Windows® XP Recovery Disk
Tips on how to create Windows® XP recovery disk
A Windows® XP recovery disk is typically used to restore any corrupted or damaged installation of your version of XP. Most computer manufacturers offer the relevant recovery CDs with the computers that they sell. However, sometimes we tend to misplace these disks or even find that they are damaged after a period of time. Though it is possible to get another replacement recovery disk from the manufacturer itself, it might be less troublesome and less time consuming to create your recovery disc on your own. Creating a Windows® XP recovery CD typically only takes a few minutes, including the time it takes for the computer to burn the CD. Before you create that recovery disk, you will need to ensure that you have the original Windows® installation CD. Next, you should have the product key ready. This should be genuine so that it works well. You should also have the Windows® XP Service Pack 3 network install package. You will need this when you create a boot image. You will also need to have a boot image of extraction software. This will be used to extract the boot image from your Windows® XP installation disk. Lastly, you will need a CD writing software to burn the data onto your empty CD.
Now that we need to create a recovery disk for Windows® XP, let us look what needs to be kept in mind:
- Windows® XP installation disc
- Genuine Windows® XP product key
- Windows® XP Service Pack 3 network install package
- Boot image extraction software
- CD writing software
Windows® XP installation disc
If you do not have the original installation disk that came with your computer or have a damaged copy of the CD, check if you have the serial number. With the serial number, you can call the computer manufacturer or the shop that sold you the CD to request for another CD. You should ideally be able to get another copy of the installation CD for free since you have paid for a genuine copy of Windows® XP when you bought your computer. You will need a working copy of the Windows® XP installation CD to first drag its content to a specified folder on your desktop. You will then need to open it in Windows® Explorer to locate the ‘System’ folder. You will need to double-click this option and then double-click on the ‘Tools’ folder to access the advanced installation tools for Windows® XP.
Get Windows® XP product key
You also need to ensure that you have the genuine Windows® XP product key. When creating an automated installation, you will need to click the ‘Providing the Product Key’ option on the left side of the window and enter your Genuine Windows® XP product key in the appropriate field on the right. This product key is the one that comes with your original copy of the Windows® installation disk. Do not attempt to find a pirated key for this may not work well and eventually also damage or corrupt the disk that you eventually burn.
Before burning your recovery disk, you will need to set up the recovery disk by first downloading the Windows® XP Service Pack 3 installer and place it in a folder named ‘SP3’. You will then need to open the ‘Start’ menu and click on command prompt. Next, you would need to type "C:SP3WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU /integrate:C:XP" into the Run prompt, ensuring that the file path for the folders is properly formatted and that the only space in the line comes between the Service Pack 3 installer and the ‘/integrate’ command. Then press the ‘Enter’ key and wait for the Service Pack 3 installer to be integrated into the XP installation files.
You will need a boot image extraction software which will help you extract the boot image from your Windows® XP installation disk. This option to extract the boot image should appear in the ‘Bootable Disc’ section of the program. Save the BootImage.ima file that is created to the ‘SP3’ folder. This bootImage.ima file is important because it ensures that your copied data is captured and CD is eventually burned successfully. Therefore, after entering your product key and saving the unattend.txt file, you should extract this boot image.
Once you have set up all the files necessary to burn the recovery disk, you will need to ensure that you have a CD writing software. By putting an empty disk in the CD/DVD drive of your computer, you need to select the option to create a bootable CD. Set the load segment for the disc to ‘0x7C0’ and the sector count to ‘4’. Make sure that your CD writing program is set to use the Joliet file system and that bootable disc emulation is turned off. Now, choose BootImage.ima from the ‘SP3’ folder as your boot image, and set the disc label to match that of your Windows® XP installation disc. You are now ready to add the entire contents of the recovery disk that you have created to your CD project, making sure that you include only the files and not the folder. Burn the CD and check that it works.