And they say installing windows is easy....

Forum: LXer Meta ForumTotal Replies: 7
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Jul 01, 2008
9:15 AM EDT
So over the weekend one of my projects was to *gag* install Windows XP on the spare space on my laptop (the shiny fast ZaReason UltraLap SR) since there's some games I have or that are coming out that won't run in wine (and I know the new ones won't have a chance of running on my work laptop). :( So I dug out and dusted off my old XP Pro disc and proceeded with torturing myself. So first of, the laptop is SATA, which means XP needs a driver disk to even see the hard to install. Ok, I've got a USB floppy drive. So I find a working disk, copy the drivers from the driver CD to it (I find it ironic that I have to use a second fully working comp to prepare to install an OS), hook it up to the laptop and boot the CD. Setup starts, I hit F6, select the appropriate driver from the disk, and go on. Select the partition to install to (I had created and formatted the fat32 partition with ranish beforehand, since I knew that Windows setup will not allow you to create a large fat32 partition) and hit go. Now, here we run into a perfect example of absolutely horrible installer coding. Windows gets ready to copy the files and needs the driver again. But this time it REFUSES TO USE THE USB FLOPPY DRIVE BECAUSE IT'S NOT A:! In fact it doesn't even look at it. So that failed.

Next I try setting bios to ide mode, installing, installing the drivers, then rebooting and setting bios back to sata. This of course fails (as kinda expected) with the lovely blue screen telling me that my hard disk or controller may have changed, put it back how it was.

So finally I do a little googling and find an article on using nlite ( ) to create a customized installation CD (this is actually a pretty cool tool if you need to do windows installs). So I setup nlite on my work laptop and proceed to make a custom CD. I slipstream in SP3, include all the win32 drivers from the driver cd, set some default options, remove msn messenger (blegh), and make my CD. This time it actually installs and has most of the drivers loaded (for some reason one device didn't, so I had to have it search for the drivers, and the bluetooth needed to be installed via its install progam).

It only took me probably 4-6 hours to do all this.... Easy? Sure, if you have an old machine that only contains hardware on the official HCL that all have drivers included by default.....

Jul 01, 2008
9:45 AM EDT
Even Vista is still hobbled by inflexible drive letter assignments. Which goes to show that seven years of work and billions of dollars is very much :)

Jul 01, 2008
10:03 AM EDT
> Easy?

You're simply using the wrong definition of easy. See

The one your thinking of is 1a. The one which applies to Windows is 2d.

Jul 01, 2008
2:13 PM EDT
lol But doesn't that only apply once it's actually installed?

Jul 01, 2008
2:55 PM EDT
Well, wasn't Windows developed on Mac's?

Sort of explains the having to have a second working computer in order to install Windows...


Jul 01, 2008
3:04 PM EDT
My last Windows installation ... it must've been a year ago ... reintroduced me to the joy of having plenty of things not work until I installed the drivers ... once I managed to find them deep in the bowels of the motherboard-maker's Web site.

Jul 01, 2008
3:06 PM EDT
What if you don't have another PC, and the drivers that don't work belong to the NIC? Oy!! Been there, done that....

Jul 01, 2008
6:08 PM EDT
> But doesn't that only apply once it's actually installed?

Probably, yes. Oh well, another great concept shot down by reality. :)

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