How to install Windows XP on Eee PC and netbooks, made easy

howto: install windows xp

I was really tempted to try Windows XP when I finally learned the easiest way (thus far) to install it on my Eee PC.  And I could not help the temptation, especially after failing to properly install Ubuntu EEE edition, as it malfunctioned with some parts of my comptuer.

Anyway, I installed Windows XP nLite version on my EEE PC, and I’m planning to install a full version as well in the near version. Below you can see what needs to be done in order to install XP on your EEE PC as well, in just a couple of easy steps.

Here are the easy steps I’m talking about:

  1. You need to have USB_PREP8, PeToUSB, Bootsect.exe
  2. Format your USB Drive.
  3. Load boot sector.
  4. Load Windows XP install CD to USB.
  5. Install Windows XP to Eee PC.

Now to make it easier, here’s the detailed installing walk-through.

  1. Extract all (3) downloaded files to any folder you want.
  2. Move PeToUSB inside the USB_PREP8 folder.
  3. Run the ‘usb_prep8.cmd’ by double-clicking or via command console.
  4. Press any key.
  5. PeToUSB will open. Stick with the default settings and click Start. When done, close the window.
  6. Open command console. Start > Run > cmd
  7. Change directory to folder where you extracted bootsect tool.
  8. Type ‘bootsect.exe /nt52 X:’ where X is the drive letter of your USB flash drive. Wait until ‘Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes’ appears.
  9. Go back to USB_PREP8 command window.
  10. Read carefully the directions and give proper values. Everything should go well.
  11. Wait for the process to complete and you will then have a bootable USB Windows XP installer.

That’s it. Might sound a bit complicated, but it’s actually not if you follow the steps carefully.

For any issues you may encounter when trying to install Windows XP on your EEE PC (or any other netbook), please head back here and leave a reply or get in touch via the contact page and I will be glad to help you.

Related posts:

  1. How to install Windows 7 on Netbooks
  2. Fn F2 not working on Easy Peasy 1.1 [Solved with EEE Control]
  3. HowTo install Expressgate on USB
  4. EeePCLinuxOS: How to install
  5. 1000HE ASUS EEE PC, Fixing Windows 7 Errors

Last updated: April 19, 2012 |

Andrew is a longtime fan of portable laptops. Working as a tech journalist since 2004, he's had the chance to see these become better and better and now he's the Editor-in-Chief here at The site is mainly focused on Asus netbooks, tablets and mini laptops, but you can always find more about these devices over at , where Andrew spends most of its time. More on the About page. See all posts by .

52 Responses to “ How to install Windows XP on Eee PC and netbooks, made easy ”

  1. jangelo said:

    Jul 12, 08 at 8:47 am

    Easiest way, IMHO, is to use the XP recovery disk that comes with the Eee 900 XP (or XP versions of the 701). I’ve tried it, and so far it works OK, since it essentially just recovers the contents of the first 4GB partition of the 900.

    Of course, this is supposedly OEM with the original 900 machine, but if your intent is for testing, I’m fine with doing this.

  2. cong said:

    Oct 06, 08 at 10:32 pm

    i dont get it i’m a bit noob but i dont get the part 10-11 can you help me more?

  3. A. Cantos said:

    Oct 07, 08 at 9:44 am

    Hi cong,

    on step 9, you should go back to USB_PREP8.

    for step 10, you have to provide the proper values that each option asks. (e.g. drive letters)

    when all are set, the process begins and all you need is wait for it to finish.

  4. FN+F5 do not function in Windows XP. How to Fix the Fn+F5 in Windows XP. | Netbooks News, Hacks and HowTo's said:

    Nov 04, 08 at 6:05 pm

    [...] by Email. Since I now have a Live Ubuntu Eee on my 8GB SDHC, I headed and installed Windows XP on Eee 701 that I own. I was able to grab a USB to IDE cable from Brando and installing the XP with an [...]

  5. Jan A said:

    Nov 17, 08 at 9:15 pm

    Hi, I did purchase the 901 but I don’t have the Windows XP install CD !
    Can I use the recovery disk to make a bootable USB stick on another computer that does have an optical drive or does this only work with the install disks ?
    I want to make an Nlite version of Xp without Outlook, Media player etc . . . I see that you already did make anNlite Iso, can I download it somewhere or receive it somehow ?
    Thank you !

