

Please I need help guys, what does it mean in Step 2, Part 2 – “UNPACK PE2USB” I am not very clear on this one.

This guide is awesome. As a field tech it will save me enormous amounts of time and trouble.

Thank you for your efforts

hi guys!

The tutorial is really great, I must admit. But I got a problem…

Everything goes fine until I have to reboot first time after some files were copied to the hard drive. I press enter, then I plug out pendrive and wait.

Normally the disk should read temporary files (I mean here folders $WIN_NT$.~LS and $WIN_NT$.~BT) which were copied earlier and start the installation process, but in my case after reboot there is only a black screen with “_” flickering in the left upper corner. What is going on? Does someone know?

The disk is brand new, fresh from the store.

Darvin, on October 31st, 2008 at 3:30 am wrote:

This is so frustrating, why cannot anyone actually spend some time making/writing things simple, I am having a USB stick, I just want to Install XP from that, NOT reading an Essay on the subject, and I do not like those answering on questions never asked, internet is too big for being off topic.
1. IS there an easy graphical point and click program to configure my usb?
2. I max want to spend 10 seconds with this prog
3 where is it?
4. the winsetupfromusb program is kind of the idea, but still is too complicated.


Pressing 2(3) buttons is complicated for you?

1. Format USB disk if it’s not already formatted
2. Browse where Windows Setup files are
3. Press GO

Well, if this is complicated, you should pay or ask someone to come to your house and do it for you.

Or if you have a better idea, or what could be improved, you might post in the program support forum and contribute anyhow, even with a feedback.

I’ve yet to finish setting it up, but if you’re getting a strange “ramdisk.sys was unexpected at this time” error when running the pe2usb script, make sure you install BartPE into a path WITHOUT spaces. So something like “C:\Program Files\pebuilder3110a” won’t work. Just my five cents.

Hi, I’ve follwed the guide exactly and have no errors, however when I boot from the USB it hangs on Please Wait after it loads the RAMDISK image. It happens on two computers, and it is quite frustrating. 🙁

It works!!! I’ve successfully installed XP from a Dell XP SP2 CD with SP3 streamlined in on a Dell Optiplex SX280 USFF PC. It took me 3 goes to find a USB stick that would boot. The one I ended up using was a Kingston 1GB DataTraveler. I also had the hard drive in my PC partitioned from its use in another PC, so I didn’t use DiskPart. 😀

Roderick, i’ve spent a couple of days researching on the subject over the net, and you’ve created the best tutorial on the subject so far.

Unluckily for me, I have the same problem as J***. Everything seems to work fine until after booting with the USB pendrive I get a ‘missing iastor.sys’ error. I followed janosski’s advice, but I RAID options set up in my BIOS. Can anyone help?

I’m trying to install on MSI PM8PM-V mobo with Phoenix/Award v6 BIOS, PentiumD CPU and an IDE Maxtor 80Gb drive.

Thanks a ton to all af you!

Hey i tried, all the steps and everything is perfect…
but after USB boots system gets stuck on “Please wait” screen…. any ideas what next……….

I am not very computer savy, but I am attempting to reinstall WIN XP on a laptop with no DVD drive. Everything seems to be going ok except I get warnings when I run the PE builder. I have several files that PE builder cannot find. I am able to locate the files in the i386 floder on the windowd CD. the files not found are: iastor.sys a320raid.sys aac.sys and aarich.sys. any guidence on how to solve this problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks but you need to update your guide, it doesn’t tell you to put the SRSP1 in PEBUILDER at all! So whats the point of even copying the setupldr.bin and expanding ramdisk… confusing and probably why loads of ppl had the same problem…

Perfect guide, thanks a billion. Worked perfectly for the Acer mini laptop! I tried a thousand other guides, but each of them missed some bits of your steps, causing it to fail. Thanks man!!!!

Thank you for sharing, I will try using Bard PE.
Maybe you can also try using Symantec Ghost 11.5 which is free to use. Boot the computer using Ghost bootable (such as Hiren), and ghost the partition to image. Than you can open the ghosted file with Ghost Reader to find important files. Btw, Symantec Ghost also good to backup the ready use computer, so if next time something happen with our computer (and need new installation), just restore the ghost file, and everything will be back like new again.

I’m having the same (or similar) problem that many others have had. I got all the way to step 6, the part where the installation suddenly stops and you have to reboot from BartPE and remove your flash drive. Once I do this, the computer goes back into setup, though this time the non-GUI one. After selecting the partition to install Windows to, setup attempts to copy files. At 0%, it says it can’t copy such and such a file. So I opt to skip that file, and it says it can’t copy some other file. This process continues. In other words, it can’t copy ANY file, which I interpret to mean it can’t find the files. This makes sense because I removed the flash drive, where the files are. So I manually copied all files from the flash drive, including the i386 folder, to the C: drive using BartPE. This didn’t work. In another attempt I noticed that when I clicked “Advanced Options” in the GUI setup, it said setup would copy files from D:\i386. So I changed that to C:\i386. Still didn’t work.
Can anyone help me? I’m getting desperate here…


I just wanted to share what if found to be the easiest way to install my Windows 2008 Server from USB stick.

I’ve searched google and found lotz of advise and different ways to make a USB stick bootable. Some worked for me, and some did not.

My way, as i will write about below, works for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista installations. It does NOT work for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

Okay, so here it goes.

I had a HP Proliant DL120 G5 server with no cd-rom drive and floppy. I wanted to install Windows Server 2008 onto it.

For this i used a ‘Kinston DataTraveler’ USB Stick with 8GB of space. The only this you have to make sure of, is that it has enough space for the Windows 2008 Server DVD content and maybe some SATA drivers if you need them.

You also need a computer running Windows Vista og Windows Server 2008 already. Windows XP and Windows 2003 will not do the job…

Let’s asume you have a Windows Vista computer running. Put the USB Stick into here. Please make sure to backup all content of the USB stick before proceeding.

Now open a command frompt. You will need to be an administrator on the computer to make this work.

I will surround all commands with “” in this guide.
In the command prompt type: “DISKPART”.

Now type “DISK LIST”. You should now see the USB stick in the list of drives. Let asume the USB stick is listed as DISK 2. Then type: “SELECT DISK 2”.




Now Type: “ACTIVE”.
Now Type: “ASSIGN”.

And at last type “EXIT”. Okay, so now you can close the Command prompt again.

Put in your bootable Windows 2008 server DVD and simply copy all content from the DVD using Windows Explorer, to the USB STICK.

This will properly take some time to complete.

So, thats it! You don’t have to copy any bootloader or do other stuff to your USB Stick to make it boot. If the target system off course supports USB booting, then this should work fine.

I read that some had problems when formatting to FAT32, but then tried formatting to NFTS instead and then it worked. However, this worked like a charme for me… Hope this helps somebody.

If you have any questions regarding this, you can contact me on my email witch is: [email protected].

/Lasse, Freelance Software Developer

why publish a guide if you cannot answer readers questions? i am having the txtsetup.inf corrupt or missing error. you offer no solution for those with this problem. you have your head up your ass.

Very nice and precise guide, easy to follow.
But i have a problem =/

I’m trying to install XP Pro SP3 from a USB, and have followed the how to’s every step.

