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Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous


Windows 9x Installation
Version 1.09 (Revisions)

Windows

Windows
Win XP
EXE

Windows XP
Clean Installing
Windows XP
Installing Win9x
with XP

Windows XP is a cool new operating system. But, no matter how good a product is, it also comes with its
own fair share of headaches.
DISCLAIMER: Proceed at your own risk! The information here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I
will not be held responsible if this document causes your computer to explode or burst into flames. In real
serious terms, if any corruption of data, hardware damage or any other kind of damage/losses/etc. arises
from the use of this document, I will not be responsible for it. If you don't like this, please don't read any
further.
This document outlines the steps of how to install
Windows XP in a computer with a Win9x operating
system. Basically, it shows how to backup stuff, delete
the previous OS and install XP without formatting the
hard disk.

Installing XP in
DOS
Dual Booting 2
OS's
Creating Home
Network

For those geeks who just want to install XP


straight from MS-DOS without the necessary
preparations (or if you have done it), go here.

Review of Windows
XP

Is this document intended for you?

Windows XP FAQ
1. You want to install a new copy of XP while avoiding
formatting and upgrading from your current OS of
Win9x/XP.

other sections

2. You don't want to [re]partition your hard disk for


backup purpose.

Articles
Genetic
Engineering
Greeting Cards
COMEX 2013
Singapore

Introduction

Nokia N95 NSeries

Before you begin, please read through the Notes. By now, you probably know that invoking the
SETUP.EXE from the DOS Prompt will shoot you with a shocking message "This program cannot be
run in DOS Mode". Many people simply install a new OS by just inserting the CD and selecting the
Upgrade option. This brings unnecessary problems. Some are even scared of The Command
Prompt!

Past Projects

Amazon has some good books on getting to know Windows XP better.

Laughter HELL!

PHP AJAX Domain


Availability Checker

This document outlines the steps of how to install Windows XP in a computer with a Win9x operating
system. Basically, it shows how to backup stuff, delete the previous OS and install XP without

Planescape:
http://bootstrike.com/WindowsXP/dosinstalling.php#step3[02/07/2013 10:09:28]

Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous Windows 9x Installation - Bootstrike.Com

formatting the hard disk. Started 3rd December 2001.


Torment
Ultima Worlds
Windows XP

Many links here point to a file or folder in your hard drive, Internet Explorer will prompt a Download
Style dialog box when you click at such a link. If Internet Explorer displays a blank page, it indicates
that the folder or file cannot be found. Netscape 4.5 is a tad bit smarter and tells you if the folder or
file cannot be found via a dialog box.

Windows Vista
More...

singapore
services

If it works for you, congrats. If it didn't work for you, please post your problem in the Windows XP
Discussion Forum. You'll be helping future beginners, and I'll be checking often.

Quick Directs

Singapore Web
Design SEO

1. If you want to BACKUP your personal files (Favourites (US - Favourites), Mp3s, Internet
downloads) locally, delete your previous OS files and install Windows XP, proceed to Step 1.

Singapore PC /
Computer / Laptop
Repair Service

2. If you want to DELETE Windows 9x completely and install Windows XP, proceed to Step 2.

Video Conversion
Hi8 Video8 miniDv
VHS to DVD
Service

German
German

3. If you want to INSTALL Windows XP from DOS without deleting your previous OS (or you're
performing a clean install), proceed to Step 3.
However, it is best to read through Step 1 to 3 to get an idea of the whole process.

1) Backup
1. BACKUP important files to another hard disk (or a zip disk, CD-R, etc.). You can also backup to files
to another folder in your hard disk drive, just ensure the folder is not in Program Files or any
other Windows folders. Basic installation guideline for hard disks:
1. Set the hard disk jumpers to Slave mode (refer to the sticker(or manual) on the HD).

Translate!