  6. A. Cantos said:

    Jun 10, 09 at 8:38 am

    @Jan A, I know it’s too late to answer your inquiry but I guess I have to answer it still for the sake of people having same question.

    As far as I know, the recovery disk is an image disk, and it doesn’t have Win XP install in it. And I don’t know how to transfer the exact image to a USB flash drive. So it’s better if you can have the Win XP instead.

    For the nLite XP, I wish I could send you a copy, but if it costs a lot for shipment, I don’t think so. But if you’re just somewhere around here and we can meet, why not?

    I would also try to make it available via torrent but I’m also not familiar yet.

  7. A. Cantos said:

    Jun 10, 09 at 8:39 am

    @ariel, Thanks for finding the instructions helpful.

  8. ariel said:

    Jun 10, 09 at 9:25 am

    would it be okay for my flash disk to be always formatted using HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool? because before i had a flash disk formatted directly using windows xp format tool and it was destroyed.

  9. Adam said:

    Jun 10, 09 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’m running the process now. I ran it before but in the wrong order (without running PeTOUSB utility to format) and running bootsect last (after the WINXP setup files were copied to USB). The device was not recognised as a bootable disk. Hopefully it will work this time! Good to see you’re back replying to these comments.

  10. A. Cantos said:

    Jun 10, 09 at 10:13 pm

    @ariel, i don’t use special formatting tools for my USB except the ones specifically required to this process. But if i’m not creating a live usb, i use Windows’ format tool. (right click, format)

    @Adam, let me know if there’s still issues. I’ll be glad to help. ;)

  11. zack said:

    Jun 21, 09 at 12:51 pm

    Do I have to have some type of Windows key of CD or can I download it somewhere becasue I have tried the sp2 and sp3 packs and I get error messages when in the USB_PREP8 command window while finding the location of my windows software. Im getting hung up there any ideas.

  12. A. Cantos said:

    Jun 21, 09 at 4:02 pm

    @zack, try to do extra search. I’m sure there’s a lot of sites providing window keys. Not being selfish though but I’m not sure I can share my own windows key. [do at your own risk]

  13. eyec said:

    Jun 24, 09 at 1:12 am

    Everything goes fine until step 9. Then what I have to do? For example.. what path have to put for temporary file??

  14. A. Cantos said:

    Jun 24, 09 at 9:08 am

    usually the process creates T: fof virtual TempDrive. You may try T:

  15. RM said:

    Jun 28, 09 at 2:31 pm

    when i enter choice 1, an error message appears.
    it says:
    ‘CSCRIPT.EXE’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

    Error: The patch does not contain Windows XP Source Files

  16. RM said:

    Jun 28, 09 at 2:32 pm

    help please

  17. A. Cantos said:

    Jun 29, 09 at 10:06 am

    i’m sorry but I don’t exactly understand the problem. can you please provide more details?

  18. Adam said:

    Jul 27, 09 at 3:34 pm

    Sec Master Hard Disk: S.M.A.R.T. Status BAD, Backup and Replace Press F1 to Resume.
    Can ayone help me with this problem.

  19. roy chapman said:

    Aug 18, 09 at 11:40 pm

    I must be dumbcannot get past step 7 neither the command nor XP dos recognises the bootsect command. where and what exactly should I type?

  20. roy chapman said:

    Aug 20, 09 at 5:02 am

    Can anyone advise please?

  21. A. Cantos said:

    Aug 21, 09 at 9:34 am

    @roy, You must know where you extracted the tool…

  22. roy chapman said:

    Aug 22, 09 at 4:07 am

    Many Thanks I extracted to my documents but the dos command cannot find the path. I have tried relocating in Docs and settings but to no avail. There seems to be something lacking in my approach. To start the process I clicked on the USB_ prep8.cmd icon which opens the peTousb OK but on completion it opens a dos type dialog box listing the possible drives. I entered the drive details. Is this correct?.. as it seemss to depart from the orignal instructions.

