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 » Install XP on Asus Eee PC from USB flash drive : SoDoItYourself.com

Install XP on Asus Eee PC from USB flash drive
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Installing XP on Asus EEE from USB thumb drive

Installing Windows XP on Asus EEE PC from a USB flash stick drive. No need to purchase a USB CD/DVD-ROM.

What you will need:

  • Microsoft Windows XP intstallation files on a CD / DVD / Image
  • Another PC running Microsoft Windows XP or Vista
  • USB_PREP8 Download:Google,2shared.com
  • PeToUSB Download:Official site
  • Bootsect.exe Download:Google ,2shared.com
  • A USB stick large enough to hold the install files and possibly the Asus EEE PC drivers. In this tutorial a SanDisk Cruzer 4GB is used.

Sandisk USB flash.

Use a 4 GB if you want to copy the Asus EEE PC Driver DVD. 1 Gigabyte is enough for XP install files only.

Preparing the Bootable USB flash drive

Extract USB_prep8 and PeToUSB.
Copy or move the file PeToUSB.exe from the PeToUSB folder to the USB_prep8 folder. Your usb_prep8 folder should look like this:

image1

Double click the Command Script named usb_prep8.cmd. The command prompt window will look like this:

image2
Insert your USB-flash drive and press any key:

PeToUSB Flash stick settings
Make sure you have the right USB-stick selected. In the image above you see [SanDisk Cruzer USB Device 4025Mb [E:\]] Selected. Cross the “Quick Format” if you want to save some time (marked in red).

Click on Start. In the dialog box saying “Continue?”, click Yes:
Klick Yes to continue

Another dialog box appears, click Yes:
Click Yes

When the format is complete (probably immediately) you will get this:

image6

Click Ok.

Extract bootsect.zip to a folder of your choice. (In this example i use C:\bootsect\).
Open a command prompt (on XP click Start->Run and type “cmd”):
image7

Navigate to the directory where you extracted BootSect.exe using the “cd” command (this example uses folder c:\bootsect):

cd \bootsect\bootsect [Enter]
image8a

Then type:
bootsect /nt52 E: [Enter]

image8

This writes a bootable bootsector to your USB flash drive. Do not have any windows open displaying the contents of the USB drive. Bootsect.exe needs exclusive access to the USB disk and you will not be able to write a correct bootsector.

Close this command prompt. (Do not close the other running usbprep8).

The usbprep8 command line window should now look like this:

image9

Press enter, if it does not look like the window above.

Now we need to supply information for 1-3 in the image above.

Press 1 + [Enter] - Browse for the location of your Windows XP setup files (Your CD/DVD rom). A dialog box will appear:

image10

Select your source for the Windows XP install files (CD/DVD drive) and press OK.

Press 2 +[Enter] - enter a drive letter that is not currently in use. In this example we use T:\

Press 3 + [Enter] - enter the drive letter of your USB flash drive. You can use explorer to check.

Press 4 + [Enter] - To continue with the script.

After a short while the script will ask if you wish to format the drive T:

image12

Press Y + [Enter]. ( This is just a temporary drive to hold the windows installation files)

When the formatting is done, Press enter to continue. You should now see the script copying files. When it has finished you should see this:
image131

You guessed it. Press any key to continue.

The script should copy a few files.

A popup asking if you want to “copy TempDrive Files to USB-Drive in about 15 minutes = Yes” should appear:

image14

Click Yes. The script starts copying files. This takes a while, so go get a cup of coffee or something.

Once it is done, a popup will ask you “Would you like USB-stick to be Preferred Boot Drive U:”:
image15

Select Yes.

Select Yes to unmount the Virtual drive.

Close the usbprep8 command line window and any others you have left open. You might want to copy drivers from your Asus EEE support DVD to the USB stick.

Now we are done with preparing the USB-flash drive. Next step is to make the correct changes to BIOS.

BIOS settings

Turn on your EEE PC. When the screen below turns up, hit [F2]:

startup

You should now be in the BIOS.

Use the arrow keys to navigate to the Boot section of the bios.

Select Hard disk drives as in the image below and hit Enter.
Asus Bios

Press the + (plus) key to make the USB stick the first drive:
bios-boot-hard-disk-drives

Exit and save the changes:
bios-exit-save

Booting your Asus EEE PC into XP install

*IMPORTANT* Do not remove the USB-stick at any part of the installation process of Windows XP.

