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Installing windows without the CD - possible?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by monkeynuts, May 2, 2005.

  1. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    I have just bought a laptop running Windows 2000 Pro off the forums and have a dreaded - "Incorrect Function" error, whenever i try to access the cd-drive, which i know is perfectly fine (tried elsewhere).

    Have googled around and only found solutions to the problem for XP, so would like to see if XP will solve the problem, or at least i'll know if the laptop is at fault!

    As there is no way to use the cd-drive to load a fresh copy of windows (won't even boot from an XP disk), is there a way of doing it without the cd? Laptop has no floppy drive and i don't own an external one, but i do have an external HDD and unfortunately just sold my external 5.25" caddy :suicide:

    I've tried running the install from an image of the XP disk from 2000, but on restart it requires the actual disk!

    I have a basic network running between a few PCs, tho nothing complicated! - is it possible to use a cd drive from another PC over the network?

    Any help would be much appreciated as this laptop is driving me mad!

    Cheers

    Sam :)
     
  2. jrh_james

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    How about removing the internal HDD from the laptop, put it in one of your other PC's (you'd need a 2.5 in to 3.5in IDE cable) and install XP on in, then put it back in your laptop.

    Regards,
    James.
     
  3. lisag

    lisag
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    Or, getting a USB2 to IDE adaptor and connecting a CD drive to the USB2 drive of your laptop.
     
  4. Werner

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    if I may just add, you have already troubleshooted the problem.

    If the laptop will not boot from a normal windows xp cd, then you do not have a software fault that is for sure. Installing windows xp (through any of the methods advised above) will get a copy of winodws xp onto the machine, but the cd drive still wont work.

    Either it boots from a cd, in which case you have a software problem, or it doesnt boot from a cd, and you have a hardware problem. Very simple test.....

    Of course, you did mention you have tried the cd drive elsewhere and it is perfectly fine. So somewhere along the line the wires are getting crossed, or perhaps the problem is more deep rooted than just a faulty cd drive (ide controller...?)
     
  5. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon
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    Could you explain this a bit more clearly please? Do you mean the CD you tried in the laptop works fine elsewhere or the actual CD-ROM drive? Is the CD-ROM integral to the laptop or an external one?

    When you try to boot from your windows CD what error message does it give you and have you checked in BIOS to make sure it is set to boot from CD?
     
  6. mjn

    mjn
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    Boot from a floppy with NIC drivers, and point the setup location to network file share, containing the XP CD files.
     
  7. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Thank you all for your replies!

    Bit more info as requested:

    The CD drive from the Sony laptop that i'm having trouble with works perfectly in my other Mesh laptop (with XP), but isn't even recognised in the Sony.
    I have left the drives swapped as the Mesh CD drive is at least recognised in the Sony.

    I am happy to try it with either drive in if it makes much of a difference, but left them swapped as at least i have a CD drive that is recognised in Windows 2000 on the Sony.


    I bought a IDE to USB2 adapter for my girlfriend, but thats too far away at the moment to try.

    The Sony has no floppy drive, but if it is possible, i can put the Sony HDD in the Mesh and load up XP on there, but i thought that XP would throw a wobbly with the change in hardware when swapped back to the Sony!


    I had wondered whether the problem is a little deeper than just a windows setting, but am hopeful that i can get this resolved! I hope the extra info is useful!

    Thanks again :)

    Sam
     
  8. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Without meaning to insult your intelligence Sam, you do have the BIOS set up correctly to boot from the CD drive don't you? You know I'm not too familiar with Win2000 or XP... :)
     
  9. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    No insult taken! I have setup the Bios to boot from CD rom first and the secondary IDE has been set Auto and Cd rom with no difference.

    Think 98 is the way forward.........or is that backward.... ;)

    Cheers John :)
     
  10. Kamakazie

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    you cant put the HDD in another computer because when you install windows all the mobo and hardware drivers will be installed for that computer.

    only way from HDD to HDD that i know of would be to clone one from another laptop of the same spec.


    if the Mesh drive is fine in the sony, why not use that drive to install XP or is that giving you problems aswell??
    maybe look at downloading Windows 2000 compatable drivers from the CD manufacturers website? perhaps its just a case of XP having drivers supplied that 2k doesn't?!? or have you tried this already?
     
  11. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    The Mesh drive gets me further, but not far enough to boot from.

    I have installed the drivers from Sony again and the drive is "working properly" according to windows device manager and is shown in My computer. The Drive itself spins up when you put a disk in, but windows does recognise you've put anything in, tho i have managed to view an audio CD, which would suggest something is not setup correctly within windows, but i can't find out what. The problem seems to be fixable with a few alterations in XP, but i can't find any fixes for 2000 and am not familiar with the OS

    Cheers :)
     
  12. Kamakazie

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    could it be the CD firmware? you could try updating to the latest firmware release.

    its wierd that it works fine on the Mesh but not on the Sony.... this would suggest that its the Sony lapytop at fault and not the cd-drive itself.... but other than drivers or perhaps a faulty data cable.... i dunno what it could be. Try using a different data lead between the drive and the mobo?!?

    im kinda clutching at straws here sorry.... im no expert on computers but these are just the sort of things i would try before resorting to smashing the bloody thing with a sledge hammer ;)
     
  13. Kamakazie

    Kamakazie
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    what sort of fixes are there in XP exaclty.... this might help with finding the cause of the problem.
     
