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How to install Windows from USB- WinSetupFromUSB with GUI


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Thanks, i'll try your suggestions.

Im just recreating my source files with original CD files and a very basic WINNT.SIF and will try again to see what happens and if that works i'll then attempt to build up further from there.

Incidently, no there are no other devices in the machine USB etc.

The 8gb stick is a Kingston DataTraveller DTI/8GB.

If this still fails after me cutting things back to the most basic and out of the box Unattended settings then i'll try your suggestion to see what else is happening with device partition lettering but im hoping the original files will work and i can build from there and narrow down the problem afterwards, will know in about half hour or so.

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Ok, I have just tested again.

With the orginal Volume License version of WinXP SP2 CD i have, this PC is able to install with no additional storage controller drivers.

I have copied this XP CD to my hard drive, path C:\XPCD and then run the setupmgr to create a new WINNT.SIF from scratch and copied this WINNT.SIF in to the i386 folder in that directory. I have not configured or added anything beyond anything put in by this program (I have obviously removed company specific info in the below code, entries in the SIF file are correct)

The WINNT.SIF is shown below:



ProductKey=Our Key here
FullName="Company here"
OrgName="Company here"





Home_Page=intranet here










DNSDomain=domain here

UserExecute="binifix4.cmd C:"

I have then used your tool to compile this set of files to the USB Key which i freshly formatted using the HP Tool and formatted it to NTFS and im still getting the following screen:

Setup Cannot Create the folder:

Setup cannot continue until the folder is created

To retry press enter
To quite press F3

Im stumped now

Edited by Lagerstars
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Ok, commenting out that line gets me to the Partition prompt.

The hard drive is showing as Disk 0, ID 0, Bus 0 and is first to show

The USB Stick is showing as Disk on Disk [MBR] and is below the HDD.

The HDD is C:

The USB is D: - Shouldnt this be U: or is that a later stage?

Selecting the Hard drive then proceeds with copying the files in the text based part.

Im going to compile the USB stick again with my original files with that line commented out to see if it then works, i guess changing it to a zero would also have the same effect?

Edited by Lagerstars
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Rename back migrate.inf, it's responsible for U: letter and write-protecting USB stick during Text mode.

You may need to rebuild the stick if you started file copy part. Some compressed files must have been deleted.

Or simply copy over I386 folder from c:\xpcd\i386 to ~LS\i386 skipping existing files.

The program will create autopartition=0 in the next version. Should have spotted that in your first winnt.sif posted :blushing:

Edited by ilko_t
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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_v3.2.4.0.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.

- Nlite.

- .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.

6. Kiss..

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..

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Wow! Nice review and thanks for the kind words :)

A few notes:

1. Install WinSetupFromUSB in the default directory.
This is fixed in 0.2, which is ready, but I'd have no test rig around for a few weeks.
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.
It copies everything in I386 folder to ~LS\I386 + some additional folders (PRINTERS etc.) from Windows CD. ReadMe.txt describes exactly what is copied.
5. Use Nlite first, to create the newest XP files.
Be careful and do NOT select Manual Install and Upgrade for removal. This is critical part.

And better off manually slipstream SP3 if needed. It seems some nLite versions break WMI when integrating SP3.thoro

Who do I have to kiss for all this
To mention a few:



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G'day everyone :)

This installer does not copy the XP setup files correctly when installing using Windows 7. I tried it in XP and it works fine...

OS: Windows 7 Beta 1 [build 7000]

Target OS: Windows XP SP3 [pre-slipped]

Log: It's massive... but attached anyway.

The USB is recognised as bootable when I just copy the boot files [errors out though] and when I copy all of the files it boots straight from the HDD.

EDIT: Also, under XP, I cannot select the Winbuilder VistaPE folder. It has the 'Programs' folder, but is still rejected.

Thx :D


Edited by jezza333
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Windows 7 would be supported when all other programs used fully support it- AutoIt, grub4dos installer etc. etc.

As for the VistaPE- can you create an empty folder SOURCES if doesn't exist, next to folder BOOT. Does it accept it now?

Did you use Vista Setup/PE/Recovery ISO field or BartPE/UBCD4Win...? You should use the former one.

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Wow! Nice review and thanks for the kind words :)

Thanks for all your work, and your reply ilko!

Ever since Bart started with the subject Bootable, I find the atmosphere and the quality among people who work on that really great. Now and then I look at it, and discover very useful products and manuals. USB sticks? Multiboot? Of cóurse sysadmins are looking for that! And these experiments are really fun.. I was VERY satisfied with my first USB-stick, that did the ultimate job in 30 minutes! Okay, let there be some bugs.. not really my problem (yet), being just a customer. And I look forward to multiboot-sticks and multiboot installations on one partition. Just for fun, if I have the time.

But I am thinking about you.. It's fun to start all this, but as with anything, there come the bugs and the nags, the exceptions and the fixes you have to find fot everything. That is the hard work. I hope you survive all that, and that the whole business will keep on giving you pleasure. It is really useful what you do.. :-)

Be careful and do NOT select Manual Install and Upgrade for removal. This is critical part.

I do not even see that option in Nlite, so there can't be to many people getting into trouble by that.. Where is it?..

And better off manually slipstream SP3 if needed. .

How can you do that manually? Do you mean unpacking SP3, and copy everything into i386 or so, overwriting all existing files?

It seems some nLite versions break WMI when integrating SP3.thoro.

What is MPI? Not Windows Media Player? What do I have to look out for?..

Just answer, if you have any time.. I am sure, you do all you can, and I'll wait for updates.. I know all about being too busy. :-) I just hope you like what you do.. :-)

Edited by Serge2
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I do not even see that option in Nlite, so there can't be to many people getting into trouble by that.. Where is it?..
Look at the FAQs, Q2/A2:


Is it still present in nLite?

How can you do that manually?

C:\Downloads\XPSP3.exe /integrate:C:\XPSETUPCD

What is MPI?



Some programs, VBS scripts etc. make use of WMI, WinSetupFromUSB as well, in order to obtain USB drive properties ;)

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