2. Connect IDE cable (the wide white cable) of any device to the hard disk. Do NOT disconnect the
cable from your current hard disk, just connect the black connector at the end or centre to the
backup hard disk and a spare power cable.
3. Start computer, go to BIOS (Usually some key (or combo) needs to be pressed in setup), AutoDetect IDE Drives, save and restart.
4. If the hard disk cannot be found, check connections and power. The position of the black
connector also matters.
2. Backup the important program files (popular programs listed here)
1. Kazaa downloaded and pending downloads (go to Shared Folder of Kazaa, copy the folder
contents, this will also copy downloads that hasn't been completed too!)
2. Mp3s (your mp3 folder, or the My Music folder in My Documents folder)
3. Favourites (go to the Favourites folder of Internet Explorer and copy the files, for Netscape, I
believe there's a Save As feature in the bookmark editing program. There's another way of
saving Favourites in IE, click on File, Import and Export and save the Favourites (and cookies if
you want) to the backup folder.)

Microsoft Windows XP
Professional Se...
Microsoft Software...
Best Price $99.99
or Buy New $99.99

4. Internet Explorer Cookies (File > Import & Export > Cookies)
5. My Documents folder (not that necessary, as it is outside of the Windows folder)
6. Game save games (usually saves are located in a special folder in the game folder in the
Program Files folder, copy those). Some are also contained in your My Documents folder.

Privacy Information

7. Icq contact lists (Just copy the 2000b (or 2000a) folder in ICQ. Note: latest version of 2000b
stores the contact list in the icq server, but this way, you still save the history and chat files.)
8. Outlook Express messages. (Start OE, Tools > Options > Maintenance > Store Folder. Copy and
paste the link into the Explorer address bar and backup those files)
9. WebShots photos. (copy the contents of this folder, or go to the Collections folder in the
Webshots folder.

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Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous Windows 9x Installation - Bootstrike.Com

10. Password files such as your website passwords, etc. For WS_FTP Limited Edition, just copy the
WS_FTP.INI file from here.
11. Do NOT backup files to your desktop, save them in a folder that is not within Windows and
Program Files, such as a folder called "Backup" in the root of the drive ("C:\").

2) Deleting Windows 9x
1. DOUBLE-CHECK that you made a backup of the important settings files. This erasing will
remove your Program Files folder and Windows folder.
2. Copy the file DELTREE.EXE from the C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND folder into the root folder
("C:\"). This utility makes it easy to delete whole folders (or directories) and sub-folders (or
sub-directories).
3. Copy the file SMARTDRV.EXE from the C:\WINDOWS folder into the root folder ("C:\"). This
utility is used to speed up installations and deletion of large files (up to 500% faster).
4. Make a boot disk (Windows ME bootdisk recommended). Test it to make sure it allows
you to access your CD-ROM Drive, unless you have copied the files in the i386 folder to your
hard drive. If you're not installing from hard disk, make sure the boot disk allows you to access
your CD-ROM Drive when you use it. Make sure your boot disk WORKS (ie. no read errors or
spoilt disks).
5. With the disk in the floppy drive, restart the computer. Choose CD-ROM Support if you're
installing from CD-ROM or the Without CD-ROM Support option if you're installing from your
hard disk. If you don't understand, just choose CD-ROM Support.
6. You should be in the A:\> prompt.
7. Enter the following commands highlighted in BLUE, after each line, hit Enter.
1. C: (Changes to your C Drive, substitute C with the drive where it contains the
SmartDrive utility if your drive is different)
2. CD\ (Changes to your root folder, append the folder name if you copied it into some
other folder, an example would be CD\UTILITIES, which means you stored Smartdrive
in the Utilities folder)
3. SMARTDRV (Loads SmartDrive to memory, speeds up deleting files and installing
Windows XP. On successfully loading, it will just display a blank line. You can type
SMARTDRV again and it should show you the status.)
4. CD\ (to go back to the root folder, if you are in other folders)
5. DELTREE PROGRA~1 (DELETES your Program Files folder and contents, press Y to
the confirmation message)
6. DELTREE WINDOWS (DELETES your Windows folder and contents, press Y to the
confirmation message)
8. At this point, you've basically deleted windows. But, if you want to further clean up the hard
disk, enter DELTREE *.* and press Y to any folder and files that you think you don't need.
This includes IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM and all those files that you were
forbidden to delete. Do not delete the backup folders or any other folder you
want to protect such as DOS Games, Mp3s and Internet downloads. Try to
clean up the Hard disk by deleting useless files and folders that the previous OS dumped.
9. You're done deleting your previous installation of Windows.

