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Installing XP Embedded

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12 Apr 2012CPOL
Installing Windows XP Embedded


I am getting what feels like an infinite number of emails and calls from all over world about the same query: How to install Windows XP Embedded. So I thought, "why not to make an article."

Lots of people get a problem during the installation of XP-Embedded, like when making an image for the first time. The reason is that there is no documented help for certain issues. So I thought I'd summarize all these in a tutorial.

Installing XP Embedded

Well, installing Embedded XP is not a one-button-click process. Most people get in trouble when there is an error while installing. However, it is not at all that tough — you just have to apply your mind a little.

What you Get When you Download EXP

When you download Embedded XP you will get the following cab files .

  5. {484C9D34-846E-40E2-A2E6-FF2771A303D5}.CAB
  6. {022716D8-0CF0-4779-B94C-8E52EB36709C}.CAB
  7. {347677C8-8935-4D30-8DDA-FB6D701ACF47}.CAB

First, unzip these files by using WinRar from (here)

Assumptions: You UN-Rar all files at D:\XPE

When you go to the DISK1 folder and click SETUP.EXE (D:\testXPE\disk1\DISK1\SETUP.EXE) it prompts an error. Now go to STARTCD.INI (D:\testXPE\disk1\STARTCD.INI)

And make following changes:

  • Change the DISK1E from line number 15 to DISK1 i.e (AlternatePath=%ROOTDIR%\..\DISK1E) to AlternatePath=%ROOTDIR%\..\DISK1
  • Similarly, change line number 22 to from DISK2E to DISK2 i.e (AlternatePath=%ROOTDIR%\..\DISK2E) to AlternatePath=%ROOTDIR%\..\DISK2
  • Go to line number 111 and add disk1 in between i.e from “Cmd=%RootDir%\instmsiw.exe change” it to “Cmd=%RootDir%\DISK1\instmsiw.exe”
  • Copy tools folder from “D:\testXPE\tools\DISK1” to “D:\testXPE\disk1

    Now start installation from D:\testXPE\disk1\DISK1

  • Install all one by one

You will find CD keys in D:\testXPE\disk1\DISK1\productkey.txt

When you would be installing database setup you will find this error

Image 11.JPG

To remove this error go to D:\xpe\disk2\DISK2\DATABASE here make a folder name “Windows Embedded Data” inside that make a folder name “Repositories”

Inside this folder i.e. “D:\xpe\disk2\DISK2\DATABASE\Windows Embedded Data\Repositories


  1. {484C9D34-846E-40E2-A2E6-FF2771A303D5}.CAB
  2. {022716D8-0CF0-4779-B94C-8E52EB36709C}.CAB
  3. {347677C8-8935-4D30-8DDA-FB6D701ACF47}.CAB

Now click on Retry.

Finally, install remote boot setup.

Congrats your Embedded XP development environment is successfully installed!

17 Easy Steps to Create your New Embedded XP Image

  1. In “C:\programm files\Windows Embedded\utilities”, double click “tap’, then it will create “devices.pmq” automatically.
  2. Select “All programs->Microsoft Windows Embedded Studio->Component Designer”.
  3. Open “File”, choose “Import…”, import “devices.pmq”, and input log file name, click “start”.
  4. Save “devices”.
  5. Select “All programs->Microsoft Windows Embedded Studio->Component Database Manager”, import devices file that created, and then click “Import”, then “close”.
  6. Select “All programs->Microsoft Windows Embedded Studio->Target Designer”. Open “file”, choose “New”, click “OK”, then search components that you want.(device manager/ display control panel/Acpi multiprocer, power management/ Date/Time control panel/ keyboard &Mouse control panel/system control panel/ task manager/ users control panel/ user interface core/ sound recorder/TCP/IP utility / Directshow DVD/MPEG2/ audio control panel/DirectX 9.0C/ add hardware controlpanel/ add/remove program control /FAT/FATFormat)
  7. Open “Configuration”, choose “Check Dependencies”.
  8. After “Check Dependencies” finished, there are 4 errors. Double click task name, select “NT l loader”, “English Language Support”, “FAT Format”, “Explorer Shell” apart.
  9. Open “Configuration”, choose “Check Dependencies” again.
  10. Open “Configuration”, choose “Build Target Image”, and click “Build”.
  11. After “Build” finished, copy BOOTPREP file in “C:\Programs files\Windows Embedded\ Utilities” to “C:\Windows Embedded Image
  12. Copy all files in “Windows Embedded Image” to another disk that must be FAT32.
  13. Boot from floppy to DOS, then active the partition which has system files.
  14. Reboot to DOS, execute BOOTPREP file.
  15. Boot from HDD. The Embedded Windows XP is completed.
  16. Input use name” administrator”, then press “Enter” key after enter OS.
  17. Copy folder “Windows Embedded Data” to another disk for installing the driver.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Pradeep Kothari
Systems Engineer
India India
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Posted 12 Apr 2012