I just bought bought a Samsung netbook (NP-NC108-A04IN). Like many of the netbooks of this price range it came with FreeDOS. Few price comparison revealed that the same model with Windows 7 basic license  costs  on an average 2500/- INR more that that of the once with FreeDOS.

While buying I was assuming that it must have boot from USB feature, otherwise it is very difficult to install operating systems like Windows or Linux without any optical drive. I could install Windows XP with the following steps.

  1. Downloaded WInToFlash

  2. Create the Windows XP ISO image file from the CD

  3. Use this guide to make a USB drive bootable with windows XP image.

  4. Now change the boot sequence of the notebook such that the USB drive takes preference over the internal hard disk (Where freeDOS is installed)

  5. Boot from the USB drive.

  6. Select the 1st Option in the following screen

  7. Continue with a fresh installation. Make sure you select a different location than the default one (which is the USB drive itself ). Typically you should select the Drive C: The first steps will be as usual text based installation.

  8. Windows setup will copy the files. For me this process was extremely slow. The reason is still unknown. It took whole evening to do so. SO have patience.

  9. After it reboots automatically , Now it should be booted again from the pen drive but this time select the 2nd option as follows

  10. Continue the graphical installation till it reboots again.

  11. Now windows  will start for the 1st time and as per documentation this time also it should be booted with the 2nd option like the previous step.

  12. After completing the start up Remove the USB drive and you are done.

  13. Optionally you can revert your boot sequence back.

I am also planning to have dual boot in the netbook with Ubuntu . This can be done using pendrivelinux.