Author Topic: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400  (Read 74207 times)

aiha

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Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« on: August 20, 2009, 13:22:08 PM »
My old dell latitude c400 has no cd/dvd nor floppy drive. The bios does not have possibilities to boot from an usb device. Up till now the only way was by means of a modular bay cable and dell c400 drive.
But thanks to the plop bootmanager I can boot from a usb hd.


I copied a windows install cd on a harddisk connected with a usb connection to the laptop. When it tries to access the usb hd it says there is no ntldr. This is appearantly not part of a normal installation cd ? Should I add something on the usb hd to make it an install device ?

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 19:53:58 PM »
what filesystem is on the harddisk, ntfs or fat? if its ntfs then format it as fat

do you have a pc that has:
a floppydrive or cdrom drive
a bios with usb support


aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 16:27:58 PM »
what filesystem is on the harddisk, ntfs or fat? if its ntfs then format it as fat

do you have a pc that has:
a floppydrive or cdrom drive
a bios with usb support
the hd is ntfs formatted.
my pc has cd/dvd drive and no floppy drive. The bios support usb generic compact flash

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 13:04:10 PM »
i am sure there are other ways

this is my plan:
1) make the usb harddisk bootable. running freedos on it. the harddisk must be fat formatted.
2) copy the i386 directory from the xp install cd to the usb harddisk.
3) booting from the usb harddisk and format the internal harddisk to fat and make it bootable with freedos.
4) copy the i386 directory to the internal harddisk
5) boot freedos from the internal harddisk, change to the i386 directory and run "winnt"
6) xp installer is running and you can convert the fat partition to ntfs and install xp

i dont know what you are thinking about this. you can search the web for any other solution. maybe there is an easier way. for me its not difficult to do this, maybe you can do it too.

regards
elmar

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 19:55:36 PM »
i am sure there are other ways

this is my plan:
1) make the usb harddisk bootable. running freedos on it. the harddisk must be fat formatted.
2) copy the i386 directory from the xp install cd to the usb harddisk.
3) booting from the usb harddisk and format the internal harddisk to fat and make it bootable with freedos.
4) copy the i386 directory to the internal harddisk
5) boot freedos from the internal harddisk, change to the i386 directory and run "winnt"
6) xp installer is running and you can convert the fat partition to ntfs and install xp

i dont know what you are thinking about this. you can search the web for any other solution. maybe there is an easier way. for me its not difficult to do this, maybe you can do it too.

regards
elmar
I,m not a total digbetic guy but freedos seems to be for more experienced people as well ? I formatted the usb hd in fat but how do i make it bootable by means of installing freedos on it ?

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2009, 20:20:46 PM »
i will guide you

part 1:

1) create on the usb hardisk a directory called "usbhd"

2) download from freedos.org the fdbasecd.iso
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/distributions/1.0/fdbasecd.iso
and burn the iso

3) boot the pc that has bios usb support from freedos cd. the usb harddisk must be connected at boot time.
in the freedos boot menu press enter
then select freedos safe mode

4) now you are at prompt a:
use "dir c:" to see if there is the "usbhd" directory. if you see this then make "sys c:"
now your usb harddisk should be able to boot with a minimum freedos. try to boot the usb harddisk.
if it does not boot, maybe we have to update the mbr and set the partition boot flag

elmar

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2009, 19:02:09 PM »
Hi Elmar,

Still appriciate your patience !!

part 1 is oke. Although my desktop support usb generic compact flash it did not boot boot freedos from the usb hd. But ...........
My laptop with the plop bootmanager did boot from the usb hd and started up with freedos.

I had a quick at your step 2, but I was not able to format the laptop hd from freedos because the c: is the usb hd and I cannot find the laptop hd. After formatting the laptop hd I should make it freedos bootable just by copying everything that is on the usb hd (including the i386 folder) ?

Looking forward to the next step.

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2009, 17:51:53 PM »
part 2

1) copy the i386 directory from the xp install cd to the usb harddisk

2) download http://download.plop.at/files/fdostools.zip
there is format.exe and xcopy.exe in the zip
copy both to the root directory of the usb harddisk

3) now it becames dangerous, if something is different to my writing then stop and tell it me
on the laptop go into the plop boot manager, we set the ntfs partition to a fat partition
go to setup / partitions / hda1
select view/edit/copy data
write down to a paper the values of P1
move the cursor to P1 and go right to the 5th value (one value has 2 chars).
there must be a 07, change it to 0C
press esc and save the changes

4) boot the usb hd from the boot manager
now we have 2 partitions with fat. your usb harddisk C: and a prepeared but not formatted partition on the laptop D:
if you make "dir d:", then you should see something like "volume in drive d: error reading, ..., general failure...."
press a for abort, maybe you have to do this a few times until you are back to the command prompt
if you are back then run the 2 commands
format d:
sys d:

5) reboot and look if you can boot freedos on your laptop harddisk. if this works, we come to part 3

regarda
elmar

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2009, 19:42:12 PM »
until point 4) no problem

when I type dir d: it says volume in dirve D has no label, volume serial number is 1c2f-1afc file not found

i was able to format d: you had to enter yes only the y did not work
when i typed sys d: it says bad command or filename - "sys".

