This is what I've managed to accomplish so far:
- I created a 4GB FAT32 partition on a separate HDD.
- Using HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and MS-DOS files I prepared a DOS bootable Flash Drive with the following files:
COMMAND.COM FORMAT.COM IO.SYS MSDOS.SYS
- I booted from it and used FORMAT.COM to format the 4GB FAT32 partition (D:) in order to make it bootable:
format d: /q /s
- After booting back to Windows I copied the I386 folder to the 4GB partition. I also added SMARTDRV.EXE, HIMEM.SYS and CONFIG.SYS with the appropriate settings:
- I created AUTOEXEC.BAT with the following lines:
SMARTDRV.EXE C:\I386\WINNT.EXE /S:C:\I386 /U:C:\I386\WINNT.SIFThe WINNT.SIF was of course prepared in advance.
- In the end the partition contained the following files and folders:
I386 SMARTDRV.EXE COMMAND.COM AUTOEXEC.BAT CONFIG.SYS HIMEM.SYS IO.SYS MSDOS.SYS
- I booted to the partition and the system setup was started automatically. Just in case I disabled / disconnected all other HDDs. When selecting the partition (I wanted to install the system on the same 4GB one) I could choose whether to convert it to NTFS or not.
- The setup continued normally. After everything finished I could remove the I386 folder as it was not required any more.
What I'd like to ask is whether this method could be improved. I'd especially like to make a bootable DOS partition without having to use a USB flash disk (step 2 & 3). In other words, is there any simple way to use the DOS' format.com under Windows or maybe are there any alternative tools to use instead of it?
Edited by tomasz86, 18 September 2012 - 03:42 PM.