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How to Install the OEM Version Windows XP Professional
Last updated: 6/18/02

Q.  How Do You Install the Windows XP Pro OEM Version from the DOS Prompt?

A.  I install it on a new computer (or hard disk drive taken down to "bare metal") from the DOS prompt with a Windows 98 Startup floppy (http://duxcw.com/digest/Fromshop/software/windows/startup/startup.htm). Put a copy of smartdrv.exe on the Startup floppy. You should be able to find a copy on and existing Windows 9x/Me computer at C:\windows. It is on the CD’s in D:\win98.  Boot to the floppy and use fdisk to partition the drive (the process the same as that at http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/software/windows/upgrade/fdisk.htm. Format the C: drive. Do not install the system files. If you have more than one partition, they can be formatted during the Windows XP installation or with Windows XP after it is installed. Also, use fdisk to manually make C: active if there is more one partition. Load smartdrv.exe…

A:\>smartdrv.exe

.and run D:\i386\winnt.exe, where D: is your CD-ROKM drive.

Do not delete or reformat C: with this method.  Winnt.exe copies the install files to that partition. You can convert it to NTFS and that process is fast.  It should also work if the i386 directory is copied to a scratch hard disk and the hard disk is connected to the secondary IDE interface.

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer = a company that makes/markets computers (and parts), etc. which include parts made by other companies, and not the “original” manufacturer as OEM implies, just masquerading as one.  Licenses of OEM versions of Windows, etc. software are sold to computer manufactures for installation on new computers.  They are full versions of Windows, not upgrades.  They are widely available on the "grey market" and Internet and cost considerably less than retail full versions.  Just be careful not to purchase a pirated copy.

Windows XP FAQ Index

Windows FAQ Index

Also, see Windows Tips and Tricks.

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