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2009, 19:52:53 PM »
ok, i added sys.com, copy all files from the zip to the usb harddisk
http://download.plop.at/files/fdostools.zip
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 19:37:50 PM by Elmar »

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2009, 15:30:41 PM »
back again

freedos on the hd of the laptop
started to xcopy i386 from usb hd to laptop hd, it is working for 4 hours now and only to the letter f.

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2009, 15:47:48 PM »
Quote
started to xcopy i386 from usb hd to laptop hd, it is working for 4 hours now and only to the letter f.

f: ???
is the copy complete?
i know that it will take much time, its faster when you copy the i386 with linux to the laptop hd.

part 3:

1) copy the i386 directory to the internal harddisk (i think you already did that)

2) boot freedos from the internal harddisk
run the commands
cd i386
winnt

now the xp installer should start

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2009, 16:11:07 PM »
i meant that the copy goes on alphabet, a, b, c etc. it is now on h !
i'll wait till the copy is done and then ...............
i guess we can celebrate
let you know !

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2009, 16:16:32 PM »
you simply can make the freedos usb harddisk bootable to ploplinux. this would speed up the process to a few minutes

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2009, 14:02:11 PM »
never used linux, can you give me a hint how to do this ?
after the k... it stopped copying (after 16 hours) so i would like to do it in a few minutes.

 :-\

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2009, 14:11:20 PM »
its not difficult

download syslinux.exe, ploplinux-v3.8.5.zip and ploplinux-v3.8.5-usbboot.zip from
http://www.plop.at/en/ploplinuxdl.html

i assume your usb harddisk has the drive letter f: on you windows pc
open ploplinux-v3.8.5.zip, go into the ploplinux-v3.8.5 directory. copy the ploplinux directory to f:\
open ploplinux-v3.8.5-usbboot.zip, go into the usbboot directory and copy the files to f:\

f:\ must have this files
boot.msg
bzimage
initrfs.gz
syslinux.cfg
directory ploplinux

open command shell and run
syslinux f:

now you should be able to boot linux from you usb harddisk. i give you the instructions when linux can boot.


the boot manager is so slow because in 5.0.3 uhci is not fast on all machines. 5.0.4 will fix this and it will be very fast. however with linux its no problem.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 15:25:15 PM by Elmar »

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2009, 16:49:49 PM »
forgot to mention i had to copy syslinux.exe from the pluspacks and that i had to run syslinux -f but i guess you did this to upgrade my confidence because i would find it out myself  ;)

now i can choose between
linux
linuxfb
plp
plpinst
memtest
hd
 how to continue ?

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2009, 20:36:53 PM »
simply press enter at the boot menu.
at the linux command line enter
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt
mc /  /

with mc you start the midnight commander. at the left window go to /mnt. thats the internal harddisk. with tabulator you choose the other window. go to /media. thats the usb harddisk. you should see there the i386 directory. move the bar on the directory and press f5 and enter. now copy from the usb harddisk to the internal harddisk starts. you will be asked to overwrite the existing files, choose "overwrite all". when all files copied, then simply press ctrl alt del to reboot.


aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2009, 20:42:21 PM »
when i type mount/dev/hda1/mnt it says: dir: d\:: no such file or directory

when i type mc// is says: -bash: mc/: no such file or directory

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2009, 20:48:15 PM »
you have to make spaces!
i make now many spaces, there is only one required
mount   /dev/hda1    /mnt
mc    /       /

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2009, 19:13:39 PM »
GREAT

the commander looks familiar, from an century ago !
started winnt from the i386 folder on the laptop, it said it wanted smartinstall or something like that. started without, remark was that it would take longer time, it started to copy files to the hd. after a while the system seems not to react, work anymore.
made a hard shut down but trying to boot again there is a disk failure.
i,m trying to reinstal freedos and start winnt again and wait a little longer ?

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2009, 19:17:10 PM »
how can i install freedos on the laptop hd from linux on the usb hd ?
 ???

