Got a perfect result! Within 30 minutes I can have a brand new WinXPsp3 on my desktop, installed from my USB-stick, completely updated, and even configured as I want it, and done while I did my laundry. :-) And everything I want to add and install, is already at hand on the inserted USB-stick. Breath taking! Nothing but compliments to the authors..
But some advice and remarks from this newbie.. (correct me if I’m wrong.)
1. Install WinSetupFromUSB in the default directory.
First I installed it under Program Files; That gave problems. The USB-stick I made could boot and install, but gave error messages in the first phase, saying files could not be copied. (I don’t know which files, but there were a lot.)
2. Better not partition the USB-stick?
First tool I found to format my 8 GB A-data stick, that really worked was UT165_UFDUtility_v188.8.131.52.exe.
That could partition the stick in a Public part and a Secure (password protected) partition.
So I created a public part less than 2 GB, assuming (wrongly) I had to format it FAT.
Later I installed WinSetupFromUSB, and formatted that public part FAT again, using PEtoUSB.
But while installing XP the USB-stick I made gave error messages; it could not copy Bootfont.bin, ntldr and NTdetect.com. (but it did copy all the rest)
So I used the same utility again to make the whole stick public, resulting in one partition of 8 GB.
Then I used WinSetupFromUSB, and formatted the stick NTFS with the HP Format Tool in that. No errors anymore, when installing XP.
3. Hal.dll Error: Watch closely what you boot!
The automatic startup choice may fail. Immediately after booting from the stick, a window appears, telling there is a “first part” and a “second part” in the boot process. And after a few seconds it will start the selected part.
If there is nothing on the HDD yet, it will automatically select- and boot the first part. And after files are copied in the install process, the system will reboot, and in the window it will automatically select- and boot the second part (from the HDD).
But this can fail, especially when something went wrong before, and you are trying again. Then it may boot the second part, while there is (almost) nothing on the disk. This results in a Hal.dll error. Just reboot, and when the message “first part” appears on screen, press Enter.
Someone did a great job, making sure, the PC starts from the HDD and not from the stick, once XP is installed.
4. Copy additional files and folders Afterwards to the stick.
Once the stick is ready, you can simply copy/paste files and folders to it in Explorer, or remove them. So you can add manuals, Activation data, and installation programs.
And what’s even better: you can edit (update) those added files, because the stick simply is a HDD. This is a big advantage compared to a CD, that cannot (easily) be edited. Aaahh.. too good to be true!..
Warning: If you added extra files to your source-folder with your XP-install files, these will NOT be copied to the stick by WinSetupFromUSB. Add them manually afterwards.
So if you used Nlite to update the install files in the source folder, and you added your own files and folders there (to let Nlite create a XP-install ISO), and you use the same folder now to make the bootable USB-stick, the added files and folders will NOT be copied to the stick. Add them afterwards in Explorer.
5. Use Nlite first, to create the newest XP files. (for newbies: )
If you create an USB-XP-installstick, you want the newest updated XP-version, right? That takes some time, but is fun and useful..
WinSetupFromUSB needs a folder with all XP-files. So you copy everything from your XPsp1 or XPsp2 CD to that folder.
But then, first use Nlite to update that folder by slipstreaming the newest files into that. You can even pre-configure the new XP-look and choose options. And you can do an unattended installation, is you fill in all the questions at the XP-installation in advance. Nlite is fantastic!
OK, it takes some time to do it.. First you have to download:
- Service Pack 3 for your XP-type and language.
- .Net Framework 2.0 or higher. Nlite needs it to be installed..
- Windows Updates Downloader, to download all essential XP-updates after SP3 at once.
- Use WUD to download all these updates.
Nlite operates as a Wizard. First you specify the folder with the XP-files, that will be changed. Second, it gives 8 options for slipstreaming and configuring. To avoid errors, I used Nlite 4 times.
a. Only select Service Pack in Nlite. Slipstream SP3. Start Nlite again and..
b. Only select Hotfixes.. in Nlite. Slipstream Internet Explorer 7. (1 file, found with WUD) Start Nlite again and..
c. Only select Hotfixes in Nlite. (be sure IE7 is not in the folder) Slipstream all essential Updates (Hotfixes).
Now better make a copy of the folder first, because during the next step many things may go wrong, especially forgetting to fill in a field for an unattended installation. I don’t trust Nlite to do it all well in several sessions, and I saw the advice here often, to do it all at once. So if something goes wrong at the later XP-installation, delete everything in the folder, paste the copied files back, and start again.
d. Select everything you want in Nlite (except SP and Hotfixes.) Click Next. For every selected category you’ll get many options to choose. When done with the last category, be sure to Save what you chose; Below, click Preset > Save Name: X.
If you are not satisfied with the XP-installation later, run Nlite again, and load that preset in the third Nlite window; Select the shown preset X, and below press Load. And after making the last change; again press Preset below > Save to X.
Still not good? Replace all files in the source folder, and start Nlite again, and load Preset X.
Nlite, at the end, will make a bootable ISO, or CD-Image. But you don’t have to. You can use the same source folder in WinSetupFromUSB to make a bootable USB-stick for XP-install.
Don’t forget to add your own files and folders to that stick, after making that.
Man!.. Who do I have to kiss for all this?!.. I offer a sheep to Odin or something.. But to keep everyone satisfied, a donation might be the best..