Create Win2K network install image?
July 13, 2009 7:43 PM   Subscribe

How to simply create an install image for Win2K and place it on the network for another computer to install from?

I'm looking for a quick and dirty guide, or even a quick application to step me through the process of taking the Win2K installation CD and putting it onto the network to be installed onto a laptop that does not have a CD drive.
I have found too much information to be useful and all assume an administrator's level of experience or a corporate environment that I'm pushing service packs or the like.
Can someone simplify this for me?!

posted by mcarthey to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
The simplest way to do a one-off installation like this isn't through the network, but through a USB CDROM drive, assuming the laptop's BIOS supports booting to it.
posted by odinsdream at 8:05 PM on July 13, 2009

I would use an external CD drive if I had one. They're running about $80 now at Best Buy which I refuse to pay for. I have an external USB HD and was hoping I could just create an install image and boot from that.
posted by mcarthey at 8:09 PM on July 13, 2009

I agree. I have used the USB cd-rom method many times for this. Creating a PXE boot image and configuring that to work takes quite a bit of time and hassle.
If the BIOS supports a PXE boot, it should support installing from a USB cr-rom.
posted by Climber at 8:16 PM on July 13, 2009

If you have a spare cd-rom drive laying around, you can invest in one of these. They are invaluable to have around. Cheaper than a dedicated external drive, and more useful in the long run.
posted by Climber at 8:21 PM on July 13, 2009

I was going to explain the process, but then I decided to have a look around to see if I couldn't save myself the trouble.

I haven't read the whole thing, but it sounds like this might be what you're looking for. Sounds about right, from what I looked at.
posted by dinx2582 at 8:26 PM on July 13, 2009

That is to say, the information on there should be helpful. It's not beautifully organized, unfortunately.
posted by dinx2582 at 8:27 PM on July 13, 2009

dinx2582's suggestion should work.

If the external drive is formatted as fat32, it should also work. Boot with the floppy, delete the partition on the laptop. Meanwhile, copy the i386 folder from the install CD to the external drive on another machine, plug it into the target laptop, boot up with a floppy, change to the external drive, then the i386 folder, then run the setup program (presumably winnt.exe).

Or, get a hdd adapter and pull the hdd out of the laptop, plug it into another machine, delete and recreate the partitions, format the drive, copy the i386 folder to the new partition. Reinstall the drive in the laptop, boot with a floppy, run the setup.

(Will the machine boot from a USB stick? There are instructions out there for creating a bootable flash drive that you can copy the i386 folder to.)
posted by gjc at 6:34 AM on July 14, 2009

Sorry I never responded with a thumbs-up or down, but I ended up using Climbers answer. I had an old external harddrive enclosure that I cannibalized to connect an external CD drive to.
Thanks for the responses!
posted by mcarthey at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2009

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