But when I boot from the USB, it just freezes after confirming that it’s bootable.
Something along the lines of “Searching for Boot Record from USB RMD-FDD..OK”, and after that it just hangs.

I’ve tried to build, with both the “RpcSS needs to launch DComLaunch Service First – SP2 only” enabled and disabled, and 3 different USB’s with no luck.

Am I missing something?
The computer itself have run XP before, and doesn’t show any indications of defect, so it should be fine.

I’ve also tried to have PE Builder make and ISO, and use that to make a bootable USB with UltraISO, but with the same result.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. =)

I’m also trying to install XP Pro SP3 from a USB, and have followed the how to’s every step.

When I get to the running of winnt32.exe from the command prompt after rebooting, I can’t find winnt32.exe anywhere?!! And it is in the i386 folder of the original source cd. Any ideas why winnt32.exe was not copied over??



Just wanted to say thank you VERY MUCH. I have been searching for this all over the web, and while I have found other step-by-steps, your was by FAR the best, most detailed, comprehensive one. Thank you!

THANK YOU DUDE !!!! I’ve do that, with a litlle patience, but’s everything is right.
I think u cant load a ramdrive cause u don’t pay attention on step two.

Roderick, you rock !!!!

Excelent guide mate 🙂 Stayed up very late wraping my head around how to make the install prog to install to c: and not my usb drive 🙂 gonna do it properly when i get home today.

Two thumbs up for ur guide!

Everything as described on a foo bar DVD HP nx6110 using a Kingston 4GB (beyond the 2GB limit) stick.

Okay the I’m stuck at step any1 lknows how to fix that yet I’m really desperate. Btw ppl with remove disk error, u did not. Format correctly using command, wheb it asks u type yes to format. Type yes holding down shift,

works fine, ive installed at dell 110l (with dont working cd driver) and a Samsung NC10!!!

Thx a lot!

Do you know whether Windows 2000 Pro (as opposed to XP) can be deployed from a flash drive with this procedure?


This is one of the most useful and informative guides I have come across. Couldn’t have been easy to put together from scratch. Really appreciate your hard work.

I encountered the same error as a few: Restart leads endlessly to TEXTSETUP mode…

Shortening the command:

X:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C:

from its original sorted mine out. Got it sorted on second attempt. Thanks again for the wealth of knowledge.

Roderick …Seriously man are a life savior … This helped me a lot … Awesome … I had given up hopes ..but then I landed on this page …awesome … keep up the good work !
You rock ! \m/

This method works like a charm. I used it on my Compaq V2620TS laptop, and it worked. And to think my laptop is 3 yrs old, Thanks a lot

have bartpe3110A and XP pro SP3 (750MB) on HDD. Would like 2 make boot USB on 2+6GB flash drive.
Also have 2 files from server2003 in srsp1.
All efforts so far R in vain.
Any thoughts??? ThanxAton.
[it IS SP3 NOT sp2].

Hi, when i go to install xp, after i choose “no” to the NTFS format, i get an error that says there is no system partition found?

I’ve followed every step as you said.

Can you help me?

i just followed your tutorial trying to setup xp on an msi wind.

everything worked fine, bartpe launches and i can open the command line and diskpart etc…

but THE SECOND i touch anything on my keyboard, a bluescreen appears saying “win32k.sys – Address BF84AFDF base at BF800000, Datestamp 41107f7a”

I followed this guide (thanks!), in the end it didn’t work because the laptop didn’t support boot from USB (some old Acer aspire), but I think you add the following information to step two
“It requires a functional Windows system with administrator privileges.”
When I get to ‘7. Start PE Builder from the Start Menu.’, launching the application gives the message ‘Sorry, this program requires administrator privileges’, even though it installed with no problems.

Congratulations for the tutorial!!!! It works perfectly. I Installed Windows XP SP2 in a netbook Acer Aspire One,and it´s working fine so far! 😀

Great guide… the only one I found that worked (with what I had)!! Thank you!!

One thing though, when it first booted the usb drive had taken drive C. So I removed the USB before assigning the drive letter in the diskpart section. Then restarted with drive C already assigned the first time.

Thanks again.


first of all thanks a lot for this excellent guide. I went thru d whole procedure step by step n finally configured my USB. But when I booted from USB on next restart, it said
“Remove Disks
Press any key to restart”

& when I pressed a key to continue with USB hooked in , It booted windows normally from C: Partition.

– any help will be appreciated.

-Thanks & Regards,
Harsh Joshi

Awesome guide. Needed this to install on CD-less Dell PC.
Worked perfectly.

Thanks for the guide… I’ve followed loads of such tutorials, and had problems every time.

I’m sure it’s just a basic mistake on my part here…

I copied the C:/pebuilder/BartPE/i386 folder to the USB stick. Is this correct?

Loads of the files aren’t in that directory, including winnt32.exe. So, I copied the whole directory from the XP CD, and didn’t overwrite the files already taken from the BartPE folder.

BartPE loads fine… The USB stick is recognised as X: and has an i386 folder… But the extra files including winnt32.exe don’t show, so I can’t run anything.

Help please!


My USB stick is C:
B: is RAMDisk
D: is not ready!

I think D: is the HDD. What should I do?


Third time lucky…

I found the disk manager, so I now know:

C: is the USB
B: is temp. RAM drive
X: is BartPE

So where is my HDD? D: is size 0 so can’t be my 160Gb HDD?

Great tutorial! This helped me installing Windows XP Pro SP3 on my car-PC that has no optical drive and floppy drive installed.
I didn’t need to use the “DComLaunch” option in pebuilder to get it working.

Many thanks!

Works fine for me ! Awesome walktrough ! Realy thanks !

I got it using a boot image of “windows xp sp3 updated dez2008” and a pendisk with 2gb (kingston) without partition. The RpcSS option i turned on too.

I have some missing files during the installation, but i simple ignored.

Thanks dude ! My acer without cd-rom =P do not have problems to install windows now.

[ ] ´s

It works for me, great guide.
i’ve used it on Hp DC7900 ultra slim

Salamat! (Thanks!)


Thank you for offering such a wonderful guide.

I manage to successfully prepare the bootable usb with the xp image. When I try to install the XP sp2 it does get install successfully.

Thanks once again.

Santosh Mishra

Ben, on January 10th, 2009 at 6:23 pm wrote:

Great tutorial! This helped me installing Windows XP Pro SP3 on my car-PC that has no optical drive and floppy drive installed.
I didn’t need to use the “DComLaunch” option in pebuilder to get it working.
will this really do the trick if I use SP3?

Thanks Roderick,

This is exactly what I needed for my laptop as it does not have a CD-ROM drive in it.

Could you add the following (for us semi-luddites) to the tutorial:

A sample of what the command line should look like for the C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f [drive:] command – something like: For example – if your USB drive is G: then the command line will be:
C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f G:

(I had used [g:] the first time I ran the command – then I figured it out and slapped my forehead).

Please clarify (again for us luddites) the folder to be copied over to the USB drive after the USB drive has been processed by pebuilder.

I (think) it is the following: Assuming you put your Windows XP CD files into C:\winxpcd then copy the entire winxpcd folder (its files and its sub-folders) to the USB drive. You should end up with the USB drive having the following Win XP folders in its root folder: DOCS, DOTNETFX, I386, SUPPORT, and VALUEADD.

