New OS with no Floppy or CD-ROM

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Can anyone out there help me with this?  I was given a Toshiba Portege
laptop to fix.  It is currently running a hacked version of XP Pro.  I
wanted to move it to either Win 2000 or a Linux version.  Here's my
problem.  I do not have a floppy drive or a cd drive to use with it.
To install other software on it, I've used a USB CD-ROM, but this is
not an option for installing another OS because I cannot boot to the
USB.  I've tried using the external USB CD-ROM and also a jump drive,
but with no success.  I've also tried mounting a virtual drive, but I'm
not sure how to boot to that either.  Has anyone else dealt with a
similar issue?  Thanks in advance for any help here.


Re: New OS with no Floppy or CD-ROM

nick wrote:
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Personally I never had this problem. On Sun workstations it is a doddle
- just boot from a network, but I assume that is not possible here.

How about stick the drive in another machine and then move it back, once
the OS is installed?

Dave K

Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert (MCSE).

Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
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Re: New OS with no Floppy or CD-ROM

nick wrote:

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If the machine is old enough not to boot from USB devices, your only
options are:

1. Put the drive in another machine. You _may_ wind up with translation
issues making the drive unbootable when you move it back.

2. Acquire the proprietary CD-ROM or floppy drive for the machine.

3. Get really creative with cabling in such a way that you connect the
HDD and a CD-ROM drive to the computer simultaneously. (In short - get
a 44-pin 2mm pitch cable with three connectors on it, connect one end
to the laptop, the hard drive to the middle, and the other end to a
44/2mm->40/100mil adapter. Connect the CD-ROM to the adapter). This
might or might not work depending on the machine's BIOS.

Re: New OS with no Floppy or CD-ROM

As I understand it, you can attach an external CD drive, but you can't
boot from it.

Under circumstances like this I would run the computer with its
existing operating system, and create an additional partition on it.
(You'll need to get software for this if you haven't already got it.
Partition Magic is one possibility, but there are others.)

Then, using the external CD drive, I would copy the entire Windows2000
installation CD to the new partition, and run the installation from
there. I *think* Windows XP will let you install Windows 2000 in
addition to what's already there.

And I would keep my fingers crossed.

If you've got valuable files on the hard drive, you need to back them
up, because strange things can happen when you do this sort of thing.

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