Installing Windows XP on the Asus Eee PC

uh-oh
So, today when I went to overclock the FSB on my Eee PC, as I have been doing for the past week or so, everything went crazy and when I rebooted the Eee, I was met with the picture above. I then rebooted again in recovery mode, and no matter what I tried, I could not resurrect xwindows, given my novice level linux skills. Boo.

So, instead of reinstalling Ubuntu, I went ahead and installed XP on the Eee. Why? Because I have a legal copy lying around unused and because I was going to have to install XP anyway to take advantage of the touchscreen panel I plan on installing on this sucker (it’s ordered and *should* arrive on Monday; w00t). Besides, all the programs I was using regularly in Ubuntu (Firefox and Pidgin) are available for Windoze and I can install a few Windoze games on here now if I really want to (I have a 16GB flash drive I’m going to be installing internally when I add the touchscreen).

In any case, installation of XP on the Eee is simple:

1. Plug in an external DVD drive via USB (I had a Newertech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter lying around so I picked up a cheap Panasonic internal drive from Best Buy and used that).
2. Start your Eee and Hit F2 at the Asus start up screen, so that you can change some settings in the BIOS.
3. Navigate to Advanced—>OS Installation and set it to Start.
4. Press F10 to save and boot.
5. When the start up screen appears again, hit Esc and choose your external USB CD/DVD drive from the list of options. Make sure your XP installation disk is in the drive before moving on.
6. Remember to hit a key when the little text pops up saying “Hit any key to boot from CD…” or whatever it says.
7. Then just follow normal Windows installation. You’ll have to delete the internal drive’s partition before Windows will let you format and install.
8. After installation is fully complete and Windows has rebooted, slap teh DVD that came with your Eee PC into the DVD-ROM drive and run the Install All drivers wizard. You’ll have to reboot 3 times.
9. After that finishes then you’re done. Grab AVG Free Editionand run Windows Update to ensure you’re safe from viruses / security holes, grab [[[Firefox]]], and grab [[[Mahalo Follow]]] while you’re at it. ;-) Also, [[[Pidgin]]] is an excellent little cross-platform chat program.

What’s cool about Windows XP on the Eee? Well for one thing, you can set the display to 800×600 and the mouse will scroll the screen down or up (so more screen real estate through a hat trick). Also, I’ll finally be able to run the software that came with my [[[Sony Portable Reader]]]. Rock. More later.

UPDATE: OH YEAH! After you finish everything make sure you hit F2 at startup again and toggle install from Start to Finished (otherwise your USB 2.0 peripherals will only function at USB 1.1 speeds).

Also, for more details on how to do this, see Sean’s post.

About C.K. Sample III

I am a father, a husband, a blogger, a parrot owner, a pug owner, and the EVP of Technology & Development for Chaotic Moon. This site has no comments. If you want to talk to me, send me an @cksample on Twitter. If you like this post, feel free to become a patron or buy me something off of my wishlist.
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59 Responses to Installing Windows XP on the Asus Eee PC

  1. Anon says:

    If you don’t have an external cdrom you can install from a USB flashdrive following this guide: http://www.eeeguides.com/2007/11/installing-windows-xp-from-usb-thumb.html

  2. Jwade says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much. It is 2 o’clock in the morning and I have been working with my Eee PC since about 2 this afternoon trying to upgrade memory and switch to XP. Your post was a huge help, thank you.

  3. Matt says:

    When you say delete all partions I have 4 maybe 5 partions on the eee pc when I tried to install xp this included one that was a bios partion. Do you remove them all or just remove the 2 that are roughly 2.3 gb and 1.4 gd in size.

  4. c.k. says:

    Hi, Matt,

    The BIOS isn’t on the physical internal drive itself. Just erase all the partitions on that drive. The one smaller partition there is actually the restore point image for the default Xandros install, so you *could* try to keep it if you wanted.

    Cheers,

    C.K.

  5. kahairi says:

    Thank you for the information. I just want to know what type of RAM EEE pc use and can we upgrade the Disk? Hopefully you can help on this.
    Thanks in advanced.

  6. Adam says:

    Wow finally this little thing is awesome for tuning cars but i couldnt figure out how to install XP all i had to do was change it to OS insall start. I feel kinda stupid now. since i’m an IT major. But this really helped thanx alot.. the ram is PC5300 DDR2 i am currently running 2GB of ram on my 4GB model.

