a question for the gurus....

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by philo, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. philo

    philo Guest


    be sure to have the dvd drive set in the bios as first boot device.
    if the drive itself turns out to be defective you will need to replace it
    philo, Sep 3, 2005
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  2. philo

    Chris Haum Guest

    OK, here's the challenge for you hardware/software uber-gurus:

    I recently backed up everything from my mother's Averatec 5400 laptop,
    reformated the HDD, and tried to install both XP and Ubuntu Linux on
    separate partitions, for dual-booting capabilities. XP installed
    flawlessly, but the Ubuntu installation messed up a couple of times.
    Then my DVD-RW drive stopped recognizing and running the boot disks;
    neither the XP or Ubuntu CD will now boot. I took out the laptop HDD
    and externalized it with a USB adapter, and then reformatted it with
    another computer running Ubuntu.

    The HDD is currently set as Fat32. As it is a laptop HDD and I don't
    have an adapter to make it internal on a desktop, how would I partition
    it as NTFS?

    what should I do to install XP on the externalized laptop hard drive?

    how can I get the laptop to boot from CD? I have an external CD drive
    (in case the internal CD drive on the laptop is messed up), but how can
    I get it to run, without drivers? And I cannot load the external CD
    drive drivers with a boot floppy, as the laptop has no internal floppy

    As you can see, there exist many possibilities that will allow me to
    get this computer up and running again. What would you suggest as the
    method most likely to be successful?

    I have at my disposal three computers:
    1. Desktop
    Windows XP Pro
    160GB internal HDD

    2. Old Laptop
    Ubuntu Linux
    10GB internal HDD
    non-functioning CD drive
    functioning floppy drive
    2x USB 1.1

    3. Averatec Laptop (the incapacitated one)
    (non?)functioning CD/DVD combo drive
    40GB HDD
    no floppy
    USB 2.0

    I hope you can help me; I called Averatec, but they wouldn't (not using
    their install CD, etc. etc.), and if I don't fix this soon, my dad is
    going to send the HDD to Averatec for brainwashing, at cost to us.

    Any takers?

    Chris Haum, Sep 3, 2005
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  3. philo

    Chris Haum Guest

    biso boot order is correct...any other ideas?
    Chris Haum, Sep 3, 2005
  4. philo

    Whiskers Guest


    As the optical drive in machine number 3 seems to be where the trouble
    started, I'd try putting a different optical drive in that machine
    (along with its original HD back where it should be) and see if the original
    Windows installation can be re-installed using whatever OEM discs you have.
    That way you might get Averatec to help you work out whatever hardware problems
    there might be. That might not be possible if you've wiped the OEM 'cab'
    files from the HD and they are needed to re-install that system.

    If you can install XP successfully, the Ubuntu installation CD should then
    be able to take you through re-partioning the HD to make room for Linux,
    without disturbing the existing Windows system. Or of course, ditch Windows
    and just go with Linux. /Afer/ you've sorted out your hardware problem, of

    As you had a working XP installation I'm puzzled as to why you thought it a
    good idea to remove the HD and obliterate that system, instead of trying to
    substitute a different optical drive for the one that seems to have started
    the trouble.

    It is possible to install an OS onto a HD while that HD is not connected to
    the machine you want it to work in, but you will need to be able to
    identify each hardware component and select and configure the 'kernel' and
    the 'drivers' or 'modules' manually, instead of having the normal automatic
    installation routines do it all for you. Not something I'd want to try. I
    don't know about Windows, but many Linux distros can be installed from the
    HD or over a network connection, as long as you have some way to 'boot' the
    machine. 'Google' the Linux newsgroups, and see the distros' web sites,
    for information about that.

    Partitioning is a seperate thing from formatting. Windows 95/98/98SE use
    'FAT32' format, Windows NT/Me/XP normally use 'NTFS' although 'FAT32' is
    possible. Linux uses any of several other types of format, which Windows
    cannot normally recognise. Let each OS you install format its own
    Whiskers, Sep 3, 2005
  5. philo

    Chris Haum Guest

    "As you had a working XP installation I'm puzzled as to why you thought
    it a good idea to remove the HD and obliterate that system, instead of
    trying to substitute a different optical drive for the one that seems
    to have started the trouble"

    Well, the XP installation was working, and the optical drive was
    working. Then I tried to install Ubuntu on another partition. After
    Ubuntu failed to install about 4 times, THEN the optical drive stopped
    Chris Haum, Sep 3, 2005
  6. philo

    Jimmy Dean Guest

    In the new laptop BIOS, does boot order include a variety of USB

    If it does, maybe get a USB floppy drive.

    Jimmy Dean, Sep 4, 2005
  7. philo

    Chris Haum Guest

    The BIOS includes 3 options: HDD, CD, "usb device"

    Chris Haum, Sep 4, 2005
  8. philo

    Whiskers Guest

    That's my point. You still had a working XP on a working HD, and a dodgy
    optical drive. So substitute the optical drive and go from there. (I'd
    try a 'cleaning disc' in the optical drive before actually removing it).

    When 'Ubuntu failed to install' all those times, the installation routine
    must have exhibited 'symptoms' and possibly even 'error messages'. Posting
    those details in an appropriate Linux newsgroup might have got you some
    help in identifying exactly why Ubuntu was having problems. Meanwhile,
    you'd still have had a machine running XP - which could have been used to
    help diagnose possible hardware faults, or extract the hardware details
    that Ubuntu was tripping up over. (Laptops are tricky things for
    installing any OS on, as they are inclined to have non-standard

    Now you have a machine in bits that isn't working at all. Put this down to
    Whiskers, Sep 4, 2005
  9. philo

    Jimmy Dean Guest

    Then it will probably boot from an external USB floppy if the latter
    is selected.

    Jimmy Dean, Sep 5, 2005
  10. philo

    Chris Haum Guest

    Ok! I got everything working! I installed Windows XP by booting from
    an external CD drive, then I installed Ubuntu over the network onto
    another partition.

    Thanks for the help, everyone!

    Chris Haum, Sep 15, 2005
  11. philo


    Apr 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Averatec 5400 Series was made specifically for WalMart and was obsolete before they began sales. DVR fails, Keyboard fails, and sometimes the monitor. Replacement parts are not avail for purchase. Lesson, don't buy PC's from WalMart
    theaxxxman, Apr 16, 2008
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