3a) Installing Windows XP (In Bootup)


If you are installing from hard drive, skip to Step 3b.
1. Insert the Windows XP Cd in the drive.
2. Remove the floppy and restart your computer. If you know how to set up the BIOS such that it

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Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous Windows 9x Installation - Bootstrike.Com

boots from the CD, set it up now. If not just go to the next step.
3. You should see a prompt "Press any key to boot from CD.." asking to you press a
key to enter Setup. Do so. If that prompt does not come, it means the system failed to boot
from CD. Proceed to Step 3b.
4. Perform the installation with the following in mind
1. When asked to choose the partition to install to, select the C drive.
2. When asked about the file system choose "Leave the current file system intact (no
changes)"
5. Follow instructions and you're on your way to getting the Windows eXPerience. Happy
installing! Do not go to Step 3b.

3b) Installing Windows XP (In DOS)


1. Restart the system with the floppy in the drive and enabled CD-ROM support.
2. If you've not done Step 2.7 where it involves loading SmartDrive, load it by:
1. C: (Changes to your C Drive, replace substitute C with the drive where it contains the
SmartDrive utility if your drive is different)
2. CD\ (Changes to your root folder, append the folder name if you copied it into some
other folder, an example would be CD\UTILITIES, which means you stored Smartdrive
in the Utilities folder)
3. CHECK: The prompt should now look like this: C:\>
4. SMARTDRV (Loads SmartDrive to memory installing Windows XP. On successfully
loading, it will just display a blank line. You can type SMARTDRV again and it should
show you the status.)
3. Assuming you're installing from the CD-ROM, enter the following commands highlighted in
BLUE, after each line, hit Enter.
1. E: (Changes to your CD-ROM Drive, substitute E for the drive if it is something else)
2. CD\I386 (Changes to your Windows XP Setup folder)
3. CHECK: The prompt should now look like this: E:\I386>
4. WINNT (Starts the DOS Installation program.)
4. At this point, Windows XP Setup may complain if you don't have SmartDrive loaded. The CD
files will be copied to your hard disk and your computer restarted to the main setup program.
Follow instructions and you're on your way to getting the Windows eXPerience. Happy
installing!
After the XP installation is completed, play around with the new environment. You have to reinstall
the programs back and move the backed up files back. Try to get updated versions of the programs
and drivers from the developer's site.

Notes
1. Microsoft has released a file that creates Boot Disk Floppies for installing Windows XP. There is a
special version for Home Edition and for the Professional Edition. I didn't attempt this as it required 6
floppy disks , installing from the CD (or hard drive) is better . However, this (and booting from CD)
gives more options in the Setup program, such as formatting your C Drive with NTFS or FAT32 or
converting the drive to NTFS.
2. The SmartDrive utility can be found in your Windows 95/98/ME installation CD.
3. In the FAT32 and NTFS selecton screen, if you are not sure, stick with NTFS as it gives better
performance.

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Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous Windows 9x Installation - Bootstrike.Com

4. If you're facing problems after installation of Windows XP, check out my Windows XP Frequently
Asked Questions.

Revisions
1. 3 Feb 2006
Installing from hard drive works! Make sure you copied the i386 folder fully.
2. 27 Aug 2005
Removed Windows 2000/XP references as this guide cannot be used to reinstall them since
most are using NTFS file system.
3. 02 April 2004
Added a faster way of installing from the CD
4. 5th January 2003 - Version 1.00 - 1.07
Added another way of backing up Internet Explorer Favourites.
DELTREE.COM should be DELTREE.EXE.
Fixing of some spelling errors, highlighting of important points and restructuring of the
Introduction.
Added support info for Windows 2000 Operating Systems and the new forum link.
5. 3rd December 2001 - Version 1.00
First Release to the public in Bootstrike.Com.
Errors? Omissions? Need Help? Know something? Post your queries in the Windows XP Discussion Forum.
You may be interested in our other Windows XP guides. including a comprehensive FAQ, dual booting with
Windows 98 and how to dual boot with formatting.
This document is Copyright() 2001-2004 by G.Ganesh.