  7. Cameron says:

    One question that I’ve had, and having read many upon many of these walkthroughs is yet to be answered, is: For a non-techie, how would one go about removing the partitions?

    I’ve gathered answers to the rest of my questions from various sources, but that’s one that my non-hacker mind has yet to figure out.

  8. Rob says:

    umm I’m kinda new to the Eee, so will it be dual boot?? as in when you attach the external flash you can use windows and when you remove it, it returns to a linux??

  9. Cameron says:

    @Rob: I’ve seen walkthroughs from people that use dual boot, and I’ve seen explanations on how to remove Linux and run XP solely.

  10. c.k. says:

    @Rob: you can set it up to dual boot, although XP install easiest on the internal drive. I installed XP to the main drive recently and installed another 16GB flash thumb drive internally that I am installing other OSes on. It can dual-boot, triple boot, etc.

    @Cameron: If you’re installing XP or Ubuntu, there is a part of the installation process where you can choose to format the drive (in the formatting process you wipe out the previous partitions).

  11. Rob says:

    Ohh..Thanks! Can you please post a link on how to make the Eee dual boot? Because I really can’t find one xD

  12. c.k. says:

    Hi Rob,

    The key is to install OSes on different devices. At boot you can hold down the ESC key to pick which device you want to boot off of. If you have more than one OS on a single device, then you’ll have to have a bootloader installed on that device itself. I haven’t taken that step yet.

  13. Cameron says:

    See?
    I figured it would be something rediculously easy like that, but unfamiliar with the lingo, I thought I should make sure before I started.
    Thanks.

  14. kahairi says:

    Hi guys,I’m facing problem to detect the built-in webcam after installed winXP pro on my eee PC. How to make this webcam available?.

  15. David says:

    Any idea why I have a partial boot up only into XP when the SD card is in the slot? I need to reboot without the card in and then its okay. Also, the BIOS boot order is SSD then the card so I don’t get it. When it reboots, I can access the card no problem. Its the only issue I faced after the XP intallation on the EEE PC.

    Thanks

  16. Cameron says:

    O.K. So I have XP installed. Now I can use my Verizon USB modem, as I’m doing now! :)
    But I have another question….

    [quote]you can set the display to 800×600 and the mouse will scroll the screen down or up (so more screen real estate through a hat trick).[/quote]

    How do you do this? From Control Panel–>Appearance & Themes–>Screen Resolution
    I have no options available. The 640×480 that it starts with is all that’s available. I can’t change it.

    I apologize if I’m a bit of an idiot, but your step by step and feedback have been the most useful that I’ve found to date. I mean, hey, I can’t even manage to change this, but by following your instructions I’ve successfully installed XP. ;)

  17. Cameron says:

    ^Nevermind about that. I just reinstalled the drivers and it worked fine.

  18. renon says:

    I can’t install webcam and modem for winxp. And unknow name this webcam. Help me plz

  19. Roberto says:

    C.K.,
    Do you know if someone found a way to install windows XP 2000? There was a problem with the page.sys file or something.
    thanks,
    Roberto

  20. rice says:

    thanks

  21. John Sanabria says:

    does xp fits n runs good on a 2gb w/ 512mb ram (eee pc surf)? i have a 2gb sd memory card with it i wanna use xp because i want to use zone alarm internet suit, firefox and a voip program and maybe counter strike if it fits

  22. c.k. says:

    I don’t have the 2GB version so I cannot say, but it runs OK (not lightning fast) on the 4GB. My guess is that the 2GB would be too cramped to run nicely. You’d constantly be running out of disk space.

  23. cooro42 says:

    Hi,
    If i want to keep the Linux and install the new Win XP, waht should i do?Please help. Thanks

  24. Aaron says:

    Great and simple guide, thanks a lot. One problem I’m having, though, is that at any given point a notification will tell me that a file is corrupted or missing and setup will fail… (so far: 1. “pcmcia.sys is corrupted,” 2. “\i386\vgaoem.fon could not be loaded” 3. a message telling me windows has shut down to prevent damage to the computer)

  25. Aaron says:

    I found out it’s because my asus doesnt have enough disk space. supposedly 2.3 gb are being used by the system. how do i free up space to avoid problem #3 from above (the warning suggested there might not be enough space on the disk drive)

  26. Marc says:

    Excellent guide, helped up move my EEE from Japanese to English version of XP. One problem though – when I install XP, I only have about 200 Mb free on my 4Gb card, which quickly drops to under 90Mb. This isn’t enough to install any updates or even SP3.

