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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    W2K Install from nothing

    That's right, folks, I'm in a quandry and looking for some creative solutions (likely involving some DOS counselling and moderate quantities of beer to take the sting off the whole procedure).

    I have a Thinkpad 240 without a CD-ROM. I currently don't have a spare external CD-ROM, but if that's going to be necessary I'll move that expenditure up the priority chain. I customarily install apps over a network, and do reformats/reinstalls by copying the install files onto a non-c: partition. It does have an external floppy.

    It was running W98. I copied the W2K CD contents onto D:, but silly me, I didn't test whether I could run setup.exe from DOS mode, i.e. using the W98 Emergency Boot Disk. I reformatted C:, and then found that the W2K setup.exe does not run in DOS mode. I managed to create a set of W2K Setup Disks, but rather than allowing me to kindly redirect the setup process to the lovely files on D:, it searches in vain for an attached CD-ROM and kicks me out.

    I could spend another several hours trying to figure out a clever work-around, but I'd much rather see if someone out there has one more readily available. Any suggestions? Is there another way to run the W2K setup from a file normally contained on the CD that I don't know about that works in DOS mode?

  2. #2
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Try this:

    Ensure you copied the entire i386 directory, and all subdirectories, from the Win2k Pro CD to the hard drive.

    Start the computer with a Win98 boot floppy.

    Change to the i386 directory and run the following from the prompt:

    winnt /s[:sourcepath] /t[:tempdrive]

    Explanation of switches:

    /s[:sourcepath]
    Specifies the source location of the Windows 2000 files.
    The location must be a full path of the form x:[path] or
    servershare[path].

    /t[:tempdrive]
    Directs Setup to place temporary files on the specified
    drive and to install Windows 2000 on that drive. If you do
    do not specify a location, Setup attempts to locate a drive
    for you.

    Apparently i386winnt.exe is for setting up Win2k from a boot floppy, DOS, or Win3.x; and, i386winnt32.exe is for running it from a Win95, Win98, or WinNT, DOS window.

    I've never tried this myself. From what I gather in the readme and help files located on the Win2k CD or in one of its CABs it should. They don't exactly come out and provide this as a method. Of course, they didn't for Win9x, either. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Hey, it's worth a shot. Let us know if it works.

  3. #3
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    I could just <img src=/S/kiss.gif border=0 alt=kiss width=34 height=15>! I vote to instantly promote you to 2Star Lounger. The switches worked perfectly - I pointed /s to the d:w2ksetup folder I had copied the W2K CD into, and pointed /t to c:. Although Setup asked about whether I would like to enable SmartDrive technology ( <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>) and the file copy process took a good 3 hours to complete, it worked like a charm. I don't usually use so many smilies in my posts, but when you're feelin' it...

    <img src=/S/joy.gif border=0 alt=joy width=23 height=23>

  4. #4
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Better off using a CD-ROM drive.
    Win 2000 remembers from where it was installed.
    If you ever need to fix Win 2000, e.g., by adding components, you'll do better using a CD-ROM.

  5. #5
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    I've always preferred to install Windows from the hard drive if there is enough space. That saves me from having to scrounge around for the CD when I need to update something, and the install files are right there if I perform maintenance as well. Not to mention it's substantially faster than access from the CD-ROM, which gets stored safely out of scratch's way. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    This is particularly useful on a laptop that goes everywhere, since you don't need the CD on the road.
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Cool! I'm so glad that worked, Keely. Well, I'll keep that one in mind in case I have to do that myself.

    The smartdrive option would have made the file copy process faster because it uses a portion of RAM as a disk cache. But it worked anyway, and thus is good.

    Leave the copied CD files on the hard disk drive if you can afford the space. That way if Win2k needs access to the "CD" (during certain software or hardware installs, situations like if you need to install non-western european text display support, or run System File Checker manually) it will be able to find the files.

  7. #7
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    <hr>I've always preferred to install Windows from the hard drive if there is enough space. <hr>

    I'd have to agree there, for all the reasons we both posted. All the boxes I've had Win3.x or 9x were setup that way. Nowadays with hard drives having such nice capacities, the dent in free space is negligible for the majority of users.

  8. #8
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    In my original post, Howard, you will see that I don't have a CD-ROM from which to install Windows or other apps, so it wasn't option for me. When you're using a notebook, particularly the sub-notebook models that have external drives for floppies and CD-ROMs, it's far more convenient to have the installation CDs copied to the hard drive in case you change a setting on the road and haven't brought the external drives or the media with you. I also copy Office disks wholesale onto my notebooks' hard drives for that reason, since the addition or deletion of features often requires the CDs (a poor design decision, no doubt).

    i4004, I'm trying to confirm that the W2K CD files are where I think they are. I had used the i386winnt command to copy the files from D:w2ksetup to c:. It doesn't appear that was true file copy function per se, as a browse of my C: doesn't show me anything that screams "I'm your W2K setup files". Am I safe to assume that Windows will refer to the original d:w2ksetup folder for future operations?

  9. #9
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Hi Keely
    You can take this idea a stage further, if carrying CDs around is not feasible. Get a copy of VCD3, which allows you to set up up to 21 'Virtual Drives'. You then make images of any CDs to your HD and load them into the VDs. Your system then believes you have n CD-ROMs attached and can access them just as though you had. For XP the version is VCD 4.
    All you need is a capacious hard disc!

    Rgds

  10. #10
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    I remember trying a similar but not identical utility some time ago in order to play games on the road - didn't work all that well. I wasn't able to find this VCD doing a web search or on your freeware listings - do you have a URL for me?

  11. #11
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Objection sustained. I'm an idiot.
    Try <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.virtualcd.de/>here.</A>

  12. #12
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Thanks very much! And don't be so hard on yourself. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

  13. #13
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    MerC! You're slipping! Too much to drink last night? <img src=/S/razz.gif border=0 alt=razz width=25 height=17>
    Christopher Baldrey

  14. #14
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Or NOT enough? <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  15. #15
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    Re: W2K Install from nothing

    Don't know. I've too much of a hangover to tell - but not half as bad as the one the Irish Rubgy team will have after thashing the Welsh (54-10).

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