Is it possible to make a personal XP installation disk?

Have you ever felt that you needed to have an extra copy of your XP installation CD? For instance, what if you could create a CD that would store all the settings after you have your system installed – and have customized it with your own personalized set of programs (that only you use) and removing all the factory contents that you hate. Then, you would not have to go through the process of customization (read favorite program installation) over and over again, every time you have to format your system.

The sort answer to this question is that you cannot create such a Windows installation CD. However, depending on certain conditions, you can achieve a fair deal with other installation CDs.

One solution is to create a ‘ghost’ of the installation CD. This will enable you to replace the system OS whenever you want – provided that you have backed up your important files.

The other thing that you could do is to CD-to-CD copy of an original CD. Do not worry; this is perfectly legal provided you have your own set of original installation key. You can get this only when you have bought a legitimate edition of XP. Most of the time, if your PC came with a legitimate edition of XP, then your PC should have a label stuck somewhere on its body where the key to that edition of XP is noted. Hence, you might not receive a CD from the company, but you have the key.

The main problem with creating an installation CD is the CAB files that are installed on your PC the first time. This are mostly hidden and buried deep in the computer so that no one can copy them to a CD and duplicate the installation process. They typically have a .cab extension, but often manufacturers change the extension to confuse any one who wants to give a try.