Installing OS on a floppy/cdrom-less laptop

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by will, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. will

    will Guest

    hi,

    i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.

    is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?
    Linux/DOS is fine, i just want it to boot so that i can hook up my USB
    cdrom. the laptop is very old so it doesn't have a boot-from-USB
    option.

    failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the
    installation from a PC.

    thanks

    will.
    will, Sep 19, 2005
    #1
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  2. will

    Shane Guest

    On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:57:53 -0700, will wrote:

    > hi,
    >
    > i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >
    > is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?
    > Linux/DOS is fine, i just want it to boot so that i can hook up my USB
    > cdrom. the laptop is very old so it doesn't have a boot-from-USB option.
    >
    > failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the installation
    > from a PC.
    >
    > thanks
    >
    > will.


    Network Install
    or
    Ghost Image
    --
    Hardware, n.: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked

    The best way to get the right answer on usenet is to post the wrong one.
    Shane, Sep 19, 2005
    #2
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  3. will

    Dave Taylor Guest

    "will" <> wrote in news:1127091473.384756.185550
    @g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    >
    > failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the
    > installation from a PC.


    Use this adapter to SYS the drive, and copy all the setup files of your OS
    to it. Re-install and boot, run setup.exe or whatever.

    --
    Ciao, Dave
    Dave Taylor, Sep 19, 2005
    #3
  4. will

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Shane wrote:
    > On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:57:53 -0700, will wrote:
    >
    >
    >>hi,
    >>
    >>i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >>
    >>is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?
    >>Linux/DOS is fine, i just want it to boot so that i can hook up my USB
    >>cdrom. the laptop is very old so it doesn't have a boot-from-USB option.
    >>
    >>failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the installation
    >>from a PC.
    >>
    >>thanks
    >>
    >>will.

    >
    >
    > Network Install
    > or
    > Ghost Image


    Ghost will work over the parallel ports too, but it is painfully slow.
    -=rjh=-, Sep 19, 2005
    #4
  5. will

    Alan Guest

    "will" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > hi,
    >
    > i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >
    > is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files
    > over? Linux/DOS is fine, i just want it to boot so that i can hook
    > up my USB cdrom. the laptop is very old so it doesn't have a
    > boot-from-USB option.
    >
    > failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the
    > installation from a PC.
    >
    > thanks
    >
    > will.
    >


    Slave the HDD into another PC, copy over the setup files, and put it
    back in the original box?

    Alan.
    Alan, Sep 19, 2005
    #5
  6. will

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Dave - Dave.net.nz wrote:
    > -=rjh=- wrote:
    >
    >> Shane wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 17:57:53 -0700, will wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>> hi,
    >>>>
    >>>> i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >>>>
    >>>> is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?
    >>>> Linux/DOS is fine, i just want it to boot so that i can hook up my USB
    >>>> cdrom. the laptop is very old so it doesn't have a boot-from-USB
    >>>> option.
    >>>>
    >>>> failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the
    >>>> installation
    >>>> from a PC.

    >
    >
    >>> Network Install
    >>> or
    >>> Ghost Image

    >
    >
    >> Ghost will work over the parallel ports too, but it is painfully slow.

    >
    >
    > e-fricken-gad...
    > How slow is that?
    > I thought parallel was slow for printing stuff, and those jobs are only
    > a couple of MBs... a ~1.5GB ghost would take, errr, 1000 times longer.
    >


    I think the 400MB drive I was ghosting took all night, but it might have
    been longer. There wasn't any other easy way to do the job, and besides,
    once you start it doesn't need supervising - just hope you get
    everything across before the drives die of old age. I was impressed that
    you could do it, and it worked, but it wouldn't be my first choice
    normally. In terms of time actually spent setting up it was quicker than
    taking the drive out of the laptop.
    -=rjh=-, Sep 19, 2005
    #6
  7. will

    Peter Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:

    >>
    >> Network Install
    >> or
    >> Ghost Image

    >
    > Ghost will work over the parallel ports too, but it is painfully slow.


    This is applicable only if suitable software of one sort or another already
    exists on the laptop. This suitable software would be the minimum needed
    to read data in or out of some port or other - parallel, serial, network or
    USB.

