View Full Version : Installing xp on laptop with no CD drive and no USB booting

15-03-2012, 12:27 PM
Hi I have an older Toshiba Portage with no CD drive. It has an USB port but can't boot from it.
The Windows installation has failed and I have formatted the 4.5 GB drive by using a HD caddy which plugs into my desktop computer via USB.
I have a copy of XP Home and licence but can't think of how to install it. There is no option it seems to install it from my desktop onto an external HD.
I expect is sees Windows 7 is installed on my desktop PC already.
Does anyone have an Idea how I can do this?
I think there are a small number of external CD drives the laptop can boot from but it's not worth finding the correct sort and buying one.

15-03-2012, 12:42 PM
Does it have a floppy drive at all? it should be possible to copy the windows CD onto the hard drive and then boot from a floppy to launch the setup program. I can remember doing it that way when I didn't have CD drivers for dos way back when. I think XP is the last OS that can be installed this way. It may even be possible to make the drive bootable from the caddy but I don't know how off the top of my head.

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2012, 12:46 PM
A floppy wouldnt hold the XP files. Its too small. And it doesnt have a CD

15-03-2012, 12:53 PM
No it doesn't have a floppy drive either. It would be like the modern net book of today but without being able to boot from the USB drive.

15-03-2012, 12:59 PM
I was talking about booting into dos from the floppy and then launching the setup program from the hard drive. I'm not sure if it would work or not.

Heres a round about suggestion that might work - make a bootable USB flash drive with the XP install files on it, connect it and the blank HDD to a computer that can boot from USB and start the windows installation process, when it finishes copying files and wants to restart shut it down and transfer the USB drive and HDD over to your machine, when you boot up it should continue the installation process. To be sure you won't muck up the other PC in the process disconnect it's existing HDD(s) first.

Speedy Gonzales
15-03-2012, 01:01 PM
You probably wouldnt get much on the hdd if its only 4.5 GB. You might get XP on it, but thats about it

15-03-2012, 02:38 PM
I only use the laptop for one program: Sandaysoft Cumulus Weather Station Software.
I download the weather history from a weather station every few weeks when I go to our crib.
It plenty big enough for the software.
I only have one other PC which is my desktop and would be a bit concerned with starting an XP install on it.
Also I tried a similar process to this and found the Install Windows grayed out which I decided was due to the installation seeing windows 7 already installed.

15-03-2012, 05:43 PM
I don't think there's much to be concerned about, like I said disconnect all other hard drives except the blank one. That way it's not possible to have any effect on the existing setup.

The trickiest part is creating a bootable usb install disk, and there are plenty of guides around for that.