This method of installing a hard drive costs about $20, but it is guaranteed to work every time.
Use the following steps:
1. Put the hard drive into a desktop PC (Buy a laptop to IDE converter. I recommend www.tigerdirect.ca.)
2. Format the drive to FAT32. (You can always switch it to NTFS later with a program such as Partition Magic.)
3. Copy I386 folder from the Windows XP CD onto the laptop hard drive.
4. Put smartdrv.exe in the root directory. (This speeds up DOS transers.)
5. Install DOS 7.10 on the drive. (This is a free download, but I suggest putting your laptop hard drive in IDE 1 to be sure of its detection on startup.)
6. Put the hard drive back into the laptop.
7. When you turn on the laptop, DOS should load. Otherwise, select it from the list.
8. Run smartdrv.exe. (Type C:\smartdrv.exe at the command prompt.)
9. Run a 16 bit Windows XP installer. (Type C:\I386\winnt.exe)
10. Now, let the laptop sit. Even if it appears to stall, it will continue. Some older hard drives do not spin very fast and need time to load (Waiting 5-10 minutes is not unreasonable *with smartdrv.exe installed. You can expect longer without it)
11. Follow the Windows installer directions.
(The total time, depending on computer speed, is one to two hours, though most of this is waiting for Windows XP to install.)
*You will now have DOS and Sindows on the drive. You can remove DOS or leave it. This is a matter of preference.
**The best part about this installation method is it is much cheaper than buying an external drive, as long as you have access to a desktop computer.
***Any questions or comments about this installation method can be sent to: [email protected]