How to install Windows 10 from Windows XP without DVD or USB stick

This article shows how to install Windows 10 (32 or 64 bits) from Windows XP, you don't have to burn images to DVD disk or copy Windows 10 files to a flash drive. You'll need only:

List of the software:

Also you can download files menu.lst, grldr and boot.ini here:

What we will do (we have the drive C:\ with installed Windows XP (FAT32), the drive D:\ is CD-ROM drive):

The installation process:

Let's start. Open Windows XP Disk Management: right-click the "Start" button, and Left-click "My Computer", then click "Manage". Select "Disk Management" (or click "Start" button, then click "Run", type there "compmgmt.msc", and then click OK).

We need change the letter of CD-ROM from D:\ to any other value. Right-click the CD-ROM, then select "Change drive letter and paths...".

Change drive letter and paths

Access to the volume using a new drive letter

Selecting a new drive letter for CD-ROM drive

Now drive letter E:\ assigned to the CD-ROM drive:

New drive letter is assigned to the CD-ROM drive

We need to resize the existing partition C:\ to create a new partition. Because the file system of the drive C:\ is FAT32, it is impossible to use the DISKPART utility in Windows XP, it works only with NTFS partitions. Fortunately, there is freeware like MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, or GParted programs.

Let's install MiniTool Partition Wizard and run it. You'll see the main screen of the program. Select the disk C:\, and click on the "Move/Resize" button:

Main screen of the MiniTool Partition Wizard program

Now resize the disk C:\ and click "OK". Windows 10 requires at least 20 GB (including a space for updates) of free space to install, so set the "Unallocated Space After" to 20000 MB or more.

Resizing the partition to make a space for Windows 10

Click "OK", and you'll see a new logical disk. To make it active, you must click on the "Apply" button.

Warning! Before you start it, you have to backup all critical data, because in case of power failure all the data may be lost.

Starting the Partition Wizard

You will be asked to restart the computer, and at the boot you'll see Partition Wizard running:

Partition Wizard is running

This resizing process may take quite a long time, so be patient. At the end, Partition Wizard will automatically restart the computer.

Open Disk Management, as it was described earlier, you'll see there unallocated space, right-click on it:

Disk Management with unallocated space

Now create a new primary partition, specify its size in MB, and assign the drive letter D:\ to the partition:

New Partition Wizard

Specify partition size

Assign Drive letter to the new partition

Format the partition in NTFS file system, also you can change the volume label:

Format the partition in NTFS file system

After format is completed, there will be a new disk in the system. If you can't see it in the Explorer, reboot the computer.

The new logical drive is created

The next step - copy Windows 10 ISO file (Windows10_InsiderPreview_x32_EN-US_xxxxx.iso or Windows10_InsiderPreview_x64_EN-US_xxxxx.iso) into the root directory of the drive D:\, then rename the ISO file into "iso.iso". Create the directory "WIN" in the root directory, and unpack "iso.iso" there. To unpack the ISO file you can use 7-Zip archiver or ISO Opener (they are freeware). This is how the root directory of the drive D:\ looks:

 Volume in drive D is Windows 10
 Volume Serial Number is A26C-9123

 Directory of D:\

01.06.2015  15:39     3 782 055 936 iso.iso
01.06.2015  03:54    <DIR>          WIN
               2 File(s)  3 903 197 184 bytes
               1 Dir(s)  23 685 287 936 bytes free

 Volume in drive D is Windows 10
 Volume Serial Number is A26C-9123

 Directory of D:\WIN

01.06.2015  20:53    <DIR>          .
01.06.2015  20:53    <DIR>          ..
25.04.2015  08:13               128 autorun.inf
01.06.2015  20:47    <DIR>          boot
25.04.2015  08:13           393 718 bootmgr
25.04.2015  08:13         1 131 496 bootmgr.efi
01.06.2015  20:47    <DIR>          efi
25.04.2015  08:13            79 568 setup.exe
01.06.2015  20:47    <DIR>          sources
01.06.2015  20:53    <DIR>          support
               4 File(s)      1 604 910 bytes
               6 Dir(s)  23 685 287 936 bytes free

Now let's explain the GRUB4DOS boot loader. You need the file "grldr" (MD5:fcec9e82177c23864a91d896aef261df), copy it into the root directory of the drive C:\. You can get this file here: You have to modify the file "boot.ini" located in the root of the drive C:\ (remove attributes "Read Only" and "Hidden" before edit!), add this string:


Also increase timeout, add this value to that file:


The file "boot.ini" has this content:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT /PAE

Also you'll need the file "menu.lst" with this content:

timeout 60
color green/blue white/black
foreground 000580

title Microsoft Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

title Windows 10 iso
map (hd0,1)/iso.iso (hd32)
map --hook
chainloader (hd32)

In this file parameters (hd0,0) and (hd0,1) mean C:\ and D:\ drives, respectively.

If your hard drive connected to a different SATA port, you have to change (hd0,0) and (hd0,1) to (for example) (hd1,0) and (hd1,1) or (hd2,0) and (hd2,1) and so on. Also you may have to change partitions (for example, hd0,0 to hd0,5). To find exact values of this parameters, use GRUB boot loader, see this screenshot:
Press "c" for a command-line, then type uuid (mind it is case sensitive). You'll see something like that:

grub> uuid
(hd0,0): UUID is C382-CB31
         Filesystem type is fat, partition type 0x0B

(hd0,1): UUID is 5862458625612458
         Filesystem type is ntfs, partition type 0x07

grub> _

Use this values in the file "menu.lst". To quit the boot Loader, type there reboot command. For more information, read the boot loader documentation.

Create this file, and save it into the root directory of the C:\ drive.

Let's see how the root directory of Windows XP looks:

The root directory of Windows XP

There are files "grldr", "menu.lst" and the modified file "boot.ini".

OK, let's reboot the computer. Select the Loader at startup:

Windows XP boot menu

Select "Windows 10 iso" on the next screen, and press "Enter":

Menu of the Grub loader

Press any key to boot the Windows 10:

The virtual CD-ROM with Windows 10 is starting

Windows setup will go through several screens, and when you get this screen, you have to click on the "Repair your computer":

Windows 10 setup screen

Click on the "Troubleshoot":

Windows 10 setup screen - Troubleshoot

Then click on the "Advanced options":

Advanced options of the Windows 10 setup screen

And click on the "Command prompt":

Command prompt in the Windows 10 setup

You'll see a window with the command-line interpreter:

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.10074]
(c) 2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


You have to navigate to the "D:\WIN\sources" directory and start the file "setup.exe":

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.10074]
(c) 2015 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.



D:\>cd WIN


D:\WIN>cd sources



That's all, the Windows 10 installation will begin. You'll pass through several screens, select "Install Windows only" on the this screen:

Windows 10 setup - which type of installation you want?

Then select the Partition 2 that were created earlier:

Select a partition to install Windows 10

Now you can continue the Windows 10 installation, you can read about it here: How to install windows 10 on a computer - a step by step guide

But how to uninstall Windows 10? It's easy - you'll need your CD with Windows XP. Boot the computer from CD-ROM drive with this CD, go to the "Recovery Console", and type there this command:

fixboot C:

It will rewrite the boot sector to the disk C:\, so the computer will boot with Windows XP as it was before, and you can delete all the files from the disk D:\.

Also you can watch the video How to install Windows 10 from Windows XP without DVD or USB stick on Youtube.

By the way, using this tutorial you can install Windows 7, 8, 8.1 the same way.