Windows XP Install on replacement disk

Good evening everybody.

I have a dell computer app. 10 years old. There are 2 hard disks, an IDE disk 75.5 GB,
and an external USB disk 300 GB.

The IDE disk has two FAT partitions. The first partition is 500MB DOS6.2 . The second partition is 75MB and has Windows XP installed.

The IDE disk is starting to fail - Error messages are appearing to check disk for faulty sectors etc.

I plan to replace the disk and partition and reformat as before.

My problem is that my XP CD version is rather elderly, but the system has been continuously updated on line by Microsoft. If I reinstall XP from the CD I will lose all these updates.

I am looking for advice. Question: Can I copy the contents of the IDE disk on to the
USB disk and then reinstall on to the new IDE disk. I realise, of course, that I will have a problem setting up the boot system.

It's been sometime since I was involved in setting up computers (I am retired). However, i seem to remember that with Windows NT, one could set up the boot system fairly easily.

I would be most grateful for any advice

you can create an image of your current set up, on a different drive and then you could install that drive as the boot device and get rid of your old drive, or you can copy files over and then place those files back.

but once you reinstall xp, you can still get the updates through Microsoft updates, unsupported means no new updates but you can still get all the ones that were issued.

to work microsoft updates the installation has to be at service pack 3, what is the service pack of your installation cd???
> Elizabeth23

Many thanks for your replay.

I have Service Pack 1a. When I re-install using this CD, obviously all the drivers will be out of date. What directory, exactly, do I need to copy from my existing system to ensure that I have an up-to-date copy of the drivers?

When I have re-installed XP, how can I replace the old drivers with my up-to-date copy?

I also believe that one can create a bootable CD using the files on the existing drive - the drivers would then presumably be up-to-date. Would you recommend this approach?

Many thanks


above is the download site for all dell pc's, you would enter the service tag number and the drivers will be specific to your pc, if you choose to analyse the pc, you will have to have .net 4, client and extended installed

your service tag number is on the COA sticker on your pc casing.

I would download these and save to a flash drive or a cd , then they are ready to install when you have reinstalled xp


there is a certain order to install dell drivers, also do not use the download manager at dell, download and save to your desktop and from there to a flash drive or a cd.

read the above for info


Microsoft updates needs sp3 to work, since you have sp1a, then you can go direct to sp3

(as long as sp1 and/or sp2 are install you can go to sp3 directly)

download sp3 and save to a flash drive or a cd, ignore the part about it being for IT only:

Note: if your pc is a 64 bit system then you will need sp2 and NOT sp3. to tell if you have 64 or 32 bit go to start, right click on My computer, and choose properties, on the general tab if you do not see 64bit anywhere then you have a 32bit and will need sp3.

Reboot twice after installing.

you can slipstream sp3 onto your installation cd by the following process:

How to slipstream Dell cd with xpsp3

Insert the Dell Windows XP CD into the CD or DVD drive. Choose "Open folder to view files" from the pop-up menu to launch Windows Explorer.

Make 3 new folders on c:, xpcopy, xpsp3 and boot image

Download Windows XP Service Pack 3 from the Microsoft Download Center and save to a new folder (xpsp3) on c:

Go to cmd prompt, type cd \, enter, type cd xpsp3, enter

Type windowsxp-kb936929-sp3-x86-enu.exe -x:c:\xpsp3 into the prompt. Press "Enter" to extract the contents of the Service Pack to the folder.

Click "OK."

Return to Command Prompt. Type "cd i386" and "cd update" into Command Prompt.

Press "Enter" after each command.

Type "update.exe /integrate:c:\XPCopy" into Command Prompt. Press "Enter" to slipstream Windows XP SP 3 into your copy of the Dell Windows XP Home CD.

Click "OK." Download Bart's Boot Image Extractor (BBIE) to your computer. Double-click the file and extract the files to a folder stored to your hard drive. Do not extract the file to the directories "XPSP3" or "XPCopy."

Launch Command Prompt. Type in "bbie <disc drive>:" and press "Enter." Replace "<disc drive>" with the letter assigned to your CD or DVD drive.

BBIE will extract the boot image from the Windows XP CD and send it to the folder where BBIE is saved.


you can use imgburn or nlite to burn to a cd and make the iso image bootable

read each install page carefully as you do not want to install any extra software with imgburn and/or nlite:
main, requirements, and 3 parts guide for using nlite
forums, read all the pinned threads, to see if they apply to you
definitely read these faq’s

above are some info links on nlite and below are some info links for imgburn:

Many thanks indeed for your lengthy reply.

I will have to carefully plan the procedure.

Can I make a copy of the existing Windows XP CD. Will the copy be bootable?
I would like to have a copy in case I make any errors when updating the install disk?

Best regards,

you can choose to make it bootable with either imgburn or nlite


your original install cd will not change, you will be burning onto a new cd


to make a copy of your install cd as is, just copy the contents to your harddrive, have imgburn extract your boot image from the install cd in your cdrom drive, once this is done, then you can insert your new cd , create an iso image from your cd contents that are on your harddrive, and then have imgburn burn the iso image to a cd and make it bootable,


read the guides for both nlite and imgburn, thoroughly before starting, then if you have any questions let me know and I will try to help


I have created an install cd with sp3 slipstreamed onto it from my own dell install cd for my dimension 3000. I do not have the drivers slipstreamed in because I do not know how to tell the cd to install the drivers in a particular order, but I do have my drivers downloaded and saved to a flash drive ready when I need them for my next reinstall.