(the first time I tried this I was copying over the pebuilder folder – I know, I know!!)

Thanks again for providing this to the world.

I tried 3 different USB sticks – all would not boot even though the pebuilder ran with no errors. Then my son suggested I install Linux on one of the sticks to see if it would boot – thus proving the USB stick and the computer I was trying it on were both working for a USB Linux boot. I did that by running the utility at: and sure enough – the USB stick and computer DID boot up into Linux. I then re-formatted the USB stick with pebuilder and VOILA!! It now came up under Bart PE. So give that a try if you have a problem with your USB stick not booting into BART.

“DISK ERROR – please reboot and consider to go fuck yourself because you’ll never get anything booted on this fucking notebook. signed devil”

Seriously, i spent nearly 2 days trying to get past this. This is about the 6th fucking guide i read on this topic. Someone fucking shoot me now. That fucking PE Builder is a bunch of utter, smelly piece of shit.

Thanks very much for this guide, it worked a treat and saved me a hell of a lot of time.

Thanks again!

Cheers for this, worked a treat.

Just a note to say that on my mini note book (HP 2133) which had SUSE Linux installed out of the box. I was unable

to continue after I had assigned the drive as it said the drive was 0 Kb in size.

I found that the disk was RAW format and right clicking the drive to format it in A43 wouldn’t work.

To get round this, I went to a command prompt and had to use the FORMAT option from in there specifiying the format to NTFS to enable me to format the drive so I typed:


(D: was the drive letter assigned in the previous step of the main guide.)

Please note that firstly I formatted the drive as FAT32 but due to the size of the drive built into the note book

(120Gb) it was too big so I retried using NTFS (as shown above) and added the /Q switch for a quick format and it was all good.

I rebooted in to BART again and carried on the install from the install Windows XP step.

Hope this helps someone.



Superb post, thanks for this info, it saved me buying an external usb cd rom drive 😀


Thank you very much, This worked like a charm. I tried other tutorials from other websites but this one is the only one that actually worked flawlessly.

Gates has gotta give this a 5.9 for sure :-p

I had some trouble at first. As others reported, I would get to the Please Wait after the RAMDISK had loaded and just before BartPE started (Step Four).

I knew that I had used RAMDISK,SYS and SETUPLDR.BIN files from a W2k3-SP2 file set that I had on hand, and decided to rebuild BartPE using the SP! versions of those two files. Either the rebuild, or the SP1 files did the trick.

In answer to someone else’s questions, when you put the two W2K3 files in the \pebuilder\srsp1 folder, as instructed, you can see them being automatically incorporated into the build when the PE2USB command is used to write the PE installation out to the USB drive. I have no idea how this works as I am new to BartPE builds.

Great tutorial! I especially liked the encouragement to use this for Win 2003 Server installation as well as XP.


Hi Roderick,

YOU’RE MY HERO! From Ubuntu (with Linux part.) to Win. XP Pro 🙂


** I only had problems with Pe2USB; instead I used PeToUSB!

Tried with XP SP3, also different language OS, all worked. Found the following irrelavent during the process,

Step Two:
2. Unpack PE2USB to C:\pebuilder.


Hello, This is a very good self explanatory guide indeed.
Though Im missing the step C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f [drive:] to format the drive, I get an error and pe2usb doesnt do anything when I run the program.
Any help Is appreciated.

Kongsblood the naab xD

Great tutorial!

I must tell you that the only thing that worked not at first was the formating procedure: disk manager could not load

So for all you out there download USB multiboot 10 and make a basic install on your usb with that (there are several tutorials for that here) after you have finished boot usb, press enter a few times to go on with the screen and then enter microsoft recovery console, now with commands diskpart /list enter to see where are your previously formated partitions (linux ext 3 probably) delete them, pres exit, then go back and enter format D: /fs:ntfs where D: is your harddrive letter, now you are ready to proceed with bartPE, now set up your usb again with bartPE, boot in bartPE end just enter the cmd prompt and type the last install instructions from this tutorial…. Run X: etc…

Hope this helps this all of you that can’t format in bartPE…

Would be usefull if you fill that info (only the format part) intoo your tutorial, I loosed five days unteel I finished well with formating and begin to setup…

Thanks to all who partecipated to this project !!!

Best wishes!

sandi 🙂

KONGSBLOD, now i seen your post, take a look at my post…

FORMATING ISSUES SOLVED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thx alot for the guide and also thx to Neville, I had the same problem as you did and formatting the RAW hard drive in the command prompt before copying the installation files solved it. Now it all works perfectly 😀

i used this on a Acer with Linux and also had to use a program called Super Fdisk to get the drive reformated and ready. Once I had it ready with Super Fdisk I followed instructions and installed with no issues. Thanx 4 the guide and comments that helped a lot!

Thanks a lot, especially for the hint that SP3 doesn’t work. I made several tries without success but with SP2 it works like a charm.

Hi! Just did it fine with SP3, without any probz or questions whatsoever. Thank you a million for that great guide! And thanx to the author(s) of BartPE. Cheers from Germany!

Guys I am struggling for 3 days to instal XP on my HP 2133 and I can’t make it work. At step 2, point 11 says # Copy the Windows XP setup files to the USB drive (or another USB device if you have insufficient space left). You’ll only need the i386 folder.

Which I386 should I copy? From C:\pebuilder\BartPE or from Windows XP disc?

Thanks a lot

sorry for my dumb question from above. 🙂 I finally managed to instal it, but I used HP USB utility and your method is really great.
Thanks a lot again!

THANKS A LOT! In 4 days I think I tried all other methods available on the internet, but your method saved me. I first used a Kingston DataTraveler 8 GB and it didn’t work for me (HP 2133 netbook). I finally managed to install XP with Sandisk Cruzer 1 GB after making the USB bootable with HP Utility.

You are the man Roderick!

Damn i got lost on the first step, all to complicated for me to understand altough im a super geek lol

Thank you Roderick for the guide.
I had a successful installation of WIN XP on a DELL INSPIRON 5160 (with a faulty CD-ROM obviously) using an ADATA USB 1GB capacity, however not without few glitches!
It all works ok as per Roderick’s guide, the issue that I had (as many seem to have had here) was after the 2nd boot up, when Windows goes through the setup (Blue Screen), and the user is given the options of whether repairing or setting up Windows (obviously setting Windows in this case). The first time I ran it, windows wouldn’t find certain files (such as hraidsk1, etc…).
A solution that I found worked fine was to:
1] – Restart with the USB plugged in (that is to access BartPE again)
2]- In A43 File Manager (similar to STEP FIVE: GO > Programs > A43 File Manager)
3]- copy the files in the i386 folder from the USB [eg. D:] (that were copied from the XP CD as stated in STEP TWO point 11) into the i386 folder in the temp directory $WIN_NT$.~LS in the installation drive [eg. C:], when asked to replace the files already existing, just say no.
When rebooting again, the Blue Screen will haunt you again, and the hraidsk1 will still not be found!! However all the other files are copied successfully (even though hraidsk1 is in the correct location, it still wasn’t picked up! Not sure what’s happening there).
After that you will be able to go through the normal setup of windows.
Hope this helps.

