How to install when CD drive broken and can't USB boot

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How to install when CD drive broken and can't USB boot
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Flying Dutchman
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April 27, 2011 - 11:15 am
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I could use some advice on the following issue.

I have a really old laptop with Win XP Home SP3 32bit installed. Recently it crashed and it's not booting - getting a BSOD with STOP error 0x0000007B (likely something to do with drivers as the 2nd parameter is 0x00000034) and keeps restarting. All needed data was recovered using a Bart PE disk, but shortly after the CD drive gave up on me and does not read CDs anymore, so I can't even format the HD.
Now, before I invest any money on replacing the CD drive, I want to make sure that the rest of it works, that's why I need to see if it can boot from an OS.

I don't think it can boot from a USB, as the BIOS boot options list (besides HD, internal CD drive & something about LAN) Removable Devices that don't expand.
I was thinking of doing the install by connecting the HD to a Desktop PC, but am a bit reluctant after reasearching the net. It seems that the chances of it not working properly are high, though most stuff is about running Windows from an external HD, which is not what I'm trying to do.
I have the original Win XP installation CD and key.

Any ideas/ guidance?

Thanks ahead.

I am human

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Mindblower
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April 27, 2011 - 11:53 am
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I love old ps's, but old laptops is totally different, since the cost of replacement parts cost a fortune. Is there a particular reason for keeping this beauty around? Does the battery still hold a decent charge? Given the lost cost price for laptops now, why not upgrade, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Flying Dutchman
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April 27, 2011 - 5:56 pm
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I found a guide to do what I want through DOS, will try it over the weekend.
[quote:3le3yu50]Is there a particular reason for keeping this beauty around? [/quote:3le3yu50]
It's sort of my "guinea pig", I do all my S/W experiments on it and cannot part from it.
[quote:3le3yu50]Does the battery still hold a decent charge?[/quote:3le3yu50]
The battery is actually the best preserved part of it, it's been rarely used - despite it being a laptop, I sort of use it like a desktop, i.e. plugged in.

Cheers

I am human

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Chad Johnson
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April 27, 2011 - 6:02 pm
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Does it have a floppy drive? A boot disk can load drivers for an external CD ROM. DOS didn't know about USB though so you'd need a parallel or scsi CD rom.

Dos 6.22 installs from floppy disk. So does Win95.

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Flying Dutchman
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April 27, 2011 - 6:15 pm
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Hi Ziggie,

No floppy drive (I wish it did) , just a CD-RW drive ... dead now
According to the guide, I need to connect the HD to a working desktop.
Another option is to connect it to another laptop with a working CD drive and disconnect it right when Win installation wants to do the first restart, i.e. before it configures hardware - I'll try this first, keep your fingers crossed.

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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April 27, 2011 - 6:44 pm
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Hey FD - Installing an OS to a HDD in one computer and then transferring that HDD to a different machine would involve some serious obstacles. Differing hardware and drivers being the main stumbling blocks.

I thought about updating BIOS [newer versions should include support for booting from USB] but even that requires a working optical drive [or floppy].

Can't really see a way around it that doesn't involve spending some cash. Maybe you could get your hands on an old broken laptop that still has a working optical drive?

Or go for an external optical drive perhaps, at least then if things didn't pan out you would still have a usable piece of hardware.

Maybe the 'lads' [Dave or Ziggie]can come up with a viable, no cost alternative.

Cheers....Jim

UPDATE:
Ooops, sorry. I see Zig has responded now. We must have been posting at the exact same time.

[quote:hk3rbs72]According to the guide[/quote:hk3rbs72] FD - Can you provide us with a link to that "guide" please?

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Flying Dutchman
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April 27, 2011 - 7:41 pm
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Hi Jim,
Installing an OS to a HDD in one computer and then transferring that HDD to a different machine would involve some serious obstacles.[/quote:1f950g0f]
You don't actually install Windows while the HDD is connected to the desktop. You use the desktop to install DOS and copy the Windows installation folder to the HDD. Then you connect the HDD to the original machine and boot to DOS to install Windows. Only requirement is a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE adapter.
Going the route of using another laptop, you connect your HDD as the main HDD, boot from the Win installation CD and let it run until the point it wants to restart in order to configure drivers. Then you shut that machine down, take your HDD back to your own laptop and boot from the HDD - ideally, Windows installation will continue and you'll end up with a working OS.
I thought about updating BIOS[/quote:1f950g0f]
I already have the latest BIOS for the particular laptop and it's from 2005. Still, I doubt that I can boot from a USB drive:
the BIOS boot options list Removable Devices that don't expand[/quote:1f950g0f]
Can you provide us with a link to that "guide" please?[/quote:1f950g0f]
I actually thought about providing a link to it, but decided against it wondering "how many people these days would need something like this?"
I found the same guide, by the same guy, in two places: [url=http://www.syschat.com/install-windows-xp-without-floppy-cd-463.html#content_start:1f950g0f]here[/url:1f950g0f] and [url=http://www.dreamincode.net/forums/topic/21134-install-windows-on-a-laptop-without-a-cd-or-floppy-drive/:1f950g0f]here[/url:1f950g0f], posting both as the comments can be useful (at least I found useful stuff in them).

