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I wanted to know if there was a way to install Windows XP on a old Pentium 4 (Intel motherboard) system which does not boot via USB and CD/DVD drive?

Is it possible to connect the hard disk to my laptop and install Windows XP Pro on it using VMware (replicating the Pentium 4 motherboard conditions)? or is there any other way anyone knows about?

But when I try to boot from USB it gives me a "j and blinking cursor" and the CD/DVD doesn't show in the BIOS.

A friend tried to clone my Windows XP partition in the laptop to the Pentium 4 pc hard disk using paragon option "clone partition" it gives a different error.

"/ntldr" error code 0xc000000e

Please let me know a solution Many thanks.

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With windows XP you can dump the installs to the hard drive and start the setup from command line. You can search about it and its not very easy either.You can also network deploy.. but not easy either. You gonna have to get a cdrom in there somehow dude.. its the easiest way. – ppumkin Jul 31 '12 at 14:46
Oh! One way to fool windows. Start the install on another syttem then after first or second reboot (before driver detection) put it back into the P4 with out cdrom.. it should install as normal.. but it is 50 / 50- make sure to plug it in the same ide slot though! if its IDE Master 0 then the other system must also be IDE Master 0 – ppumkin Jul 31 '12 at 14:48
I've had literally a hundred of them, and I never seen a P4 motherboard that doesn't boot from CD. Look at the BIOS settings and put the CDROM on the right IDE connector (see your manual) – Axeman Jul 31 '12 at 15:31

Yes, it is possible.

I do not think that you can emulate the hardware of your old motherboard using Vmware. But, you do it in several other ways:

  1. Simplest: Check the P4's BIOS and set it to boot from CDROM. I really think that it has this option, though you might need to move the CDROM around. (e.g. my motherboard only boots if I put the CDROM on two specific ports, and fails on all 6 others).
  2. Put the disk as only disk in another system and install. (Harder with a laptop)
  3. Install into vmware, then convert the image to a disk.
  4. Backup the laptop. Install XP onto the laptop. Then copy that XP install to the P4's disk (Using cloning software such as Ghost, Acronis, CloneZilla, FOG, ....)

Options 2, 3 and 4 mean that the hardware will change. This usually as two results:

  1. XP wants to be reactivated.
  2. It might not boot at all. If you run into this problem remove all drivers before moving the disk via sysprep and generalize.
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I seriously doubt this will work!? Install on another system and put it back to the p4? bad idea ! – ppumkin Jul 31 '12 at 14:47
It will work if you remove all drivers (especially the chipset drivers to access to HDD). You can do this with a program from Microsoft, which is called sysprep. This program is often used in corporate environments where you make a single consistent base image, remove the drivers, and then deploy it to different desktops. (In combination with volume licensing to avoid the manual reactivation parts). – Hennes Jul 31 '12 at 14:53
yes- I have used it before its not easy and flakey if you are first timer. It is also used with the wizard in windows server for creating network deployed version with pre configured settings. Works great when its all set up correctly – ppumkin Jul 31 '12 at 14:55
Agreed. Which is why my first option was 'look for a way to boot from the CDROM'. Even after the OP told us that that failed. – Hennes Jul 31 '12 at 14:57
im going to try this 1. connect to different port, maybe it might work. – Sarah Boss Jul 31 '12 at 18:46

Most systems that wouldn't boot from a CD/DVD were from the mid 90's and earlier. Pentium 4 sounds like something a bit later than that. Are you sure your BIOS settings are correct, and your CD/DVD is properly connected?

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i have checked cd/dvd is connected. the tray ejects.but doesn't show up in the bios. – Sarah Boss Jul 31 '12 at 18:47

I finally made it work, i purchased a usb 2 to sata ide adapter and connected the cd/dvd drive and it showed up in the bios and i managed to install xp ON IT. thanks to all

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