windows ME problems

By smokingrasshope
Sep 13, 2004
  1. HELP i am totaly stuck and dunno what to do. ok
    right i just got a second hand laptop it came with windows me and a windows me cd (covered in holographic pics) anyway the system was realy unstable so like a pro:)rolleyes: ) i loaded the cd and tryed to fix me but ive blown it. 3/4 of the way through after it says installing driver data base it says installing plug and play and devices and stuff it comes up with an error

    cmdninst error in (unknown) i get this three times in a row then nothing happens windows stays at 15min to go
    when i do cntrl alt del cmdninst is still there.?????

    i can load into safe but not bios( semingly F10 or F1 but thats all lies)

    ive pressed all the bloody buttons at start up but nope no bios?? i am realy stuck so any help much appreciated.

    laptop spec

    compaq armada 7400
    125mb ram
    pen 2
    300 mhz
    cd drive ( NO FLOPPY DRIVE)

    1 X win me cd ( that wont boot from but my 98 se does boot but wont work wrong something or other)

    thanks smokie
  2. jrussell

    jrussell TS Rookie

    Win ME problems

    If your Armada won't hit the bios using F10 during boot up, likely there's not a partition there for it.
    while the machine is booting... watch the top 2/3 right hand side of the screen. You should see a large white block flashing... looks like the old "pong" cursor.

    The Armada 7400 keeps all it's BIOS info in a partition called DIAGS. That has to be created before you install an OS. (Yes, the OS will run without the BIOS,but trouble shooting can be a pain without access to the BIOS, as you have discovered.) The bios does have ways to trouble shoot and assign resources, like any other BIOS/CMOS...
    And ME has a tendancy to be a little creepy, anyway.
    You need the DIAG partition.

    Your biggest headache is that you do not have internet access, nor a floppy. The BIOS (or DIAGS) partition you need has to be created using SofPaq information downloaded from Compaq. It's free software, it's just a little slow to download and install. And it's generally s big series of floppies, installed one or two at a time
    (Such as the VirgeS3 drivers for your video.)

    Don't PANIC !! (Wish I could do that like the hitchhiker's guide...)

    You need a buddy with internet access, and the ability to burn programs to CD. If only I could remember the exact link....

    Find the Compaq site, find notebook pcs section , find your model
    (Armada 7400 and THEN a big long list of numbers..
    like 7400x/m/6400/tmx or such. the numbers are ALL on a sticker on the bottom, side or back of your laptop)
    the find DRIVERS / SofPaqs.

    You need to get your buddy to put them as seperate files onto the CD, plus the rudimentary DOS stuff so you can get the machine running off the CD. If you put all them in a file (like NERO, or some other programs do... DOS probably won't be able to see them.)
    There are a bunch of the Sof and Rom Paqs, and upgrades, and they will all fit onto one CD very easily.

    READ COMPLETELY FIRST... then try:

    You need to do this from CD just as if you were working from a floppy.
    You'll have to run FDISK, look at the partitions on the hard drive, and if there is NO DIAGS partition already there.... nuke the existing partitions. Just make a great big blank disk, no c:\, no partition, no nothing.
    Then when you run the appropriate SofPaq... it will create your DIAGS partition for you.

    Then, from the CD... you would again run FDISK and create your C: drive in whatever space is left after the SofPaq has "done it's thing". Or two or 3 drives. whatever. Then install your OS.

    There are a few caveats here: If you just allow ME to "do it's thing"... it might try to nuke the DIAGS partition. Don't let it do that. AND... without an OS like XP (or maybe ME)... I can't guarantee you'll be able to find the cd-rom during bootup...that's the big pain and that's why I said to be sure you've got some sort of DOS stuff on the CD.
    If you can get all the stuff you need onto the cd, you ca copy them to C:\... so
    You NEED to put together a cd that you can boot to, and see everything from DOS.

    the armada is a cool machine, tough little bugger, and pretty quick, but built to handle 95/98 more than XP or even ME.
    Not having a floppy is a PITA... you really need one.

    One way might be to interrupt the ME install routine...
    if you put the CD in, and it starts trying to install... can you interrupt it, put in a different CD and "poke around" in DOS to see what's on the CD? If you can... you've got it all sewed up..

    If not though... you have no choice but to get a floppy drive and some floppies for the machine. Get SofPaqs on the floppy... install the BIOS and UPDATE packs, the FDISK, create C:\, get the drivers on to see the Cd-Rom and install the OS of your choice (I use either 95, 98SE, or XP.... all work on that machine. ME is a pain.)

    Hope it helps...
  3. jbrown456

    jbrown456 TS Rookie

    My Only Advice:
    Don't Use ME, It is not exactly the best.
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