Compaq Armada M300 - boot problem

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I hope some kind soul can help me here...I installed XP on my compaq last week but it was very slow so I decided to go back to Win98SE. This required me to reformat the HD...so I did. Unfortunately, 63% through the new W98 install the laptop decided it could no longer 'see' the CD Rom drive. I HAD had this problem before (I remedied it by putting an 'original' audio CD in the drive and allowing it to play...it would then 'see' burned discs again.
Unfortunately, I now have no OS installed and no CDRom drive either...what can I do?
 

pitstop87

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Jul 29, 2009
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If playing original audio cd will restore your drive detection then here's a solution
->Obtain a copy of any linux distro which is bootable from pen drive.Such versions are available for free download from the internet.Write it onto a pen drive and boot using that into the live cd environment.You need not install it.Just get into the live cd environment, play the original audio cd, reboot and do a fresh installation of Win98SE.

->Another option you have is doing a network installation of Windows. I havn't personally tried that but i have done it for linux and it works pretty smooth.So i guess the windows network boot should also be ok.

Once you get Win98 installed though, i suggest you do a firmware update for your drive to prevent this problem from recurring. Get the latest firmware version for your drive and flash it. Be careful while flashing, check it's the correct update and make sure there is uninterrupted power while flashing the drive or it could do some serious permanent damage to your drive.
 
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Guest

Guest
Thanks pitstop...I downloaded an ISO of Damn Small Linux and tried to make a bootable USB with a prog I found called UNetbootin. It seemed to write Ok so I plugged the USB into the Compaq but it just ignores it :eek:( I get the Compaq screen with F12 network prompt and then a 'check cable' alert where it cant see the CDRom and then the non system disk error/replace and press any key to retry.
I'm afraid I have no idea how to even attempt a network install. The Compaq has an ethernet port but its not configured to find any others on my home network...will it just see them if prompted? I do have an ISO of the W98SE disk on another PC?
Sorry but this is all a bit foreign to me!
 

pitstop87

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Actually the bootable USB should work fine. I'm guessing you had trouble booting into the live environment because the default boot device must be set as CDRom and seeing as your drive has problems,it's probably freezing up the boot. That could be why it's ignoring the USB.
Check the boot device priority in your bios and set USB as first boot device. If you don't know the key combination to access your specific bios during boot, check on the following site:

http://michaelstevenstech.com/bios_manufacturer.htm
 
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Guest

Guest
Same problems here. The thing is i cannot boot via PCMCIA-CD-Rom/Floppy/USB because of BIOS
I really need to install fluxbuntu because of performance reasons.
All i have is an old install (SuSE linux 9.2) with no ability to upgrade it.
I even tried to plug the HDD into my desktop computer (XP/Ubuntu) to no avail...
Is there any workaround out there? Im not new to linux but i never had to deal with PCMCIA

BTW: to get into bios you have to press Fn+F10 while the "Compaq"-screen is being displayed.
 
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