I have no CD – how do I get at Windows XP setup?
I discussed in a prior article what to do if you have no installation CD for Windows XP. But now once
you’ve found your CD image – where’s the setup?
What you need will depend on what you’re attempting to do.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
If you want to make a change to your system configuration – perhaps
adding an accessory that you neglected at the original setup – then the
place to go is not setup, but the control panel:
- Settings (if you’re using classic start menu)
- Control Panel
- Add or Remove Programs
- Add or Remove Windows Components
That will bring up the dialog that’s extremely similar to setup in which
you can select the optional Windows components to add or remove.
If you’re looking to reinstall system files because you suspect
corruption what you really need is the System File Checker. This
utility validates that all of Windows’ system files are correct and
fixes those that are not:
- Type: “sfc /scannow” without the quotes followed by Enter
sfc may ask for your installation CD-ROM. (See
this article if you don’t have one.)
Finally, if you really, honestly and truly want to re-install windows,
the first step would be to run your installation CD.
If you don’t have one, you may have
an image of the CD on your hard disk. In the I386 directory are two
- winnt32.exe is the “32 bit” version of the character
mode Windows setup. You may be able to run this from within
- winnt.exe is the “16 bit” version of the character mode
Windows setup. Why a 16 bit version? If you can’t run winnt32.exe and
are able to boot from an MS-DOS floppy or are able to boot to Win9x
DOS mode, then this setup program will work for you.
WARNING: character.exe and winnt32.exe are the “start-from-scratch”, “do-it-all-over-setup” programs. Use them only if you want a
complete re-install of Windows – possibly losing any prior custom
configuration changes you made, depending on whether setup is
installing on top of and can understand a prior installation.