Reboot your EEE. You should be presented with the following screen:
first-boot
Select the bottom alternative (as in the image above) titled
“1.TXT Mode Setup Windows XP, Never unplug your USB-drive until After Logon”

From here on the Windows XP setup is pretty straight forward except for the partitioning…

Preparing partitions on the EEE XP Install

When you reach the partitioning portion of the setup you will see something similar to this:
partitioning-before

In order to install Windows XP on your Asus EEE, you need to delete each and every one of the partitions.

When done it should look like this:
partitioning-after

Recreate one primary partition on your Asus EEE and PC and format it using NTFS.

Once the text mode portion of the XP install is done, you will see this screen when booting up:
second-boot

This time select the top alternative titled:
“2. GUI Mode Setup Windows XP. Continue setup + Start XP.”

Complete the GUI part of the setup as usual. Once the GUI part is done and your EEE reboots, again select the top alt. “2. GUI Mode…”.

Now you should boot up at a normal Windows XP desktop. You can remove the usb flash drive if you wish.
article-bottom


All done! Hope you managed to get it right.

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48 comments to “Install XP on Asus Eee PC from USB flash drive”

  1. Comment by obscure:

    im doin good till now the script is copyin the files and im gettin the (cup of coffe )
    i hope it stays this way , and thanks for your help

  2. Comment by obscure:

    dude youre the best , i admit u are .
    just one thing to add ( you should have said get 32 cup of coffe ) lol …
    it took me 3 hours but it works thanks .

  3. Comment by admin:

    obscure - Great that it worked!

    It takes a while to prepare the Stick depending on how quick your preparation PC is…

  4. Comment by adam:

    easy to follow step by step intructions, you are genius, thanks a million…any idea how to do it with office and such…

  5. Comment by Viking:

    Excellent guide.
    The easiest I have found so far.

  6. Comment by audrey:

    Will this over write the existing Linux OS of the EEE pc? Or the xp bootable in the usb si stand alone OS?

  7. Comment by simon:

    Pretty hard to get this to work under Vista. You need to open ALL the programs and command prompts with admin rights or you can’t do anything. Even then you get stuck when it’s trying to create the virtual drive (VDK.EXE doesn’t seem to work in Vista) and it doesn’t run the script.

  8. Comment by Peder:

    On Vista, add the usb_prep8 folder to your path and you’ll be ok. The problem is that when you run something as admin, it will be run woth system32 as root folder.

  9. Comment by Obscure:

    yo . . . . im still droppin by , just one small detail .
    i put the usb flash on the eee and already installed the xp but then i removed the usb flash . . . the xp still works great . . . . then i restarted the computer and IT DOESN”T WORK.
    so i tried to put the usb flash back on the eee and restarted then it works again .
    so do i have to keep the flash usb on eee all the time ? or have i done some’ worng ?
    any way im tryin it again right now .
    THANKS again .

  10. Comment by Martin:

    Hi! Do you know if this guide work with Acer Aspire One 110?

  11. Comment by The Swede:

    Hi folks. First of all - this was the best guide I’ve found :-)

    This works great on Aspire One A110 as well with the difference choosing FAT instead of NTFS (read somewhere that NTFS is REALLY slow on those SSD-drives…).

    Martin - After the process descriped in this guide (remember the FAT/NTFS issue), just go to http://komku.blogspot.com/2008/08/acer-aspire-one-specifications-and.html and download the missing drivers. Maybe you don’t need them all, but the network and sound-drivers could be useful… ;-)

    Works like a charm (even with the companionship of a bottle of red wine)

  12. Comment by Mini9:

    Thank you. Just reinstalled Windows back on my Mini9 with 2GB USB. I appreciate the instructions.

  13. Comment by Mark:

    Werkt perfect! Helemaal top.
    Met deze handleiding kan iedereen XP installeren.

    Works great with a dutch version of windows.
    Thanks!

  14. Comment by Tommy M:

    Hey guys. Yeah this guide seems to be pretty dumber down which is what you want so thumbs up to the techie.
    I was having trouble trying to install mini xp via my laptop which runs vista. What a joke of an OS!
    Any ideas on where I alter the above the instructions to suit the needs of my attempt via vista?
    Thanks all

  15. Comment by Tommy M:

    Hey guys. Yeah this guide seems to be pretty dumbed down which is what you want so thumbs up to the techie.
    I was having trouble trying to install mini xp on the Asus 4gb via my laptop which runs vista. What a joke of an OS!
    Any ideas on where I alter the above the instructions to suit the needs of my attempt via vista?
    Thanks all

  16. Comment by links for 2009-03-09 « boblog:

    [...] Install XP on Asus Eee PC from USB flash drive : SoDoItYourself.com Installing Windows XP on Asus EEE PC from a USB flash stick drive. No need to purchase a USB CD/DVD-ROM. (tags: 901) [...]