I am also using autopatcher to have the microsoft updates predownloaded and ready to install offline
user instructions


There are also good reports for the website below, which also will predownload the updates for slipstreaming onto a cd, I have not done this because I do not see how it can get all those updates onto one cd! :)

but it would be like having a full install they are calling xpsp4. I might try it one day.
> Elizabeth23

Hello again.

I have a problem. When I downloaded the BBIE file, I unzipped it. I then double clicked on the BBIE.exe file. A window opened for a moment and then shut down immediately. No error messages appeared. Any ideas? Could the problem lie with the WINRAR unzipper?

If I wanted to clone the existing disk to a new disk, in your experience is the HD CLONE program OK?

Many thanks

you will do this step at the time it is listed in the instructions, you are not opening the file, you are extracting to your c: drive, do not do any thing else with it until you are ready to create you cd, then follow the instructions above, the issue you had is normal as it is not ready to be used yet.


I have not used hd clone or any imaging software as I do not have a spare drive, read the list of software in my second reply after this one.
2nd reply: Courtesy of Jose Ibarra

Here are some products that other forum users suggest might be appealing. Use Google to find them and read about their features, and capabilities. Some have free versions or you can purchase them to get more features:

If you have a Western Digital drive, you can get a version of Acronis True Image free from WD:

Or you can obtain backup and cloning software separately (this is not a comprehensive list and is no particular order; some are free, others not):

Acronis True Image Home
Easeus ToDo Backup Free
Paragon Drive Copy or Partition Manager Personal
Norton Ghost

Some disk cloning software ideas for you to Google:

Marcium Reflect Free
Acronis True Image Home 11
Easeus ToDo Backup
Paragon Drive Copy or Partition Manager Personal
Norton Ghost

Whatever method you choose, it is prudent to test your method from end to end to be sure it works.

You can create a temporary folder somewhere on your system and copy a bunch of files into it, perform your backup, then delete the temporary folder and be sure that you can recover it from your backup.

The day you need your backup/restore process to work is not the day to find out it doesn't work.
> Elizabeth23

Many thanks once again for all the information. I'm afraid that I believe in being ultra careful. I like to understand exactly what I'm doing. I would like to ask you a few more questions:

Question 1

Is this correct?

a. To clone a disk, I need a bootable CD
b. The cloning software must be installed on the bootable CD

Question 2
If I boot-in using a bootable CD, will the various Windows functions/programs be useable -assuming that Windows XP is installed.

Question 3

I believe it is possible to boot from a flash drive? Does one need to update the BIOS to achieve this?



for a dell it depends on your pc, mine I have to insert my bootable flash drive and press F12 at the dell logo, this will show a menu with usb as a boot device when I have a usb boot device already inserted.

some pcs especially laptops it is already in the bios, boot order and you can just change the order of boot device, save changes, and exit , then what ever cd you have in the drive or usb in the port it will boot from that.

what is the make , model, and model number of your pc, desktop or laptop??


when you boot to a cd or usb, then you are within that environment, therefore unless you format your cd drive, when you remove the boot device your original hard drive with the xp is still there, you have not touched it.


You need an external drive or a second drive installed

you need cloning software installed on your main drive

you are confusing creating a bootable device and a program that will image a bootable disk.


if you still have questions fire away. :)
Last edited:

Many thanks once again. I am confusing yourself and myself by trying to kill too many birds with the one stone.

To clarify, I am trying to clone the primary hard drive in my Dell computer to a new WD 250 GB hard drive. WD provide cloning software. (Acronis)

I was under the impression that this software would have to be installed on a bootable CD.
My reasoning was that I could not see how a disk could be cloned when the cloning software was in use on the source disk - how could a file copy itself when it is open?


My other problem had to do with an AST bravo MS5100 computer (486) . This computer has two hard disks. It is multiple boot. Windows 95 is installed on the primary disk.
Windows NT and Windows NT server is installed on the second disk. The computer's
BIOS only provides options to boot from floppy or hard disk. The CD drive is read only.
I want to remove the NT components and clone the primary (Win95) to the secondary.

Will I be able to install cloning software on the primary drive and use it to clone the disks?

I appreciate that this is an XP Forum and will understand if you can not deal with this question.

Will a CD read only drive be able to read software recorded on an RW disk?



Click on the Download Now button in the upper right corner.
On the Language page, choose the language version of software you want to download.
Download the Acronis True Image WD Edition Software to your computer.
Make sure you close all programs, and click on the EXE file. The install wizard will carry you through the installation process.
You will need to reboot your computer once the installation is completed.

from here

please read the above and follow the instructions on the wizard when it appears.


read several articles at above search page, I have no experience with these OS's, but you cannot use the acronis as xp is the earliest it supports, there may be an earlier version of acronis that you might be able to download and use but not the one that is for the WD harddrive.