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What shall I do with this old laptop?

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#1
Haha123

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Hi all. I have a old laptop which had Windows 98 on it, but it doesn't have a OS anymore. It has a 233 MHz processor, 144MB RAM, and a 2.6GB HDD.

I'm trying to install Windows 98 on it but it doesn't work. I can't get it to boot to the CD. I selected CD to be the boot priority, and even did it manually, but it just says 'Operating system not found'. And yes, my installation CD works (I tried it on several other PCs).

1. I want to make it a useful laptop, so which OS shall I install? Windows XP and 2000 is probably not a good choice considering the small HDD and low CPU clock speed. BTW I don't mind if the OS is old - I'm even OK with W 95
2. Maybe installing a Linux will be more useful?? (I have zero experience with Linux though!)
3. Well, I already have a W 98 installation disc as stated earlier (that's actually the main thing I want to do), but I can't get it to boot to the CD. What to do now?
4. The laptop does however successfully boot to the floppy disk drive (I tried it), so maybe is there any way to use a floppy instead of a CD to do a clean install of a OS? (BTW, I don't have a empty floppy!)

Please help me!


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#2
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Hi all. I have a old laptop which had Windows 98 on it, but it doesn't have a OS anymore. It has a 233 MHz processor, 144MB RAM, and a 2.6GB HDD.

I'm trying to install Windows 98 on it but it doesn't work. I can't get it to boot to the CD. I selected CD to be the boot priority, and even did it manually, but it just says 'Operating system not found'. And yes, my installation CD works (I tried it on several other PCs).

1. I want to make it a useful laptop, so which OS shall I install? Windows XP and 2000 is probably not a good choice considering the small HDD and low CPU clock speed. BTW I don't mind if the OS is old - I'm even OK with W 95
2. Maybe installing a Linux will be more useful?? (I have zero experience with Linux though!)
3. Well, I already have a W 98 installation disc as stated earlier (that's actually the main thing I want to do), but I can't get it to boot to the CD. What to do now?
4. The laptop does however successfully boot to the floppy disk drive (I tried it), so maybe is there any way to use a floppy instead of a CD to do a clean install of a OS? (BTW, I don't have a empty floppy!)

Please help me!

Believe it or not, Win2k should work okay. After all, it came out during the Pentium II and III era so the CPU ( you didn't specify it though ) is likely fine. Windows XP would be a mistake I think because it is bigger than Win2k in every way and IMHO needs much more RAM to be usable.

If you are going with Win9x, then use Win98se instead of Win98 because that version will get you a lot more free and helpful advice on Win9x forums like this. :yes:

You are correct about the HDD. It is small and it will be tight but both Win98se and Win2k will fit ( but with very little room left for big programs ). But you can avoid this problem by finding a replacement laptop drive in the 4, 8, 10 or 20 GB range which should cost almost nothing.

Question #3 ( lack of CD booting ) will be a problem. See if there is a BIOS update ( or just reflash with the latest even if it already has it ) and try to do it again. If that doesn't work find a spare laptop CDROM drive and replace it and try again. If you cannot get it to work and you also obviously have no USB, well the usefullness of the laptop becomes much lower IMHO without any practical way to transfer files larger than 1.4 MB. Additionally, fixing the CDROM is important because it could indicate a disk controller or motherboard problem and if that is true, why bother with this computer at all?

Having said that, there is definitely a workaround for installing Win98se ( and possibly Win2k but I'm not sure ). But you would need to be able to at least temporarily add a 2nd HDD to the laptop ( see if there is a 2nd connector and room for two ). I would just copy the Windows install disc to a directory on the other HDD ( using another computer naturally ) and install the 2nd HDD and then boot to this DOS formatted HDD ( or maybe a DOS startup floppy ) and run Windows setup.exe from the commandline from the other HDD. This other HDD is acting like a giant CDROM in this case. A little complicated, but it actually will install quicker than the CDROM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3
tomasz86

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I would stick to Windows 98 (SE). Windows 2000 will work but it will be slow, much slower than Win98.

Couldn't you just boot to DOS throgh a floppy with a CD-ROM driver added and then just start Windows setup from there?
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#4
Tripredacus

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I didn't see it mentioned, but can this notebook boot any other CD?
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#5
Nomen

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What should you do with that old laptop?

