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Thread: Start Up disk HELP!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Dell Latitude (hell ya baby!)

    Man! You have to love the fact that the people who designed this model assumed you would never need both a floppy and cdrom at the same time. Ok, follow these steps to install 98 in this scenerio.

    1) Put in floppy drive and bootup with the 98 disk. Prompt to load w/o cdrom support (why? You don't have one yet)

    2) FDISK if you need too

    3) format using the system parameter. (ex. Format c: /s )
    Note: This loads all the config files for msdos....you don't need the floppy to boot anymore. Also, make sure that you have format.com on that floppy (windows boot disks sometimes doesn't include that tool....God knows why?) If you don't have it...go to the machine that is running Win98 and do a find for files or folders and search for format.com and look in the c:....then copy it over to the boot disk.

    4) Shutdown the system and switch out the drives for the cdrom.

    5) Restart and allow the system to boot into msdos.

    6) Once you have the a: flashing on the screen, switch over to the cdrom (cd d this should work as long as msdex is loaded (I don't remember if it does or not so pray to god you don't get an invalid drive specification)

    7) From there......go to the win98 folder (cd win98) and type setup

    If all this doesn't work.....you need to go to the BIOS and check under the cmos configuration that the primary or secondary boot device is set for the cdrom. Dell Latitude's can boot from the cdrom as well as Windows 98. If you put the drive in with the cd, boot up, and it doesn't ask you to hit enter to boot from cdrom (just says, please insert system disk or whatever, you don't have the bios settings right.

    Note: You cannot hot swap those drives.....it will simply say that it is an invalid drive specification because the bios didn't detect the damn thing during boot (duh!!).

    Note: If all else fails....make sure the bios has the cdrom set for a boot device. Once this is done, put in the cdrom drive as well as the 98 cd. Finnaly just boot the box and hit enter when it prompts to boot from the cd.

    Let me know if you need more help



  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Damn it!

    Ok, I ****ed something up. The dos level driver loader for cdroms is called mscdex.exe. Also, to switch to different drives once in dos use the 'cd' command such as cd c: I hate those damn smiley faces.



  3. #13
    Ok I got all the way to format. Anyway when I go to restart it and put in the cd it says "Invalid System Disk" so what do I do now. It won't go to ms-dos at all without that damn startup=disk. I'm going to try to copy the files from the startupdisk to the C:\ . If I can't get it to work what should I do? Get another hard drive?

  4. #14
    Ok I'm at ms-dos after it booted up. Now for some reason I can change out the Cd drive for the floppy but can't change the floppy out for the cd-drive.

  5. #15
    hey man I am not sure if this is far too late or what I stoped reading the thread a while ago 8

    but the msg that comes up is
    boot with CD suport
    boot without cd suport?

    u don't need the cd in to get to dos u just go the 2nd of the 2

    check the bios for the swap saftey thing, also what is it u are trying to acheive? installing a OS? cause then maybe you should just ghost an image onto it.

    anyways I hope I havn't just repeated what every1 else has already said 8
    01010111 01101001 01110010 01100101 01100100

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Ghosting an image would probably work, but unless you can boot from CDs that is not an option, in this particular case, since you won't be able to boot from a floppy then insert a CD (because both drives can't be in at the same time)

    Look through your BIOS options to either enable booting from CD, or disable the safe-swapping feature that shuts it down if you swap the drives.

    Apart from that, putting the contents of a DOS boot disk onto your hard drive should work, as long as the HDD is FAT/FAT32 formatted. From there you should be able to boot using the hard drive, with the CD Drive in, and install Windows in the usual way.

    In order to get MSCDEX working, you'll need to copy the contents of a Windows 98 boot floppy to the hard drive, a 95 boot floppy does not contain MSCDEX.EXE, OAKCDROM.SYS and the required lines in CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT

    I know how Windows boot floppys work in regard to memory assignment and getting CD ROM drives working in DOS mode after trying to get some DOS based games distributed on CD working on my computer, many many years ago!
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
    (The Lord Of The Rings)

  7. #17
    Well I did what Spider=Wolf suggested. Know I just have to download the drivers for the cd=rom and I should be able to boot one of the operating systems.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Lean on me


    So you managed to get the damn thing in MSDOS. Great, the next issue is getting the cdrom functioning within this **** excuse for a command prompt. (Not that I do not hold any hatred for dos of course). You need to check the bios settings real quick. You should be able to start the system now (with the cdrom drive plugged in) and load into the dos prompt (blinking a. The drives should have loaded but of course may not have. Make sure that the Win98 cd is in the rom and type: cd d: and see if it gives you an invalid drive specification. If it doesn't you should be looking at a blinking d: From there....type cd win98..... hit enter and then type setup. If you do get an invalid drive specification then it is time to play with mscdex.exe, I can help with this later but I don't think that this would be a problem at the moment. Just follow the above and reply if something blows up.

    Note: Windows 98 can boot from the bios (and a Dell has the ability to boot from cdrom)....in short. Go to the bios (I think you hit delete to enter setup when you first boot) and then select cmos configuration.....make sure that the primary boot device is set to the cdrom and save changes and exit. Put in the cdrom drive and win98 cd. Start the system and you should be prompted to boot from cd (hit enter) and then it will prompt you with various options for win98....choose to setup from cdrom and you are on your way. I have done this on those models of dells a few times in the past.....let me know if it doesn't work.





  9. #19
    Thanks Sp1d3r-W0lf. I got the damn thing fixed, and I was able to partiton it with Red Hat Linux. Yippee. Thanks Alot for the good help.

  10. #20
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    If you boot from the win98 floppy,
    do a SYS C:, and still can't boot from the
    C drive, you probably have a hard
    drive problem.
    If it will boot from C drive, you should be able to
    copy cdrom drivers, pcmcia support or
    whatever to C: and then connect
    cdrom, boot from C: and have access to cdrom.
    Study your BIOS settings though.
    Some times it's something simple.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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