Tech Stocking Stuffers: 18 awesome gifts under $50

How to install dos onto hard drive without floppy/cd rom

By Kid ยท 9 replies
Aug 21, 2005
  1. Hello,

    I have finally partitioned my Hard drive.
    I transfered win2k into one of my partition.
    and the other partition empty.

    I did this by using an external HD that was plugged into my desktop computer

    Now I removed the external hard drive and installed it back into my
    laptop. (IBM thinkpad)

    The computer boots up but says no operation system found.

    I do not have a external floppy drive. so I cant use a boot disk to start it.
    I do have an external cd-rom by toshiba but I cant use it cause I dont have any drivers installed for it.

    Would anyone know of a way to install dos ? any version as long as I can use dos prompt? Or does anyone know how I can install win2k from my external cd rom drive? (Again I tried to install by setting my bios to read floppy instead of Hard drive first but didnt work.)

    Pleaes help me with a way to install dos and to get my laptop so I can use dos to get into my partition with my win2k install on it

    Thanks for your help


  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    that's why I've been arguing in another forum about how floppies are still necessary. Always have one for stuff like this.

    You're gonna need a floppy (about $10) or a virtual floppy.
  3. Kid

    Kid TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tedster thanks for letting me know I need to buy a floppy drive...
    Was wondering what a vritial floppy was ?

    Also This ibm thinkpad came with one which plugged in the side but isnt a usb type.
    would I have to buy the same type it came with or would a usb type work ?
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    generally speaking any computer that recognizes a device as drive A: will work. Virtual drives simulate floppies by doing this. Most virtual drives are CD drives reconfigured. I don't recommend this however. I recommend a true floppy drive, either installed directly to a desktop motherboard, or through a USB that the computer recognizes in DOS. The whole purpose of having a floppy drive is that all modern IBM type computers based on intel technology (to include AMD) have at their core 8086 technology which goes back to the late 1970s. This is because before a computer boots up windows, it has to load BIOS. BIOS is based on machine language and automatically looks for DOS upon boot. It looks for DOS on drive A.

    That is why on desktops, your A drive will come on for a second or two before it looks on your hard drive or other device to boot. Of course you can change the boot sequence in BIOS to your hard drive, but that would defeat the purpose if you're having hard drive issues.

    If your BIOS will allow you to boot off a USB device, then I would get a USB floppy.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Buy a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter, take the harddisk out of the laptop, put it as Slave in a PC.
    Then format that HD, using the other PCs options.
    Or use a W98SE bootfloppy ( has the files to make one).
    Use FDISK from that floppy, to partition the HD, big one in front, small one (2-3GB) at the back, and set the first partition to Active.Then from the A:\> prompt type in format x: /s /u where x = the first partition.
    Then from the A:\> prompt type in format y: /u where y = the second partition. Next, copy your W2K files onto the second partition.
    Put the jumper back to Master and put the HD back in the laptop.
    It will boot to the C:\> prompt. Go to the small partition with W2K files and type in: setup and off you go.
  6. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    You must check in your Bios to see if it is "recognizing" the External Rom if it does you should be able to Change the boot order to it.Then boot with W2K CD and install.There are no drivers to be loaded .
    If this can't work see if the Boot order list includes USB,If it does buy the USB floppy ,get a BBootdisk , then you can do a Real... outlined.
    If this fails ,you will have to Find the Docking station that goes with your model they usually have Rom's in them.
  7. Kid

    Kid TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again for your input.
    Just to let you know in bios i have the option to boot from my floppy or Hard drive. which ever I put on top for it to boot first. It does not say anything about USB so I am kinda scared to buy one. but again if it doesnt work I guess i can always return it for a refund.

    Tedster thanks again for all your help. I will try your way as well.

    RealBlackStuff, You helped me with the problem on my very frist post how to
    partition the hard drive into 2. one big and the other with 2 gig. I have the
    w2k in the small partition. I put the Hard drive back into the laptop and now the ntlrd is gone but now says no operation system or somthing like that and i cant even get into dos prompt. = P I was reading what you said and
    was kinda hard to do. Can I install dos of some sort into the large partition to get my computer to boot so I can change to small partition so i can prompt C:\> type in: d:\setup ?

    Thanks alot guys

  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you had formatted the big partition as I described, you would have a bootable (!) C-drive in your laptop, when you set it to boot from harddisk.
    Upon booting the laptop you should see the C:\> prompt.
    If not, you have done something wrong.
  9. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I might be wrong about the brand the Kid has, but the last 2 Toshiba's and 3 Dell's I worked on will not auto load any O/S(Even with the /s switch on Format) without their own Setup programs installed on a small partition on the HDD. This is a proprietary software you must Download from their respective sites.
    If the advice Real.. gave was followed properly and is not working , then you will have to check the web for your model and find the appropriate file I am talking about.
    Then you have to use some bootable device that has at least DOS on it in order to prepare the disk correctly and load this software.My earlier post is the way it worked for the brands mentioned above.You must read their instructions comelpetely.
  10. Jonnyz

    Jonnyz TS Rookie

    Hey Real BlackStuff, can you do the whole two partition and copy setup files on a laptop thing with XP? about to give it a go anyways, just wondering if you have any experience with this
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...