XP Setup CD/ISO Clean Installation Reference

Windows XP Setup installation stages

Here are the stages of Windows XP Setup installation from a CD or ISO file in the order that they are executed by Windows Setup.

I have added a description of what happens during these stages and possible error messages that you may see plus possible reasons for the errors.

Text-mode Setup
Loads Drivers (from F6 floppy if present) Uses winnt.sif if present on floppy/CD
Copies files required for Setup to the Hard Disk
Copies the contents of your $OEM$ folders to the Hard Disk
Reboots...

GUI-mode Setup
DetachedProgram executes from winnt.sif at T-39 stage
Installs Devices
Installs Network
Installs Start Menu Items
Registers Components
svcpack.inf executes at T-13 minute stage
cmdlines.txt executes at T-12 minute stage
SetupParams executes from winnt.sif at T-9 minute stage
Saves Settings
Deletes temporary files then reboots...

First Logon
Windows logs you in and loads personal settings
Both GUIRunOnce from winnt.sif and RunOnceEX executes at the same time
Desktop and Taskbar loads

Another description can also be found here

Clean Installation of Windows XP: User Visible Stages

Initial Stage (Text-Mode Stage)

  1. You turn the computer on and start it from the product CD.
  2. In order to start the computer from a CD, either you must press a key at the appropriate prompt, or you must prepare the computer ahead of time by configuring the BIOS or EFI to specify a boot sequence that will cause the computer to start from the CD drive. For more information, see the manufacturer's instructions for your computer.
  3. Setup gives you the opportunity to load a mass storage driver (press F6). At this time, you can also press F5 to load a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) file.
  4. Setup gives you the opportunity to run Automated System Recovery (press).
  5. If you continue with installation (not Automated System Recovery), Setup loads a set of generic device drivers.
  6. Setup displays a welcome screen and gives you the opportunity to start the Recovery Console (press R).
  7. Setup confirms that you agree with the product license.
  8. Setup searches the hard disks for an existing installation of the product that you are installing. If an existing installation is found, Setup gives you the opportunity to repair that installation (press R).
  9. Setup checks that the amount of memory and the hard disk size are adequate for the version of the product that you are installing.
  10. Setup gives you the opportunity to delete or create partitions on the hard disk. If you create a partition and specify it as the installation partition, you must specify a file system (NTFS or FAT) and specify whether to use quick format (integrity of sectors is not verified) or full format (bad sectors are identified and tracked).
  11. After carrying out the specified partition and file system changes, Setup checks that the partition you selected contains enough space to hold the installation, and then copies files to the partition. The files are most of those that will become the new operating system.
Setup restarts the computer.

Clean Installation: Final Stage (Also Known as GUI-Mode Stage)

  1. Using Plug and Play technology, Setup loads appropriate device drivers for the attached devices.
  2. Setup requests information about the following items:
  3. Regional and language options
  4. Your name and the name of the organization (the name of the organization can be left blank)
  5. Product key
  6. The 25-character product key is printed on a sticker on the back of your Windows Server 2003 product CD case.
  7. The licensing mode
  8. Computer name and administrator password
  9. Date and time settings
  10. Setup installs a basic set of network components to begin the process of establishing network connectivity.
  11. Setup requests information about the following items:
  12. Networking settings
  13. Workgroup or computer domain
  14. Setup configures the settings that were specified.
  15. Setup copies files to the hard disk for operating system components that have not yet been installed.
  16. Setup installs Start menu items and makes changes to the registry.
  17. Setup sets file and folder permissions to protect the new operating system, for example, for files in the root directory, the systemroot folder, and the registry.
  18. Setup runs Windows File Protection to ensure that all installed files are valid.
  19. Setup removes any temporary files used during the installation process.
  20. Setup restarts the computer. A few final user settings are applied after this restart, much like the process that happens at the beginning of any restart. The installation is then complete.

Messages/Text displayed by the various stages are in bold type.

STEP 1 - Install from CD/ISO (Text mode Setup)

1. Boot and run from the Windows Install CD/ISO

2. If prompted to start from the CD, press Spacebar. If you miss the prompt (it only appears for a few seconds), restart your computer to try again.

3. Windows XP Setup begins. During this portion of setup, your mouse will not work, so you must use the keyboard.

Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.. - press F6 to load drivers from a floppy disk

The txtsetup.oem files on floppy drive 0 and floppy drive 1 (if present) are parsed for errors.
If OK, Setup will make a note of which drivers were selected (either by the user using F6 or from the [Defaults] section of the txtsetup.oem.
If two floppies are present with two oemsetup.txt files, Setup will parse both files.
If there is a syntax error in a txtsetup.oem file, it will be reported at this stage.
If there are two floppy disk drives, the last one that contained a txtsetup.oem file will be the 'current' floppy drive for the rest of this stage.

xxxxxx.xxxx Cannot be found - a file referenced by the txtsetup.oem fie could not be found on the floppy disk.


