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Laptop Problem Loading Windows


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#1 devonwolf

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 01:25 PM

I have an old Olivetti Echos P100e laptop currently without an operating system. This particular machine has a side aperture that takes either a floppy disc drive, or a CD-Rom drive. In other words, I cannot have both a floppy drive and a CD-Rom drive at the same time. When I acquired the machine with Win95 this wasn't a problem as I just switched drives, if necessary.

I wished to load Windows98 so I could add USB connectivity to my laptop. However, to do so I had to wipe the hard drive as my Win98 disc is for new systems only, and the HDD had some rubbish on it anyway. Unfortunately I didn't forsee the problems that this would give me.

Now comes the problem. I insert the floppy drive so that I can use the Win98 startup disk which starts up as usual but then tells me that, as I dont have a CD drive attached, I dont need CD drivers, so it doesn't load them.

The BIOS will only let me Boot from the A or C drives so whatever I have done up to now I cannot get the laptop to recognise the CD drive. I've tried copying the contents of the startup floppy to the now empty C drive and booting from that with the CD drive inserted, but it is still not recognised and it seeks for the floppy drive which is not there.

I'm not clever enough to work this out so thought I would ask if anyone out there could help me, even if I'm missing something obvious.

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#2 HitSquad

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:24 PM

Hi devonwolf.
I feel your pain, I once made that mistake a long time ago with an old toshiba.
I'll tell you what I did to work around it but no guarantees.
I formatted, partioned and sys c'd the drive with a 98 boot disk.
I downloaded the cdrom drivers from toshiba and installed them from a floppy. (the ones from the bootdisk would not work for me)
I hot swapped (not supposed to) the floppy drive to the cd-rom drive. (Like you, a reboot and I was screwed)
At the still remaining a: prompt on the screen, with the cdrom drive in, I was able to switch to d: (cdrom drive) and run setup from there. Hot swap is never recommended but I didn't really care at the time.
Just curious though. A system that old is not likely to have usb ports or does it?
Going to be using an adapter of sorts?

#3 acklan

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:17 PM

I found the following article that explain how to install via the CD. I have done this on an IBM Thinkpad 600e. I could have explain it but this article does a better job. Hope you find it helpful.

http://linux.seindal.dk/item17.html
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#4 Herk

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:13 PM

The Windows CD should have all the tools you need. However, you can start by using the floppy to format the hard drive. You need to be able to boot from the CD, and this option should be in your BIOS. I don't know how the Olivetti BIOS is accessed, but it should say during boot-up, maybe Delete, maybe F2 or something. (Do you have a manual?) Once the drive is formatted, you can boot from the Windows CD. You will be given a choice to setup Windows or start the computer with CD support, which would take you into DOS. Do you have any driver disks? There may be some drivers specific to your laptop that you will need. Mainly, if you can get Win 98 installed, you can install the drivers later . . .

#5 HitSquad

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:00 AM

You need to be able to boot from the CD, and this option should be in your BIOS


Hey Herk, devonwolf's already been there and it's not an option. :thumbsup:
This is an old system and many old swapple drive notebooks, my now retired Toshiba included, don't have that selection in cmos setup.
All devonwolf really needs to do is get cd-rom drivers 'that will work" over to the hard drive, he can switch to the cd-rom drive via command prompt and run install from there.

#6 acklan

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:26 AM

Could he load DOS then reboot and XCopy the '98 disk files and run them from the drive in a virtual disk?
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#7 Herk

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 10:22 AM

Hey Herk, devonwolf's already been there and it's not an option.


Whoops. Sorry. I took his statement to mean that he could only boot from A: or C: to mean "when the floppy is installed."

#8 devonwolf

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 02:30 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. Whatever I try it wont recognise the CD drive.

Acklan - the article you pointed to says that I need a cable so that I can join the FDD to the parallel port so that both drives are then available at the same time. This makes sense but I dont know where to get the cable from.
Any ideas?

HitSquad - yes I was going to use a PCMCIA adaptor, hence the need to load Win98.

#9 Herk

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:10 PM

This method sounds as if it will work.

#10 devonwolf

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 11:45 AM

Herk, I think you're wonderful.
I followed the instructions on the link you suggested, and I now have a laptop running Windows98.

The only downside is the PCMCIA Cardbus USB adapter doesn't fit, even though the manufacturers said it would. This was the original reason for the OS update. Ah well!

Thanks again everyone for your help, esp. the clever Herk :thumbsup:

#11 Herk

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 12:10 PM

I'm blushing. Google is my friend.




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