This tutorail is for installing Windows XP on a Compaq Mini 110 or other netbook using a USB Flash Drive or SD Card. You will need to have already prepared the bootable USB Flash Drive or SD Card. If you have not done this yet, please follow this tutorail on How to Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive or SD Card for Windows XP.
For the Compaq Mini 110 all you would have to do is insert your USB Flash Drive or SD Card and press F9 when booting to give you a boot device menu, where your inserted USB Flash Drive or SD Card should appear as a boot option. For other netbooks, make sure that netbook is configured with USB or Card Redaer as the primary boot device. This is normally done in the BIOS settings of the netbook. Please refer to the user manual of your netbook PC on how to change your BIOS settings if you need to.
On the startup menu you have two options, select option number 2 for text mode setup.
From this point on it is just like any other windows XP installation. delete/recreate the primary partition on your pc and format it using NTFS. Once the text mode portion of setup is complete it will boot into the GUI mode (you can press enter after the reboot if your too excited to wait the 30 seconds). If you get an error (hal.dll error most likely), power off your machine and boot from the USB Flash Disk or SD Card again. This time, select option number 1, for the GUI setup. This is to allow you to complete the GUI section of the Windows XP installation. We will resolve the hal.dll error a bit later.
Once the GUI portion of setup is complete you will again have to boot into GUI mode this will complete the XP installation and you will end up at you XP desktop. (if you still have the hal.dll error, please boot from the USB Flash Disk or SD Card using option 1). It is very important that you DO NOT REMOVE THE USB STICK before this point. Once you can see your start menu it is safe to remove the usb stick and reboot your pc to make sure everything worked.
If you had the ‘hal.dll’ error during the installation, here is how to correct it. At this point, I am assuming that you have successfully installed and booted into Windows XP and are at the desktop with the start menu and all that. Now, to resolve the ‘hal.dll’ error, you will need to edit the ‘boot.ini’ file in your system. This file is hidden in your first primary partition. (your drive C:\ – where you would have normally installed Windows. If you installed windows on a partition that is not the first primary partition of your hard drive, then check for this file on the first primary partition still.) To view the file, go to Tools->Options (from an Explorer Windows like My Computer), select the View Tab, and change the Dial to View Hidden Files and uncheck the ‘Hide system files’ checkbox which is normally checked. Chose ‘Yes’ to the warning message that pops up and Chose ‘Ok’ to apply the settings. You should now be able to view the ‘boot.ini’ file in your first primary partition. Right click on it and edit the file to have it look like this
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
Please note that it is the value of rdisk() that you need to change. By default, it will be a rdisk(1), which is what is causing the hal.dll error. Also note that the partition number in the partition() part of the file referes to the number that represents the partition where windows is installed. In most cases, you will not need to worry about this, and the value 1 represents the first partition of the hard disk; 2 represents the second partition on the hatd disk, and so on.
For more information on editing the ‘boot.ini’ file, you can go to http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;289022
Advantages of thie method of installing XP to the Compaq Mini 110 or other netbook is that you do not have to copy setup files in DOS to the hard drive and install from there; it gives you access to the recovery console by booting into text mode setup, and it gives you the ability to run repair installations of XP if you have problems later on.
I hope this worked out for you and please post feedback to the comments section.