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Hi all,

i've been searching for several days now but i can't seem to find the answer.

problem is as follows:

i want to make a (hidden) partition which can be booted to to reinstall Windows in classic mode.

the behaviour of the setup should be the same as usual during an installation with a unattended cd.

i've put an extra disk in my computer and the configuration can be seen as below:

HDD1 80 GB | partition 1: 40 Gb | partition 2: 40 Gb

HDD2 120 GB | partition 1: 110 Gb | partition 2: 10 Gb

on HDD2;part2 i've put all the installation files from the xp cd to test if it even comes with some information i can wrk with but its nothing yet.

to get some sort of boot menu i've edited the boot.ini (hdd1;part1 contains already an xp installation) of xp which can be seen below:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /noexecute=alwaysoff
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\I386="Microsoft Windows XP **reinstall**" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /noexecute=alwaysoff

when i boot and select the option 2 (reinstallation) i get the following error:

windows couldn't start becausethe following file is missing or corrupt:
<windows root>\system32\hal.dll

please reinstall a copy of the above file

of course, when selecting option 1 Windows will load :)

i want the partition not to contain a ghost file because i'm planning this on multiple machines and i want to be able to reinstall the applications whenever i like from the 'source folder'

also, when new drivers are available (e.g, for new hardware) the drivers can be planted right into the partition so it will be installed the next time a reinstallation is needed.

i've seen some topics about installing XP from an usb stick so in my eyes this shouldn't be so hard.

can somebody help me? :blushing:

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You simply cannot expect NTLDR and a BOOT.INI pointing to \I386 to load a Windows SETUP.

You need to load SETUPLDR.BIN in the \I386 directory to start an XP install.

Your best bet is to use grub4dos to do that, and also to exchange the mapping of drives in order to keep the "normal" drive lettering and/or use a migrate.inf file.

There are already a couple of related topics:



You will need to read the info within the "Install XP from USB" forum:


going through the "historical" thread:


Most probably using a PE on the Recovery partition:


would be easier and faster to achieve successfully.


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after some researching the Grub4dos i've managed to make a new boot selection screen which have the choices to start windows or to reinstall windows.

starting windows works fine. :thumbup

BUT.. when i want to reinstall i get the following error:

inf file TXTSETUP.SIF is corrupt or missing. status 14

setup cannot continue. press any key to continue...

in the menu.lst all is fine (i guess)

as example:

title xp reinstall
root (hd1,2)
chainloader /i386/setupldr.bin

does anyone have a clue?

thanks for helping me further :thumbup

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Your best bet is to use grub4dos to do that, and also to exchange the mapping of drives in order to keep the "normal" drive lettering and/or use a migrate.inf file.

Really, you need to read the given thread:


(Yes, LOOONG thread ;))

To understand what you need to do, the error you are having is just the first of a series that you will get, and that have been found and solved or worked around during the troubleshooting of the batrches/method.

Again, using this method:


would be simpler.


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