Installing Windows, but laptop CD-ROM is fried

By wubuscmh ยท 6 replies
May 29, 2005
  1. Not sure whether this will be a problem...

    I want to install a new version of Windows OS on my laptop, but the laptop's integrated CD-ROM is fried. If I want to format my hard drive and start afresh before installing, how would I proceed?

    My original plan was to copy the Windows installation disks onto a plug-and-play external hard drive, and then somehow install from there.

    So bottom line, I have installation CD's, fried laptop CD-ROM, and a plug-and-play external hard drive, and I want to format my laptop's HD before installing Windows. Can this be done?

    This is my last question for a while I think. Thanks for the help!
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    That only works if you can BOOT from that external HD (which I doubt).
    Get another CD-drive.

    Or get a 2.5" - 3.5" adapter, take the HD out and stick in another PC. Disconnect that PC's own HDs, and put the laptop-HD in as master on primary IDE.
    Get a W98SE bootfloppy-file from and create that floppy.
    Boot that PC from the floppy, with CD-ROM support.
    Then use FDISK to delete current partition(s) on the laptop-HD. Then make 2 new partitions, 1 big one in front, and a 3-4GB partition at the end. Format both in FAT32,
    Make the first, big partition the active one, and use format C: /s /u
    For the small partition, use format D: /u
    Next, copy the complete i386 directory, incl. subdirs, to that small D-partition.
    Copy any other laptop-drivers, graphics-drivers, etc. also to that small partition.
    Finally, copy that AVG install-file on there as well.
    If you have XP-SP2, copy that over as well (or do a slipstream of SP2 into the i386 directory. Look up on the internet HOW, you should do something yourself, you know!
    Now put that HD back in the laptop and boot it up from the laptop's harddisk.
    You will get the C:\> prompt.
    Type in D: and hit enter
    Type in cd \i386 and hit enter
    Type in winnt and hit enter. This will start the install of XP.
    When XP asks you, you can reformat/convert the C: drive to NTFS if you want.
    If that whole HD is no bigger than about 40GB, leave it as FAT32.
  3. EvolZx6R

    EvolZx6R TS Rookie Posts: 19

    didnt work for me

    I followed the directions but it didnt work. I have a Sony Vaio Laptop with external cd and floppy drive. When I reinstalled the HD and booted up I got a "No Operating System Found" message. I also got that message when I installed XP on the laptop HD before trying the I386 method.

    I formatted C: and D: to fat32
    I copied the I386 folder to the D drive.
    Copied all driver exe's and graphic drivers to D.
    Found an AVG Install file and placed it on D

    Did not reach C:\> prompt - I got the NO OS FOUND message

    Any ideas why I keep getting that message? How would I get to the Dos prompt to initiate the i386 folder?
  4. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    You still need to boot with the bootdisk to get to a C: prompt.
    At the C: prompt type D: and hit Enter.
    At the D: prompt type cd\i386 and hit Enter.
    At the D:\i386 prompt type setup and hit Enter.
    Your XP install will now start.

    patio. :cool:
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you had formatted C: /S you'd have the basic system on the C-drive, and when you boot from harddisk (change it in BIOS) in the laptop you should get the C-prompt.
    You must have missed something.
  6. EvolZx6R

    EvolZx6R TS Rookie Posts: 19


    When I format does it specifically have to be "C: /S" ?

    I formatted them via "My Computer while using my secondary desktop OS. In my case it would be H: /S and I: /S since my 80gig is partitioned three ways. the Laptop HD (H: and I:) is a 14 gig.

    I'll try to format using C: /S using the command prompt. I dont have a floppy so a bootdisk is out of the question.
  7. EvolZx6R

    EvolZx6R TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Booting from floppy

    I made the W98SE floppy.

    I guess the issue im running into now is that I have to use the external USB floppy drive from my laptop. My dumb *** left the ide cable for my internal floppy at home thinkin i didnt need it. I'm an hr and a half away.

    I've been playing around with the BIOS to see if it'll boot from the external floppy. No luck. Whats the purpose of the bootdisk? (GET ME TO DOS) Is it the bootdisk that will enable me to reach the C:\> prompt when the HD is in my laptop? (YES) Is the Laptop HD the only HD installed during the entire process because I've been using my 80gig to copy i386 and drivers to the small D drive.

    I WILL BE USING DOS TO FORMAT THE LAPTOP HD. Not sure how to make the partitions using DOS commands though. Assuming it's done using windows install cd.

    I'm also assuming the way it goes is I boot from floppy (primary boot device) with my bios set with windows xp CD as secondary device. Bootdisk brings me to DOS and I format the Laptop HD using DOS Command FDISK. I will restart my computer and boot from cd-rom by default, i DONT HAVE TO REMOVE THE BOOTDISK. This is where the windows install/HD partitioning begins. (IF THE PARTITIONS ARE ALREADY FORMATTED DO I HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN?)

    After the partitions are made I reconnect my 80gig HD and copy and drag the i386 files (500mb) from the cd to the D drive. I also click and drag all laptop drivers to the d drive. I do not have an AVG install file on my windows CD. I found an AVG exe online that I installed as a replacement. After that the HD goes back in the laptop.

    Is this all correct? Am I missing anything?
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...