Eee PC Windows XP

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Install via DOS

This method is using a bootable USD drive to boot DOS and another drive to copy all the Windows XP installation files over to the internal Solid-State-Disk drive to finally begin the setup. The reason the setup files have to be copied over to the SSD is because the setup unloads the USB driver needed to run the setup.

Prepare Bootdisk

  1. Find a small USB drive (8-32 MB) to use for the bootdisk
  2. Download Phydiskwrite to write an image to the drive, extract the zip-file
  3. On this bootable disks list, download 'MS Windows XP System setup disk'
  4. Install Winrar and right-click on the wxpboot.exe executable and choose 'Extract to wxpboot'
  5. An error will show reporting the file is corrupt, ignore this message, all is well
  6. Move the WXPBOOT.IMA file to the same folder as Phydiskwrite
  7. Now to write the image to the USB drive, open a command-prompt in Start -> Run -> cmd, 'cd' to the Phydiskwrite folder
  8. Execute this command, phusdiskwrite.exe wxpboot.ima, a list of available disk drives will show
  9. It's important that you don't write to the wrong drive, so take a note of the list and disconnect the USB drive
  10. Press ctrl+c to exit Phydiskwrite and execute it again, now you know which one is missing and the correct drive
  11. Exit again and connect the USB drive, and execute Phydiskwrite. Select the correct drive number
  12. Now the DOS bootdisk is setup and ready

Prepare Windows XP Installation

  1. The the normal Windows XP setup is normally around 550 MB, find a suitable USB drive to fit the required files
  2. Either prepare the Windows XP setup using nLite, download my Eee PC config (don't remove the 'Manual setup' checkbox, else winnt.exe for DOS install will be removed), or just use a plain vanilla setup from the installation disc
  3. Copy the I386-folder over to the USB drive

Prepare SSD Drive

To install Windows XP using this method, the internal SSD drive has to be repartition and formatted.

  1. Connect the boodisk USB drive to the Eee and power-up. Leave the other USB drive disconnected.
  2. On the first POST screen, press ESC to get the bootdevice list
  3. Select the USB drive and boot to DOS
  4. Type fdisk to start the partition program
  5. Essentially delete all the partitions, there are 4, and create one large primary active partition, exit
  6. Insert the USB drive with the installation files and restart the Eee
  7. Boot from the bootdisk and format the new partition by typing format c:
  8. Create a new master boot record by executing fdisk /mbr

Install Windows XP

  1. Now the SSD is ready to be copied to.
  2. Create the i386 folder by typing md c:\i386 and start copying the setup files, xcopy b:\i386 c:\i368 /E
  3. It takes a while to copy all the files, let it finish
  4. Start the setup by cd c:\i368 and executing winnt.exe
  5. Follow the instructions and on the partition screen, select to use existing FAT32 partition (not formatting)
  6. Once Windows is installed, delete the c:\i386 folder to free some space

The free-space left on the SSD after installing my nLite'd Win XP install was 2.3 GB, of the total 3.7 GB. No paging-file used.

Drivers

These links points to the vendors website and normally has a newer and more update-to-date drivers than what Asus provides:

For all the other drivers, look Asus download ftp site, ftp.asus.com or ftp.asus.com.tw.

Download the drivers I used to set-up WinXP in July 2009.

Fix Bootsector

If Linux is installed after Windows, or vice versa, it can happen that the boot sector is written to the wrong drive because the internal drives and USB drives are aligned wrong in the Linux installer.

It's possible restore the Windows boot sector using the installation files. The boot sector is a part of the Master Boot Record which also holds the parition table information for the drive.

  1. Turn off or disable all internal drives except the drive with Windows installed
  2. Connect a external USB CD/DVD/HD drive to the Eee PC or find a 1GB or larger USB drive
  3. Boot up the Windows installation disc or put the Windows installation on a USB drive using XP3eSD
  4. Press 'r' to enter the repair mode and then '1' for the c:\windows installation
  5. Now, to restore the boot sector execute fixboot
  6. Type exit and wait for the installation to quit and reboot the machine
  7. Enable the other drives and press 'ESC' to select the Windows drive to boot

Customize Appearance

The normal Windows shell is somewhat large and not fitting for the Eee PC. There is a complete customizing package called XPize for Windows XP. One of the changes is the new themes in the display appearance control panel that it offers a two styles, fuzzy blue and smooth black, and a small option that cuts down the size of the start menu and window borders.

Related

References