If you're going to do a clean install of Windows XP Tablet Edition, you'll need to make yourself a set of install CDs. OEMs like IBM, Toshiba, HP, etc. do not provide these for you, but most of what you'll need is already installed on your tablet. You will need the following:
A. Your tablet PC with a licensed copy of XP Tablet Edition (XP TE) installed
B. The Windows XP Product Key from the sticker on the bottom of the tablet
C. A legal, licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 on a CD (needed for a few files that aren't on the tablet) **Edit** If you don't have a Service Pack 2 CD, you don't need to "slipstream", or update your version to SP2 because you will be using the i386 folder from your tablet, which is already built for SP2. What you will need is the identifying files for step 3 of the procedure, which are WIN51, WIN51IP, and WIN51IP.SP2. You'll most likely be missing WIN51IP.SP2 or both WIN51IP and WIN51IP.SP2 if you have an earlier version of Windows XP. Each of these 3 files contains the single word "Windows" and is otherwise identical. If you have one of the files, just make copies and change the name. Or you can create any of these three files yourself using notepad to create a file containing the word "Windows" (without the quotes), and then save the file with the desired file name. **Warning** Notepad will add the extension .txt to the file automatically, so be sure to delete the .txt extension. You may not be able to see the extension if you have Windows configured to "Hide extensions for known file types". To be certain, go to Control Panel/Folder Options/View and be sure to uncheck Hide Extensions for known file types.
D. A CD burner
E. CD burning software that can burn bootable CDs, like NERO, for example
F. A boot sector extractor utility that you can download from the internet
Before starting, read the following articles for some background information on the process:
Next, get ready to go. If you have a desktop PC and are connected on a home network, it is more convenient to work on the desktop machine, especially if it has a couple of GB of free hard disk space and a CD burner. I didn't have the external CD/DVD burner with my X41T, so I did all of the following on my desktop machine.
My objective was to create an install CD that has all of the capabilities of the CD that should have been given to us by the manufacturer, including all extra software, help files, and the ability to be inserted into a CD drive of a working system to do repairs. If your only objective is to reinstall Windows, then you can leave out a lot of the extra stuff. I'll indicate those items that are optional. Here's the procedure that I used to successfully create the XP TE Install CDs:
1. Create a folder on the desktop PC called "VRMPOEM_EN" (this is the name given to the CD by Microsoft; don't ask me what it means, although the _EN portion of the CD name is for the English Language version, so if you have a different language version be sure to name it appropriately)
2. From your tablet, copy the following three folders to the newly-created folder -- "SUPPORT, VALUEADD, and I386". You'll find these folders at the root of your C: drive on the tablet. (Only I386 is required; the rest are optional).
3. From your Windows XP Install CD, copy everything BUT these three folders to the newly created folder. These 5 files are required-- "SETUP.EXE, WIN51, WIN51IP, WIN51IP.SP2, wpa.dbl". see the note for C) above if you're missing any of the WIN* files. If your CD does not have wpa.dbl (the Windows product activation file) then copy it from your tablet at C:/Windows/System32/wpa.dbl. These files are optional-- "AUTORUN.INF, README.HTM, SETUPXP.HTM, DOCS folder".
4. Create a second folder called "VRMPOEM_EN2" on your desktop machine.
5. From your tablet PC, copy the folder "CMPNENTS" to the newly-created folder.
6. Create a new folder called "DRIVERS" inside the "VRMPOEM_EN2" folder. In other words, the second CD will contain two folders; CMPNENTS and DRIVERS.
7. From your tablet PC, locate the folder "77RA05WW" inside the "C:\DRIVERS\ folder. As of the date of this article, that's the folder that contains the latest Broadcom Ethernet driver for the X41T. You'll need this after installing the OS in order to get connected to the Internet. Copy the "77RA05WW" folder to your newly-created DRIVERS folder.
You now have two folders that will be burned onto two CDs. The first CD must be made bootable, however. So you'll need the XP boot sectors off of your Windows XP CD. You can use the utility "Bart's Boot Image Extractor" at Bart Lagerweij's web site to extract the boot sectors into a file:
8. Following the instructions on the above web page, extract the boot sectors to a file called "XPBoot.bin" on your desktop machine.
Next you'll burn the two CDs using NERO or your favorite burning software. **Note: I've heard that you can download a demo version of NERO7 that you can use to do this if you don't currently have NERO installed** The procedure for creating a bootable CD is a little tricky, so read the following article for help:
**Edit 5/30/2006** The web site previously quoted in this article has been taken down. Use the following site instead.
9. Follow the procedure described in step 5 of the article. Do NOT do steps 2 and 3; they are unnecessary because the i386 folder on your tablet is already updated to SP2. Be sure to make the Volume Label "VRMPOEM_EN". Copy only the contents of the folder "VRMPOEM_EN" to the CD; NOT the folder itself. After you make the CD, it should contain exactly what the folder on the desktop machine contains.
10. Burn the second CD conventionally; it should NOT be made bootable.
You now have a pair of installation CDs that will allow you to reinstall XP TE on your X41T. Continue with Part III of this article for details on how to rebuild your X41T.
**Disclaimer -- The CDs that you made are for your personal use only, and are to be used only for reinstalling the operating system on the Tablet PC that you have a legal copy of Windows for. Sharing them with someone else would be a violation of copyright law. The manufacturer of the PC should have given a set to you when you purchased the PC, but chose instead to put the installation files on your hard drive. Dumb move on their part. Perhaps if enough of us complain to the manufacturers of Tablet PCs we can get them to supply XP Tablet Edition Install CDs with the PC like the manufacturers of desktop PCs do.