can't install win98 on laptop, big problem

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soulklap

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
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At the advice of an so-called expert, I reformatted my C Drive on my Dell Laptop and decided to make a fresh installation of win98.

The problem is that after I startup the laptop and install the startup disk. I get a menu stating to
1. start computer with CD-Rom support
2. start computer without CD-Rom support
3. Help

I always choose one 1, but it always says that it can't find (or they're corrupted) files that pertain to the CD-rom.
It seems like it's not reading the CD-rom.

I'm lost because I have no clue to how to force the laptop to load the CD-rom or how to activate the drivers for it.

Keep in mind that the laptop has an interchangeable floppy disk and CD-rom and they can't be used at the same time. I also have a very limited knowledge of DOS so I don't know how to create a directory or anything of that sort.

I tells me no valid device drivers are selected so I don't know where to begin to make this situation a winner. Thanks for any help you can give me
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
3,178
Hi,

You can check out the following posting, to see if there is any useful info there, (it's pretty jumbled together though).

http://forums.techguy.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=55220

If you have problems making heads or tails out of all that, then please post back here, and let me know some information about your system (ie-model #). Then I'll try to write up a step-by-step guide for you, ok? (I used to work frequently with Dell Latitudes and other laptop lines).

Good luck:)
 

soulklap

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
Messages
4
I tried to go into CMOS, but no combination of keys at startup seems to take me there.

The model that I have is a DELL Latitude CPi. (Pentium II).

I'm not able to change my boot sequence, even though I've tried a few DOS commands.

I tried a step-by-step confirmation but I don't know what it was doing and I'm not sure if I was installing drivers or not.

I'm still trapped in the no CD-rom support stage and I still can't get the laptop to read the CD-rom at all.

I seem to have all of the extensions that are listed on the other threads you referred me to on my bootdisk, but I don't know if they are doing me any good.

I'm sorry to be a pain and I starting to feel as if maybe I'm in over my head, but could you give me a slightly detailed method to help me get in. Keep in mind that I have very limited skills with DOS.

I made a mistake by reformatting, I realize that now. Please help me get this laptop right if you can!!! It belongs to a very violent person and he wants it back soon!!!!!! HELP!!!!
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
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Violent, eh?

:eek:

OK. First, obtain a copy of a Win98 boot disk with the following files copied onto it: mscdex.exe, sys.com, and edit.com. All of these can be found in the c:\windows\command folder, (and make sure you get them from a win98 system).
Next, put the boot disk into your floppy drive, and boot up the system. Choose "Start computer without CD-ROM support" when prompted. This should take you to an A>:\ prompt.
Next, type in: sys a: c:
After it finishes copying, type in c:
Then, type copy a:\
Once it finishes copying, remove the boot disk from your floppy drive, and shut down the machine. Swap the floppy drive, with the hard drive, and boot up the system. Choose "Start computer with CD-ROM support" when prompted.
Now, you are bound to get some sort of error message at this point. Because I am writing all of this from memory, you will have to post back with the exact error message you receive, in order for us to continue, OK?
Please let me know if you run into any other problems.

Good Luck
 

soulklap

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
Messages
4
done all you said and the error message.

(I think you meant swap floppy disk drive with cd-rom drive so that's what I did.)

I got the windows 98 splash screen which is very good, thought I would never see it.

The error message I received was:
not ready reading drive A
Abort, Retry, Fail?

I hit retry after I put the floppy drive back in
after that it said:

The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive D.

MSCDEX Version 2.25
Copyright(C) Microsoft Corp. 1986-1995. all rights reserved.
Drive E: = Driver MSCD001 unit 0

To get help, type HELP and press Enter.

C:\>

From this point on, I am lost again and I will stop while I'm ahead.
I'm ducking the violent guy right now. (smart move, I will not get myself into this mess again!!!!)

thanks for your help so far.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2000
Messages
9,052
Hi,

i think that means the m/c is calling the CD unit 'E'

to check, put CD unit in, put CD into drive, from C:\>
put e: (enter) that should change the prompt to E
if it does put dir (enter)
that should bring up a list of whats on the CD

Post back and say what happens.

John.

Colombo - could it have a partition with setup on ?
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2001
Messages
3
On the Dell Laptops you can use the CD rom and the Floppy drive at the same time. There is a cable that connects the floppy drive to the parallel port. You then insert the CDrom in the computer. If you do this you can run the setup from disk. The CDrom will not work on the parallel port. You should have gotten a cable with your laptop. I don't think you can hot swap the A drive and the CDrom.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2000
Messages
9,052
Hi soulklap,

The floppy is normally called the 'A' drive.
A second floppy unit if fitted is usually called 'B' drive.
The primary hard drive is usually called 'C' drive.
If the hard drive is partitioned, or if more hard drives are
added, they are usually labeled with successive
letters of the alphabet. You can assign other letters if
you want, but that is the usual arrangement.

You say that you got a message:

"The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive D."

So i wonder where they went then?
Maybe theres a partition.
Maybe the laptop has a setup on it already.
Maybe im dreaming.

Check it out.

Cheers, John.
 

soulklap

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
Messages
4
Irish got it!!!! I found the cable and after that it was smooth sailing towards installation. I would like to thank Colombo, John1 and Irish for all of your assistance. You guys are lifesavers and I hope to become as skilled and knowledgeable as you guys are. Thanks. Courtney (soulklap).:D
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
3,178
Good stuff Soulklap!

John1
When booting up from the disk, (I think) a "diagnostics" partition is created that has various DOS utilities on it . It's assigned to the next available drive letter, (in this case d:).
 
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