I think you should ask yourself -> will it blend?



You probably think your laptop is too big to fit. Try this technique:



#6
M()zart

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Well, just for the record, I think, it's possible to run XP on it. See here

http://winhistory.de...6/xpmini.htm.en

I personally know a man who used XP on a PC with 128 Mb RAM, though I don't think it will be really usable. I've heard about boot floppy that then starts the bootable CD even if PC itself cannot boot from CD. May be you should search for such a floppy image in the Internet. I don't think your note is completely useless because in 2006 I still used my Pentium 133 with 16 Mb of RAM in my out-of-town house and then I completed the first Quake for the first time :)

Of course I already had a more modern PC that time in my flat where I am living most of the time.

#7
jaclaz

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I've heard about boot floppy that then starts the bootable CD even if PC itself cannot boot from CD.

I have the avantage on you :w00t: , I actually know how there are more than one, how they are named and where to find them :yes: .
BCDL:
http://bootcd.narod.ru/bcdl150z.zip
http://www.paraglide...mp/bcdw201a.rar

SmartBootManager:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/btmgr/

PLoP:
http://www.plop.at/

grub4dos:
http://reboot.pro/forum/66/
http://code.google.c...ub4dos-chenall/
The old 0.4.2 version:
http://sourceforge.n...grub4dos 0.4.2/
does contain a pre-made floppy image

Though there is still an issue:

4. The laptop does however successfully boot to the floppy disk drive (I tried it), so maybe is there any way to use a floppy instead of a CD to do a clean install of a OS? (BTW, I don't have a empty floppy!)


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 08 November 2012 - 07:17 AM.


#8
Joseph_sw

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is by booting with your floopy, you can access the cd-rom?

If can read the cd-rom, you might try to copy Win98SE cd-rom into the HDD, then run the setup.
I remember doing that on my 2GB HDD.

unlike xp installation, win9x installation is nicer as it doesn't requires to run/boot from the CD.

#9
jaclaz

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unlike xp installation, win9x installation is nicer as it doesn't requires to run/boot from the CD.

Nor does the XP one, one can use DOS and WINNT.EXE, the "original" way to install XP from USB (by running WINNT.EXE) is several years old, and actually starts from internal hard disk:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=16713
as well there have never been issues in making a WINNT.~BT and WINNT.~LS on another hard disk and transfer them to the machine (still through DOS), but here it is not even clear if the actual Cd-ROM dive is functional.... :ph34r:

jaclaz

#10
Drugwash

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I've seen a few bad BIOS versions - both on laptops and desktops - that would refuse to boot to optical drive when HDD contained a valid bootable partition. Bad thing is, laptops usually have stupid useless BIOS settings where one may not be able to change much, if anything. In the above-mentioned situation, HDD boot should be disabled in BIOS, leaving ONLY optical drive boot for first installation phase. In that case - assuming optical drive is in good shape and installation media is also in good shape and bootable - one should be able to boot from optical drive and initiate OS installation.

When setup reboots the machine, go into BIOS and change boot order, reenabling HDD boot so that setup could continue from where it left off. Do not let it boot from optical drive again!

As a safety measure, before going to another installation attempt, take a small and clean piece of cotton cloth (and a magnifying glass if needed) and gently clean the optical drive's lens with a couple circular moves, to wipe off any dust that may have settled there. Careful not to scratch it!

#11
LukeTheComputerDude99

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Well, i think you should put WIndows 95 on it because its takes up way less space(yeah i have it on virtual pc and its only taken up 300 mb of my 5 gb hdd software included) for a small hard drive like that, i think thats the best decision. also do you have a floppy drive? if you do you should create a windows 95 boot disk. and dont worry i dont hate windows 98,windows 2000 or windows me i just think for that computer thats the best decision :yes:

#12
submix8c

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Haha123
Post count=1

The OP isn't coming back. :w00t:

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#13
Drugwash

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Maybe he won't, or maybe he's just reading the replies in the mail, without even logging in to the board. And even if he fixed the problem, lost interest or whatever, there may still be other people out there that would benefit from the information in this topic. So I'd say: let the information pile up, for whoever, whenever might need it. ;)




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