Ok, so I know that similar questions to this have been asked many times, but I think my situation is somewhat unique:

I'm trying to re-install Windows XP Pro on 3 older machines (they have OEM copies, so I am using the Product Keys on the stickers on the cases). I downloaded an .iso of Windows XP Pro 32 bit SP3 direct from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=25129

First, I tried burning an install disc on a CD-RW. The disc looked good (was not just an .iso file, had autorun and all the other things you would expect). In one machine, I would get the "Press any key to boot from CD" prompt, but nothing happened. In the other machine it wasn't even recognized.

Next, I tried burning a DVD. Again, everything looked good, but the machine still wouldn't recognize it or boot from it.

I tried downloaded Rufus to make a bootable USB (http://rufus.akeo.ie/), but I get the following error: "This version of Rufus only supports bootable ISOs based on bootmgr/WinPE, isolinux or EFI. This ISO doesn't appear to use either..."

Is this not the correct ISO? Is the problem that I've tried CD-RWs and DVDs, and should just use a CD-R? Any help would be much appreciated.

  • U receommend the following: 1)Try CDR 2) Try different ISO 3) try USB with YUMI Sep 30 '14 at 17:30
  • Is there a current OS on the machines you are trying to install? If so, make sure that the CD/DVD you created is readable, for example by the CMD command xcopy /s {CD drive letter}:\ nul:
    – AFH
    Sep 30 '14 at 17:45
  • 1
    Are you sure this is the right image? I think this is just the service pack, and not a full install. If I'm right, it isn't supposed to be bootable.
    – lzam
    Sep 30 '14 at 17:49
  • @AFH - yes, the CD/DVD is readable. Sep 30 '14 at 17:51
  • @Izam - that thought occurred to me too, but I'm not 100% sure how to check. Sep 30 '14 at 17:52

I made the same mistake. That file is just the service pack (a collection of patches), not the operating system. I have been unable to find an iso file anywhere for any version of XP, itself, for several years.

  • Ok, thank you. It's really ridiculous that Microsoft provides Windows 7 ISOs on digital river for anyone to download, but XP ISOs are so difficult to track down! Sep 30 '14 at 17:55
  • and you don't have one from several years ago? it's very unfortunate that there are internet pirates that are able to get these thinsg easily but good citizens that judiciously abide by the law, speed limits, seat belts e.t.c. are unable to. Do you have a license? if so, then according to one or two comments here superuser.com/questions/291616/… it looks like downloading a pirate copy may be legal for the downloader if the downloader has a license.That is what i've heard too from a lawyer corroborating them
    – barlop
    Sep 30 '14 at 18:56
  • I'm not sure that someone offering a pirated copy would be high on my list of safe sources.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 30 '14 at 19:01
  • You may want to look at expertreviews.co.uk/software/1306762/… if you are going make a habit of reinstalling XP. This will create you an install disc with all the patches that have ever been issued.
    – AFH
    Sep 30 '14 at 21:59
  • Looks like you need an XP install disk to use this.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 30 '14 at 22:19

Make sure to burn it as an image!

Simply making it as a "copy" will not extract the image properly. There are many free software that does this out there. Look for an image burning program.

  • Sorry, I'm not sure if I made that clear in the post - I am making an image, it is not just a copy. Sep 30 '14 at 17:49

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