Making An XP Full Install Disc From An XP Upgrade Disc

Suppose you’ve got one of the new Macs, with an Intel processor, and want to install Windows XP to dual boot, using the nifty new tools that Apple released today, but you notice that they say you have to have a full XP disc, and all you have is an upgrade disc? Is all hope lost?

I’ve been doing some reading on this requirement. The reason for it is that there isn’t a way to eject the CD during the install, and so, if you are using an upgrade disc, you are screwed when it asks to see proof that you are entitled to install the upgrade.

A possible solution is to burn a new XP install CD that merges your upgrade CD and the CD that you would use to prove eligibility for the upgrade. This turns out to be fairly easy. This turns out to be fairly easy. I’ll use the Win98 CD as the proof CD, but something similar should work for other possible proof CDs.

These instructions assume you are on Linux. (If you don’t have Linux handy…it’s only a live CD away).

1. Make a directory, newcd, and copy everything from your Windows XP CD to newcd.

2. In newcd, make two subdirectories, named drivers and win98.

3. Copy all the files from the win98 directory on your Win98 install CD to your newcd/win98 directory. You do not need any of the subdirectories of win98, just the files.

4. You need to grab the boot image from the XP CD. How to do that is described at himinbi.org. Save that boot image as newcd/boot.img.

5. Make an ISO image of newcd:

mkisofs -relaxed-filenames -d -D -l -N -o newcd.iso -b boot.img -c boot.cat -no-emul-boot newcd

6. Burn newcd.iso to a disc, using your favorite ISO burning software.

You should now be able to install without having to swap discs. This is still the upgrade edition of XP, so it will ask for proof of eligibility, but you can just hit ENTER.

BTW, when it is checking for proof of eligibility, it doesn’t necessarily look at the contents of the files in the win98 directory. It just looks at the names. So, if you want to save space on the disc, say to make room to slipsteam SP2 in, you can try this:

cd newcd/win98
for i in *
do
> $i
done

That will truncate each file to 0 bytes. Do that before you make the ISO image.

NOTE: Here are instructions for slipstreaming SP2.

NOTE: I have now had a chance to try a disc made according to the above instructions, from an upgrade Windows XP Pro disc + a Windows 98 disc + slipstreamed SP2. It installed fine on my 20″ iMac, and I’m typing this from Windows right now on that Mac.

UPDATE: An 80 min CD-R is big enough to allow you to skip truncating the files from the win98 directory.

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4 Responses to Making An XP Full Install Disc From An XP Upgrade Disc

  1. YoramIH says:

    Unfortunatelt, I am not that Linux savvy. Is there aneasier way to install my Windows XP Upgrade CD on my Boot Camp partition? (I have a genuine copy of Windows 98 and of Windows 95)

  2. tzs says:

    Click the link I gave for instructions on slipstreaming SP2. That tells you how to copy files from your XP CD and slipstream SP2, and then how to make an ISO and burn it, all on Windows. When you are at the point where you are going to create the ISO, make the drivers and win98 directories like I described, and copy in the appropriate files from your Win98 CD. Use an 80 minute CD-R, so you don’t have to bother with truncating the Win98 files.

    I haven’t tried this, but it seems like it should work.

  3. Tylo says:

    This worked like a charm. I did it with win95. The same steps apply.

    Two notes:

    1) Don’t forget to make the drivers folder. I accidently looked over that my first few attempts.

    2) In the himinbi.org tutorial, in the very last step “Extracting the image”, your LOAD RBA hex value may not be 0x125 like it was for him. Mine was actually 0x14C.

  4. hello,
    the above blog really helped me.
    it worked great for me with win98 and win95.
    thanks a ton.

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