How to Install Windows XP Without the CD

By Margaret Worthington

Windows XP is normally installed using an installation CD. However, if you are unable to install Windows onto your computer due to not having access to a CD drive or some other reason, there is a way to install Windows XP from a USB flash drive, instead of from the CD. Note: This requires that you have a copy of the CD, and a computer with a working CD drive to copy the files. Also, please note that all typed commands following are to be entered without the quotation marks that enclose them.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP CD
  • Flash Drive
  • Internet access

Step 1

Download and install the Komku-SP-USB.exe software pack (link can be found in the References). This will enable you to turn your Windows XP installation CD into an installation USB drive.

Step 2

Open the exe file, and install it to your computer. Insert your flash drive into your computer, then navigate to the folder \"C:Komku\\PeToUSB\\\" and open the \"PeToUSB.exe\" program.

Step 3

Set the drive to be a USB Removable drive, enable the \"Disk Format\" option, enable \"Quick Format,\" enable LBA (FAT 16x), then label the drive with a name of your choosing and press the start button.

Step 4

For each of the popups that appear click \"Yes\" until you are met with a popup that indicates that the operation completed successfully. Click \"OK,\" then click on Start, Run and type “cmd” into the Run box. Navigate to directory \"c:\\Komku\\bootsect\" by typing “cd c:\\komku\\bootsect”, and press Enter. Type “bootsect /ntf52 Z:”, where Z: is the drive letter of your USB drive, and press Enter.

Step 5

Once the command completes successfully, type “cd..”, press \"Enter,\" and then type “cd usb_prep8” and press \"Enter.\" Type this last command (cd usb_prep8) again once more and press \"Enter.\" Insert your Windows XP installation CD into your computer, and type “1” into the command prompt (without quotes) and press \"Enter,\" then browse to the folder that contains your XP CD.

Step 6

Type the number “3” into the command prompt, then enter a drive letter that is not currently taken on your computer. Press \"Enter,\" and type the number “4”, and press Enter one last time. Proceed through the popups and prompts, indicating that you want to continue, until the program unmounts the drive letter. Your flash drive is now ready to use.

Step 7

Start your computer and enter the BIOS setup. Enable it to boot from USB, then insert your USB drive, restart the computer, and boot from it. Select the “TXT Mode Setup Windows XP” option, and install Windows XP as you normally would, proceeding through the automatic setup process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Installing pirated, copied, borrowed or otherwise “acquired” software is illegal. You should only install Windows XP on your computer if you have purchased the software and have a legitimate CD key to install it with.

References & Resources