Cheers

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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April 27, 2011 - 8:33 pm
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Hey FD,

[quote:g5zfmxmo]You don't actually install Windows while the HDD is connected to the desktop. You use the desktop to install DOS and copy the Windows installation folder to the HDD.[/quote:g5zfmxmo] Yes, I realise now that is what you are doing but I was responding to this comment in your original post FD...[i:g5zfmxmo]"I was thinking of doing the install by connecting the HD to a Desktop PC"[/i:g5zfmxmo]

Thanks muchly for the links mate, could be useful for others who visit this thread.

Now, just one comment: Do you actually have the required adapter on hand? If not, it seems to me that for a few dollars more outlay you could avoid a lot of hassle and have a definite solution rather than a maybe.

Cheers now....Jim

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David Hartsock
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April 28, 2011 - 6:52 am
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Dutchy,

The adapters are (relatively) inexpensive and good to have on hand for situations like this.

You're in a tough pickle! My best advice would be to go the DOS route and copy/extract the files onto the drive using another computer. Of course without a floppy or CD drive you'll have to install DOS on the drive also. Booting my be an issue once the drive is moved.

Good luck!

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Jim Hillier
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April 28, 2011 - 7:31 am
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[quote:fzcrlcor]The adapters are (relatively) inexpensive [/quote:fzcrlcor]
Price quoted on the site at around $20.00 [Canadian]. Price for second hand (re-furbished and guaranteed) optical drive $19.00 to $29.00aud.

Now, I have no idea what the exchange rate might be (twixt Canadian and Australian dollars) but I would suggest the differential between purchasing the adapter and the second hand drive would be negligible. On the other hand, the optical drive would provide a far easier and superior method for achieving the desired result.

Maybe it's just me, but what you are saying seems to defy logic.

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David Hartsock
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April 28, 2011 - 7:40 am
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Well, I haven't had the need for a parallel CD drive in about 15 years, but I use my drive adapter quite often for many scenarios. It would be easiest to use a parallel CD drive, but it will take longer to actually find one and get it in your hands than to locate a multi-drive adapter and use it.

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Jim Hillier
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April 28, 2011 - 8:20 am
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[quote:me8kza8y]I haven't had the need for a parallel CD drive in about 15 years[/quote:me8kza8y] Well neither have I mate, but then I don't have any old laptops with a broken CD drive hanging around either.

Sorry mate but I still don't understand: The adapter/DOS route is going to cost X amount of dollars, take a fair amount of time and there is no guarantee of success. The second hand drive will cost about the same amount, the entire process will be far more straightforward, take much less time and provided there is nothing else amiss with the machine, success is all but guaranteed. Plus, if it turns out the laptop in question is all okay [apart from the CD drive], a replacement CD drive is going to be needed eventually anyway!!

Those second hand drives are readily available here from an eBay store, they list many of them of their site. So, here at least, availability is not an issue. Even if it was, you can get a brand new external USB optical drive here for $20.00aud.

I guess we just look at some things in a slightly different way.

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David Hartsock
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April 28, 2011 - 8:58 am
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Jim,
What I'm saying is that purchasing an adapter and drive is as easy as walking down to the local electronics/computer store, while purchasing a parallel CD drive is going to take several days to be shipped from somewhere - you're going to have to wait.

A CD drive isn't necessarily going to be needed. Nice to have, but a lot of alternatives. It will do the job! If you buy a multi drive adapter you will be able to use it for any 2.5/3.5 IDE/SATA drive (i.e., removing virus' for friends, accessing drives outside the OS, using old drives as extra storage, etc)

Just so we're both on the same page - this is what I'm talking about - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6812232002

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Jim Hillier
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April 28, 2011 - 9:37 am
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Yes mate, I knew what you meant. Had one of those adapters for quite some time myself, invaluable piece of equipment. I use it a lot to extract data from HDD's when a friend's or associate's machine has died. Of course, none of them backup their data!!!!

Okay, let's assume we[i:2ylbt2yv] are [/i:2ylbt2yv]in a hurry. So to save time we purchase the adapter, everything goes well and the OS is successfully installed with the HDD now back in the laptop. Later, we want to install some programs from CD's we already have on hand.....what do we do now??

Personally, I would be lost without any optical drive.

I think we'd better agree to disagree on this one mate.

Cheers....Jim

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David Hartsock
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April 28, 2011 - 9:56 am
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I think we'd better agree to disagree on this one mate. [/quote:lsd092vu]
I think so!

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