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2009, 19:23:35 PM »
part 1, point 3 and 4 and so on
i think the partition id has been changed back to ntfs, so you have to do a lot of steps again

i added 3 more files to the fdtools.zip. they will speed up harddisk access under freedos.
copy all files to the laptop harddisk when its fat formatted.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 19:37:03 PM by Elmar »

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2009, 08:16:41 AM »
should i run one of the added tools to speed up the harddisk access ?

did the xp install change back the partition to ntfs ? this will probably happen again when i run winnt from the i386 folder ?

to be honest: this is a learning experience !
 8)

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2009, 12:11:34 PM »
should i run one of the added tools to speed up the harddisk access ?

it should not be required that you run it. they should be loaded at startup by freedos.

did the xp install change back the partition to ntfs ? this will probably happen again when i run winnt from the i386 folder ?

this happens only if you choose this option during install. i think you should see 3 option on the blue install screen after the drivers are loaded. i dont know the exact text. it something like
format to ntfs
convert to ntfs
do not change fat partition

have you seen something?





aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2009, 07:51:20 AM »
Sorry, I need some more time, again work versus pleasure.
I'm having troubles to install freedos on the usbhd now. Booting from the freedos cd on my desktop is not a problem but now it doesnot see the usbhd so running sys d: doesnot work. Need some time to look what is going wrong there.

The xp installation frooze before the blue screen where you can choose between different formats. It frooze during the copying file stage. Perhaps I shut it down (hard) to quick because it already said that without the smartinstaller it would take more time. I guess I was to impatient.

Looked around a little bit in your forum, but you are a busy guy putting a lot of time in the computer problems of others.
It is appreciated very much.
 

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2009, 18:04:09 PM »
I'm back
I cleaned up the mesh. The i386 folder was still on the hd laptop so did not need to copy that. After getting freedos on the hd laptop again i booted from the laptop hd and run winnt from the folder i386 again. Looks like the right windows xp professional setup blue screen.
This time i was patient and waited for hours for the system to copie the files to the hd (says so on the blue set up screen). At reaching 100% it rebooted and ...............
diskfailure
no way it rebooted.
with the usb hd i was able to make the laptop hd bootable again in freedos, but installing from the i386 folder does not seem the right way.
suggestions ?
 ???

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2009, 21:50:15 PM »
i tested now the whole procedure.
it seems there is a problem with freedos. i used now an old w95b boot disk and it was working without any problems.
do you have a w95b or w98 boot disk?

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2009, 14:31:41 PM »
I tried the whole procedure again. The xp installation works perfect until the moment it says the dos part of the installation is completed and it restarts for the rest of the installation. Then it reboots and says diskfault. In the installation procedure the question of which partition type is not asked for.

So we are going to try it in another way ? Looking forward to it ;)

Yes I have a w98 startup floppy and a usb floppy drive. Will that do ?

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2009, 14:55:22 PM »
boot the w98 floppy and do the same you did with freedos. make the usb hardisk bootable with sys, copy the sys.com to the usb harddisk.  boot the usb harddisk from the laptop and make sys c:

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2009, 07:48:28 AM »
sorry, you are going a little bit fast.
I have to boot my desktop with the w98 floppy (usb because there is no floppy drive in my desktop)
then i make my usb hd with the command sys drive:, copy the sys.com from the w98 boot to the usb hd, boot the laptop from the usb hd and make sys drive laptop.

Then i should be able to boot the laptop and run winnt again ?

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2009, 10:43:08 AM »
yes

to get fast harddisk access under dos on the laptop hd you should copy the files himem.sys and smartdrv.exe to the laptop harddisk. you have to create a config.sys and an autoexec.bat on the harddisk
Code: [Select]
echo "device=\himem.sys" > config.sys
echo "\smartdrv" > autoexec.bat
then boot the laptop and run winnt from the i386 directory

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2009, 16:06:04 PM »
himem.sys and smartdrv.exe are on the w98 floppy ?

both config.sys and autoexec.bat file contain the same code ?


Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2009, 16:09:07 PM »
himem.sys and smartdrv.exe are on the w98 floppy ?
himem.sys: i am sure
smartdrv.exe: i think so

both config.sys and autoexec.bat file contain the same code ?
no, type the code and this creates config.sys and autoexec.bat

config.sys
Code: [Select]
device=\himem.sys
autoexed.bat
Code: [Select]
smartdrv
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 16:19:36 PM by Elmar »

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2009, 20:15:45 PM »
wohhhhhhh
started with the first problem. The usb floppy with the w98 startup floppy tries to boot but says

reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press any key

I'm sure it is the right floppy because it (re) installed 1000 w98 ages ago.
perhaps it is the usb floppy because it requires a driver to use it in xp or vista ?

