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I've got the same end goal as this like named question but a different starting point.

I have a Win7 Ultimate DVD (not an ISO), one XP box with a DVD drive and less than 4GB of free disk, an XP netbook with no DVD drive, a blank HDD I plan to install on, and a strong aversion to installing any more software on either.

The direction from the sited question (and others how-tos I have found):

  • start with "install something" or
  • require the win 7 version of diskpart or
  • assume the system is already bootable.

Only the first of those isn't a killer for me but I'd really like to avoid it.

Any Ideas?

Also, anyone have an idea on how I can make XP treat a DVD drive as an ISO without having to copy it to disk? I know how I can make an ISO within my constraints (Linux live CD, dd, netcat, yuck) but it's going to be a pain.

Edit: I also have access to a linux box. Would using the Linux tools do the partitioning and then finishing out on with windows work?

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Doh! I just realized I can save the ISO on the USB drive to transfer it to the second computer. – BCS Jul 20 '10 at 5:04

If you have enough room on the netbook hard drive and it can boot from a USB drive then you can install to it from a USB drive. Microsoft has posted the instructions here:

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That link gives three options: I already own the DVD and I don't want to buy another copy so (nix option 1), Option two is the same thing as one of the links I gave (nix 2) and option three requires hardware I don't own (nix 3). – BCS Jul 19 '10 at 2:38
@BCS: How about make an ISO file from the DVD you currently have and use that ISO to follow to instructions? – Andrew Moore Jul 19 '10 at 3:50
@Andrew Moore: that's what I'm already planing on doing once I figure out how to get around the other reason I'm avoiding option 2: I want to avoid installing stuff. Option 1 needs a non ISO/DVD distro that I don't have and can't get without paying more for. – BCS Jul 19 '10 at 4:10
You can download copies of the ISO files from here:… Just right click/save as the file you need. It will a long time to download as it is a large file. Then you can use the utility mentioned to convert it to the files needed to install from a USB. I did exactly this to install on W7 Home Premium on my netbook. – Zooks64 Jul 19 '10 at 13:31
I've already got a less painful solution. – BCS Jul 20 '10 at 3:10

I'll start with the obvious: what's stopping you from moving the DVD drive to the other machine for the duration of the install?

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The other system is netbook. – BCS Jul 19 '10 at 1:52

I assume what they are using diskpart for, is to make a sufficiently large thumbdrive bootable - in which case you can use the HP drive format tool instead to make it bootable, then copy over the files to see if it works.

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That tool seems to need to be installed. If I'm going to install stuff I'd rather use the MS tool from here: – BCS Jul 19 '10 at 3:17
oh, right. There was a portable one that did the same... but i haven't really tested it enough to my liking -… – Journeyman Geek Jul 19 '10 at 3:47

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