Need to use external hardrive to install xp on a laptop w-dead cd drive

Hi all and thanks for your time.

I am just smart enough with computers to be dangerous so forgive me if my post sounds dumb.

I was given a used Sony Vaio laptop VGN-NR180E that had no hardrive in it. I bought a relacement oem hardrive that has been wiped clean and formated and need to install my OS. I have a retail cd of Windows XP that is an original disc. not a downloaded copy (not pirated). I installed the hardrive and now I have discovered that the cd drive does not work. no power no nothing. I verified that it was still hooked up properly but it is dead.
What I want to do if possible, is to somehow use an external hardrive to install my OS. I went into bios on the vaio and enabled external usb drive boot but how do i do the rest. I doubt I just copy and paste the cd onto the external drive and walla…
Can someone explain how to do this if it is possible??

I know I can just buy a new cd drive buy i really don’t want to spend anymore money till i know if the vaio will work.

Thanks and HAPPY NEWYEAR!!!

The XP disc should be bootable. So, just put it in the USB drive, turn the laptop on and wait for the message ‘Press any key to boot from CD’.


[QUOTE=RichMan;2566768]The XP disc should be bootable. So, just put it in the USB drive, turn the laptop on and wait for the message ‘Press any key to boot from CD’.


he has an external HARD drive not a CD drive…

Buy or borrow a USB OPTICAL drive

OR install the destination drive for the OS into another computer that has a working optical drive
and run the installer, at the second reboot during the install disconnect the power before the computer restarts and move the HDD into the intended computer and let it boot.

This SOMETIMES works with XP, but I’ve never tried it with Vista or 7

Failing that borrow and install (alteast temporarily) the optical drive from another notebook computer…

There are typically some “appliances” screwed to the outside to make it fit the specific
notebook computer chassis, but with a bit of patience you’ll figuire it out.


Good catch AD. I overlooked that. I thought he/she was trying to use an external CD/DVD drive since the one in the system was broken. I’m not sure how using an external hard drive would be of any use at all in this situation since there is still a broken CD/DVD drive to worry with.

On the other hand, maybe he/she actually meant they wanted to use an external CD/DVD drive for the install to the new ‘internal’ hard drive. Your guess is as good as mine since the original post was unclear.


Thanks for the quick responses!

I have an external hard drive, not optical.
I will try to borrow an external optical and go that route. I just don’t want to buy the new rom drive till I know the computer will work properly. Sorry i was confussing in the oroginal post. I basically have an external 80 gig hardrive laying around collecting dust and was thinking maybe i could transfer the xp cd onto it then use the external hard drive as a boot device to install xp onto the new laptop hard drive. I have been surfing around on this topic and found a great write up on how to do it but it looks kind of complicated because I would need to incorporate both the external hard drive and a usb stick to pull it off. Thanks again for the replies.

You could also try to download a version of linux that can run off a memory stick (assuming you have one).

Check this out:

You should be able to test the hardware of the laptop out this way and see if it is worth buying a new optical drive for it. Good luck!

Or simply power up the laptop and press whatever butten required to go into setup

If you can get into setup “POST” Power On Self Test

The computer will probably work with a new optical drive