Hello, i was trying to get this to work on my HP pavilion dv2000 but when BartPE is loaded and when i want to type somthing in CMD or Diskpart i’ve got a blue screen and i don’t know where it comes from. Any help would be appreciated =p

Excellent Guide !! Worked flawlessly !!

Just wanted to share following few things

1. My issue was My CD drive wasn’t working neither bios was detecting external CD drive

2. I wanted to install XP on External USB Drive. So prepared XP installation per guide.

3. Prepared USB stick per guide here.

4. Boom !!

Now I am able to boot from external USB as independant OS when internal drive removed as well as while connected with internal HDD.

Thanks a million for this excellent guide !!

This is really great!!! It worked perfectly! The instructions were great and clear!

Thank you so much! Saved me money!!!!

I tried this on a viglen MPC-L. It tried to boot from the USB but then stopped and said ‘missing operating system’. Any advice welcome on how to solve this! Many thanks

Than you. Worked great on my HP NC4200 notebook even if i encountered the missing plugins.ocx. Skip it and works great.

This an excellent procedure for installing XP from usb, it worked from first time and I couldn’t believe accurate it is. Thanx, you mad emy day …

I finally got this to work, some tips for anyone having trouble –

In Step Two the instructions are not clear that you need to add the files extracted to the /srsp1 folder need to be copied to the XP /i386 folder of you install files before running the PE Build – at least that was what worked for me.

after you complete 6., copy the two files you make in the /srsp1 directory into the /i386 XP install files – you’ll overwrite one of the files. Then continue to 7. and run the PE build

My next problem was that I had the XP install loop described by several of the previous comments. I would run the first part of XP setup, it would copy all the install files over, then on reboot would just go right back into the blue XP setup screen and would want to copy the files again.

To resolve this I had to go back to Step 5 and make two partitions on the hard drive – one for the XP install files, and the other to install XP to. To do this, boot back into BartPE. Run Diskpart again,
select disk 0
create partition primary size=(N)
create partition primary

the value (N) should be the total size available minus a gig or so, in megabytes. so in my case I had 149GB of space, I enetered size=148000. You just need to allow enough space for the install files. the second ‘create partition’ command will use all the remaining space. When I had done this I had a large c: partition and a very small e: on the hard disk
Format both volumes with A43

now, to make this work you must edit the arguments for the winnt command so that the install files go to the small partition and then actually installs windows to the large one. So with C as the large main and E as the 1gig install partition, the command was

D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:E: /makelocalsource

hope this helps some who got stuck. I’m off to install drivers now

So, this didn’t work for me today, but i think it is because the laptop (Toshiba Portege M200) doesn’t support booting from USB. I have a working desktop system, any ideas on how I could prep the laptop harddrive to boot my external usb DVD (Pioneer) that has a bootable windows XP Tablet DVD so I can load onto the system? I have no floppy and without USB boot options, I figure I have to prep the harddrive some how.

BACKUP ALL IMPORTANT DATA TO EXTERNAL STORAGE FIRST AND I AM NOT I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MESS UP/DELETE YOUR DATA. Ok, here is MY scenario: I have a working version of the preinstalled from factory Xp Home installed on my old Dell Inspiron b130 Laptop computer, with no working cd drive of course, and I NEEDED to test/install a Xp Pro to a different partition, because I only have one drive. I wanted to test out the ROYAL SLP Preactivation method on this Dell BEFORE DELETING MY CURRENT INSTALL. I have a PNY Attache 2 gig that is Black and Orange and my source for my Windows I386 files were from a “non branded” Windows Xp Pro SP1 Oem disk that I slipstreamed using the method described in this article. The type that does not have any “OEM” preinstalled crap on it. I started out by making my Partition from my working install using the FREE HOME VERSION OF easeus downlaoded from I did it this way, because why do it in dos if I can do it from my working installation. Once easeus Free edition was installed on my existing Xp Home install, I then made my partitions. My original “Factory Installed” Os is Oem Xp Home and is located on partition “c:”, so I “resized” my C partition so I can make room for my new partition which I called “T”, (you can use any available letter) but it showed up in BartPE as drive “E” and is NO BIG DEAL as long as you KNOW FOR SURE what is your CORRECT DRIVE that you want Windows installed to. I did ALMOST everything in this guide and it worked perfectly after my second try (my fault). After creating my BartPe usb flash drive and booting, I was trying to access my ntfs drives in Bart’s “dos mode”, but I was always locked/being redirected to the “X” drive (which IS The actual BartPe iso file THAT IS LOCATED ON THE PNY FLASH DRIVE). I could not figure out how to access my “drive letters”. I did not want to risk accidentally deleting/killing my working Xp Home install on drive “c:” while in BartPe until I did my test. I did not use ANY formatting or partitioning tool while in BartPe, because I already did that from my working installation of Xp Home with easus. Of course, if you have a “FRESH” drive, then you will HAVE TO format in BartPE. THESE/MY Instructions are for people that want to install Xp on another partition with an already existing Windows Xp OS on another partition, but the concept is the same anyway. Once you get booted into “BartPe” with your flash drive, click on the Orange “GO” icon and then click on “Programs” and then click and open up “A43 “File Management Utility”. Here is where I FINALLY SAW ALL MY DRIVES AND PARTITIONS. The following is what BartPE showed on MY Configuration. Yours may be the same or differ slightly. BartPE has its own naming scheme. Okay, for me, The “B” drive is the “RAMDisc [B]” which is what is loaded when you first boot up BartPe and the “C:” is the “Local Disk [C]” where my Original OEM Xp Home Os is installed and the “D:” drive is “Removable Disk [D]” which is the ACTUAL FLASH DRIVE WHERE I COPIED MY WINDOWS I386 FOLDER TO (but this is not your BartPe iso file, even though it is on the Usb Stick) BartPE [X:] is the X: drive. The “E:” drive is the “Cd Drive”- even though mine is broken and does not read or write any cds, lol and the “E:” drive is the “New Volume [E]” WHICH IS THE PARTITION THAT I MADE IN WINDOWS EARLIER which was labeled “T” inside windows, but it shows as “E” in BartPE. If you highlight a drive and look at the bottom, you will see the “free” and “total” size of the selected drive or Partition or you can also “right click” on the Drive or Partition and click “Properties” and it will show there (just like Windows does). This is how I was able to know FOR SURE that the [E:] drive was the CORRECT PARTITION THAT I WANTED TO INSTALL WINDOWS ON. Once I knew the CORRECT Partition that I wanted to install Windows on, then I did what the article says and clicked on the Orange “GO” and then “Run” and FOR MY SITUATION, I typed the following line (WITHOUT QUOTES) in the “Run” box

“D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:E: /tempdrive:E: /makelocalsource”

D: is my Usb Flash drive where I copied my I386 files to (you can put whatever location/drive letter that you put YOUR Windows I386 folder and E: is that “T:” Partition that I made in Windows earlier AKA “syspart” and in my case also the “tempdrive” and “makelocalsource” also and WHERE WINDOWS WILL BE INSTALLED. Do just as the article says.

2. Proceed with the installation. When asked to convert the installation volume to NTFS, answer No. The setup program incorrectly believes that your USB drive (which is formatted as FAT) needs conversion, BUT IT DOES NOT.