    Anyone know how I can reduce the XP footprint to something closer to what the Japanese install managed? (I think they only used about 2.5 Gb or something).

  27. Justin says:

    Marc;

    Use nLite to compress and get rid of stuff u dont need or cant use on the EEE PC. Good guides on eeeuser.com

    That, or google nLite xp for EEE PC

  28. loben says:

    hey man tnx for the info i will try to install xp on my 2gb model i hope it works
    its been very hard for me to use linux coz it has a very limited acces.. i hope i will have enough memory to intall some program that gonna be my problem right tnx man your a genius…

  29. Aoi says:

    Hey guys, good to-the-point guide.

    I was wondering if anybody had tried to isntall windows 2000 pro whatever SP.

    In addition, anybody manage to install an OS on a memory card and boot from it? It would be cool ot have a few memory cards containing different OS’s, to use when you feel like it, just a thought.

  30. Macrosoft says:

    @Aaron: that sounds like you either have a dodgy XP CD, external CD/DVD drive or (unfortunately more likely) some bad RAM.

    To install XP to an SD Card: http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:installxp

    Note that this involves wiping the internal SSD.

    Another Note: If you use nLite to shrink your Windows installation disc, http://www.winaddons.com/nlite-addons has some handy slipstream packages to add to the image (FireFox, OpenOffice, Pidgin et al) to save installing them later.

  31. Ken says:

    Is there any way to install from an original XP disc, that does not have Service Pack 2, I keep getting blue error screens stopping the install on my 4G Surf.

  32. Ethan says:

    Hey man

    Thanks alot for this, im going to try it when i get home!!

    Just one question, what the fluff is a partion? Im a noob when it comes to EEE pc’s, i mean i do SEO for a living and i cant even do this, dam i hope my boss doesn’t see this!!

  33. steffi says:

    i also got a blue error screen that stops the windows installation on my 4G, what shall i do to get rid of that error message?

  34. Prashant says:

    Hi everybody,
    I m trying to install XP on my new EEE pc 4G and unfortunately the setup brings me to the error “NTLDR is missing press any key to restart”. On pressing any key, it still gives the same error. This comes after the XP setup done with copying the installation files and asks for the first reboot. After reboot, it brings to this error. Can anybody pl. help me figure out this and fix it?

    Thanks,
    Prashant

  35. c.k. says:

    Prashant,

    Are you installing from a Windows XP SP2 installation disk? It must be Service Pack 2 or it won’t work.

    Cheers,

    C.K.

  36. HoezayC says:

    Prashant check this out … you get that error when the usb stick you’re using is larger than 2 gb or has not been formatted properly ..

    here’s a step by step guide to installing xp onto your asus eee pc 4g.

    http://www.erodov.com/community/showthread.php?t=11633

  37. Prashant says:

    Thanks Dear C.K, and HoezayC.

    I would like to inform u, I have a SP2 license version and I did not connect any external PEN drive so there’s no question of memory size (i.e.2 GB).
    I tried as per the instructions given in the user manual.
    I have Eee PC 4G. It worked until the installation files have been copied to the eee pc from the SP2 CD using external USB DVD drive (Sony). Step by step, I ‘ve formated the partitions to NTSC format and after it has done copying installation files, it asked for reboot. After it, it is showing the error message “NTLDR is missing” and nothing happens beyond that. Pl. guide if I can do another procedure. Now I have lost the original linux OS from it and not able to install XP. Its becoming useless for me. Pl. help.
    Thanks
    Prashant

  38. c.k. says:

    Hi Prashant,

    Are you saying that your Eee only has 2GB instead of 4GBs? At that size, you shouldn’t install XP without first making your own custom install using something like nLite. You can always reinstall the original software using the CD that came with the Eee (and if you lost that, you can download a copy from the official Asus site). Good luck.

