Make a Bootable WIN9X Flash Drive and Xcopy the contents of the XP install CD to it.
Then format the C: drive on the Machine FAT32 and XCOPY the contents of the flash Drive to C:
Then Boot from C: to a dos prompt.
Make Sure you have HIMEM.SYS in the Config.sys file and that you run smartdrv.exe 2 times.
Then Run C:\I386\WINNT.EXE /S:C:\ /T:C:\ /A
After XP is setup you can convert C: to ntfs with Convert C: /FS:NTFS.
You get what error? You have to format the drive with WIN9X DOS and have himem.sys and SMARTDRV.EXE running then Run XP Setup from DOS. OR use a USB CDROM Drive aind install that way. If the SSD onboard is bad it will not install. You can however Use a USB to SD chip reader and install Linux on that and then Set the Bios to boot from the SD card. 8 Gigs is Really Really small for XP.
The I386 Directory must be on the C:\ drive that boots WIN9X MSDOS and has SMARTDRV.EXE loaded.
So your drive must boot MSDOS win9x to C:\ then run WINNT from MSDOS.
You cannot BOOT XP from the SD Slot and run it but Linux works fine.
Was there ever a solution? it seems like it would be helpful elsewhere as well.
I hope this helps:
I had this happen a couple times in a row with re-installing desktops.
The two times it happened, I had made 2 drives to start the install with, one FAT, and NTFS.
I was planning to just create partitions in the recovery console and install to the NTFS drive from the FAT dive. It didn't work. Without error that was useful.
I know I had to create a windows 98 boot disk, because real dos could run without a an extra host controller for the drive needing to load? But I could not address the NTFS drive normally because the NTFS drivers were in the NTFS volume that the win 98 disk could not do much to.
I had to basically create FAT disks, and it was the installer that copied the NTFS image onto the volume, as NTFS, but it needed to launch from non-NTFS.
Whereas when I tried to point to an existing NTFS drive from anything but the recovery console, it would not read it as a destination.
It drove me nuts.
The solution was similar to starting with one FAT drive, doing what the Console wanted to do to format it and install, then rebooting and doing again to create an NTFS drive from that install, THEN I could treat it as a drive to install bootable to because I was already in an NTFS-aware file system.
I sadly cannot remember the details that would nail it for you, but I was left to believe that something about the installer needing to run from a virtual machine made it possible to create NTFS from an "existing" NTFS system?
All I remember for sure, that I think is entirely relevant to this case, is that I had to startup from a win98 partition, in order to address the new volumes from the installer, which would then be able to install them as NTFS, and once I booted into THAT, i could correctly point to another drive, like a slave.
Maybe there is something about the mods you made to the installer that touches on this same series of details.
Hope this is remotely helpful as a place to poke around
Windows XP is at End of Life and should no longer be used and this thread is a year old.
Instructions for installation of Windows XP via a USB flash drive are included in my legacy Windwos XP Reinstallation Guide: