Add windows without a bootable CD drive?

By trimjim007 ยท 5 replies
Jan 3, 2008
  1. I have a laptop that will not allow me to enter setup. I would like to add windows 98 or even better windows 2000. I have a much older slower laptop with the exact same hard disk drive inside and it has windows 2000 on it. But when I put that hard disk drive in my newer Inspiron 3700 laptop nothing happens?

    Is this because the windows drivers are different for the screen, keyboard, etc.? Can I somehow make it work?

    I also have windows 98 CD but I get an error when I try ti install. I think I need to boot on the CD but cannot because I cannot enter setup and change the boot disk from hard drive to CD drive.

    Is there a way to copy the windows 98 cd to floppies? I could boot on the floppy drive. That is how I added windows 95.

    I need to add windows 2000 from my other drive or at least windows 98 from my CD. Is there a way to do either?
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    "an error" is not very helpful. Neither is "cannot".
  3. trimjim007

    trimjim007 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    When I add the Microsoft Windows 98 CD (for distribution with a new PC only)
    I get a message saying: "Your computer already has an operating system installed, which cannot be upgraded by this version of setup. You need to obtain the windows 98 upgrade".

    If I could boot from the CD it woiuld install, but I cannot get it to boot from the CD. Setup is locked by a password I do not know.

    I have tried:
    1) CMOS read and erase software
    2) paperclip shorting of 24C02 chip (my Inspiron 3700 not on list for this method)
    3) all of the back door passwords I could find for Award, Phoenix, AMI, etc BIOS's
    4) Dell tech support - I do not know owner's name on record. I cannot transfer ownership and get help. (I bought from a guy who bought from a guy who .....)

    Some guy says he will sell me the password for $80. But I do not know if it is truly the right password or a ripoff. Besides, I would like a cheaper method of fixing this.

    I ran out of choices to clear the BIOS. So now I am only wanting to add an Operating system besides windows 95 which I added with floppies.

    When I add the drive with windows 2000 already installed from an older slower laptop, it will not boot. Blank screen. I do not know why. It is the exact same IBM 2.5" drive. So why it will not boot, I do not know. Could it be the windows drivers are different for this laptop??? Can I add them? How?

    I purchased this laptop in good faith knowing there was no operating system on it. I didn't know the setup was password protected. I can see there are a lot of others in the same boat with password problems. There are solutions for a lot of Dell laptops. But I have not found any solutions for the Inspiron 3700 on this forum or others.

    I hope this is more specific. I hope someone can help. I do not know what else to do.
  4. trimjim007

    trimjim007 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I would appreciate any help. I will be more than happy to answer any questions in that cause. Thank you very much guys.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    If you get a message from the Windows 98 boot CD (saying that you already have an OS), then obviously you already booted from the CD!

    Yeah. Win98 is braindead this way. You could boot a DOS floppy and wipe the currently installed OS from the hard drive (fdisk or format). After that you should be able to install from your CD.

    Of course, it would be much more sensible to install Windows 2000 instead, but you do need a CD for that.
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