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2009, 10:41:10 AM »
I will restart one of my older desktop with a build in floppy.
let you now asap
 ;)

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2009, 19:40:18 PM »
I was able to boot from a w98 startup floppy but this doesnot recognise the usb hd.

do you have other suggestions, because it feels we are quit close. It is a pitty freedos doesnot do the job.
 :)

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2009, 19:54:31 PM »
you have to boot dos on a computer that has bios usb support!
its the same procedure as describes with freedos, except you boot from floppy (and config.sys part). but you can create a cd to boot from dos. then its the same (except config.sys)

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2009, 21:01:18 PM »
the computer i booted from w98 floppy has an usb boot option in the bios, but does not recognise the usb hd with usbhd folder.

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2009, 21:39:27 PM »
are you booting now from a real floppy drive or usb floppy?

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2009, 15:00:10 PM »
from a real floppy drive, this works well you get into the dos startup mode with access to the cd player so you can install w98 from cd.
So it recognice the cd player but not the usb hd.
 :'(

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2009, 15:23:20 PM »
boot the freedos cd to see if the usb hd is still available

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2009, 14:10:14 PM »
sorry I was a little bit to optimistic  :-[

All the computers I tried which still could boot from floppy did not have the possibility to boot from usb. I have 4 of these at home and I tried 4 others from friends.

Is there a way we can boot w98 from cd like freedos ?

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2009, 14:19:49 PM »
All the computers I tried which still could boot from floppy did not have the possibility to boot from usb. I have 4 of these at home and I tried 4 others from friends.

what a surprise

Is there a way we can boot w98 from cd like freedos ?

sure, i think this will be the easiest for you
http://cdburnerxp.se/help/Data/bootdisc

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2009, 14:55:40 PM »
Well thanks for the tip.
On my own computer (with usb flash boot possibilities but without floppy drive) I booted w98 from a cd as freedos but still it does not see the usb hd ?  ???

I feel like a looser !

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2009, 15:00:10 PM »
and when you try to boot the usb harddisk on the pc?

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2009, 19:05:48 PM »
I deleted feedos and linux from the usb hd so this hd won't boot anymore

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2009, 19:29:43 PM »
how did you delete it? did you remove the partition? if yes, then that is the reason why dos cannot see the usb harddisk

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2009, 13:54:54 PM »
I just deleted the files, the format is still fat
The w98 doesnot recognise the desktop hd because that one is nfts but the usb hd is still fat, but not seen by the w98.

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2009, 14:08:37 PM »
i dont know what you are doing different to the begining, but i am afraid i cannot help more.

you have 4 other options:
  • put the laptop harddisk into a pc and install xp from cd
  • buy an usb cdrom drive and install xp with it
  • search the web for install xp from usb
  • install dos to the usb harddisk with a virtual machine



aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2009, 21:12:01 PM »
thanks for all the help and time

I guess I have to buy a modular bay cable, I hoped I could solve it with your bootmanager

i can make the laptop hd an usb hd but when i install windows on that hd is won't boot in the laptop i guess ?
i have an usb cdrom but i thought your laptop must be able to boot from an usb ?
i had freedos on my laptop and started the xp install but it crashed at the end, you said something about a bug in freedos ?

thanks again, for your effort
 :)

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2009, 21:34:11 PM »
yes, i forgot, usb cdrom will notwork in your case.

i am sure if i would be in front of you pc then i need only a few seconds to make the usb harddisk bootable with dos. i dont know what you are doing wrong. did you try only c:? maybe its d:. i know nothing of your win98 so its not easy for me to tell you what you have to do.

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2009, 07:48:32 AM »
I tried the whole alphabet.
Do you think that when I got the laptop bootable with dos (and include himem and smrtdrive) instead of freedos the xp installation will run properly ?
 

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2009, 12:30:33 PM »
yes i think so.

please post the iso or disk image of your w98. i will take a look on it.

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2009, 19:17:19 PM »
hereby the iso

Elmar

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2009, 19:42:42 PM »
to end this, come here and lets solve the problem quickly via chat.
click here

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2009, 08:36:27 AM »
sorry I was not online anymore. Besides my work I'm decan of the church and had a meeting.
hope we can give it another try sometime ?

aiha

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Re: Install windows from usb-hd on dell latitude c400
« Reply #57 on: September 28, 2009, 12:23:46 PM »
Thanks to Elmar (he invested a lot of personal and private time) I've got a fresh windows xp install on my latitude c400 !

Great job !

It took so long because I had to learn a lot about making usb hd and pc's and laptops bootable with freedos, linux or w98. So it was my own lack of computer knowledge. In the end the bootmanager turned out to be the perfect solution to get acces to a laptop without an cd-rom or bios with usb possibilties. Thanks to Elmar I might even try to install vista on the latitude c400 although Elmar might say: be happy with your fresh installed xp.

Thanks again Elmar !
 :D