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Older computer, XP upgrade failure

By kane702
Jan 1, 2007
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I recently bought a older computer with 98 installed on it to tinker with. I Tried to upgrade it to XP (it met all the system requiremetns) and after the normal restart it would go to the blue sytem setup screen and frezes everytime. Ok, so i just thought to reformat and try a fresh intall. When i boot up it wont read the CD and says "invaid system disk." Odd to me but ok. I get a 98 disk...nothing. Take out the HD and reformat it in another computer and put it back in. it says, "no operating system," Duh, ok but it still wont read the CD. The CD drive works but do i need a start up floopy? I dont have a floppy dive so I hope not.

    Is there anyway to install windows xp on a separate harddrive in a different compouter and switch in into the older one?
     
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    A lot of old pc's cant boot fom cd without a dos cdrom driver on floppy.
     
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    Go to http://www.bootdisk.com and make yourself a Windows 98 boot disk if you don't have one. Boot your system from this floppy disk. Fdisk and format the drive from the A prompt if necessary. Insert the XP CD. From the A prompt select the CD drive letter. Now type cd i386. From the i386 directory type winnt, and follow the on-screen instructions...
     
  4. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Dang...I dont have afloppy drive. Looks like i am making a trip to Staples. Thank you for the information!

    So...there is no way that I can install XP from a different computer and swap in out into the other computer?
     
  5. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Nope, installing it on another pc of different spec wont work.
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    Floppy drives are cheap. $20 or less (Newegg $10 or less) Staples may be $20+
     
  7. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    yea...but it means that i have to get floppy discs too! floppy drives are just so lame...
     
  8. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    If you want the pc to boot, you have no choice in the matter!!
     
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    So true Rik!
    I work on a lot of older systems so I use the infamous Windows 98 startup disk all too often. I can network most systems to my wired network and transfer files that way, but sometimes the floppy is the fastest way... as in this thread
     
  10. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    yea, i am going to do it. It doesnt mean I have to like it. I do appreciate the help dont get me wrong...just venting.
     
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    It won't cost too much. You can remove the floppy after you fix this and keep it handy if you ever need it again
     
     
  12. Sjbrand99

    Sjbrand99 Banned Posts: 267

    Or even return it 2 the shop for a refund!
     
  13. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Hahaha! Yes...i have done that many times before. That is an option.
     
  14. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Ok, sorry to revive a old thread but i ran into some snags again.

    Got the floppy and the 98 boot disk. Followed the instructions of Tmagic650 but when the windows sceen pops up it says that "SmartDrive" is not installed. I can continue without it, so i do. The next screen tells me that I don't have enough space to install windows on and it's just enter to exit. This is odd because I have a 20 gig HD in there. I Switched out the HD's and the same thing happenes.

    I looked at the useful help file but everything i tried did not work. I tried Fdisk, format, Sys, and Checkdisk but they all came up "missing parameter." Scan disk worked but it said that nothing was wrong.

    Any advice? Am I doning something retarded?

    Maybe i have to instal 98 again and then upgrade to XP?
     
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    Ok kane702,
    You have to copy SmartDrive from the Windows 98 install CD to the Windows 98 boot floppy. From the Windows 98 CD, go to Tools, OLDMSDOS, SmartDrive, copy and paste SmartDrive to the Boot Floppy. Boot from the Windows 98 boot floppy disk.

    At the A prompt type FDISK and make sure you enable "large block" before you delete the current DOS partition and create and make a new full partition on the 20GB hard drive active.

    Insert the XP install CD and type at the A prompt, smartdrv, enter. At the A prompt type E: where E is the CD drive. At the E prompt, type CD i386. At E: i386 type winnt, enter, and follow the on-screen instructions to install XP
     
  16. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Awesome, thank you for you help!

    but what if when I try to do the FDISK is says "missing parameter?"
     
  17. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Be aware this is a good indicator of hardware failure (bad hard drive, memory, overheating etc..).

    Best of luck with Windows 98, but you might want to run a manufacturer's drive diagnostic and memtest+ on it before spinning your wheels. :)
     
  18. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Aw thanks. I will make sure to do that if i get it installed correctly. Hopefully it will go smoothly until i get Windows installed.
     
  19. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    OK, got the smartdrive working ok. I ran FDISK fine. But then when the Windows setup comes up it still says that i need atleat 533 Mb of space and that nothing that bug was detected. I have a primary DOS partition with all of the 20gigs labled as C: and I have the large disk enabled.

    What else am I doing wrong?

    Seriously, thank you guys so much for your help.
     
  20. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    "At the A prompt type FDISK and make sure you enable "large block" before you delete the current DOS partition and create and make a new full partition on the 20GB hard drive active"...
    Did you miss this step?
     
  21. Ipsofacto

    Ipsofacto TS Rookie Posts: 34

    Make sure ALL your hardware is Xp compatable. So on online and MS XP will tell you.
     
  22. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,872   +166

    I don't know what this really means. kane702 needs to configure FDISK for Large Block inorder to set the primary DOS partition to a full 20GB size. That's all... at this point
     
  23. kane702

    kane702 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Nope, I am sure that I enabled it. It asks you right off the bat right? Unless that something different that is hidden somewhere else then I am sure I enabled it. It prompts you right at the beganing and I say "y."

    I am 99% sure that everything i compatable also. I had an idential machine and I was running xp off it.

    In the FDISK info it said that all 20 gigs were used in the partition and that it was active and it was C:. Then when I start the windows setup it says it couldn't find a drive big enough to copy the instalation files.
     
  24. Ipsofacto

    Ipsofacto TS Rookie Posts: 34

    You might check your second machine that is already running XP. Is it the same size? Did it come preloaded? XP (UPGRADE from a win 98 or ME) does not really like FDisk, it recommends you use a disk management snap-in instead to create and format the disk partitions.

    XP does not use DOS at all.

    Check you system Properties available memory through Control panel or your Windows logo key or (Ctrl+the break key to get there) (that is unless you have a non standard keyboard.

    Have you chosen FAT-32 or NTFS. NTFS is more secure, but that is a matter of choice.
     
  25. Ipsofacto

    Ipsofacto TS Rookie Posts: 34

    Oh yea! I almost forgot. Check to see if your motherboard (Bios) needs an upgrade and your graphics card as well and maybe your monitor. All your parts that are controlled by software should be up to date. Good luck.
     
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