Re-installing on laptop with no CD drive


A

Alpha

We need to re-install Windows 98 SE or ME or 2K-Pro on a laptop that has its
CD drive internal connection damaged. The floppy drive works though.

We have all the original Windows CDs and a Win98 boot floppy, as well as all
the required drivers. The unit originally had Win98 on it that was later
upgraded to WinME and subsequently to Win2K-Pro.

Can we - take out the hard drive and format it (using appropriate existing
adapters) in FAT on another machine and -
copy the CD contents and device drivers to an install folder, and -
put that drive back into the laptop, and -
boot with the Win98 floppy, and -
run Setup from the install folder, bypassing the CD drive?

Somebody says this can be done but I wanted to hear from the learned folks
here first before proceeding.

Regards and TIA

Alpha
-------
 
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M

Mike M

Shouldn't be a problem at all.

Format the drive as FAT32, copy the folder Win9x from the Win Me CD to the
newly formatted drive. Replace drive in laptop, boot to DOS using your
Boot floppy and then run setup.exe that is in the C:\Win9x folder.
 
C

Corday

I'm sure you'll get a lot of answers on this, but I'd see how much a CD drive
repair would cost. If doable, then putting 2K back on would be the best idea.
 
J

John John (MVP)

You can install from a flat folder and MS-DOS. If your goal is to
install Windows 2000 copy the i386 folder from the Windows 2000 CD to
the hard drive and then start the Setup with a Windows 98 Startup
diskette, that entails of course that the drive will be formated FAT32.
Make sure that you have smartdrv.exe on the W98 startup floppy.

After you copy the i386 folder to the hard disk you can then start the
Windows 2000 installation from MS-DOS by executing WINNT from the i386
folder on the hard disk.

See here for typical instructions:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315349

The instructions are for XP but it's the same thing for Windows 2000.

You can convert the file system to NTFS after the installation but make
sure that the partition is aligned to a 4K boundary or else you will end
up with 512 byte clusters. http://aumha.org/win5/a/ntfscvt.php

John
 
A

Alpha

Alpha said:
We need to re-install Windows 98 SE or ME or 2K-Pro on a laptop that has
its
CD drive internal connection damaged. The floppy drive works though.
-------


Thanks for the very quick and informative responses!
This will be really helpful here now.
Regards and thanks again. God Bless!
 
9

98 Guy

Alpha said:
Can we - take out the hard drive and format it (using appropriate
existing adapters) in FAT on another machine and -
copy the CD contents and device drivers to an install folder,
and - put that drive back into the laptop, and -
boot with the Win98 floppy, and -
run Setup from the install folder, bypassing the CD drive?

Yes, you can do that.

In fact, if you remove the laptop's hard drive and slave it to another
PC, yes you can fdisk and format the hard drive, and put the dos system
files on the drive (format drive: /s) to make it bootable.

Then you can copy the contents of a win-98 CD to the drive (I'd copy it
to it's own directory, like c:\win98-cd).

While the drive is still slaved to another PC, that is a good time to
transfer other installation CD's to the drive - like Microsoft office or
other apps. It's also a good time to download win-98 drivers for the
laptop's video hardware, motherboard chipset, ethernet and usb hardware,
etc. It's far easier to install them once they're already on the drive.

Don't forget to put a copy of winzip on the drive as well, as it will
probably be needed to unzip those driver files.

When it's all done, and the drive is back in the laptop, just make sure
that there is no file on the drive called "win.com". Sometimes (or most
times) the presence of that file anywhere on a system will prevent
win-98 installation.
 
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J

Jeff Richards

Do not format that drive while it is installed in another machine. Format
it before removing it from the laptop, and use the other installation only
for copying the installation files onto the drive.
 
9

98 Guy

Jeff said:
Do not format that drive while it is installed in another machine.

Why not?

If he connects the drive to another system, and then boots the other
system into DOS with a win-98 floppy with fdisk and format on it, he
should have no problems.
Format it before removing it from the laptop,

Do that, or connect it as described above.
and use the other installation

you mean system?
only for copying the installation files onto the drive.