  17. Comment by bobd:

    When I get to the point that I enter the XP source path I run into a problem. I have a CD that has a disk image created by nLite and at this prompt:

    “Browse for the location of your Windows XP setup files (Your CD/DVD rom). A dialog box will appear:

    Select your source for the Windows XP install files (CD/DVD drive) and press OK.”

    I point to the CD drive and it gives me this error message:

    “Error: The path E:\ does not contain Windows XP Source Files”

    So I ask what is the program looking for?

    If I give it the original CD it takes it fine. Is there a particular file or a boot record that the program is looking for or what? Does this process not work with nLite images?

    Thanks for your effort with this. If I need to install the full XP, I guess I will have to, but it would be nice to have a slimmed down version.

  18. Comment by bobd:

    Ok, so I took a look at the USB_PREP8.CMD source and it is apparently looking for the file WINNT32.EXE which is not there…

    I guess nLite doesn’t think that this file is needed and USB_PREP8.CMD does think it is needed.

    Anyone have a clue which is correct?

  19. Comment by bobd:

    Well, I’m making some progress. There is an option in nLite in the Operating System Options section. Do not check Manual Install and Upgrade, if you want to install XP from USB flash drive. Otherwise the installer files will be removed from the package and this is what USB_PREP8.CMD is looking for when you point to the source path.

    I’ll try again using the new image that nLite creates.

  20. Comment by bobd:

    And of course it works. As long as you remember “Do not check Manual Install and Upgrade, if you want to install XP from USB” when using an nLite image, this guide is perfect. Thanks for doing it.

  21. Comment by conan:

    someone can help me….

    why when i “Press 1 + [Enter] - Browse for the location of your Windows XP setup files (Your CD/DVD rom). ”

    the browse box not appears

    this meseege is appears” there is no script engine for file extension .vbs”

    HELP!!!!!

  22. Comment by Rhazkhal:

    I have the same problem like Obsecure?

    Installed everything like the tutorial said and everything went fine except that the usb has to always be connected to run WinXP… Is that how it suppose to be? Is there any way I could run XP on my EEE without keeping the usb?

  23. Comment by m8ymate:

    Hi, Rhazkhal, Obscure and others

    Have you changed the boot order in BIOS after finishing the setup?

    In BIOS menu -> Hard disk drives
    Make sure that 1 st drive is ASUS.

    Check boot e device priority also.

    Great article!

  24. Comment by Harry:

    I found the difficulty, when i try to navigate the bootsect with cd \bootsect\bootsect it can’t work and showing can’t find, can anybody help me?

  25. Comment by Deraney:

    I’ve had success with this tutorial until I get to the point of restarting my Eee PC with the USB flash drive. I’ve changed the boot order in the BIOS to make sure it’s set to boot from the flash drive first, but keep getting a “Remove disks or other media” error. Everything seems to have gone exactly as planned up to that point. I’ve tried this with a couple different flash drives: a Sandisk Cruzer 4 GB as well as a 2 GB SD card that I had laying around.

    I’m running Vista on a year-old iMac, and I’ve turned UAC off.

    Any ideas?

  26. Comment by ClouD:

    Really good tutorial. Thanx a bunch! I’m just wondering why I have to delete all partitions?? Why couldn’t I make 2 partitions and install xp on one??

  27. Comment by Aarkan:

    I had loads of issues with this tutorial. Most of them are because I’m using vista, and this guide doesn’t seem to address the problems vista has with this method. In order for any of it to work right, you need to be on the Administrator account. Being able to use that involves a short tutorial of its own. Anyway, from there I also found that the cd portion of the command prompt command isn’t really necessary. I only had to type C:/boootsect.exe \nt52 F: to make it work. Putting the cd command actually resulted in an error. Also, it doesn’t clarify here that if you are using a downloaded version of XP that you’ll need to mount it using something like DAEMON tools in order for usb_prep8 to recognize it. All that aside, I wouldn’t have figured anything out without this guide, so thanks very much for posting it and sorry for all the complaints.

