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Windows Setup Trick

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help, Uncategorized

Windows Setup Trick

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(Note – the screen shots for this tip are from a win 98 computer. It works with all versions, but the only CD we could put our hands on was our Win 98 CD. So, ya get win98 screen shots.)

Have you ever installed something on your computer only to have it ask you for your Windows CD? Isn’t that annoying? Like you know where it is or something. You have to spend the rest of the afternoon hunting around your messy office for the stupid CD. Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now, there’s a better way.

First, if you are setting up a new computer and installing Windows for the first time, you can copy the files on your Windows CD to the hard drive and run setup from there. Your setup will fly and your computer will always look to the hard disk (and not ask you for the CD) when it needs files from the Windows setup CD.

If you have a newer computer, the manufacturer may have done this for you. If you’ve ever installed something and Windows automatically copies the files it needs from its setup files, then you already have a copy on your machine. If you’re not sure, you can check your registry to see where Windows looks for its setup files. More on that in the “Registry Trick” section of this tip.

If you already have Windows installed but don’t have a copy of your CD on your hard drive here’s how you can set it up (assuming you have the disk space):

1. Hold down the SHIFT key and insert your Windows CD (holding down the SHIFT key tells the computer not to “autorun” the CD)

2. Next, open Windows Explorer (right-click your Start button, Explore ). Click your C: drive (or whatever drive you want to stick the CD copy on).


3. Now, right-click a blank area in the right-hand pane and select New, Folder from the resulting menu.


Name the folder “winsetup” (no quotes).


4. Now, open the CD ROM drive, select all the files and folders (hit CTRL-A ), and drag them to the “winsetup” folder you just created.

That’s it. Next time windows asks you for the CD ROM drive, point it to C:/winsetup/win98/

Note that if you are not using Win 98, you’ll need to replace the win98 part of that location with the equalivant folder inside your new winsetup folder (i.e. win95 or maybe winme , or whatever).

Registry Trick

The above tip is handy, but you’ll have to manually point Windows to your “winsetup” directory every time you need the Windows CD. Better than hunting around for it, but here’s a registry trick you can use to let Windows know it can get this stuff of the hard drive.

Since this tip modifies the registry, it’s automatically intended for more advanced users. I need to advise you to do this at your own risk. If you mess up your registry and break your computer, don’t come cryin’ to me.

1. Hit Start, Run , and type in ” regedit ” (no quotes). Hit OK .


2. Navigate to:


3. Under that setup folder, locate the SourcePath key. Right-click it and select Modify from the resulting menu. Put in the path to your “winsetup” folder and the Windows setup folder. Since I’m using win98, here’s what my line looks like:



Hit OK and you’re all set. If you did everything correctly, Windows will no longer ask you for your CD and will automatically pull files as it needs them.

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