    Cheers,

    C.K.

  39. Prashant says:

    Dear C.K,

    No, I was telling about pen drive size. My Eee pc has 4GB.

  40. sharon says:

    hi, for some reason, this isnt working for me.
    I’ve changed the OS installation to start and also the device priority to have the cd/dvd player as the first one, saved this and then pressed esc to set the cd/dvd player to #1 and it goes directly to linux. in other words, the whole, press any key to boot doesnt pop up. can you help me out with this please? i must have tried at least a couple hundred times…

  41. Hey guys, good to-the-point guide.

    I was wondering if anybody had tried to isntall windows 2000 pro whatever SP.

    In addition, anybody manage to install an OS on a memory card and boot from it? It would be cool ot have a few memory cards containing different OS’s, to use when you feel like it, just a thought.

  42. zippo says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m looking into buying the eeePC 901. One thing I find super frustrating is that the Linux version comes with 20 gb of disc space, yet the Windows XP version only comes with 12 gb of disc space. What gives ?

    This makes me wonder – have any of you bought the Linux version ( 20 GB ) and then installed XP on it ?

    P.S. – why has ASUS decided to make the XP version so much smaller in size ( hard disc space ) than the Linux version ?
    (I’ve googled this question and cannot find any forum where this is dicsussed )

  43. BrownieBoy says:

    @Zippo,

    >> One thing I find super frustrating is that the
    >> Linux version comes with 20 gb of disc space,
    >> yet the Windows XP version only comes with 12
    >> gb of disc space. What gives ?

    What “gives” is that Windows costs money and Linux is free. The money that Asus saves by not paying Microsoft (or anybody else) for the OS is what nabs you the extra 8 gig on the Linux version.

  44. SQUEAK says:

    Prashant

    You need to delete ALL the partitions on the internal drive so that XP only has a single partition [C:] to install into. If you leave the little 8Gb in place, XP will try and install into it instead, giving you that error.

  45. Are you saying that your Eee only has 2GB instead of 4GBs? At that size, you shouldn’t install XP without first making your own custom install using something like nLite. You can always reinstall the original software using the CD that came with the Eee (and if you lost that, you can download a copy from the official Asus site). Good luck.

  46. gin says:

    thanks a lot!

  47. anonymous says:

    can you install straight from a usb memory stick?

  48. cksthree says:

    ubuntu,yes. xp, i have heard you can, but I'm not sure how.

  49. miguel sanchez says:

    i install windows xp pro sp2 in my Eeepc and I used my windows xp pro studient edition and externa cd-dvd driver and 4gv of flat driver
    1- Plug in an external DVD drive via USB 2. Start your Eee and Hit F2 at the Asus start up screen, so that you can change some settings in the BIOS.1change to boot from your cd or dvd driver
    Press F10 to save and boot.
    “Hit any key to boot from CD…”
    make new partetion and hit c ,( you have to cleand all the old partition)
    so now let the cd work
    when reboot hit in your Eeepc key f2 and then f1
    in avance setting change to hard drive
    and change your boot to hard drive befor press f10
    your Eeepc star and press f1 and enjoy wind xp in your Eeepc

  50. Yes you can but its depend on type on bios system that your laptop have.

  51. DERRICA says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS YOUR ADVICE REALLY HELPED. NOW I GOT WIN XP ON MY EEE PC 4G LAPTOP.

  52. seth says:

    please i want to install the windows XP on my Asus Eee pc. so help me. i want to buy the XP software on a pendrive. thanks

  53. joki says:

    thanks men i mean i had the same idea with external dvd drive (i have to buy it first ) but i would forget to set everything to 2.0 usb . . . so thx for the update

  54. Zachary says:

    Hello i have a eee pc and i need to install programs like .exe programs, and i cant. this is frustrating to me and i ask you for ur help. ty!!!

    • Hi Zachary,

      You have to install Windows before you can install any .exe files, as the Eee comes with Linux by default. This post shows how to install Windows XP on a first generation 4GB Eee PC. Hope it helps!

  55. mona says:

    hi i read every thing and tried….but in bios setting after hitting F2 Advanced…i can see 3 options 1 IDE configuration 2 onboard devices configurition 3 CPU configuration…..nothing as you say, OS installation set it to Start….

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