Create Setup Boot Disks for Windows XP

by Daniel Petri - January 7, 2009

How can I create the Setup Boot floppies for Windows XP Pro/Home?

Windows XP Setup boot disks are available only by download from Microsoft. The Setup boot disks are available so that you can run Setup on computers that do not support a bootable CD-ROM. 

If your computer does support booting from a CD-ROM, or if network-based installation is available, Microsoft recommends that you use those installations methods instead.

Future products will no longer support installation via the setup boot disks. Installation of future Microsoft Operating Systems will require the ability to boot from the CD or PXE boot from Network. Setup boot disks that are provided for Windows XP are provided and supported on an as is basis.

The MAKEBOOT or MAKEBT32 tool we used on W2K isn't here anymore. Use these links to create the sets.

For the PRO edition (SP1 version, 4.29mb)

For the Home edition (SP1 version, 4.4mb)  

You can't use XP Home Edition boot disks with XP Pro or vice-versa, and you can use boot disks only for new installations, not to initiate an upgrade.

There are six Windows XP Setup boot floppy disks. These disks contain the files and drivers that are required to access the CD-ROM drive and begin the Setup process.

Creating the Setup Disks

When you download the Setup disks, the download contains only one large program file. When you run the downloaded file, it extracts the files. You receive the following prompt:

This program creates the Setup boot disks for Microsoft Windows XP. To create these disks, you need to provide 6 blank, formatted, high-density disks.

Please specify the floppy drive to copy the images to:

Type the drive letter for the floppy disk drive (this is typically drive A). After you type the floppy disk drive letter, you see the following prompt:

Insert one of these disks into drive drive letter:. This disk will become the Windows XP Setup Boot Disk.

Press any key when you are ready.

When you press a key, the downloaded file starts extracting and copying the files. Continue inserting the blank disks as you are prompted to do so until all six disks are created. If the process is interrupted you must run the downloaded program file again to create all six disks.

Make sure to label each disk appropriately with the number that is specified by the program. You will have to use the disks in the correct order during the Setup process.

Using the Setup Disks

After you create all six disks, insert the first disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart the computer. Note that the computer must be configured to boot from the floppy disk drive. In some cases, you may need to modify your computer's BIOS settings to do this.

The Setup process starts. Insert the other floppy disks as you are prompted to do so. Note that you will need to use the Windows XP CD-ROM to finish Setup.

Links

How to create a bootable CD for Windows XP

Cannot Log On to Recovery Console After Running Sysprep in Windows XP - 308402

Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks - 310994

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