And other files / apps, as described in the previous post.
 
J

Jeff Richards

There is no guarantee that a drive formatted in one machine will be
recognised as validly formatted when installed in another machine, and that
is especially true if the machines are very different, eg a laptop and a
desktop. It's even the case if the OP takes care to ensure that BIOS
settings for the drive are exactly the same or the machines are allowed to
autodetect..
 
9

98 Guy

Top-poster Jeff Richards said:
There is no guarantee that a drive formatted in one machine will be
recognised as validly formatted when installed in another machine,

What are you smoking?

The *only* problem I've ever seen regarding formatting and subsequent OS
installation was when I created a FAT-32 partition to install XP on
using OnTrack's Disk Manager and it gave a choice for OS installation
and I didn't think it mattered so I chose Windows-ME and the install
continuously failed until I re-partitioned using the "XP" choice.
and that is especially true if the machines are very different,
eg a laptop and a desktop.

Bull crap.

If you take any machine, attach a hard drive to it, boot DOS with a
win-98 floppy containing fdisk and format, and then partition, format
and sys the hard drive, that drive will have a logical structure that
will be no different than if it was partitioned and formatted on any
other system and it will boot into dos when connected to any other
system.

This assumes that the bios is compatible with the size of the drive, and
that the user hasn't entered any crazy-ass head and sector information
in the cmos setup. If the drive is less than 32 gb, then it's a
non-issue. If either system motherboard is less than 6 years old, then
it's a non-issue.
 
A

Alpha

Alpha said:
We need to re-install Windows 98 SE or ME or 2K-Pro on a laptop that has
its
CD drive internal connection damaged. The floppy drive works though.


The task went off absolutely smoothly. Windows 2000 Pro was installed off
the hard drive.
The HDD was formatted and "sys"ed and then a folder created to copy the
entire contents of the install CD on another machine.
Did not even need the boot floppy to get to the hard drive prompt.
Just once the set-up process asked to verify the location of the install
files.
Thanks for the encouragement and very helpful information.
Regards and God Bless.
 
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J

Jeff Richards

OP states that the machine originally had W98. Therefore, there's every
chance that the laptop will be old enough for that sort of compatibity to be
an issue.
 
J

John John (MVP)

Alpha said:
The task went off absolutely smoothly. Windows 2000 Pro was installed off
the hard drive.
The HDD was formatted and "sys"ed and then a folder created to copy the
entire contents of the install CD on another machine.
Did not even need the boot floppy to get to the hard drive prompt.
Just once the set-up process asked to verify the location of the install
files.
Thanks for the encouragement and very helpful information.
Regards and God Bless.

You're welcome, glad to see that things went well.

John
 
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L

letterman

We need to re-install Windows 98 SE or ME or 2K-Pro on a laptop that has its
CD drive internal connection damaged. The floppy drive works though.

We have all the original Windows CDs and a Win98 boot floppy, as well as all
the required drivers. The unit originally had Win98 on it that was later
upgraded to WinME and subsequently to Win2K-Pro.

Can we - take out the hard drive and format it (using appropriate existing
adapters) in FAT on another machine and -
copy the CD contents and device drivers to an install folder, and -
put that drive back into the laptop, and -
boot with the Win98 floppy, and -
run Setup from the install folder, bypassing the CD drive?

Somebody says this can be done but I wanted to hear from the learned folks
here first before proceeding.

Regards and TIA

Alpha

I have not used my Win98 cd in years. I keep the files on my
harddrive and just use that. When I initially installed 98, the CD
was so damn slow it took forever to install. I let the cd copy the
files to the harddrive overnight. I installed 98 the next day, from
the HD. I cound not even find my Win98 CD anymore, but I just bought
a Win98 CD (with the original book), and Microsoft Office. I bought
all of that at a garage sale for 50cents. I never had an original
Win98 manual, so it was fun to look at, and now I have a CD again,
even though I know my original one is somewhere in my clutter.
 

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