Steps to Create a Bootable Windows Setup Disk from the I386 Directory/Folder
1.Create a temporary working folder at the root (top) of the C: drive called "XPSETUP" (without the quotes). Actually, you can name it anything you want and put it anywhere you like, but for ease of explanation, the remainder of the steps below will assume that you have created the XPSETUP folder in the root of drive C:. This C:\XPSETUP folder will be where you will create the CDROM directory structure for your bootable Windows CD.
2.Copy the entire C:\I386 to C:\XPSETUP. When you have finished, you will have C:\XPSETUP\I386. Notice that I said "copy", not "move". Do NOT drag and drop the I386 folder into the XPSETUP directory. If you do so, you may end up moving it into the XPSETUP folder (depending on where you created the XPSETUP folder). It is important to work from a copy of the I386 directory so that if you make mistakes, you can simply go back and start all over again. If you move the directory or drag and drop it, and you make a mistake, your mistake will be permanent. So once again, COPY the entire I386 folder to XPSETUP. It may take a while for the copy operation to complete, but it's safer this way.
If you're not sure how to copy, follow the following procedure: Highlight the I386 folder using Windows Explorer. Right-click the folder and select "Copy". Then open the XPSETUP folder. The folder should be empty at the moment. Right click the empty space in the window and click "Paste". A very lengthy copy procedure will take place.
To verify that you have copied the folder and not moved it, return to the top of C: and check that the I386 folder is still there and that the original files in that folder are still there.
3.Create an ASCII text file with only the word "Windows " (without the quotes and including the final space after the word "Windows") in it, followed by a new line. To do this, open up Notepad. Notepad can be found in your Start menu -> Programs -> Accessories -> Notepad. Type the word "Windows" without the quotes and following my case exactly (that is, "W" is a capital letter and the rest are in small letters). Then type one additional space. Finally, hit the ENTER key. Do not add anything else to this file. Do not change anything - for example, do not type everything in capital letters or anything like that. The contents of the file must be exactly as I said, or Windows setup will issue an error message.
Save the file with the filename "WIN51" (include the quotes so that Notepad will not add a ".txt" extension behind your back) in C:\XPSETUP. Again, the filename's spelling and case must be exactly like mine.
If your PC or laptop originally came with XP Home, make a copy of the file you just created and call it "WIN51IC". If you are using XP Home Service Pack 1 (SP 1), make two copies of the file and call them "WIN51IC" and "WIN51IC.SP1". If you are using XP Home Service Pack 2 (SP 2), make three copies of the file and call them "WIN51IC", "WIN51IC.SP1" and "WIN51IC.SP2". All the copies of the files should be in C:\XPSETUP.
If your PC or laptop originally came with XP Professional, make a copy of the file you just created and call it "WIN51IP". If you are using XP Professional Service Pack 1 (SP 1), make two copies of the file and call them "WIN51IP" and "WIN51IP.SP1". If you are using XP Professional Service Pack 2 (SP 2), make three copies of the file and call them "WIN51IP", "WIN51IP.SP1" and "WIN51IP.SP2". All the copies of the files should be in C:\XPSETUP.
Note carefully what I said above. You may be running XP SP 2 now, but if your PC came with XP SP 1, you should create the files for XP SP 1. There is an exception to this. If your PC or laptop came with XP or XP SP 1, but you want your Windows install CD to install XP SP 2, create the WIN51 files needed for SP 2 and follow the procedure for slipstreaming Windows service pack 2 (SP 2) into the Windows setup CDROM given in the next step.
4.If your PC or laptop came originally with XP or XP SP 1 (service pack 1) but you want your Windows setup disk to install XP SP 2, do the following. Otherwise, skip to the next step.
Note that even if you have since updated your computer to SP 2, you will still need to do this step if you want your setup CD to install Windows XP Service Pack 2. The reason is that updating your running Windows system does not automatically update the I386 directory. Your I386 directory still contains the Windows setup files belonging to whatever version of Windows you had when you first bought your PC/laptop.