18 comments
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Adewale
(1 posts)

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Thanks for this great tip. I didn't know that smartdrv was in the windows 98 installation
CD. I found it and loaded it into RAM.
posted 29 Jul 2011

Muzammal
(1 posts)

the people who are getting extremely slow installation probably missed loading
smatrdrv.exe anyhow I have been doing this since winxp was launched because I always
run all the .exe files I find and try out their result.
a tip for those who have NTFS partitions is that there is a utility called NTFSDOS.EXE
which makes NTFS partitions visible and usable on DOS.
another way is powerquest's PQMAGIC.EXE with which you can convert an NTFS
partition into FAT32 partition without any data loss but you will lose some long file

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Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous Windows 9x Installation - Bootstrike.Com

names. I do not recommend it because there is NTFSDOS.EXE


by the way I have uploaded all three files on rapid share
posted 18 Mar 2011

Anonymous
Unregistered

thank aint finished yet but seems to have done the trick im doing it from a usb stick 4gb
thanks m8
posted 31 Aug 2009

apri
(1 posts)

thanks mate , you save the day


mine are laptop with no cd or flopy only hdd (kind a wierd because ) very little even from
ordinary laptop HDD,
posted 7 Aug 2009

Ben

Thanks... Dude you help me save my trouble

Unregistered
posted 11 Feb 2009

AG

Thanks..........that was a great support !!

Unregistered
posted 7 Sep 2008

Tom

You just helped save my laptop... Thanks :)

Unregistered
posted 22 Jul 2008

dos_mode

it is advisable to use a boot disk created from windows 98

Unregistered
posted 7 Jan 2008

Varitech

oh man, so much thanks, it is so simple, and didn't know it, again thank you

Unregistered
posted 24 Sep 2007

Laptop
User
Unregistered

Looks good, I tried the process on the laptop with no HD or floppy. I can't boot USB,
PCMCIA either. So I am totally stuck with installing on HD.
I formatted and installed Win98 DOS and copied I386 folder the HD and ran winnt on it.
However the XP install stop at the end finalizing the XP installation process. System just
freezes.

http://bootstrike.com/WindowsXP/dosinstalling.php#step3[02/07/2013 10:09:28]

Installing Windows XP in DOS Over a Previous Windows 9x Installation - Bootstrike.Com

I rebooted and same thing happens again from the beginning. Am I missing some other
files from the XP install CD? I am using one with the slipstream SP2 package and I am
not sure if I needed to copy other files that I am not aware of?
posted 13 Aug 2007 - show 1 replies

Alejandro

I searched for smartdrv in WINDOWS, and installation CD without success. Is there


anywhere else I can find it??

Unregistered

thanks
ps. my laptop's DVD drive is broken, I need to install from floppy
posted 17 May 2007

testdrive

I've run the "C:\I386>winnt" , but it did not start any installation. Can you please help me?

Unregistered
posted 19 Apr 2007 - show 1 replies

KH

I am not quite done with the install becasue it is taking forever, but I would have never
gotten this far without the information that your provided. Thanks!

Unregistered

posted 14 Apr 2007

Shaman

A champion article. I'm installing from a HD and it saved me sooo much trouble.

Unregistered
posted 14 Mar 2007

Jim

I'm turning an older Gateway Solo laptop into a digital photo frame. I was having trouble
getting past the "This program cannot be run in DOS Mode". This was a big help.
Thanks!

Unregistered

posted 9 Mar 2007

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