  14. Da_Rude_Baboon

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    Thanks for the extra info monkeynuts but it just makes the problem even more puzzling! :rolleyes:

    Win2K and XP are quite similar in some respects so it may be worth seeing if the XP fix works. Other than that i reckon from my expierience you could put the sony HDD in your other PC and load the OS that way. Chances are its going to need you to load the drivers it needs manually so you can swap the HDD back into the sony once the basic install is complete. Hopefully you can then perform your fix and have a useable CD drive for the rest of the install.
     
  15. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    The error within XP often relates to various burning software such as Nero, Roxio but there is none on the laptop although i've tried Nero on it with no change.

    XP has more settings when you right click on the drive and select properties, something about a recording tab....

    I just can't understand why it would be something so simple and why on earth the original drive doesn't work!

    Sorry for any confusion, it's even harder to understand when you haven't got the PC/Laptop in front of you, so thank you for any help :)
     
  16. Desticado

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    The clincher here for me it 'it wont boot from a cd'

    if the hardware is ok and the software is preventing access to the cdrom then you should still be able to access the cd drive from bootup.
     
  17. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Yep thats what i'm baffled by, why won't it boot from a CD!

    Ah well, will keep trying different things!

    Cheers :)
     
  18. Desticado

    Desticado
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    have you tried other cd's?

    perhaps a win98 cd or floppy?

    failing that best bet (if you have the cable adaptor) is to pull the hd, connect it to a desktop as a secondary drive and simply copy the XP CABS onto a partition on the laptop drive. That way you'll never need the cd again (for install/config purposes).

    Equally, if you have a CF USB memory stick available and the laptop boots to windows you could partition the drive (Partition Magic, and then copy the files over).
     
  19. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    The previous owner has partioned the drive already which is useful and i also have an external USB HDD which is very useful for copying large files from PC - PC.

    Other than the Problem with the CD drive, the laptop and windows 2000 work perfectly, and if worst comes to worst i'll have to get an external CD or DVD drive at some point, just seems a bit expensive, esp as the CD drive is fully functional!

    Can you explain what i can do with the CAB files, as i've already transfered an image of the XP CD to it and run that with the nero image drive software. It started the installation, but it restarts the laptop and then asks for the CD in the blue setup stage.
     
  20. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    oh and now when it boots i get the option:

    Windows 2000
    Windows XP setup

    I just can't complete the setup!
     
  21. Desticado

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    im assuming you have C/D partitions and the cd drive (is E:)

    you dont need to creat an image or anything like that. Simply create a folder D:\XPCD and copy all the files across (make sure you change the folder settings to show hidden files/folders as otherwise it may not grab all the install .com files etc.).

    then reboot the laptop to Dos mode

    type 'D:\XPCD\SETUP' and away you go

    when it reboots and asks for the cd enter in 'D:\XPCD\' as the path

    and away you go.
     
  22. lisag

    lisag
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    Take the hard drive out of the caddy and temporarily replace with a CD drive from another PC, connect to your laptop and install XP?

    lisa
     
  23. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    tried that one!

    I took the 3.5" caddy apart and managed to get the IDE connector in the back of the CD drive, but it blocked the power connector!!

    Typical!

    I'm not in the mood for cutting PCBs today, so am trying an XP install from command prompt in 2000 as i can't restart in DOS (not sure how other than using a floppy boot disk). It's had to install XP on the same partition as 2000 (prob not good!) but it wouldn't let me format C as it had "setup files" on there.

    Will keep you all posted and and thank you for all your help!

    Cheers

    Sam
     
  24. JonMace

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    If you boot up in safe mode I'm sure there is a option to boot to commard i.e. DOS
     
  25. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Tried safe mode with command prompt.

    if i can get this probably unstable version of XP to recognise the CD drive then i may be able to boot it from the XP cd and install a fresh copy of XP formatting C in the process!
    (think i'm dreaming!)

    Cheers though :)
     
  26. JonMace

    JonMace
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    Have you tried this in safe mode command promp
     
  27. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    yes

    It's loaded XP successfully but drive has problems.....just off out, will report more later!

    Cheers :)
     
  28. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    Right, quick update and problem!

    XP recognises the drive like 2000 did before, but this time there is no "incorrect function".

    On insertion of a CD the drive spins up as it should and autoplay occasionally pops up with audio CDs. When i double click the drive with a data disc it just loads up a blank folder after about a minute.

    It finds Audio CDs ok but when you try to click a track nothing happens or an error appears (can't get the error back to be very specific) which is along the lines of check the media is connected properly.

    Haven't tried a boot CD yet but will try that next.


    Any more ideas? Does this sound like a dodgy connection internally?

    Cheers :)
     
  29. Desticado

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    to put it technically

    "Sounds like the cd drive is shagged" and will need replacing
     
  30. monkeynuts

    monkeynuts
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    But it works perfectly as it's the one out of my other laptop. The original one from the problematic machine is currently working perfectly in my other laptop as i type!

    I really am baffled by this!
     

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