AU Computer Gaming Club

Hardware - Fairly complicated question

fastbilly1 - Jan 08, 2007 - 09:12 PM
Post subject: Fairly complicated question
I was given a "broken" laptop a couple days ago. The broken parts were the fan was to loud, windows wouldnt boot, and the dvd drive did not work. Well I fixed the fan, it was misaligned and had something between it and the heatsink. Windows and the dvd drive were lost causes, it was ME so I didnt even give it a fighting chance. The dvddrive was missing the laser, it could have been the thing in the heatsink but I am not sure. So I cleaned it up and attempted to give it a new operating system, since it has a floppy drive I was going to throw on Windows 95 and work from there. Turns out I only have seven of the install disk, so it could not finish. So now it is running MS-Dos 6.22.

Heres the problem, I have almost nothing that runs in Dos anymore, well I have a chunk of old games, but that irrelevant. I want to throw something with a GUI on it. Be it Linux or Windows it doesnt matter. Heres the problem. I only have three feasible ways of putting information onto the harddrive. Floppy disk, Network install, and somehow putting USB drivers in DOS - it can be done but its not pretty. Granted the BIOS do not support booting from a USB device, only hardrive, legacy floppy, and the nonexistant optical drive. And there is no new bios that I know of.

My thought was Menuet OS but for some reason I cannot for the life of me get it to work. I tried a disk from an XP Home machine and from a Xandros box - both using rawwrite to write the image to the floppy. I mean itll say it is starting then give up. And their support is wishywashy, granted its free you cant expect to much. But I digress

So if any of yall have any crazy ideas or solutions I would be very much appreciative.

The specs are:
P3 800mhz, 128 megs of ram, 20 gig harddrive. Its not much but for basic stuff and old games it can be a powerhouse.
Bandit - Jan 08, 2007 - 09:50 PM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
does it have a usb port?
jokeyxero - Jan 09, 2007 - 07:02 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
Take the $20 hit for the new internal DVD drive.
PhukFace - Jan 09, 2007 - 07:17 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
i might actually have some extra dvd drives for laptops.
fastbilly1 - Jan 09, 2007 - 08:35 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
Its got two usb ports, I should have mentioned that.
And since the shape of the back end is proprietary, its about $50 to get a new one. Honestly the laptop isnt worth that much to me.
Bandit - Jan 11, 2007 - 07:57 PM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
2 ideas.

does it have new drivers on the net? IE, can you get the USB to be bootable?

Boot dos on the floppy, install linux off the usb drive.
fastbilly1 - Jan 16, 2007 - 08:45 PM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
no new bios, dos is installed and I am working on getting the drivers to install linux that way.

Thanks folks, Im glad to see I am not so far off my rocker that I did not look over an obvious solution, like with another recent idea...
Bandit - Jan 17, 2007 - 07:02 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
it should be pretty straight forward to get the drivers in dos, and install off a usb device.

another idea, would be to yank the drive out, put it in another machine, partition it, put linux installer on one half, and dos on the other. If you linux had problems getting started launch it from dos.
fastbilly1 - Jan 17, 2007 - 08:06 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
I tossed that idea around aswell, but I dont have a spare laptop lying around.
Bandit - Jan 17, 2007 - 10:54 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
you don't have a spare pc laying around or a friend with one?
fastbilly1 - Jan 17, 2007 - 11:39 AM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
I do, but it is my pentium MMX, which would take a month to compile/install anything I have - other than Dos.
PhukFace - Jan 17, 2007 - 05:29 PM
Post subject: RE: Fairly complicated question
i have a converter that allows you to access a laptop drive on a regular IDE cable...
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