Apr 4, 2011

Upgrading from XP Embedded to XP Pro With no CD/DVD

We recently had a data collection system with a headless computer that sits in a rack. This computer has no CD/DVD/floppy etc. but it did have a USB port. The computer came with XP Embedded installed but we needed support for .NET 3.5 so we had to upgrade it to a full version of XP. This is a summary of how we did it using an iso image and a USB drive. 
    Put the Win XP ISO Image file on a USB stick and insert into the computer that has no media drive. Download the virtual cd control panel from Microsoft. Unzip the winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_xxx.exe file (xxx will be the version number). Then from the ReadMe.txt file Installation instructions ========================= 1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder. 2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe 3. Click “Driver control” 4. If the “Install Driver” button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open. 5. Click “Start” 6. Click OK 7. Click “Add Drive” to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click “Add Drive” until an unused drive letter is available. (In our case there is already a Z drive so click twice to get a Y Drive). 8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click “Mount”. 9. Navigate to the image file, select it, and click “OK”. UNC naming conventions should not be used, however mapped network drives should be OK.

    Additional things it's helpful to know

  1. Select the Persistent mount
  2. Go to explorer open the Y Drive (assuming in the steps above you picked the Y drive).
  3. Double-clicked Setup.exe Installation type – select new install. 
  4. Enter the product key. 
  5. Name the installation folder WinXpPro.
  6. Target the C drive for the installation. 
  7. Choose the option to NOT update over the internet.
  8. Pick the option to copy files from CD.
  9. Don’t upgrade to NTFS if the drive is already NTFS.
  10. The machine will restart and the setup will continue. Hit the Enter key when prompted.
  11. You don't have to create a new partition. Just put both OS’s on the same partition.

About Me

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.