A few months ago I started experiencing problems with my Dell Mini 9 such that it eventually wouldn't boot at all. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I do have a bag of troubleshooting tricks up my sleeve. I tried a few things but then decided the best course of action would be to do a clean install. The mini is my night time and travel computer...anything of value I do when using it gets saved to the cloud so the only thing I had to lose was time. CDs with the ultraportable version of XP and drivers came shipped with the machine, and I had a usb CD/DVD drive so I figured I was good to go.
The install proceeded as expected until the GUI setup phase. I received an error message: "Please insert Windows XP disc because the file ASMS cant be found." Some research
revealed that I was not the first to experience this problem; it seems that after the initial text install phase that the system loses the ability to communicate with the external drive, as the appropriate driver is not yet installed. Unfortunately the easiest suggested fix (changing the path manually) did not work, and there was no other convenient way to transfer the files.
One solution would have been to use a linux live cd to copy the files, but I decided that any fix involving the CD/DVD drive was probably not the best plan of action. Instead I chose to install from a flash drive, based on the instructions found here
. In brief, this required that I create a bootable flash drive, copy the Windows XP install files to it and boot from that. There are alternative methods, but WinSetupFromUSB
is much more user friendly software, with a convenient GUI.
Once Windows was installed, I needed to install the drivers, but once again my external CD drive let me down. I ended up downloading them on another computer and copying them to the mini via my trusty flash drive. The list of drivers I needed and recommended install order were found in this thread
. I did not need all the files for my particular build, just the following, which I installed in this order:
Labels: dell, mini, netbook, usb, winxp