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How to obtain Windows XP Setup disks for a floppy boot installation

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q310994
If you are a Small Business customer, find additional troubleshooting and learning resources at the Support for Small Business site.

To continue receiving security updates for Windows, make sure you're running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). For more information, refer to this Microsoft webpage: Support is ending for some versions of Windows

You can obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks from Microsoft, but only by download. We provide the Setup boot disks so that you can run the Setup program on computers that cannot use a bootable CD-ROM. If you can start your computer from a CD-ROM or from a network-based installation, we strongly recommend that you use those installation methods instead.

Future products will no longer support installation by using the Setup boot disks. Installation of future Microsoft operating systems will require the ability to start from the CD drive or by using PXE boot from the network. For more information about how to use PXE boot, go to the RIS and PXE requirements webpage on the Microsoft TechNet website.

How to obtain a replacement disk

If you bought Windows XP in the last 30 days, you may be able to return it to the store where you bought it to obtain a replacement under the Microsoft 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Check the packaging for information about the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Also, to obtain a replacement disk, telephone the Microsoft Order Desk at (800) 360-7561, and request a replacement for your damaged disk. If you are outside the United States, contact the Microsoft subsidiary for your area. To locate your subsidiary, go to the Microsoft World Wide website.

Who should download the Setup disks?

You should download the Setup disks if all the following conditions are true:
  • You are installing a new, full retail version of Windows XP.

    Note An upgrade installation of Windows XP does not require the Setup disks.
  • You have a working CD drive, but you cannot start your computer from your CD-ROM.
  • You can start your computer from a floppy disk drive.
Note The Windows XP installation CD-ROM is a startup disk and can be used to start Windows. When you use the Windows XP installation CD-ROM to start your computer, you can use the Windows Recovery Console to help recover the system software. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314058 Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console

Steps to download, create, and use the Setup disks

There are six Windows XP Setup boot floppy disks. You must have the files and the drivers that these disks contain to access the CD drive and to start the Setup process.

Step 1: Download the Setup disk program

Download the version of Setup disks that corresponds to your version of the Windows XP CD-ROM. The version should be displayed on the CD-ROM disk, and the version will indicate if a Service Pack is included. 

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
For information about the Setup boot disk versions that are available for download, go to the following Microsoft websites:

Step 2: Run the Setup disk program to create the Setup disks

When you download the Setup disks, the download contains one large program file. When you run the downloaded file, it extracts the files, and then you receive the following message: 
This program creates the Setup boot disks for Windows XP. To create these disks, you must to provide 6 blank, formatted, high-density disks.

Please specify the floppy drive to copy the images to:
Type the drive letter for the floppy disk drive (this is typically drive A). After you type the floppy disk drive letter, you receive the following message:
Insert one of these disks into drive drive letter. This disk will become the Windows XP Setup Boot Disk.

Press any key when you are ready.
When you press a key, the downloaded file starts to extract and copy the files. Insert the blank disks as you are prompted until all six disks are created. If the process is interrupted, you must run the downloaded program file again to create all six disks.

Make sure that you label each disk appropriately with the number that is specified by the program. You must use the disks in the correct order during the Setup process.

Step 3: Start your computer by using the first Setup disk to begin a new Windows XP installation

After you create all six disks, insert the first disk in the floppy disk drive, and then restart the computer. The computer must be configured to start from the floppy disk drive. You may have to change the BIOS settings on your computer to do this. 

The Setup process starts. Insert the other floppy disks when you are prompted. You must use the Windows XP CD-ROM to finish the Setup process.
More information
For more information about how to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack on CD, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack
To obtain the Windows XP Service Pack 3 - ISO-9660 CD ISO image, go to the Windows XP Service Pack 3 - ISO-9660 CD Image File webpage.
Additional Resources
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Article ID: 310994 - Last Review: 09/26/2012 01:52:00 - Revision: 11.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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