    If there is Windows of some sort on the machine, and the installation
    'cabinets' still exist on the HD, then it should be possible to 'import'
    the installation setup and 'cabinets' for the desired OS, the easiest
    option being via a network cable.
    Peter, Sep 19, 2005
    #7
  8. In article <>,
    "will" <> wrote:

    >i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >
    >is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?
    >Linux/DOS is fine...


    With Linux you can copy the files across no problem, but setting up the
    bootloader is another matter. You need a version of the Grub shell that
    will run under your current OS, to write the proper info into the MBR to
    boot the selected kernel.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 19, 2005
    #8
  9. will

    Harry Guest

    will wrote:

    > hi,
    >
    > i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >
    > is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?


    Why don't you just run the installation cd?

    > Linux/DOS is fine, i just want it to boot so that i can hook up my USB
    > cdrom. the laptop is very old so it doesn't have a boot-from-USB
    > option.
    >
    > failing that, i'll have to buy a 2.5>3.5 adaptor and do the
    > installation from a PC.
    Harry, Sep 19, 2005
    #9
  10. will

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Peter wrote:
    > -=rjh=- wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>Network Install
    >>>or
    >>>Ghost Image

    >>
    >>Ghost will work over the parallel ports too, but it is painfully slow.

    >
    >
    > This is applicable only if suitable software of one sort or another already
    > exists on the laptop.


    Actually, going back and reading the OP, there isn't *any* software on
    the laptop, just a formatted hard drive. I suppose in hindsight it is
    easy to suggest leaving a small bootable partition with software on it,
    if it was forseen this situation would occur - otherwise it is either
    using PXE/network boot (which it sounds like the laptop will be too old
    to support) or removing the drive.
    -=rjh=-, Sep 19, 2005
    #10
  11. will

    Peter Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:


    >> This is applicable only if suitable software of one sort or another
    >> already exists on the laptop.

    >
    > Actually, going back and reading the OP, there isn't *any* software on
    > the laptop, just a formatted hard drive.


    This presupposes you are able to delete all files on or format C: drive
    while the the OS is functioning. It is most likely (I have not tried) an
    attempt to format C: drive would be barred if the active OS is running off
    C Drive and deletion of various 'open' system files would be barred.

    Of course the deletion of C:\\io.sys (Windows 95 or 98 at least) is possible
    and would render the OS unbootable as well as making the contents of the
    drive invisible so it is not known whether the remaining OS files are there
    or not.
    Peter, Sep 19, 2005
    #11
  12. will

    Harry Guest

    -=rjh=- wrote:

    > Peter wrote:
    >> -=rjh=- wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>>Network Install
    >>>>or
    >>>>Ghost Image
    >>>
    >>>Ghost will work over the parallel ports too, but it is painfully slow.

    >>
    >>
    >> This is applicable only if suitable software of one sort or another
    >> already exists on the laptop.

    >
    > Actually, going back and reading the OP, there isn't *any* software on
    > the laptop, just a formatted hard drive.


    But didn't you originally say "...with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd".

    Or did you mean to say "no cdrom"?

    Anyhow, why not just connect a cdrom temporarily?
    Harry, Sep 19, 2005
    #12
  13. Harry wrote:
    >>i have a laptop with no floppy and cdrom, and a formatted hdd.
    >>is there a way to "install" an OS on it by simply copying files over?


    > Why don't you just run the installation cd?


    read the subject line harry... or even the first line of the post.

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 19, 2005
    #13
  14. Harry wrote:
    > Anyhow, why not just connect a cdrom temporarily?


    to what? it's an old lappy with no boot from usb support, no CDrom
    drive, and no floppy.

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 19, 2005
    #14
  15. will

    will Guest

    to clarify my question:

    the HDD was originally pulled out, formatted and used as a portable
    storage (USB enclosure).

    because there's no bootable cdrom/floppy attached to the laptop, the
    recovery CD is useless at the moment.

    is there a way to create a bootloader to a removable storage (ie on
    W2K/XP/Linux via the USB enclosure)?
    will, Sep 20, 2005
    #15
  16. will wrote:
    > is there a way to create a bootloader to a removable storage (ie on
    > W2K/XP/Linux via the USB enclosure)?


    from the command prompt, you could do a "sys x:"(where x: is the drive
    letter assigned to the usb disk) command, and then copy the cab files(or
    i386 folder for win2k/XP) from a windows install CD to the thing, put
    the drive back into the lappy, and then it should boot to dos, and then
    you can run the install from the folder you put the cabs into(or the
    i386 folder).

