Installing Windows Vista without CD/DVD Drive

Just in case anyone else needs to do this out there…

I recently got myself a nice ThinkPad X60 Tablet PC. It doesn’t come with a DVD-Drive and although I have an external DVD drive, I just can’t seem to find its power adapter. Argg!

In order to do this, you must have the following:

  • Windows XP installed on the PC you want to install Vista to.

Procedure

  1. Log in into Windows XP on the PC you want to install Vista to.
  2. Use Partition Magic or another partitioning tool and create a second partition for Vista. Make it a Primary Partition (don’t know if this is required but this is what I did). Format the second partition with NTFS. Your Windows XP installation will be left alone and you will be able to dual boot to it.
  3. Create a folder (let’s called it "c:\VistaInstall") and copy all files from the Vista DVD / ISO there (either extract the files from an ISO image using a Virtual CD/DVD emulator like Daemon Tools, or copy the files from another PC with a DVD drive over the network).
  4. Run Setup.exe from c:\VistaInstall.
  5. Choose Custom Install and follow the prompts to select the second partition you created.
  6. Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions.

As part of the installation, Vista Setup will copy the installation files to the new partition. After it reboots, it’ll have all the files there to continue.

After you are done with the install, you can delete the temporary folder c:\VistaInstall that you created.

3 Replies to “Installing Windows Vista without CD/DVD Drive”

  1. any chance you can do this the other way around because i have installed vista but my dvd is missing i tried loads of things to get it to work but just won’t appear i think that it may not be compatible with vista so wanna put xp back but can’t get it to boot from the dvd coz its disapeared?

  2. same trouble here , missing CD but still having the CD – KEY , just need to download a WIN-VISTA CD from somewhere , thx for help in advance

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