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Salvaged Circuitry

Adventures in Tinkering

EEEPC Windows XP Install

So you have a 7in Eeepc with Linux on it, and you want to run windows instead. Oh what to do, what to do? The Eeepc has no CD drive to install Windows XP (disregard vista and 7, those would be absolutely impractical). However, the Eeepc does boot to USB... This is a guide on how to install windows XP on your Eeepc utilizing USB boot and an external CD drive

Now comes the hardware. You'll need an external CD/DVD drive to boot the operating system CD (Windows XP), the operating system disc (obviously), a USB-to-IDE adapter and Molex power adapter. ****Important note. The interface of the external CD/DVD drive must be considered. I had a IDE(40 pin, rectangular ribbon connector) CD drive lying around, so I used that for the windows XP installation. However, you could end up using a sata(L-shaped connector) CD/DVD drive for the installation. In this case, you would need to have a SATA-to-USB adapter.

The Vantec adapter I used supported both SATA and IDE-to-USB, however, you will need to use an additional sata cable as well, if you went the sata route. Such adapters are relatively cheap (~$20 USD). In this case, the IDE portion is being used. These adapters are great to have because they basically serve as universal boot adapters. You can use this adapter to store data to an external hard drive and act as a data backup, or boot to a CD/DVD/burner drive. It's great! if you have an extra hard drive lying around, you don't need to buy an external hard drive unit. just plug in the adapter and your set. Just plug in the adapter in the IDE port and plug in the 4 pin Molex power connector in the CD drive and your ready to go.

With the cables plugged into the CD drive, plug in the USB cable into an available USB port on the Eeepc. you don't need to turn on the Eeepc yet. instead, open the CD drive tray and insert the windows XP disc. close the tray appropriately. This will make sure that windows boots properly, and you wont skip to the Linux OS boot. With everything set, turn on the Eeepc. Once you turn on the Eeepc, you will want to go to something called "BIOS." This is basically a tabbed page of the computer hardware settings. No, this is not a part of the preloaded Linux-based OS that comes with the Eeepc, it is built into the laptop's hardware. To access the Bios, hit "F2" on the keyboard. This is evident every time your Eeepc turns on. If you zoom in on the first image of this guide, you will see at the bottom of the Eeepc screen it says "Press F2 to run setup." This is how you access the BIOS.

This is what the Bios screen looks like. It is usually a 2 color screen which displays the computer's inner hardware settings. You can change a bunch of settings here. Even ones that should not be changed. DON'T WORRY THOUGH, THERE IS A LOAD DEFAULTS OPTION. So don't worry about messing up your machine. Ok, so you want to go to the "Boot" tab. This will display what boots to, or loads first.

Now that your in the boot tab, you will see a few options on the screen:
"1st boot device...............Removable drive"
"2nd boot device..............HDD:xyzxyzxyz"
"3rd boot device"..............Disabled"
What you want to do is select the first boot device and press enter to change the settings. Once you press enter, a box like windows would show up with a few more options. look for an option that says "USB:xyzxyzxyz." You want this to be your first boot device, since it is the USB CD/DVD drive,and the source of your windows XP disc. you want toe second boot device to be your hard drive, or "HDD:xyzxyzxyz" You can alternatively use the "+" and "-" keys to move the selection up or down in the boot order. ****where xyzxyzxyz represents the manufacturers and or model numbers of the hard drive/optical drive.

Proper boot sequence. USB first, then HDD second.

Make sure you exit and save changes! or else your work will be for nothing!

Here's the windows boot screen. You don't need to worry about pressing F6.

Here's the windows XP install screen after it has loaded up all of its features.

Now, get ready to install windows XP! ****Warning:This will involve a full hard drive format, so if you have any data on the computer that you wanted, don't progress with the installation. shut off your machine, remove the CD and copy the important data elsewhere before the installation of windows XP, or else it will be gone for good.

Here's the windows XP install screen.

There it is! the beloved bliss background!

Optional step: Don't forget to update your software (win media player, Internet explorer, windows update, plugins, etc...) Make sure you optimize the machine as well, such as shut off any unnecessary programs on startup and disable some visual effects. this will make your machine run smoother. you might want to plug in an external monitor when you do this because the screen resolution of the 7in Eeepc is 800x480, and windows XP maxes on information windows at 594 pixels...believe me, it's a lot less aggravation...

Optional step: Don't forget to defrag your drive! this will make your machine feel more responsive. It will take some time so go outside and enjoy the day, and let it sit there and defrag.