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 20, 2005
    #16
  17. will

    Alan Guest

    "Dave - Dave.net.nz" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    >
    > will wrote:
    >> is there a way to create a bootloader to a removable storage (ie on
    >> W2K/XP/Linux via the USB enclosure)?

    >
    > from the command prompt, you could do a "sys x:"(where x: is the

    drive
    > letter assigned to the usb disk) command, and then copy the cab
    > files(or i386 folder for win2k/XP) from a windows install CD to the
    > thing, put the drive back into the lappy, and then it should boot to
    > dos, and then you can run the install from the folder you put the
    > cabs into(or the i386 folder).
    >
    > --
    > http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
    >


    I must be missing something here, but what command prompt?

    Per the OP the HDD is formatted and there is no OS on there at all (no
    DOS - nothing).

    Or am I missing the point? Not an uncommon occurrence!

    Alan.
    Alan, Sep 20, 2005
    #17
  18. will

    Peter Guest

    Alan wrote:


    > I must be missing something here, but what command prompt?
    >
    > Per the OP the HDD is formatted and there is no OS on there at all (no
    > DOS - nothing).
    >
    > Or am I missing the point? Not an uncommon occurrence!
    >

    Therein the confusion. HD is formatted but blank. No io.sys, msdos.sys or
    command.com . In the absence of any import/export means 'known' to the
    BIOS there is no option but to remove the HD and connect it as a secondary
    drive in another computer. If you put it in a 'similar' (ie same chipset)
    computer, you could 'ghost' the OS. Otherwise install an elemental OS with
    the sys command and copy the material parts of the OS installation CD to
    the HD. Reinstall it, boot up and setup the new OS. Once a network
    connection is got going, the OS installation files can be deleted, this
    probably being necessary id disk space is tight.
    Peter, Sep 20, 2005
    #18
  19. will

    Alan Guest

    "Peter" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    >
    >> I must be missing something here, but what command prompt?
    >>
    >> Per the OP the HDD is formatted and there is no OS on there at all
    >> (no DOS - nothing).
    >>
    >> Or am I missing the point? Not an uncommon occurrence!
    >>

    > Therein the confusion. HD is formatted but blank. No io.sys,
    > msdos.sys or command.com . In the absence of any import/export
    > means 'known' to the BIOS there is no option but to remove the HD
    > and connect it as a secondary drive in another computer. If you put
    > it in a 'similar' (ie same chipset) computer, you could 'ghost' the
    > OS.
    > Otherwise install an elemental OS with the sys command and copy the
    > material parts of the OS installation CD to the HD. Reinstall it,
    > boot up and setup the new OS. Once a network connection is got
    > going, the OS installation files can be deleted, this probably being
    > necessary id disk space is tight.
    >


    That's what I thought - hence my original suggestion that the OP put
    the HDD in another machine.

    Thanks,

    Alan.
    Alan, Sep 20, 2005
    #19
  20. Alan wrote:
    >>>is there a way to create a bootloader to a removable storage (ie on
    >>>W2K/XP/Linux via the USB enclosure)?


    >>from the command prompt, you could do a "sys x:"(where x: is the
    >> drive
    >>letter assigned to the usb disk) command, and then copy the cab
    >>files(or i386 folder for win2k/XP) from a windows install CD to the
    >>thing, put the drive back into the lappy, and then it should boot to
    >>dos, and then you can run the install from the folder you put the
    >>cabs into(or the i386 folder).


    > I must be missing something here, but what command prompt?


    sorry, calous sniping...
    "the HDD was originally pulled out, formatted and used as a portable
    storage (USB enclosure)"

    On the machine with the USB drive attached.

    > Per the OP the HDD is formatted and there is no OS on there at all (no
    > DOS - nothing).


    > Or am I missing the point? Not an uncommon occurrence!


    see above.

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 20, 2005
    #20
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