The Windows setup/screen will then silently close AFTER FILES ARE COPIED TO WHEREVER YOU MADE THE “TEMP DRIVE” (in my case it was “E:” and you will be back in BartPE, which might make you think that something went wrong.

TIP: You can see 2 copied Windows folders with WIERD characters that will be used to install Windows in the drive that you selected earlier when you put in that “Run” command. Use “File Management Utility” to browse folders in whatever drive.

Don’t worry though. Reboot your system, remove the USB drive(s) and – if all went well – you can now finish setting up Windows XP.

See, the command I put in the “Run” box in BartPE copied my files from my “D:” drive which is my PNY FLASH DRIVE onto my “E:” drive a.k.a. “T:” inside Windows. I suppose I could have relabeled the drive with the letter “T”, but I just wanted to test out the install first, before spending too much time configuring. After my Xp Pro was installed all I had to do was configure my dual boot, but that is not within the scope of this comment. If you do not want to bother with setting up a dual boot, then once in your New Windows install, you can just click “Start” then “right click” on “my computer” then click “Manage” then on the left side pane you will click on “Storage” and then click on “Disk Management” and select the partition or drive of your original OS that you want to boot up and on next reboot and “right click” on it and select “Mark Partition as Active”. On the next reboot, that Partition/Drive will be booted up. You will need to do this WHENEVER you want to reboot into a different partion/Operating system UNLESS YOU SET UP A DUAL BOOT SCENARIO.

One small other thing, AFTER I installed Windows Pro on the other Partition and tried to use my PNY BartPE flash drive on another computer that I needed to install Windows on and I ended up getting a “corrupt winnt.sif error”. I fixed this by just copying over another BartPE “winnt.sif” that I had backed up into the root of my PNY usb flash drive. The file is only 1 kilobyte. I do not know if dual booting caused this or not, but it is not a big deal. Worst case scenario, just remake another BartPE usb disk thingy -__- . THIS DID NOT EFFECT MY XP PRO INSTALL OR MY EXISTING XP HOME INSTALL IN ANY WAY. It only happened AFTER my XP PRO install and it ONLY EFFECTED the BartPe on my usb flash drive. Most users will only need this BartPe once or so, but for those who run into computers with no cd drives all the time, then you will need to recopy this “winnt.sif” to your flash drive AFTER every install. Of course, if you are able to keep re-using the BartPE with no “winnt.sif” error, then disregard my “winnt.sif” solution. I have a PNY Attache 2 gig that I got in 2003 or so and it is Orange and Black. Oh yea, the install finished in like 10 or 15 minutes on this slow 1.4 ghz intel celeron 512 ram Dell and BEFORE I was even finished writing this, lol. Oh yea, my Windows “SLP Oem Pre-Activation” worked PERFECTLY. I now have a LEGIT Xp Pro with NO CRACKS and no ACTIVATION REQUIRED. Just like when you buy it from the store. You need to have an OEM machine like Dell, Hp, Acer, Toshibe, Sony, Asus that had Windows Xp Home or Pro “PREINSTALLED” AND the correct “OEMBIOS” files from your computer OEM INSTALL AND the correct SLP KEY that your Manufacturer used or use google to find ALL THESE THINGS if you no longer have your shipped OEM INSTALL running or for more instructions. I now can delete my old Dell Xp Home install and keep this FRESH XP PRO INSTALL without all the DELL CRAP. Or, I can just integrate ALL THE DRIVERS or sp3 and see if that works. If the sp3 install works, then I will report back tomorrow. THIS computer will NEVER need Xp Activation again. As long as I use my Windows copy that has the OEMBIOS files for Dell. Hey, I suppose I can use this on ALL my Dell computers. WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope this helps you guys

Veronica from the SEED

I m really reatfull 2 you for writing such extensive tutorial.
This thing really clicks, at least for me…. :))

too much pain in the ass I dont understand, why cant It be as simple as installing from CD.

I mean there are programs that can make boottable USB stick in just 1 double click

Thanks 😀 Fantastic guide, clear and to the point and best of all it works 🙂

Nice guide, showed me the right way to approach installation (was having issues with HP 2730p and USB CD/DVD-drive).

So, the case was to install Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005 from USB-stick. Went allmost the same as the guide says, but few mods was needed:

– If you are installing Tablet Edition, you need the i386 -folder (as said in the guide), but you allso need the CMPNENTS -folder copied to your usb-stick.

– When you are starting to copy the installation files in BartPE, add “all” -parameter to /makelocalsource. Like this: D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource:all . This will copy the Tablet Edition needed installation files also.

So only few mod’s needed and all went just fine 🙂

Thanks a lot nick. After a day of banging my head to make it work..your post was the biggest help..

Thanks a ton..

Thanks Roderick, you saved my day. After hours of mind-breaking actions, finally found your website and working solution for my problem.

Keep up the good work!

Excellent guide, if you follow it EXACTLY as it says, works PERFECTLY. Thanks for it!.


All I get at this point is the BART PE splash screen. It will ask me if i want network support and then no matter what I say it eventually just sits at the splash sc reen. There is a “go” at the bottom of the screen That could be a button but I do not have mouse movement. alt f or enter do nothing. any help would be great.

[…] Originally Posted by HondaHunter78 It would take a lil longer but I can send you a disc if you need one He is installing onto a computer without optical drive, a cd wont work. Try these links: Windows In Your Pocket : Introduction – Review Tom’s Hardware Roderick van Domburg’s Cache Installing Windows XP from USB […]

I find this guide a bit challenging since i usually keep my Windows folder on C:\, Program Files on D:\ and User Accounts on E:\, but i’ll give it a go.

I give up, I’ve done all the steps and when compiling BartPE I’m getting this error:
Error: file ‘iaStor.sys’ not found! …and the file is well and fine there!
So, if I cannot use the modified Win XP SP3 (made with nLite) with Intel drivers included (chipset and SATA) I’ll not be able to install the system!
I don’t expect you could help me, but I’ll really appreciate it.

I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful information! Your method is the only one that has worked. I was fixing a small Dell laptop with no cd drive in it and needed to put windows on it. This worked better than any other how-to!

Now time to put Linux on another partition…




Thank you dude, really good stuff here. I was just looking for a good tutorial for installing XP from USB and this a good one 😉

Thank you for this straight forward guide. Made it work from first attempt.

Thank you! Just got two laptops w/o CD drives to work on, and this tutorial made it so much easier getting them running again. This can be useful for a plethora of things for PC repair situations.

i have a problem to install windows xp in compaq presairo cq40-410tu.every time i want to install.the blue screen is appear .and do you know what is the sata raid for this model.and the manufacture is intel.

Hi guys!

To make it much more easier just use pebuilder.exe to create a BartPE and then use petousb to install BartPE (if u don’t know what is BartPE that is the result of using pebuilder.exe ) in your USB. The rest is just like the way Roderick said.

If u don’t know where u can download PeToUSB just type it in Just select ur usb and click “enable format” and then click “enable LBA (FAT 16X)” and click the button that have three dots. There will be another window that will open. Navigate to where you ur create BartPE (the one u first make by using pebuilder.exe) and then select it and click “OK” the window will close. Click “enable file copy” and then click “start” and that’s it u can know copy ur I386 folder to ur USB to install Windows XP.