  23. roy chapman said:

    Aug 23, 09 at 2:00 pm

    PS no matter what I do advanced BIOS for CPU states disabled for XP!How can I change this?

  24. roy chapman said:

    Aug 25, 09 at 9:31 am

    At last I have managed to install XP and drivers but only on the 4GB portion of the hard drive which is full. How does one utilise the other 16GB? I can slim the XP but I thought the 16GB should act as a slave “disk”

  25. roy chapman said:

    Aug 25, 09 at 9:36 am

    at last XP and drivers installed! but C drive full, how does one use the other 16GB

  26. A. Cantos said:

    Aug 25, 09 at 7:06 pm

    I haven’t tried this but you can probably install XP on the 16GB instead. you may need to set first boot priority for 16gb disk so it will boot from that disk.

  27. roy chapman said:

    Aug 28, 09 at 5:20 am

    Many thanks Cantos I think that that should work and when I am more confodent I will try a reinstall. I problem was that I had not allocated a letter to this drive. So it wasn’t visible. I have sinced optimised the drive and move my docs. to D. There is about 30% free space now in the C drive. Howevr I am still struggling to get the computer to find the CD Rom, the on board speaker and microphone (I assume there is one as skype was preloaded in linux.!) Also the standby option in the shut downoptions is not alight and working. So we press on still learning but will still welcome any helpful advice. TRhanks Roy

  28. A. Cantos said:

    Aug 28, 09 at 1:44 pm

    anytime, roy.

  29. Roy chapman said:

    Aug 30, 09 at 12:14 am

    found the speakers and microphone, using a flash drive copy of an eeepc support disc…just the cd rom left to find a driver for! roy

  30. seth said:

    Sep 08, 09 at 5:11 pm

    please can i have a copy of the nlite version of windows xp. any link to download it direct, please send the link to my e-mail if it is availabe @ thanks in advance man.

  31. paul simon said:

    Sep 26, 09 at 3:42 am

    FORMAT FAILS. Using Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 USB 16GB that had data on it formatted FAT32. I double-click, “usb_prep8.cmd” and press enter on its dos window. Dest Drive is “USB Removable” and the only format options checked are “Enable Disk Format” and “Enable LBA (FAT16X)”. I click “Start”. When progress bar gets to 100%, I get “PeToUSB Error!” dialog box with this message, “FormatEx Error[11]: An Error Occurred Formating the Drive.” So, I continue to the 2nd dos window and try option 3 “change target USB Drive Ltr, currently []” but it says D, d, and both with colons “…does NOT Exist…”. explorer can see D.

  32. A. Cantos said:

    Sep 27, 09 at 4:04 pm

    i’m not pretty sure if the tool supports 16GB flash drives. I tried using 8GB before and got the same problem. i’m currently using 1GB to 2GB…

  33. MTai said:

    Oct 12, 09 at 12:50 am

    i followed all the instructions and made the bootable USB but the files on the USB is not identical to the CD. It has directorys that have $…..$ on the USB and after installing on the EEEPC 900
    Im getting some errors – hal.dll and want to repeat the install steps but not sure what to do

  34. A. Cantos said:

    Oct 27, 09 at 7:10 pm

    this kind of error usually deals with the boot.ini. you should edit in another system the boot.ini in your flash drive. it should reference to the right disk partitions. for example, disk(0)…

  35. Babo said:

    Dec 17, 09 at 4:11 am

    for those ask for “cscript.exe” is not etc..etc
    for me i searched in my drive c: for this file and i found it in system32 directory then copy it and paste it in usb_prep8 directory…
    it will work…

  36. kaykhanittha said:

    Feb 06, 10 at 9:52 pm


    how to install windows xp on drive D (16go) and not on drive C (3.8) as Windows XP CD always wants to do ?


  37. mark said:

    Apr 14, 10 at 3:52 pm

    gumagana naman kaya?

  38. Rajesh said:

    May 18, 10 at 5:45 pm

    I tried same method i also made my pen drive as per above source but problem is neither pen drive become Boot able nor ASUS net book showing BIOS setting just after pressing F2or delete window memory diagnostic screen appears?

    I use source for making boot able pen drive is
    if any solution just mail me……….