1.Download Windows XP service pack 2 from http://www.microsoft...;displaylang=en
Save it anywhere you like except in the C:\XPSETUP folder. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will assume you saved it as C:\XPSP2.EXE, that is, in the root folder with the filename "XPSP2.EXE".
Important: if you did not configure Windows to show you the full filename, you should probably do so before changing the name of the file. Otherwise, you may be inadvertently saving the file as "XPSP2.EXE.EXE" without your knowing. (That is, you see the filename as "XPSP2.EXE" in Windows Explorer but it's actually "XPSP2.EXE.EXE".)
2.You will need to update the C:\XPSETUP\I386 folder to contain the updated SP 2 files. As a side benefit, the service pack 2 updater will also create a few files (including setup.exe) in the C:\XPSETUP folder. This process of integrating the service pack files into the original XP or XP SP 1 is known as "slipstreaming".
To slipstream SP 2, first open up a command prompt. To do this, click the Start menu, select the Run menu item, and enter the words "cmd". Click the OK button. A black command prompt window will open.
Enter the following line into the window and press the ENTER key.
After the program finishes, you can close the command prompt window. If you look into your XPSETUP folder, you will notice a few new files there.
5.At this point, the C:\XPSETUP directory contains all the files that will be copied to your Windows Setup CDROM. Don't worry if the directory does not contain files like "setup.exe" which you see on the retail CDROMs. You won't need it for a fresh install from the bootable CDROM. Note: You will only have "setup.exe" if you had to slipstream Service Pack 2 as mentioned earlier. The Service Pack 2 slipstreamer creates setup.exe for you.
6.Now open the wxp10.zip file that you downloaded earlier. Simply doubleclicking it in Windows explorer should do the trick. Go into the cds directory and into wxphome (or wxppro; it doesn't matter which) directory, followed by the files directory. Drag the "w2ksect.bin" file into C:\ (the root directory/folder of drive C:). Don't get creative and place it in some other directory. If you do that, ImgBurn will not be able to find c:\w2ksect.bin later.
Burning the Bootable Windows Install CD/DVD:
1.The version of ImgBurn I used to create this guide was 188.8.131.52. My cursory test of a later version, 184.108.40.206, found that the resulting disk was not made correctly. Therefore, you should avoid 220.127.116.11. Either use the earlier version or get a version later than 18.104.22.168, if any, that has the bugs fixed.
2.Open up Notepad, and copy the text from the box below (make sure you select everything - click in the box and type Ctrl+A to select all) and paste it into a blank Notepad window. Save the file as "XPSETUP.ibb" (including the quotes, which you need to prevent Notepad from adding a ".txt" extension to your filename) somewhere on your desktop (or anywhere you like). Do not add or delete anything from the file.
This step is probably optional if you can't be bothered. I seem to recall having entered a wrong label in the past without having the Windows installer fail on me.
6.Finally, click the "Write" icon at the bottom of the window. To find out which picture the "Write" button is (there are no visual cues, even as to which picture actually represents a button), hover your mouse over the the pictures near the bottom of the window and wait for the tooltip to appear. When you hover your mouse over the correct picture, a tooltip will appear with the text "Write". (Note: depending on your version of ImgBurn, your icon may read "Build" instead of "Write".)
7.A dialog box will probably pop up saying something like "You've only selected 1 folder! C:\XPSETUP. Does the 'XPSETUP' folder represent the root directory for the image content? (Otherwise the 'XPSETUP' folder will be visible in the root directory of the image.)" Click "Yes" to this. Basically, you want the contents of the XPSETUP folder to be what you see when you view the CDROM's top level directory.
8.If you get an error message from ImgBurn regarding "c:\w2ksect.bin", it means that you have missed one of the steps outlined above
At this point, the bootable Windows setup disk will be created. To use it, place the CD into the CD drive, make sure your BIOS is set to boot first from your CD drive, and reboot. Voila, if all goes well, the Windows installer starts up and you're on the way to reinstalling your system.
If you encounter any problems, you've probably missed a step somewhere. Missed steps account for the majority of the problems encountered by those who try this out.