Just make sure your BIOS is properly configured.

For the summary this is what u need.

1. Windows XP CD with SP2 OR SP3
2. pebuilder

U don’t need Windows Server Service Pack 1.

after spending hours failing at doing this, I found this page and got the job done. thanks for the clear and well-written instructions!

Thanks, Henri Aalto, on April 1st, 2009 at 4:34 pm wrote: – If you are installing Tablet Edition, you need the i386 -folder (as said in the guide), but you allso need the CMPNENTS -folder copied to your usb-stick.

– When you are starting to copy the installation files in BartPE, add “all” -parameter to /makelocalsource. Like this: D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource:all . This will copy the Tablet Edition needed installation files also.

You need to also do this when installing Media Center Edition. If not, then you will end up with Xp Pro, lol.

Also, if you do not want to use the “all” switch, then you can just manually copy the CMPNENTS folder to the i386 folder after running command and before rebooting. Thanks. For those that are having problems formatting from Bartpe, you may need to do a diskcheck first and reboot or you can do as I did and download “gparted” live cd or “Ubcd” and use the free Home Edition of Easus Partition Manager. Great guide.

Oh yea, I forgot to say that you can also use this method on a laptop or desktop that can not boot from usb and has no cd rom either. You simply unplug the hard drive and stick in another machine that can boot from usb and you do these steps. After you run the “D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource” command, all you need to do is shutdown computer and unplug drive and connect back to original computer and then start up that computer and the install will work PERFECTLY. This is much much better than installing xp from dos 7.1, because there is no dos conversion that needs to take place. I successfully did this method on a computer that did not boot from cd or usb stick. all you need is a laptop to ide hard drive adapter to plug up hard drive into a desktop computer. Great guide. Where is the “Donate link”? You deserve it.

Hi im trying to install xp pro sp3 on my Dell Inspiron 700m laptop. Of course, my cd drive is broken and of course my recovery partition is damaged. So I thought I was out of luck until I found this guide. But i have a problem, I keep getting the error “MegaSR.sys not found” when I try to boot, I noticed that when I was building the image with BartPE, I would get two warnings at the end, one of which says that MegaSR.sys was not found, but the build was successful. Can anyone help me with this issue?

Well it took me some time, but now XP is finally installing on my laptop with broken cd-rom. I tried a million other ways, but this one worked (after some trial and error) flawless.

Thanks Roderick! Grtz Rob

Hi. I followed this exactly but I get “Invalid or damaged bootable partition” WHat did I do wrong??

Hello, everybody!

First of all, I’d like to thank Roderick for this great guide.

Secondly, I followed it step by step and it didn’t work for me.


I had the same problem that Dietrich had, I mean, my laptop’s hard disk was not recognized by BartPE.

Googleing thru the network I found this:

So the reason of BartPE not recognizing my hard drive is just that it doesn’t have the propper drivers.

I followed this guide:

step by step to install Mass Storage DriverPacks inside BartPE and it works nice. It should also work in many other scopes/laptops, because Mass Storage DriverPacks contains lots of drivers for many SCSI adaptors.

Just one addition to the guide that will help you all:

-In order to achieve the figure 2 with the “DriverPack MassStorage text mode” checkbox checked you must copy


into your C:\DPsBase\DriverPacks directory, DON’T UNCOMPRESS IT.

Both guides together worked perfectly for me.

Best regards, people!!

tried this but now getting a messages saying
.sif file used by setup is corupted or missing
value 0 on the line in section [source disks files]
with key “binifix4.cmd”
setup cant continue
help please

I have following issue: my bartpe bootdisk doesn’t find my local C: drive, it only has following drives:
RAMDisk B:
BartPe X:

that’s it.
Anybody any ideas on how to make BartPe recognize my C: partition? I can’t install windows now, I get the message that there is no system partition…

Thanx in advance,

how do i make my transcend pendrive bootable in vista…. ?? actually i hav 2 laptops n i want to install xp in my 2nd laptop thru a bootable pendrive….. while am tryin to make my pendrive bootable thru vista setup in d 1st laptop…..
plz help.., thnx in advance


I got the same problem as Saleh98 et Catalin with ntoskrnl.exe, error 14 : ntoskrnl.exe could not be found. Please help !!!

help please

Chris, on June 15th, 2009 at 8:53 pm wrote:
I have following issue: my bartpe bootdisk doesn’t find my local C: drive, it only has following drives:
RAMDisk B:
BartPe X:

Have you tried to check up ur Bios after an option over AHCI or IDE? If you got AHCI enabled you might want to change to IDE. And see if you can read the files there.

1. Get Hiren 9.8 or 9.9
2. Make Flash Bootable refer: (works on brand pc or laptop 100%, others sometimes not – depends on board and bios).
3. Copy into flash XP distributive folder, or iso. Remember Serial key.
4. Boot from flash
5. Select options Mini XP
6. In XP:
6.1. Find Local Harddisk’s C (maybe c, d, etc)
6.2. Rename old system folders if you have that:
6.2.1. “Documents and Settings”
6.2.2. “Program Files”
6.2.3. “WINDOWS”
6.2.4. “Users”
6.3. In harddisk’s C Make folder Install and copy here XP distributive or extract here an iso. then

!!!!!!!!! REMOVE USB !!!!!!!!!!!

In harddisk’s C \Install folder run setup
type serial
in Advanced options type folders:
Source: C:\Install
Destination: C:\Windows
go ->
after copying files reboot

boot from HDD

In response to:
Chris, on June 15th, 2009 at 8:53 pm wrote:
I have following issue: my bartpe bootdisk doesn’t find my local C: drive, it only has following drives:
RAMDisk B:
BartPe X:

I had to use the DiskPart utility included with BartPE. I created the primary partition. When I rebooted, the local disk was assigned the C: drive letter and my USB drive had the E: letter. I could install after that.

Great build, using it about a year:

– Best Windows XP usb flash edition 2009.

Works perfect so far.
Used some random 2gig stick, a custom SP3 slipstreamed nlight copy of XP, and have had no trouble yet 😀

Billion thanks for ur work and self for making this guide. Made me new experients.

Thank you very very much 🙂

Used this to install XP on a Tosh NB100 running Ubuntu. Most difficult part was making a 1gig partition on the USB key. I used Boot-It and SFDisk for that.

works a treat! Very good walk through especially for netbook/ultra portable laptop users who generally do not have CD drives to install from.

I used this guide and it worked excellently.

Thank You for taking the time to share this info!

Its great manual…………
but i want to boot winXP through BartPE, is it Possible???

Great guide! Had no issues at all! I couldn’t get my Dell Mini to boot from an external CD-ROM so I came here. You solved all my problems, thanks!

[…] Då jag inte har varken CD/DVD på HTPC:n eller floppy så hade jag lite problem med att få in drivrutinerna för Promise controllerkortet. Sist jag installerade så streamlinade jag en XP skiva med nLite, denna gången provade jag att köra hela installationen från USB disk. Följde instruktionen på och det funkade riktigt bra. […]

Thanks for the tutorial! Sounds interesting, and I’m going to give it a go. It’ll be good to use this method for a IRC Bouncer Computer I’m doing up to use on my IRC Network.


