cloning OS & making a bootable cd of XP

September 9, 2010 at 01:02:49
Specs: Windows xp, 2 gb
You all will probably hate me after reading this. I have been assigned an unenviable task by several family members to get their No-name XP systems cleaned up and running again,(Computer 1) has a hard disk going bad and (Computer 2) keeps getting the dreaded BSOD & shows to have malware that I cannot clean. Both have valid product keys. On #1 I want to clone the system to an external drive & then replace the bad drive with a new, larger capacity one and on #2 I think my only option is re-installing XP. Neither have copies of their OS on cd. I have done fresh installs of XP in the past but in each case I have used a cd copy of XP. I have spent days reading & reading on these subjects & now I am more confused than ever and find I have more questions than answers.
Here are my questions. (1a) If I understand correctly I cannot clone a system to a USB external drive & be guaranteed the mother board will let me make the USB drive a bootable device. Therefore is my only option to install the new drive as a slave, clone(using Acronis True Image) the bad drive to the new one, then make the new one master and remove the old one. (1b) Can you clone to a cd (or dvd) and it be bootable (1c) If this was a laptop Could I clone to a usb drive , install the new drive as a slave in a good working PC system using a laptop to desktop adapter, copy the cloned usb drive to the slave drive, remove it from that system and reinstall it back in the original system & make it master and boot up from it. Or will the product key keep me from doing this? I can;t see where the product key would come into this scenario since the original OS would end up in the original computer.and would never have been booted from while it was a slave on the desktop.
Now if all that isn't enough to make your head spin let me ask about the second computer in question (#2a)Since I don't have a copy of XP cd although I do have a valid product key could I make a bootable Windows XP Setup Disk on computer #1 and install it in #2 using the product key from #2? If not what options do I have to do a fresh install on #2. I have access to numerous copies of Xp but they are all either Dell Or HP so I don't think they would work in a No-Name. (#2b)In making a bootable copy of XP I read that the I386 files would be of an earlier version of XP and I would have to slipstream SP3 into them. Since I don't know what version of XP the computer came with originally do I have to slipstream SP2 first and then SP3 or only SP3? I know that I will have to make a driver disk as well.
When all this is over if I don't blow them up I hope to have 2 clean computers each with a bootable copy of its operating system. I don't want to have to go through this again. I hope my questions are understandable & not too dumb to be asking. It's very complicated for someone who has never done it. Thank you all in advance. for your time & help.

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September 9, 2010 at 06:34:53
1 - Why would you clone to an external? If the old HDD is still operational, just install a new internal HDD along with the existing HDD, then clone the old drive to the new drive using the new HDD manufacturer's software. If a disc isn't included with the new drive, go to the manufacturer's site & download a copy. Then all you have to do is boot off the disk & perform the cloning.

2 - An XP CD is an XP CD. As long as you have a valid product key, it doesn't matter where you get the disc from, as long as it's the right version (Home or Pro). Try the torrents.

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