Loading Windows on old laptop


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Old 03-10-04, 09:44 AM
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Loading Windows on old laptop

I need to load Windows 95 or 98 on an older laptop that doesn't have a CD Drive. I'm going to use the computer to program industrial automation equipment, so it doesn't have to be fast or powerful, and I'm trying to use an old one and not beat up my new one.

The laptop is a Compaq LTE5300 and only has a floppy and serial and parallel ports. I have two different thoughts about loading it, but I wanted to ask for other suggestions.

My first thought is to buy a PCMCIA card and use DOS drivers to connect it to my network to load Windows. My second idea is to remove the hard drive from the laptop, connect it to my desktop through an adapter, load the CD onto the hard drive, replace the drive in the laptop, then load Windows.

Any other suggestions? I know that most of you will just tell me to get a newer computer with CD drive, but understand that this laptop will spend it's life in a TOOLBOX, along with wrenches, hammers and other tools. It won't be used for games, word processing, spreadsheets, or other programs. It will only be connected to factory equipment. I'm currently using a 486DX-66 in a big roll-around metal cabinetand need something smaller.

Thanks
Nashcat
 
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Old 03-10-04, 10:23 AM
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Re: Loading Windows on old laptop

Originally posted by nashcat
...My first thought is to buy a PCMCIA card and use DOS drivers to connect it to my network to load Windows. ...

Thanks
Nashcat
That's the way I would do it. Dump the Windows CD contents onto a HDD of a computer somewhere on your network. Connect your laptop through DOS to that network, then "net use \\" and install Windows over the network. The only potential problem is that (off the top of my head), I can't think of any PCMCIA NIC's that have DOS drivers. Perhaps someone else does? I'm sure 3com or someone else has those, but they may be hard to find nowadays.

The only other thing you could do that would be as quick or effective is to go to and buy something like this. That would cost about the same as a PCMCIA card, I would imagine.

HTH,

Chris
 

Last edited by SafeWatch; 03-10-04 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 03-10-04, 11:57 AM
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Personnally I'd use the second option, a laptop to desktop hard drive adapter is about $10. You don't need to copy the entire cd, just the Win95 (or Win98) directory. You can then boot from a floppy and run setup, I've used this method many times.
 
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Old 03-10-04, 02:33 PM
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Here's a third option...
http://www.btinternet.com/~robert.ba...in95backup.htm

Of course, it requires 29 floppy disks! lol
 
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Old 03-10-04, 03:33 PM
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I'd go for the external drive option - the second option WorldBuilder mentioned.

Not only would it be good for installing Windows, but it would give you more harddrive space for later use - on an old laptop, you may need it sooner or later.

Of course, you could always go for an external CD/RW drive - you may need that in the future also. Again, the problem is finding one that will give you DOS support.

Good luck!
 
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Old 03-10-04, 08:27 PM
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A floppy disk version is available at:

Win 95 - Floppy disk install (new)
 
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Old 03-10-04, 08:37 PM
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Ouch! $70 for Win95??? For that kind of money, you could pretty much go with any of the above mentioned options - external drive, external CD, PC Card, pretty much anything.
 
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Old 03-11-04, 04:57 AM
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Yes, but paying $70.00 and getting floppy disks is a viable solution if you need a legal copy of the software.

Installing any old copy that you happen to have may not be legal, even if you have an original CD and a certificate of authenticity.
 
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Old 03-12-04, 03:27 AM
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Thanks for all of the advise. After doing a little more research, I found that laptop hard drive adapters can be purchased for as little as $4 through Pricewatch.com. I didn't realize that the adapters were that common. I'll just put the laptop drive into my desktop and copy the CD to the drive. After I load windows on the laptop, I can dump the setup files to free up space. I have a new 1.8Ghz Toshiba laptop that I usually use for programming and troubleshooting equipment, but this $20 laptop will work just fine, and I can leave it in my toolbox at work.

I was wondering if anyone else on this forum works with automated equipment controllers such as Allen Bradley or TI.

Thanks,
Nashcat
 
 

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