Feb 11, 2009

How to install Windows XP automatically

Do you hate to enter the details like serial number, user name, password, your screen resolution and other nitty gritties every time you install Windows XP on your machine? Do you wish you could stay back or may be take a small nap while your operating system installs all by itself, without any need of your intervention? That’s very much possible. All you have to do is create an answer file for the installation process which contains all the information required during the installation. When you are done with that, just zap the XP CD in the CD-ROM drive and initiate the installation. All the details will be taken automatically from the answer file. Isn’t it cool? Here is how you can do this:

1. Put the installation CD into the CD Drive and copy the entire contents of the CD to a folder on your hard disk. Browse to SUPPORT\TOOLS and extract the file Deploy.cab.

2. In the extracted folder double click the file setupmgr.exe, it will open up a wizard. Click next, choose Unattended Setup, click Next, Choose the appropriate Windows XP installation, click Next, Choose Fully Automated, click Next, Select Setup from a CD, click Next, Accept the License Agreement and click next again. A box opens up, which asks you to enter the Name and Organization. Enter the necessary information in the appropriate fields and click Next. You will be asked for all the details that are required during the installation process. Enter all the details one by one and at the end, click finish and save the file as “winnt.sif” when prompted. This is your answer file and you are supposed to save it in the i386 folder in the Windows XP installation folder you created in the beginning.

3. Now you need to burn a bootable disk. For this, you require the boot sector of Windows XP. You can obtain it from here. Extract it to a folder.

4. Launch Nero and select CD-ROM (Boot) from the new compilation dialog box. Under the boot tab, specify the boot sector file you extracted. Set the emulation as no emulation, and keep the boot message blank. Most importantly, remember to set the number of loaded sector as 4.

5. Select the disc at once method to burn the CD. Click the new button to add new files to CD. Here, you will have to drag all the contents of the Windows XP installation disc and the answer file as well. (Make sure you don’t drag the folder containing the installation files, instead drag the contents of Windows XP CD)

6. Insert a blank CD in the drive and burn it at a low speed. When it’s done, you have your own install-all-by-itself Windows XP CD!

I recommend you to keep this CD for your own personal and not to lend it to others as it contains a customized installation. 

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