I have now spent the better part of three days learning how to be the
master of imaging a netbook. In this case, an HP Mini 2140, which has no
CD/DVD drive. What a pain. For those of you who aren't intimately
familiar with creating USB boot devices, I will share the steps.
First comes installing a fresh copy of the OS. I pretty much never leave
OEM installs as-is. There's no optical drive, so all booting must be done
through USB. It refused to boot off of my USB DVD drive, despite CD and
USB devices being higher priority in the boot order than the hard drive.
So I had to figure out how to create a bootable USB XP installer stick.
Problem was, no one website seemed to have all of the pieces, so through
trial and error and lots of research I pulled together enough info to do
it. The biggest lesson: don't use any of those utilities on Vista. So
many headaches... so much wasted time... Reinforces the fact that I hate
hate hate Vista. Why I'm still using it is mostly a matter of lack of
The SHORT version:
1. Use nView to make a version of XP that has SP3 and the Mini's SATA
drivers slipstreamed into it. (takes up to 30 minutes)
2. Change the drive letter of your USB stick to something that isn't A, B,
C, D, E, T or Z.
3. Download USB_Prep8, PEtoUSB, and Bootsect. Extract USB_Prep8 and
Bootsect to individual folders on the C drive (important - doesn't work on
a net drive). Extract PEtoUSB into the USB_Prep8 folder (it may already
be in there).
4. Run USB_Prep8, it will auto-launch PEtoUSB. Format your memory stick
(1g, 2g, or 4gb only) with this utility. Don't close anything yet.
5. Open a cmd window, navigate to c:\bootsect and type "bootsect /nt52
y:" (where Y is your usb stick). Close that window, close PEtoUSB.
6. In the USB_Prep8 window it will now give you several options. Use 2
to configure where your custom XP setup is. Use 3 to specify your stick's
drive letter. Then use 4 to make the magic happen.
7. It will ask you to confirm a lot of different actions. The whole
process will take around 30 minutes.
8. When you boot your USB stick, you will see two options: "text mode"
and "GUI mode". Text mode is the first part of XP setup. GUI mode is the
second part of setup. As a bonus, XP Setup runs REALLY fast off of a USB
Then after you install all of your drivers and apps, you will want to
upload your new image. When I created a universal boot USB stick with the
Ghost boot wizard, I couldn't enable PXE / UNDI in the BIOS (no options
existed). When I created a NIC-specific boot stick, it wouldn't load, it
just got hung up somewhere in the middle. It did this to me on an HP
workstation last year, so I decided to use the same solution as last year
Since BartPE doesn't natively support creating a USB stick, you have to
get a second utility for that .. PEtoUSB. How convenient that we already
downloaded it. So use BartPE to create a folder containing the BartPE
files along with Ghost 8 (copy ghost32.exe, ghostcdr.dll, ghostexp.exe,
ghostsrv.exe, and oleaccrc.dll to the plugins\ghost8\files folder, Enable
ghost in the plugins window of PE Builder), and the NIC drivers and SATA
drivers for the Mini.
When you have your BartPE build finished, use PEtoUSB to send it along to
your USB stick and make it bootable.
For anyone who wants the "long version", feel free to email me.
Milton Town School District
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