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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11th March, 2003, 10:37 AM
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DOS for Dinosaurs

I have a bit of a problem with a recently aquired laptop (compaq elite 4/40ce) 486 dx40 20mb ram 500mb hdd 12" screen not too bad for a freebie.

but it has a few problems

a. it wont boot anything. period. no matter what i try it wont boot command.com unless its off a bootdisk. this isnt the end of the world because if i can boot it off a floppy i can still use it but id like to know whats causing it.

b. how to get data onto it. it has base10 ethernet via port replicator which is about the only way. no CD rom. there is a floppy and thats it. does anyone know a DOS based network shell. someone mentioned Xtreegold.. i though XT was only for laplink.. if anyone has a suggestion id be grateful to hear.

BTW this im making my couch word processing machine. not my gaming machine.
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Old 11th March, 2003, 11:15 AM
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I'm sure it has a parallel port on it. Maybe an external parallel CD ROM??

The only thing that I could think of that would fit on a 500 meg hd would MAYBE be win95, or if you could find a version of Linux that might work.

Hell I think I have ALL the FLOPPIES of netware laying around. Those should fit
$.02

Hope that helps
Rob
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Old 11th March, 2003, 04:26 PM
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First the obvious... is the bios set to boot of HDD? what is the error message you get?

Also, since the HDD must be very old, it is possible you have a bad boot sector, which makes the drive useless from an OS perspective. Can you run a disk diagnostic on it?

If it works, win98 would be feasible, but slow. Does it have a color LCD?
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Old 11th March, 2003, 06:15 PM
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You have a nice fast laptop there!

a) Is the hard disk intact - IE, are the system files that need to be there there? (MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM all need to be present)
Is the partition set as bootable? - use FDISK to check which partition is set to bootable.
If the floppy you have is the same version of DOS, you can attempt to use SYS.COM to transfer the system files across from the floppy to the hard disk. (SYS A: C

b) Microsoft wrote a requester for DOS. It will talk to machines that can talk SMB (Microsoft Networking). You'll need the DOS driver for the network card as well as the TCP/IP stack and the requester. With this you can map network shares to drive letters. (Caution: network shares have to be 8 chars or shorter due to limitations in DOS)

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Old 13th March, 2003, 04:04 AM
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Im thinking boot sector error atm. whether its booting off HDD or not... everything kind of went to hell one day after i disabled WIN95B's networking adapter (its no longer part of its old network and it was producing error messages etc) i rebooted and accidentally had a floppy in the drive (non-boot disk) it gave the insert bootdisk or remove floppy error. when i did remove the disk, it still would accept there isnt a disk ther anymore. after i rebooted again it would look at the floppy drive for a while and then just hang.

maybe it still thinks there is a floppy in the drive for some reason and is getting cut when there isnt.

On the BIOS issue... its a compaq lappy bios obviously.. i dont know how to access it it isnt del or F1 or F10 i dunno what i could be actually..

ive rpartitioned and formatted the drive again and it still isnt bootable..

BTW it does have a colour screen (1024X768 256 color capable or 800X600 16bit) very surprised it went that nicely
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Old 13th March, 2003, 11:20 AM
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The compaq setup is (was in your case!), I believe, stored on the hard disk. Repartitioning the drive without keeping the first partition intact will have wiped the setup from the disk! Fortunately, it's possible to download the utilities from the HP/Compaq website. It's probably best to start with a blank disk (no partitions!) for the utility software, as it does need to be the first partition.

In terms of errors you're getting, if you can FDISK and format the drive, then the machine can see the drive. That's why I suggested checking with FDISK to see that the partition is active.

What steps did you take when you repartitioned and formatted the disk?

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Old 17th March, 2003, 11:00 PM
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It all worked out good =D

I installed windows 95B off the floppies (all 22 of them) then installed everything else via network CDROM. The compaq setup did get wiped. no big loss . i never liked it anyway and it works fine without it.

tis surprisingly quick for a bomb of a laptop ... my new lean mean dooming machine.

only thing to do now is mod it!

maybe a window just above the 486 cpu and a few laser leds >=D
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