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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 28, 2011 - 11:40 am
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Hi guys,
Didn't expect this to raise an interesting debate.

I don't have the one Dave linked to, but over the weekend I'll have one like [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812203012:ouu5l4pd]this[/url:ouu5l4pd] in my hands. In any case, I'd still go for one like that, as in the part of the world I live in, it'll cost me about 6USD, while a new optical drive (did I mention that it needs to be an IDE one?) would cost in the range of 37-45USD and a used one around 30USD. The difference is not that negligible (at least not to me, at the moment) and I do want to be sure that nth else is wrong with the laptop [u:ouu5l4pd]before[/u:ouu5l4pd] spending money to replace the dead drive.
As for ebay, it's not always a viable solution for me due to shipping restrictions & costs.

I'll also have access to another oldish laptop over the weekend - this way I can try the other method or combine them.

[quote="ozbloke":ouu5l4pd]take a fair amount of time and there is no guarantee of success[/quote:ouu5l4pd]
That sounds like a true adventure, can't resist going for it
[quote="ozbloke":ouu5l4pd]I don't have any old laptops with a broken CD drive hanging around either. [/quote:ouu5l4pd]
Rubbing salt in my wounds? Again?

[quote="DavesComputerTips":ouu5l4pd]Booting may be an issue once the drive is moved[/quote:ouu5l4pd]
Could you elaborate on that? I thought that if I booted from DOS to install Windows [u:ouu5l4pd]after[/u:ouu5l4pd] the HDD is back in my laptop
it would be as if I installed Windows from the CD. Where's the gap in my thinking?

I am human

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Chad Johnson
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April 28, 2011 - 3:48 pm
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Yes but installing DOS while connected to machine2 then moving back to machine1 may cause DOS on machine1 to not be happy.

I hadn't considered simply copying the Win CD over and installing through DOS. It sounds....too simple. So simple, it may just work -- if DOS will boot.

Good luck though, I hope it works.

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David Hartsock
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April 28, 2011 - 8:31 pm
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[quote="Flying Dutchman":z27s2cnd]Could you elaborate on that? I thought that if I booted from DOS to install Windows [u:z27s2cnd]after[/u:z27s2cnd] the HDD is back in my laptop
it would be as if I installed Windows from the CD. Where's the gap in my thinking? [/quote:z27s2cnd]
I was thinking of using the adapter (like mine) on another computer, which might cause the drive numbers (0,1) to be different when the drive found its' way back to the laptop.

Using your method (remove hd during first reboot) [i:z27s2cnd]should[/i:z27s2cnd] work without too much difficulty, but the possibility is [i:z27s2cnd]still[/i:z27s2cnd] there for a conflict - we'll have to see.

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Flying Dutchman
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May 15, 2011 - 10:44 am
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Hi,

Thought to provide some feedback, for anyone interested.
I'm to announce that my old laptop is alive again - actually, it feels even better than before, it's more quite and the temperature stays on normal levels.
What I did:
1. Made a DOS 7.1 installation disk and a fresh slipstreamed Win XP SP3 installation CD.
2. Took the laptop HDD out and connected it to a desktop PC as a 2nd internal HDD using a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE Adapter.
3. Wiped it clean and made two partitions:
3.1 One FAT32 partition of about 1GB.
3.2 One FAT32 partition with the rest of GBs.
4. Connected the laptop HDD as the main HD on the desktop PC.
5. Booted the PC from the DOS CD and installed DOS on the small partition.
6. Repeated step 2.
7. Copied the I386 folder of the slipstreamed Win XP SP3 installation CD to the small partition.
8. Put the laptop HDD back to the laptop and turned it on. It booted into DOS.
9. Run winnt.exe and when it reached the point to select partition, I chose the 2nd one and told it to convert it to NTFS.
10. After 1st restart, it was a normal/ standard Windows installation procedure.

I installed all the laptop drivers (synaptics, ATI, etc.) and everything's working smoothly.
Although I used a slipstreamed CD, I got 97 Windows updates!! Wondering how many they'd be if I had used the original installation CD - I'd probably be doing updates as I type.
The best part is that even the CD-RW drive works! That makes me think that the BSOD STOP error about missing/ corrupt drivers was about the CD drive's one.

Now, I have a dual boot as I kept the DOS partition to be on the safe side (the adapter is not mine).

I had to try this procedure twice before it worked. The first time, I got an error in the lines of "Setup cannot locate EULA. Setup will now exit", though the stupid EULA.txt file [u:i6l0ns2j]was[/u:i6l0ns2j] in the I386 folder. I can only guess it was due to the [url=http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;326673:i6l0ns2j]this[/url:i6l0ns2j]. So, the second time I tried, I first formated the whole HDD to NTFS and then made the two FAT32 partitions, without doing a format afterwards.

I also tried the direct installation method (connect the laptop HDD as main hard disk in desktop PC, boot from the Win XP installation CD and stop the procedure at first restart), but when I put the HDD back into the laptop it didn't continue - I just got a black screen with a blinking cursor, no error message, nth.

So, the DOS method works and it cost me zero money - it just took a couple of hours more and playing computer tech beyond my usual (I can now disassemble that laptop with my eyes closed).

Cheers

I am human

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Chad Johnson
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May 15, 2011 - 11:37 am
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Awesome!

Thanks for sharing. It sounds...complicated.

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Flying Dutchman
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May 15, 2011 - 6:39 pm
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It's not that complicated really, it mainly requires a bit of HDD switching and connecting/ disconnecting. And if everything works ok during the first attempt, it doesn't take up much more time either.

I'm satisfied I got my laptop working again and learnt something along the road, even if it's useless knowledge for some people.

Cheers

I am human

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Chad Johnson
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May 16, 2011 - 8:51 am
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[quote="Flying Dutchman":1fc103un] even if it's useless knowledge for some people.

[/quote:1fc103un]

That's the best kind of knowledge. It means you get to charge exorbitant consulting fees later.

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