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I am planning to buy a netbook (which does not have a CD-ROM)

1) I have a Windows XP iso image with me. How do I install the iso image from the USB drive (thumb drive)? Should I first extract the iso image (using winrar), and then copy to the thumb drive, and install from it?

Or should I just keep the iso image in the thumb drive, and allow to boot from USB (giving priority to USB more than hard disk) and install it then?

2) I have DOS OS in it, and am planning to install Windows XP from USB. Do I have to removed DOS before installing windows?
During windows installation, if I format the drive, DOS will be removed, I hope.

I have installed XP from CD, and I have not faced any problem. But this is my first time I am trying to install from USB, please help, as I do not want to screw my netbook, the first time I use it. ;-)

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migrated from Dec 19 '12 at 5:49

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You can not do this with native windows XP tools. This is because you first must install windows XP so that you can install the USB drivers. After you have the USB drivers you can recognise the pen drive and start to install XP.

If you detected a loop in that where you need to do things first, both before you do the other first item then you have found the problem.

However you are not the first one with this goal and people have created tools such as this one as a workaround.

Disclaimer: That tool (WinSetupFromUSB) is one I never personally used).

An other method is to boot from an USB pen drive and to get an image from the network. E.g. using Norton Ghost. I have used that method quite a lot. Is is easy and fast, but it requires you to first create an appropriate image. (Read: Install XP on another computer, modify it as desired, then run sysprep generalise to remove drivers).

The latter method is highly recommended if you need to install multiple netbooks, or if you want a way to easily and quickly reinstall XP if (when?) it breaks. But it requires more initial work.

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If you really want to install more machines, you can think about a deployment server with network boot. There are a lot of guides how to install a server (search for PXE). This also works if you don't have similiar machines. – Offler Dec 19 '12 at 6:58
I've never used WinSetupFromUSB either, but I have used WinToFlash and it works fine. – Karan Dec 21 '12 at 1:33

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