Need to install an OS. No working CD-ROM or USB ports. What are my options?


Jul 30, 2012
Hi all,

So, I've owned an old AST Ascentia P Series for quite a number of years now, and recently I've purchased a new hard drive for it, since the last one couldn't hold data longer than an hour before erasing itself. Strange issue, I know.

Anyway! The laptop itself only has one CD-ROM drive, of which now no longer allows booting. Which is very peculiar. I used to be able to boot from CD, but I can't now.

I'm trying to install Windows 95 or 98 onto it. My original plan was to use another older laptop and install the OS onto that hard drive while it's in the other laptop, but that fell through when the laptop I was using for that task decided it didn't want to do anything anymore.

If it's any help. I have a USB sata / ide connector. Can I do much with that? Is it possible to install an OS entirely from a VM onto a physical hard drive, and have it work on when by itself inside of a machine?

TL;DR - Old laptop with no OS. CD-ROM no longer allows booting from disc. Need to somehow get an OS installed onto that HDD.

Slow Pri

Feb 29, 2016
You could technically have another hard-drive and insert it into a dumby computer just to install the OS (Or remove the current HDD from the AST) usually Linux works best or nowadays W10 because it automatically finds the correct drivers or usable drivers for the job. I mean this wouldn't be the ideal solution but I've tried this out on a computer that I ran into with non-functioning USB ports as well as CD/DVD was not working properly.

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