    ~ ( ^ - ^ ) ~

  28. Comment by Dragisa:

    HI. Everything is beautyfull yill I start my EEE. Firs mesage was that it cann’t find boot.ini and the other wasa that the file hal.dll is missing. What to do?
    Thanks in advance.

  29. Comment by Larry:

    after doibg everything, i plugged the usb to my eee 900 and made the usb the primary hard disk. When i chose “1.TXT Mode Setup Windows XP, Never unplug your USB-drive until After Logon” i receive the following message:”line 38 of the INF file \txtsetup.sif is invalide setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit”
    WHAT SHOULD I DO?????????

  30. Comment by junji:

    I’m getting several files not being copied such as cdaudio.sys, so right now I am just skipping these files that cannot be copied. Is this an issue or I screwed up somewhere.

    Thanks

  31. Comment by Neno:

    Junji, check your media. You should not get any copy errors.

  32. Comment by Veer:

    Whiehooooow!

    It took some patience, a lot of coffee and a new SD and USB stick (very cheap by the way €15,00)
    But you tutorial actually worked.
    Thanks a lot, also from my daughter(8 years) she hated Xandros.

  33. Comment by maizein:

    I’m have the same problem regarding not being able to reboot. I think the problem is Windows installed on F: instead of C:

    When I created the partition, there was an option to click on c for creating partition c but it did not work and by default F: was created.

    Do I need to do all over again? Man, hope not else I’m going back to Ubuntu :(

  34. Comment by Linda:

    Thank you sooo much, this tutorial made it!!

  35. Comment by indza:

    Hi ! I have a problem during instalation. Hope someone can help me.
    I got to the point where I need to select this : “2. GUI Mode Setup Windows XP. Continue setup + Start XP.” But then it writes the following :
    “Windows could not start becouse the following file is missing or corrupt:
    \system32\hal.dll.
    Please re-install a copy of the above file.”
    I’ve tried several tipes of Windows and they all stoped in the exact place. What is the problem?

  36. Comment by Dan:

    I’ve tried this method and nearly everything else without getting XP to start. I keep returning to the ‘missing NTLDR’
    I’ve even researched that error and followed through, yet nothing.
    I am fairly good with computers and can easily return it to the Linux version it came with, but I find that version intolerable.
    Anyone have ideas?
    thanks in advance

  37. Comment by Excalibur:

    I have the same problem as indza, has a solution been identified yet?

  38. Comment by Haxor:

    Thx man this was very helpful finally i can have my peace on my pc without my wife bugging me that she wants to use my desktop. :D

  39. Comment by Yonica:

    I got an Asus Eee as a christmas gift. It is very compact but i wish that the LCD screen was larger.

  40. Comment by Athelstan:

    Great tutorial, it really helped me out. My only problem was that I couldn’t remove the d: drive so I have a 4Gb c:drive and a 8Gb d: drive. Does anyone have ideas on that?

  41. Comment by Jai:

    Excellent work mate, works 100% perfection. This guide is so easy to follow. Mum and I spent weeks how to reformat, but today you made our day. Thankyou very much. 10/10

  42. Comment by radjka:

    my mass storage in asus 1015 not availbale when i want to setup XP via usb stick, i’ve followed your instruction, please help me how to solve this problem?

  43. Comment by Andrew:

    Thank you so very much!

  44. Comment by jay:

    how to do this with an winxp lite iso? i don’t have cd to burn… please help me

  45. Comment by AR87ACE:

    umm… can anyone tell me how to add the original asus drivers for the installation?

  46. Comment by sirmarksalot:

    Ok, I am having a problem.

    I try to select a Source Path, but I can’t click anything. So when I press Start, I get a message reading “Invalid BartPE Files Path!”. I don’t know what to do.

  47. Comment by one:

    got error while installing office 2007. i’m using this method in xp service pack 3.. help…..

  48. Comment by Yanoo:

    It’s cool indeed though there is something else worth of being mentioned. Original disk has got Norton Ghost utilized for system recovery. Once copied onto bootable USB stick or even SDHC card it will allow you to take an image of entire drive. Reinstating contents of whole disk after unexpected crash using such image takes minutes instead of hours spent on installing all the software you have had before and this is really awsome. You won’t need any anti-virus software anymore. I used o keep all my data on D: drive (My Documents, Favourites, Mail, passwords etc.) and in case of problems I just recover entire C: drive from the image saved on SD card.