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Old July 10, 2009, 09:56 AM
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Default Potentially Stupid question about bootable image

Hello to all,
Most of our IT department is on vacation, only a couple of noobs here now. The problem is that we are getting a big shipment of leased Dells. Now the noobs have asked me how I would like the image installed, as Corporate is making us stick with XP til Win7, but the new machines of course have no floppy drive. The question as I see it is how to create a bootable image on CD that will work with XP. What I can't wrap my head around (and neither can the new kids in IT) is: fine, you can boot from the CD, but what about that part of the XP install where it asks for the Sata drivers? Since floppies are Fat16, can you even do that on a CD?

Obviously this isn't my area of expertise, I'm a game...ah, manager, but still I will need these 40 machines up and running. Short of hiring some merc IT guys, what are the options? Can a bootable image be created for XP, (and a few other bits, like office, network settings, so on) on a CD? I've used power ISO, but the question is still those darn sata drivers.

OK, I can hear you all laughing, and I admit it is a lame question: but: any ideas?
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Old July 10, 2009, 09:58 AM
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If the sata drives are set to compatibility mode (aka IDE emulation) and you're installing XP SP2 or newer you shouldnt even need the sata drivers from a floppy disk...
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Old July 10, 2009, 10:08 AM
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So that would mean then that you can install straight from CD, which could be a bootable image created with an ISO.
Thanks, I found your answer interesting, because the last time I installed XP it still asked for the drive A – mind you, my home versions of XP are from the Dawn of XP Time, so there you go!
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Old July 10, 2009, 10:15 AM
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SP2 and newer have some integrated SATA drivers, and in IDE emulation mode they shouldnt be needed at all.
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Old July 10, 2009, 10:23 AM
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Shouldn't be needed unless you're putting the SATA controller into a RAID mode.....
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Old July 10, 2009, 10:23 AM
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OK then, good to go. I'll ask the kids to do up a bootable image with the OS and a couple of other goodies and then they can stay out of my hair for a couple of days while they reformat and install on the new machines. Life is good!
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Old July 10, 2009, 12:40 PM
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I didn't double check, but I'm pretty sure my SP1 version disks were fine as well. IIRC, it's only the very first release which was a bit funky.
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Old July 10, 2009, 02:58 PM
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hi i am using XP service pack 2 without any update yet, and all sata drives and cd rom. it detects no problem :)
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Old July 10, 2009, 03:10 PM
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if you deploy big batches of computers at your company often you should be using...

Windows Deployment Services - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you aren't up against a deadline for deploying these things i HIGHLY suggest it... (because it does take a while to setup the first images... plus include some time for trial and error with particular MSI's). Simply boot the machines from the network and they start installing winXP or Vista directly from your windows 2003 or 2008 server. You can also incorporate Office, CAD, adobe programs, (any program with a MSI installer package i believe). Plus they are all joined to the domain and ready to rock after reboot. Installs over the network so no disks needed.. you can even slipstream the drivers for SATA, RAID, sound, chipset, video card when you build your installer package.
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Old July 10, 2009, 04:06 PM
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thanks Grinder - I will pass that info along as well. We won't have new machines again until the end of the lease (3yrs) at my home location, so no worries. Still, your idea looks great to me.

thanks to all who replied, actually!
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