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Booting XP Setup from Secondary Partition - HELP Please!

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Hi everyone, I have a current dilemma, and I was really hoping someone with the proper experience and/or expertise could help me out. Here is the situation---

My girlfriend has an HP laptop that is out of warrant by 4 months. A good friend of hers stepped on the CDROM drive's tray and broke the CDROM. I contacted HP to order a new one to replace it, but after finding out that it will cost around $400 for a new CDROM, I scratched that idea. (I have an external I am going to give her to use, she does not take it out much).

The dilemma I am in, is that her computer is in such bad shape, it desperately needs to be reformatted. I've run spyware/adware/malware/antivirus, registry cleaners, defraggers, removed junk software.. etc. but to no avail, it runs terribly slow (it's a Pentium M @ 2.0GHZ, 512MB RAM), and according to her, it runs nothing like it did when she bought it.

I have a copy of WinXP Pro I wanted to install, but the CDROM is broken. So I attempted to use the external CDROM, but the BIOS does not support booting from any USB device (including flash drives).

To bypass this, I used Partition Magic 8 to create a 2GB partition I labeled as drive "M:", and formatted it in FAT32, ripped the WinXP Pro CD to my computer, copied all the files to my flash drive and then copied them to the M: drive on her laptop.

My problem is, now I am stuck. I cannot figure out how to get the XP setup on M: to boot first, so it will run like the installation from the CDROM would. I believe there HAS to be SOME way to do this, and it's really my only option.

Stuck! Can anyone help me out? It would go MUCH appreciated! Thanks.
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I'm -pretty- sure that it's not possible, due to the way certain things in there are hard coded to look at the cd-rom device itself. As far as possible solutions for salvage...open 'er up and plug a cd-rom drive directly into the ide controller on the motherboard, remove when finished?
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    Tech Moderator

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onother option is to get hijackthis...the instructions are at the link...along with the download...run hijacktis and post the log in the security/post hijackthis logs here...after they get you cleaned up post back here and we can help get the speed back...

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    Je suis Napoléon!

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if this is an HP computer you should be able to press shift f10 (might be ctrl) during boot up to get to the recovery routine...you should be able to do a "factory reset" or destructive recovery to get the system back to the way it was out of the box
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