Press F2 to run Automated System Recovery

Setup is loading files

F6-Specify an Additional device

Setup is starting Windows - Windows loads the kernel and switches to protected mode.
Windows loads any F6 .sys drive files

BSOD 0x0000007E - firadisk.sys - XP cannot access the source CD/ISO
BSOD 0x0000007B - this may occur if Setup cannot access the source CD after switching to protected mode.
If you have booted from an ISO (from a USB drive), you should use F6 to load a driver such as FiraDisk or WinVBlock.
It does not matter if the ISO was loaded using grub4dos --mem or sector-mapped (no --mem) - you still need a to load a suitable F6 driver

(Repair screen - press Enter to continue) - only seen if a Windows volume was previously detected.

or - On Welcome to Setup page

4. Press F8.to accept Windows XP Licensing Agreement page

5. Select and Format a partition - if a hard disk is not listed then the correct Mass Storage driver has not been loaded.

Setup is formatting.. [########_______________]

Checking Drive C:

Creating list of files to be copied - First files are copied from the F6 floppy to the hard disk. If files are missing you will be given the chance to skip them

The drive or CD you inserted may be damaged - Setup will try to copy files from the current floppy drive F6 Setup disk and then the install CD to the hard disk. If one of these is corrupt, you may see this message.

Setup is copying Files xxxx
Files from the CD are copied to the hard disk. If third-party drivers (F6 disk or txtsetup.sif) then they are copied to the C:\Windows\OEMDir folder.

Saving Information - xxxx

Rebooting

STEP 2 - After Restart (GUI Mode Setup)

Windows XP restarts and then continues with the installation process. From this point forward, you can use your mouse.
Note: You may see these stages referred to as T-39 which means that on the screen you have 39 minutes remaining displayed

39 minutes remaining (T-39) - Installing Devices

Using Plug and Play technology, Setup loads appropriate device drivers for the attached devices. Windows goes through all the INF files and installs any matching hardware drivers.

37 minutes remaining If non-logo's drivers have been installed using F6 or integrated in the ISO/CD you may get ' has not passed logo testing' (both the FiraDisk and WinVBlock drivers report with a blank name)
35 minutes remaining - Firadisk Virtual Disk Enumerator has not passed logo testing (if FiraDisk ram driver installed using F6/nLite)

34 minutes remaining
Missing File/File could not be found (prompted to search C:\Windows\OEMDir folder) - an INF file has a referenced a file (e.g. iastor.sys) which is not present on the disk. This is usually because of a bad txtsetup.oem F6 floppy disk. txtsetup.oem should contain all files needed to be copied over to the hard disk. The files referenced in each INF file should also be in the txtsetup.oem's [Files.scsi.xxxx] section.
Tip: Press SHIFT+F10 to open a command console and look in the C:\Windows\OEMDir folder, if there is a file of a similar name (e.g. iastor7.sys), then copy it to the name of the file that is required (e.g. copy iastor7.sys iastor.sys) - then click OK so that Windows can find it.

A BSOD here usually means that the drivers loaded using F6/txtsetup.oem were wrong/bad.

33 minutes - Regional and Language Options page appears
Welcome to Windows XP Setup Wizard page appears
Personalize Your Software page -
Name and Organization
Product Key
Computer Name
32 minutes remaining - Date and Time

32 minutes remaining - Installing Network

32/29 minutes remaining - Networking Settings (typical/custom) page & Workgroup or Computer Domain page.) (if network driver installed
T-39 DetachedProgram executes from winnt.sif

29 minutes remaining - Copying Files
Setup copies files to the hard disk for operating system components that have not yet been installed.

24 minutes remaining - Completing Installation...

23-19 minutes remaining - Installing Start Menu Items

18 minutes remaining - Registering Components
Setup sets file and folder permissions to protect the new operating system, for example, for files in the root directory, the systemroot folder, and the registry.
Setup runs Windows File Protection to ensure that all installed files are valid.
Setup removes any temporary files used during the installation process.

13 minutes remaining - (may see screen flicker)
svcpack.inf executes
BSOD IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000A - probably an incompatible device/storage driver - check what mass storage driver was used (or if running on a VM, check for known issues - If using the FiraDisk driver to install from USB - load ISO into memory for the GUI install - E2B 512MB+ option and make sure you load the driver when prompted by Windows).

12 minutes remaining - cmdlines.txt executes at T-12 minute stage

9 minutes remaining - Saving Settings
SetupParams executes from winnt.sif

1 minutes remaining - Removing any temporary files used


Reboot

STEP 3 - Automatic Restart

Display Settings dialog
Monitor Settings dialog
Welcome to Microsoft Windows page
Help protect your PC page - Help protect my PC by turning on Automatic Updates
Windows XP will then check if you are connected to the Internet:
If you are connected to the Internet - Will this computer connect to the Internet directly, or through a network? page
If you use dial-up Internet access, or if Windows XP cannot connect to the Internet - On the How will this computer connect to the Internet? page

Ready to activate Windows? page

Ready to register with Microsoft? page

Collecting Registration Information page

Who will use this computer? page

Thank you!

STEP 4 - First Logon

Windows logs you in and loads personal settings
Both GUIRunOnce from winnt.sif and RunOnceEX executes at the same time
Desktop and Taskbar loads




Popular Pages

More Info