All I can say is that you are a huge help.. I’ve been to several other websites that used other methods on how to install windows via USB and, like many other people on those site, have had soo many problems that no one seemed to answer because the idiot who posted it just copied and pasted from another website.. so he didn’t know what he was doing.. You on the other hand have created such a detailed and wonderful guide.. I have already recommended you to my friends and haven’t even waited for xp to finish installing cause you’ve already got me further than the previous sites.. Kudos to you man.. You rock!! god bless you

You are damn great! this is a great tutorial and works like a charm. This is what I’m talking about. Highly recommended!

I just have one request. or maybe two. Haha, Can you make similar tutorial which applies for vista and windows 7. That will be highly appreciated, Thanks mate

I have followed this tutorial twice. I had Ubuntu 9.04 on my HP dv6120us laptop. I completely erased everything on the HD before I plugged in my USB Stick, which is a SanDisk Cruzer 4GB. Everything works up until it starts in BartPE. I go to create the partitions on the drive and, lo and behold, I have no drives to select from.

I’m fairly new to this whole thing, but my knowledge isn’t all that limited. I can’t figure this out to save my life. Someone please help…

Ok, figured it out. Had to disable SATA Native Support in the BIOS on my laptop in order for it to work. Thanks Roderick!!!

Here’s my setup:
I was able to use this method to install XP to a 32bit pre-installed Vista Netbook. No probs and worked like a charm! So, it works…….

I then tried to take the same usb drive over to my band new Asus CM5570 desktop (64bit machine, brand new), and when I select the USB drive to boot from, absolutely nothing happens. I know the thumb drive works!!! Proper boot orders are selected in the BIOS and everything.. IT SHOULD WORK!

I know that BartPE is not “supported” in 64 bit.. but “supported” and “works” in 64bit are two totally different things…

Has anybody gotten this process to work on a 64bit system already runing Vista?????

Please help…

Plugging a USB device in BartPE is possible! You just have to assign a drive letter with DiskPart! Pay attention because a wrong command can wipe out your usb drive!

1.BartPE already started
2.You hot-plug the usb device
3.Start DiskPart
4.Type list disk
5.Type select disk # (# is the number of the USB disk, usually the one different from 0, but there may be more or different configurations)
6.Type detail disk
7.Type select volume # (# is the number of the volume you need, you can see the size in the detail list)
8.Type assign
9.Restart A43 Management Utilty and voilà

It’s more difficult to explain than to do, but it saves you the time of a BartPE restart (very slow in my case) and you can transfer files on the go via USB

oh God, thanks a lot , may problem was solved because i dont have cd rom and one night i descover and try n error to understanding this method, thanks a lot bro and all, may God bless u .

Well tried that manual and it worked so far BUT i can’t install xp, because my Hardisk can’t be choosed.

My drives are:

BartPE X:

i have a HP pavilion Notebook,

Any hints for that problem ?
thanks in advance

ive followed instructions step by step and come up with error 14: ntoskrnl.exe could not be found. any ideas whats causing this? it runs through the ram image progress, but then gives me the error…im working with an HP netbook 110, sata drive 160gb. usb booting works because i tried a basic usb boot config to make sure it did..any help would be awesome since here i am stuck 2.5 hours later….

Thanks for the instructions. I had problems with the Diskpart, but I downloaded the MMC from here and was able to make it work.

Hey.. got a problem, when i want to boot from the stick it says ” The file ahcix86.sys could not be found ” even though its on it… why can that be?

I am trying to reinstall Windows XP on a netbook that recently had Ubuntu installed on it. However, I do not have a bootable CD-Rom drive and therefore I needed a bootable USB in order to install Windows XP. I have tried the method from Tech Republic over a hundred times already but it is only close to this working one. The article failed to mention the fact that in Step 2, if using Windows XP SP2, in PE Builder, you need to enable a plugin “RpcSS needs to launch DComLaunch Service First SP2 only.” Only then will the USB be bootable. Then you must also copy the i386 folder from the Windows CD to your flash drive to install it. Although this article was not 100% step by step, it was very complete especially what to do with Bart PE and is very useful and helped solve my problems. May be a little more complicated for non-technical users. Thank you so much Roderick!

Hi all,

I’ve read this article atleast 5 time now and I am still wondering what to do with the folders made in these steps:
# Unpack Windows 2003 SP1 by running WindowsServer2003-KB889101-SP1-x86-ENU.exe -x (that’s assuming that you downloaded the English version). Note the -x parameter that will allow you to specify a location to unpack to. We’ll be assuming C:\server2003sp1.
# Create a folder named C:\pebuilder\srsp1.
# Copy C:\server2003sp1\i386\setupldr.bin to C:\pebuilder\srsp1.
# Expand and copy ramdisk.sys by running expand -r C:\server2003sp1\i386\ramdisk.sy_ C:\pebuilder\srsp1.

As far as I can see, we create them, expand one, and that’s it, so why do we bother to make this?
Can someone explain this to me or what to do with these folders please ?


One more thing, I did everything people have suggested here and all the steps.
BartPE starts just fine, but when I want to start the installation, it can not find winnt.exe.
I just copied that file from my XP cd to the i386 folder on my usb stick, hope that’s enough.
But nobody ever mentions this, so I’m wondering what I did wrong, since my winnt32 file was not in the folder.

So far so good. Only thing is I did it on a 2gb flash drive…seemed to work ok for me. After I read the comment about it not being anymore then 1gb I was freaking out. I checked online how to partion a USB drive, because the comment about using Computer Management doesn’t work. It will only format and repartition the whole drive as one. So I was going crazy, since most of the programs I tried failed horribly. Now Im not saying your wrong, just maybe add it in as a adviser that someone used a 2gb and it worked fine:). Right now Im in the setup phase and it has yet to mess up so I’m hoping it all goes well. Thank You so very much for this. My application is a little different from this scenario though. I needed to reinstall winxp, because I bought a Kohjinsha e book while I was in Japan. I used it for a while in Japanese but it just got irritating using the japanese menus and not really knowing if Im clicking the right thing. Anyways, thanks again very helpful!

Thanks for the great guide!
I have used BartPE before and done unattended setups as well, but I didn’t realize the needed extra command switches for WINNT32 to redirect the local and temp files!

I was able to use your procedure along with nLite to create an unattended XP Pro XP3 installation onto an ASUS EeePC 1005HA with the AHCI storage and other drivers slipstreamed into the installation!

@Bart on Oct 3, 2009 at 11:03PM
The Server2003 SP1 files are needed for BartPE to be able to boot from a RAMDRIVE which what these files are for.

These files get picked up during the C:\pebuilder\pe2usb -f [drive:] step.

To quote Bart Lagerwiej, “The 2003 setupldr with ramdisk option prevent windows from crashing or a 0x7b stop error (inaccessible boot device).

This happens when windows is loading the USB devices drivers and the USB driver “resets” the USB bus. When we are riding from the ramdisk loader, we are not dependant any USB vendor windows driver from resettings the USB bus. We can now boot successful from “most” usb capable of booting hardware.”

