formatting hard disk

By bubbles335 ยท 7 replies
Nov 7, 2004
  1. I have recently bought a used hard drive (4.1GB) for my Dell Latitude CP Laptop. There is nothing on the hard drive and i want to format it with Windows 98, but this laptop does not have a CD-ROM drive. I was told that I could use a cable to connect the parallel ports from my desktop to the laptop and download a MSDOS file transfer program to install Windows, but the hard drive doesn't even have MSDOS. I have tried downloading a MSDOS boot disk (from but this has not worked. Is there anything else I can do? Or is there something that I could be doing wrong?

  2. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    Can the laptop boot to a CD-ROM? Check in the BIOS. If you set it up right, you can probably boot from the LAN controller, so you don't need any OS at all. You have two other options as well:

    1) Install to the Hard-drive from another computer. A few companies make Laptop-HD to USB converters, so you could try to install to the HD from another operational computer.

    2) Buy a USB floppy drive. This won't work for all computers, but some (like my laptop) can boot from USB drives with the right settings.
  3. bubbles335

    bubbles335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was able to sucessfully install MS DOS on my laptop. I have the Windows 98 OS on a CD and have transferred this on to my desktop computer. Can I now transfer this to my laptop using parallel cables? If so, what file transfer programs will I need?
  4. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    How did you put DOS on? Couldn't you use the same method for Windows?
  5. bubbles335

    bubbles335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I used a boot disk to install DOS, but Windows 98 is to big to be placed on a floppy disk and would require over 50 floppies. My laptop does not have a CD-ROM drive and buying a new one is not an option because it exceeds the price of the laptop itself.
  6. LPent

    LPent TS Rookie

  7. bubbles335

    bubbles335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    are null-modem cables the same as the cables used to connect a computer to a parallel printer?
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    No, null-modem cables are connected to the serial port, the slowest connection of them all. Look up , CD-drives may be cheaper than you think.
    Or borrow an external CD-drive from a friend.
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