"Path Specified in Setup Is Invalid" Error Message When You Try to Install Windows XP from a Flat

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Article ID: 315349 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you copy the files contained in the i386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to a folder on your computer's hard disk and then attempt to upgrade your computer to Windows XP (also known as installing from a flat), you may receive one of the following error messages.
  • When you upgrade a Windows XP-based computer:
    The installation source path specified in Setup is invalid. Contact your System Administrator.
  • When you upgrade a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer:
    The option to upgrade will not be available at this time because Setup was unable to load the file
    drive:\i386\WINNTUPG\NETUPGRD.DLL.

    The system could not find the file specified.
    NOTE: drive is the letter of the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive that contains the Windows XP CD-ROM.
  • When you upgrade a Microsoft Windows 98-based computer:
    Setup has disabled the upgrade option. Could not load the file
    drive:\i386\win9xupg\w95upg.dll

    Setup cannot continue, because this version can only install as an upgrade.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because Windows Setup requires additional files and folders to be present in the installation directory.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, copy the entire contents of the i386 folder (including subdirectories) from the Windows XP CD-ROM to a folder on your computer's hard disk, and then restart the installation.

To copy the i386 folder from the CD-ROM while in Windows, open your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, right-click the i386 folder, click Copy, and then paste the folder to a partition that has enough hard-disk space.

To copy the entire i386 folder if you are not able to start Windows, use a Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) Startup disk to start your computer, and then use the Xcopy utility. To do this, use one of the following methods, as appropriate to your operating system.

Using a Windows 98 Startup Disk and CD-ROM

  1. Use a Windows 98 Startup disk to start your computer with CD-ROM support.
  2. Type the following at the command prompt to extract the Xcopy utility, and then copy it to the Startup disk in drive A
    extract x:\win98\win98_21.cab /a xcopy*.* /L A:\
    where x is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
  3. Copy Smartdrv.exe from X:\win98 by typing the following command:
    copy x:\win98\smartdrv.exe A:
    Where x is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
  4. At the command (A:) prompt, type the following commands (press ENTER after each command):
    smartdrv

    xcopy x:\i386 C:\i386 /e
    where x is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

Using a Windows Me Startup Disk and CD-ROM

  1. Use a Windows Me Startup disk to start your computer with CD-ROM support.
  2. Type the following at the command prompt to extract the Xcopy utility, and then copy it to the Startup disk in the drive A
    extract x:\win9x\win_8.cab /a xcopy*.* /L A:\
    where x is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
  3. Copy Smartdrv.exe from X:\win9x
    copy x:\win9x\smartdrv.exe A:
    where x is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
  4. At the command (A:) prompt type the following commands (press ENTER after each command):
    smartdrv

    xcopy x:\i386 C:\i386 /e
    where x is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
NOTE: You will require approximately 460 megabytes (MB), or 483,242,590 bytes, of free hard-disk space to store the i386 folder from the Windows XP Professional CD-ROM. This is in addition to 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of hard-disk space necessary for Windows XP installation.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about how to install Windows XP, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307848 HOW TO: Start Setup from MS-DOS in Windows XP
286463 Release Notes for Windows XP Setup Contained in the Pro.txt File
306824 Release Notes for Windows XP Setup Contained in Home.txt File
292607 Windows XP Supported Upgrade Paths
278104 "This Program Cannot Be Run in DOS Mode" Running Windows XP Setup

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Article ID: 315349 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
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