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  1. #1
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    Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    Hi,

    I have a computer with an empty, formatted C drive on which I am trying to install Windows XP Pro from CD.

    I have tried using EZ OS Install to do this job, but when I try and use it to install XP automatically I get a whole bunch of files that can't be found and the installation fails. The first example is <pre>cyclad-z.inf</pre>

    This file does, in fact, exist on my WinXP CD, but with the name <pre>cyclad-z.in_</pre>

    The same goes for a whole bunch of other files. I tried booting to DOS with CD-ROM support and running <pre>i386winnt.exe</pre>

    manually from the CD but with the same result.

    Does anyone know why these files are seemingly misnamed on my WinXP CD and what can be done about it?

    (The PC in question does not support booting from CD, so that is not an option.)

    Many thanks,

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    The file names with an underscore in the extension (*.cl_, *.in_ etc) are compressed files. That's how they should be named. Windows setup will take care of the decompression for you. From DOS, you would also need to load SMARTDRV.EXE or the initial phase of setup will take several hours - two to three at a minimum even on a fast machine. Are you sure that the machine will support XP? It sounds as though the BIOS is quite old since it doesn't support booting from CD-ROM - you may want to check the Hardware Compatibility List before beating your brains out too much.

    Setup from DOS should be using the WINNT.EXE found in the i386 folder on the CD-ROM drive. If you can provide more details on the specs of the system you are installing to, it would be a great help.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    Hi,

    The system is a Dell Dimension XPS B1000r. The hardware compatibility website lists Dimension XPS as being 'compatible'. I was running XP previously on this machine without issue so I presume it should work OK.

    I am using SMARTDRV.EXE, and I am running WINNT.EXE from the I386 folder as you say, but the problem still persists.

    Regards,

  4. #4
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    Can you use a 98 boot floppy and start the xp install cd from there?

    kip

  5. #5
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    Yes, I've tried the Win98 Boot Disk method too. All these different methods seem to leave me in the same situation; DOS loaded, CDROM drivers loaded and SMARTDRV.EXE started. The problem is after that, when i386winnt.exe is running it doesn't seem to recognise the underscore-suffixed files as the compacted versions of the ones it is looking for, like it is supposed to according to Mark.

    I've yet to try the official 6-floppy WinXP Boot Disks from Microsoft, perhaps they will do the trick.

    I did try copying the i386 folder to the C drive with the intention of running winnt.exe from there but I had problems copying the files across, perhaps that is worth another try. Anyway, enough for one day, I will get back to it in the morning! <img src=/S/yawn.gif border=0 alt=yawn width=15 height=15>

    If anyone can think of anything whilst I'm dreaming of set up screens it would be greatly appreciated.

    Goodnight,

  6. #6
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    I have been using this for along time and I have used it many times for WinXP. EzReload

  7. #7
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    EZReload sounds very similar to EZ OS Install, but that also fails at the stage where the WinXP setup program itself is copying the files to the C drive. All these programs seem to do is 'oversee' the running of i386winnt.exe, and the problem seems to be that winnt.exe itself is failing. I have 2 copies of WinXP on CD and both of them yield the same result. I have already used one of the CDs to install XP on a laptop (which supported booting from CD) so I know that the CDs do work. It's all very strange.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    I'd have to go along with Kaplin's advice - sounds like the CD-ROM drive itself may be suspect. Eliminate the variables: you have known good CDs (they work elsewhere), the system has run XP ok in the past, so you know it supports it - there aren't many other things left in the chain to look at.
    -Mark

  10. #10
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    This gets even weirder. I successfully copied the whole CD to my empty C drive (into a folder called 'WinXP') and ran winnt.exe from there. I got exactly the same problem again!

  11. #11
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    Have you tried running SETUP.EXE rather than WINNT.EXE?

    StuartR

  12. #12
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    yep, that doesn't run under DOS

  13. #13
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    Seemly your hard drive partition was formatted under MS-DOS (io.sys, msdos.sys and command.com system files). Windows XP Setup, like all other NT-based Windows, can not run under DOS (despite it supports FAT32 file system) and requires different system files to start (ntldr, ntdetect.com).

    Create WinXP bootable disks set and install WinXP from it. It will put new system files on your partition.

  14. #14
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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    WINNT.EXE is explicitly designed to be run from DOS environments - WINNT32.EXE will not. I've used the WINNT.EXE executable many times from DOS without the posted problem occurring. There's a great command-line reference at http://www.labmice.net/articles/winntcmd.htm.

    I do wonder if using the boot floppies will get around this problem - since they load the installation environment, I would think so, but we'll have to wait until some more news is posted back.
    -Mark

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    Re: Installing XP from DOS (Pro)

    All,

    Thanks very much for all your help. I will be separated from the PC in question for the next 2 weeks as I am out of the country. As soon as I get back I will attack the problem again armed with your suggestions and get back to you with the results.

    Thanks again,

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