Check out this page for more info:

@Bart, on October 4th, 2009 at 1:01 AM
I didn’t have to “copy” the WINNT file specifically, but I did copy the entire i386 setup directory and all files, perhaps the first time you performed this step you didn’t get all files copied over?

11.) Copy the Windows XP setup files to the USB drive (or another USB device if you have insufficient space left). You’ll only need the i386 folder.

@JJ In Hawaii, on October 9th, 2009 at 2:38 am
2GB USB drives are fine, I believe the problem starts at 4GB and higher because you the FAT16 file system only supports 2GB max partition sizes, which is required for step 10 PE2USB.CMD.
I tried editing the PE2USB.CMD file and added a FAT32 format option instead, but then I realized the RAMDRIVE feature being used only supports 2GB sizes, so you really must use a USB drive of 2GB or less, or find some clever way to partition your USB drive (which I found challenging and gave up on for the sake of time, it was faster to use a small USB drive.)

@Galvan, on September 1st, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I’m thinking maybe you ran into the same problem with your Netbook that I had with my ASUS EeePC 1005HA. In order to get BartPE to be able to access the internal hard drive you may have to provide BartPE with the proper Mass Storage Driver. In my case I needed to add the AHCI driver for BartPE.

Help for adding drivers to BartPE is here:

With storage drivers you have to be careful, they are needed in Text mode when the PC is in installation infancy and also in GUI mode when WIndows has grown up during installation. Make sure you edit the TXTSETUP.OEM and comment out the drivers you do not need.

In my example I needed the AHCI driver which I copied to my PEBuilder directory as shown here:

Directory of C:\pebuilder3110a\drivers\SCSIAdapter\AHCI

The TXTSETUP.OEM file was edited to comment out with a # sign the drivers I do not need for my Netbook. I only needed the iaAHCI_ICH7MMDH driver.


; iaAHCI.inf
#iaAHCI_ESB2 = “Intel(R) ESB2 SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH7RDH = “Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA AHCI Controller”
iaAHCI_ICH7MMDH = “Intel(R) ICH7M/MDH SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH8RDHDO = “Intel(R) ICH8R/DH/DO SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH8MEM = “Intel(R) ICH8M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH9RDODH = “Intel(R) ICH9R/DO/DH SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH9MEM = “Intel(R) ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH10DDO = “Intel(R) ICH10D/DO SATA AHCI Controller”
#iaAHCI_ICH10R = “Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller”

; iaStor.inf
#iaStor_ESB2 = “Intel(R) ESB2 SATA RAID Controller”
#iaStor_ICH7RDH = “Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA RAID Controller”
#iaStor_ICH7MDH = “Intel(R) ICH7MDH SATA RAID Controller”
#iaStor_ICH8RICH9RICH10RDO = “Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller”
#iaStor_ICH8MEICH9ME = “Intel(R) ICH8M-E/ICH9M-E SATA RAID Controller”

Just make sure you use the proper storage driver for your Netbook! Then you can build your BartPE and it should now be able to access your hard drive in your Netbook.

@Galvan, on September 1st, 2009 at 12:57 pm

One additional tip… I also used nLite to slipstream the AHCI and other drivers into my XP installation folder before step 11 where you copy the files to use to install on your Netbook.

This is most likely necessary because if BartPE didn’t have the correct storage driver to use, it’s a good bet the WIndows XP install CD doesn’t have it either, so your install would need you to press F6 and provide the driver off an A: floppy drive (which I didn’t have on my Netbook) so slipstreaming the mass storage driver was the only way out of this problem.

Works perfectly on a 8GB Kingston flash and HP mini 110c. Had to create a 1GB partition on flash in Linux fdisk.

Thanks a lot, great guide! I found so much on google that was useless, but this worked great first time, just got 34minutes of the install left to go 🙂

Hi Roderick,

Thank you so much, your guide saved me lots of time!

Works also fine with an unattended file. I used a nLite generated folder where i added additional drivers and information for an unattended setup.

For those who try to make the same: you only have to add the parameter /unattend:d:\winnt.sif (or wherever else your winnt.sif is located) to the install command:

d:\I386\winnt32.exe /unattend:d:\i386\winnt.sif /syspart:C: /tempdrive:c: /makelocalsource

I have put it in a batch file for I have to regularly use this USB stick to instal Lenovo X-Series Notebooks.

Greetings Stephan

Used this method and worked first time for me.
Many thanks for this page and keep it going please (as I’ve bookmarked it for the future!)

Hi. That’s a very good guide, for real it is. I don’t know if you have heard or read about some windows that don’t come with setup.exe. How can they be installed? I’m referring to those UE windows that only install booting from the CD. Any suggestions or help are welcome.

Greeting from Jakarta, Indonesia.
Thank you so much. I finally successfully install WinXP Pro SP3 on my Acer Aspire One 531h using Kingston’s Flash Disk. It worked at first attempt.
When I tried to do the same steps on my friend’s notebook using his old 1Gb HP flash disk, it wont’ boot up the BartPE. But formating the flash disk using PeToUSB.exe with the following checked marked:
– USB Removable
– Enable Disk Format
– Quick Format
– Enable LBA (FAT 16X)
prior to no 10 on “Step Two: Prepping BartPE” solved the problem.

Thank you


Ive folowed this tutorial and evrything worked exept now I can’t instal Windows it says that “it cannot format the disk it may not have enough memory ” I nhave Acer Aspireone Intel atom 1.6 1 GB RAM and 120 GB of HDD


Builder has stopped because there are 4 build errors
Building done…
There where 4 errors and 11 warnings

Error: closeHive() failed: RegUnLoadKey (key=”PEBuilder.exe-C:/pebuilder3110a/BartPE2/i386/system32/config/petmphive”) returned error 0: Access is denied.

Cleanup temporarily files
Error: DeleteFile() “C:\pebuilder3110a\BartPE2\i386\system32\config\petmphive” failed
Error: DeleteFile() “C:\pebuilder3110a\BartPE2\i386\system32\config\petmphive.log” failed
Error: DeleteFile() “C:\pebuilder3110a\BartPE2\i386\system32\setuphiv” failed
Error: DeleteFile() “C:\pebuilder3110a\BartPE2\i386\system32\setuphiv.log” failed

I got this working nicely WITHOUT requiring Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1.

I just used Bootable USB-Drive Utility ( in place of step 2. When running Bootable USB-Drive Utility I answered yes to all questions and when booting from USB I chose to boot BartPE using WinPE Kicker.

The rest is pretty much standard as per this tutorial

I followed your steps. But no matter what I do when I try and run the 1.Run D:\i386\winnt32.exe /syspart:C: /tempdrive:C: /makelocalsource. I always get the pop stating “please go to the control panel to install and configure system components”. I must be missing something. Please advise

Big, big thanks for this tutorials, i couldn’t have done it without it !.

The notebook pc i was working on was acting stupid and not reading my boot DVD even though the same boot DVD worked in another notebook, same model number, exactly the same notebook pc. So i had no other choice to boot from USB, since it has no floppy drive and this notebook model supports booting from USB..

Kind Regards from Canada Montreal.

Good stuff, friend’s netbook started giving the old ‘load needed dlls for kernel’ errors and after much hassle trying to get the recovery console going and swapping out drivers i just said “to hell with it” and decided to reinstall the whole lot. fair play to ya!