Install Windows XP on a Compaq Mini 110 from a USB Flash Drive or SD Card.

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

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
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;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.




  1. My netbook is compaq mini 110 and I can’t delete the partition because it says that that partition have the nessesary system settings and could not delete it.What should I do!
    help plz

  2. @guest

    That partition that may have necessary files could be the hidden system partition that HP love putting in their products. If you can confidently go through the process described in the article above, you really need not worry deleting the partition as you will inevitably put back through this process those files that the system needs to run.

  3. I boot into 1. TXT Mode setup and windows loads its files. Then jut before the ‘welcome to windows setup’ comes up it says there is no hard drive to install to. If I select 2 Gui mode, it uses the usb key to boot into windows on the internal SATA hard drive. Without the usb inserted it wont boot at all just a cursor flashing as tho it can’t find the hard drive. I have checked the boot.ini and it seems ok when compared to other ones.

  4. You’re my life saver. It happens to me where my partition 2 is default system installation folder. I change from partition(1) to partition(2) and solved the installation. Thanks a lot mate.

  5. Yes it does work – only thing just follow along and get the job done. however sliping drivers are a bit funny! Good Luck.

  6. my hp compaq netbook crashed while reinstallin wiv bootable usb in the very first step of installation in blue screen the message pops up sayin my computer contain virus therefore the installation stopped. and i tried different usb flash drive as well please help its urgent. thank you

  7. For the ones that in the windows xp blue screen doest find the hdd. you need to add the controlers for sata to the iso or download a version with controllers included. The issue in my case is that when im installing on th hdd it freezes at 34 min on stalling devices. Ive run a test to the hdd and seems to work perfectly. any suggestions?

  8. i have hp mini notebook 110-3500.. i use install with usb and also with cd/dvd external..also like that with windows 7 but when I install linux its ok all is done…but with all windows cannot load..i select already start up with GUI but cannot load windows just black screen…can u tell me what’s problem for that…thx for ur resume

  9. @kimbonk – it sounds like you are trying to dual boot windows and linux on you mini notebook. If you are, please refer to linux tutorials on how to make sure you can successfully dualboot linux and windows, although it should be a breeze if you installed windows first. If you installed linux before installing windows, then you will have problems as the windows installation will overwrite the boot sector and effectively prevent linux from being able to boot appropriately.

    If i have misread you problem, please reply with more details on how you may be helped.

  10. @macro – I have no idea why it stops at 34min – dut i do not think the device causing you problem is the HDD seeing as if windows is unable to read your drive, it will not even start installing at all. If your PC has any special devices, try disabling them in bios. Also, tweaking BIOS settings for devices on the pc to more legacy or older standards (if PC is new model) – might help with the installation process.

  11. thx for ur resume…but i dont use dual boot…1st i install windows but after finish i cannot see my desktop just black screen before coming welcome screen windows…after that i remove windows n using mandrake linux or redhat n ubuntu all is well done…n then i remove again the linux i start to install windows again the result is same…i dont kno what happen….thats all…i hope there is a solve for my problem…

  12. It is really a nice stuff but i could not understand xp source folder. is it on xs cd or on PC

  13. interesting….I wonder what happens when you try to start Windows XP in safe mode. (by pressing F8 when computer is booting). Frankly, I would need more information before I can diagnose the problem with your XP install. My only guesses at the moment for blank screen is video driver problem or screen resolution problem. It also could be a hard disk driver problem. Please advise if you can at least see the Windows XP logo when you start the computer with Windows installed.

  14. a problem is faced by me while installing window is dat On the startup menu usually we have two options, however in particular my case it has only one option.dats of the gui mode only.
    And accidently i have already formated d window…so please suugest some possible measures to come out of dis trouble.

  15. The situations that normally cause two start up options when installing windows is when you are installing a new version of windows over an existing, maybe broken, and the new installation recognises the already installed version. As you mentioned, you formatted the partition which had the previous installation of windows so I do not guess that you will have a second option coz the first version has been removed by the format. I hope this answers your question. If you need clarification, do reply…

  16. Hello

    I have a COMPAQ EVO d500 – but have lost the WIN XP software – and I need to re-install the WIN XP – I already have a CD KEY CODE.

    I need a copy of WIN XP (MINI) – to fit onto a 700 MB CD – after loading this mini version – I will download all files from microsoft.

    Can you help ???



  17. On boot up when I choose option 2 I do get the hal.dll error. When I choose option 1, Windows loads a lot of drivers and when I have to choose whether to keep the partion or create a new one, Windows tells me that the disk is damaged. I have tried two different disks which works perfect in other laptops. Please tell me what’s wrong here…

  18. I’ve spent the last 5 days and nights wrestling with my 110c 1100dx. It seems sp2 lacks the newer sata drivers that this thing needs. Ubuntu runs very well on it, but won’t play netflix. Ubuntu is free and runs just fine from the flash drive or hard drive. But when I try to install sp2; even after slipstreaming various drivers through nlite, and wasting a few days getting that to work.– The stupid thing still locks up with some type of 000000007B… error — which I guess means “hard drive controller driver error”. Ubuntu is a lot newer than sp2, so I guess they have the controller drivers built into their operating system. I’ve even removed the drive and installed it in my desptop. Windows ran just fine for days in that machine. But when I try to stick it into my mini; it shows the splash screen, flashes the same blue screen of death (BSOD) quickly, then reboots. It will do that loop all day long if I don’t stop it.
    Also, the bios has very very few hardware settings.

  19. my last reply didn’t stick. but, I got it all figured out. couldn’t slipstream driver onto flash drive. had to create an .iso file with nlite (which reguired installing .Net framework first. the installation cd I made actually worked. and I didn’t have to buy a recovery cd from HP.

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