  39. Mark V said:

    May 26, 10 at 6:03 am

    I’ve got a clients 900 series that came with linux
    I’ve not only had trouble booting to a USB flash drive that works fine on other systems, but when I hook up an external CD drive via USB and boot to an XP Pro install CD, right before it gets to the first screen of the install, after it loads all the drivers it crashes out with a 0x0ED error. Any ideas?

  40. Sasso said:

    Jun 02, 10 at 8:38 pm

    “I’ve got a clients 900 series that came with linux
    I’ve not only had trouble booting to a USB flash drive that works fine on other systems, but when I hook up an external CD drive via USB and boot to an XP Pro install CD, right before it gets to the first screen of the install, after it loads all the drivers it crashes out with a 0×0ED error. Any ideas?”

    Same thing with my installation????
    any ideas would be helpful.

  41. brix said:

    Aug 21, 10 at 1:28 pm

    Can someone explain to me number ” 7 ” and number 8″ im just a noob. thanx ghuys.

  42. Patrick said:

    Jan 13, 11 at 2:02 pm

    Hi, im helping a friend with a 900 series to get win XP , because some friend of his installed windows 7 on it.
    Im using a external hard drive 320 G to boot from, but im having some problems , i have just copied the content of my XP CD to a folder on the hard drive, could it be that i need to make an ISO file before i can boot from the removable harddrive , i have changed all the boot sequences in bios and sett the External hard drive as nr1. But the PeToUSB cant finde the drive. No USB disk found.


  43. drcross said:

    Feb 13, 11 at 12:26 am

    A. Cantos mentions being able to install XP onto the 16gb partition of the eeepc. DO NOT DO THIS. The 4gb partition is a faster drive. Installing on the 16gb, although technically feasible is far too slow. That was the way it was designed, 4gb for the OS, 16gb for data!

  44. God help me posting this long after the article was created said:

    May 12, 11 at 1:25 am

    I’m essentially on step 11 and looking at:

    press any key to continue . . .
    Parse DOSNET.INF for making windows XP setup bootfolder $win_nt$.~BT

    my disk drive keeps spinning-up and then stops, and it has been doing that over and over for a few minutes now… any way to fix this?

  45. Arran North said:

    Jun 22, 11 at 11:27 am

    Thank’s for this! My gran wanted XP on her fairly dated EEE PC 900 – works like a charm ;) !…

    I think for the struggling it would be handy if you updated your post and added the steps for the command line bit… just food for thought ^^

    Thanks again!

  46. cricri said:

    Aug 04, 11 at 1:02 pm

    j’ai un problème lors de l’installation de xp il me detecte pas le périphérique disque dur et donc je ne peux pas l’installer vu qu’il ne le dececte pas

  47. thepete said:

    Sep 03, 11 at 5:07 am

    PeToUSB refuses to recognize my USB drive. I’ve tried a couple different ones and no joy. Any suggestions?

  48. gaby said:

    Oct 30, 11 at 9:12 pm

    Can anybody advise please

    When ub step 3. I run usb_prep8.cmd (by double-clicking) a dos type program appears so that if I press any key I will write the chracter (into the text of the program)that was pressed.
    The PeToUSB doen’t open.

    What is the mistake?

    (It’s an Eee PC 1001)

  49. USB said:

    Nov 07, 11 at 2:16 am

    Make sure PeToUSB is run as admin or it won’t detect USB sticks under Windows 7

  50. dem said:

    Jan 10, 12 at 8:13 pm

    it works. just follow instruction guys.

  51. McDougs said:

    Feb 07, 12 at 8:42 am

    Hey guys. I’m really excited about installing XP on my new little Asus. But I’m stuck on step #8. I get the “bootsect. exe is not recognized as an internal or external command” message. Any ideas? Thanks.

  52. Nigel said:

    Apr 23, 12 at 12:48 am

    Can anyone help with a blue screen issue after installing XP according to the eeePC manual?
    I am getting to the very last seconds of the install and then the ‘blue screen’ displays with :-
    STOP 0x0000007E (0xC0000005,0×00000001,0xF79E3ABC,0xF79E37B8)

    If I restart the eeePC then the install starts again and fails again at the same point


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