I am on a MacBookPro1,1 10.6.8 and need to install windows xp on a bootcamp partition. The CD/DVD drive is faulty. I have an XP installer ISO image. I transferred the ISO image to a USB drive using Win2Flash. (I did this on a Parallels VM). Then I partitioned the internal drive. Using refit I booted up with the XP installer disk. I managed to install XP on an NTFS partiton. However when I try to boot, I received a hal.dll error. However when I boot from the USB Installer, I am presented with options to boot from other partitions, And if select disk 0 partition 3 it boots ok from the internal XP partition. I checked the boot.ini file the entries were wrong it referred to partition 1. So tried to edit the file (I have Tuxera NTFS drivers) however it failed with an MAcOS error. I created a new boot.ini. But the problem still there. It works if I boot from USB Installer disk and select to boot from partition 3, but fails if i directly boot from partition 3.
I tried the whole process a second time, by combining the partitions using boot camp assistant and creating a partition using boot camp assistant. The result is more or less the same, the only difference is I am getting a hardware error not a hal.dll error. And I can still boot from XP Installer boot menu on the USB.
OK. Solved. So the steps to install XP SP3 from an ISO disk image using are;
1. Install refit on your disk. Installing rEFIt
2. Partition your disk using Bootcamp.
3. On a windows machine/or a virtual machine transfer the ISO contents to a USB disk using win2flash software.Download
(virtual machine can istall from ISO images directly. If you are using a windows machine you'll need a software to mount ISO image. Microsoft has an unsupported one on their web site. Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP)
4. Boot your Mac and selct the USB drive from the Refit menu at the startup.
5. Select Text based install and when the installer restarts elect the USB disk again and select partition 3 from the startup selection menu.
6. Now Mac boots from bootcamp partition and continues the installation. When the installer finishes and computer reboots select USB disk first and later partition 3 again.
7. When the reboot finishes go the My Computer right click properties Settings > Start up and recovery tab, sytem startup -> edit (or directly edit boot.ini in C:) http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022 to change the partition(1) to partition(3) in two places to correctly point to bootcamp partition.
8. Install Bootcamp drivers. You could copy them to the USB drive in step 3 to make things easier.
At least that's how I managed to install XP without a CD drive.