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 Post subject: Help for a beginner please!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:18 am
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Location: Rochester, NY
Hello and thank you in advance for reading this. I am trying to set up a machine for someone and thought I knew what I was doing as I have setup quite a few in the past. This is a machine someone else put together from parts they had: a semperon 2200 with a m7vig 400 biostar board, 512Mb ram pc2700 to match the motherboards max 333mhz fsb, a 20gig harddrive reformated NTFS and a cd burner, Xtreme 400w powersupply, nvidia geforce2 64mb.

The first thing I tried to do was install WindowsNT. I quickly found that the floppy drive did not work and was not tested prior to installing it. I thought that perhaps running the NT install CD would be good enough and that I would not need to run the setup floppies before that. The install did seem to progress, up until it looked for the hard drive. It was at that point that it said something to the effect that it couldn't find one.

So, I found this site and burned the basic boot CD. The machine started up with the menu, but before that I went into the BIOS, enabled the floppy drive, and upon bootup got floppy disk fail message. While I was in BIOS, I also learned that the HD was listed as WDC AC, so then I went into the disk tools and ran the first Western Digital option that showed up. It scrolled by like lightning with numerous popups with what looked like choices I could select, but they disappeared before I even had a chance to read them. I also ran the first antivirus prog that was listed and it found nothing, but I am not sure if it scanned the HD. Then I somehow found my way out to what looked like a DOS prompt, showing the "A" drive. I typed format c: and got invalid drive or something to that effect.

I know that there is a huge learning curve here, but I just need to get the system to recognize the HD so I can install WindowsNT or Windows98. I've read through the posts and have picked up on the fact that if this is in fact an NTFS partition it could be a problem running the basic DOS format command. Can I format this as a FAT partition instead, using Partition Magic? What will that limit me to if I do that? Also, how can I verify that this is NTFS, and if this is in fact a Western Digital HD? Does PCISNIFFER find the HD, or just the PCI plugins such as modem, etc? Also, could it be possible that my hard drive is on D:, and if so, is that a problem?

Thank you so much for any help you can give me. :oops:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:55 pm 
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Is there anyway you can boot and install from the WinNT CD? I have done that a couple of times without needing to use the NT setup floppies.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:18 am
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Location: Rochester, NY
I did try that (paragraph 2 of my post) - the NT install began by recognizing the CDROM, etc. but once it searched for the hard drive it came back to say none was found and to quit setup. I just got an XP CD that I understand should be bootable (never installed this OS before), so I'll give that a go and will update you afterwards. Thanks for your help!

Julie


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:43 am 
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Location: Rochester, NY
OK, I imagine now that I need to learn more about XP installs as this is my first one. There was a number of files that could not be copied over and had to be skipped. Then, the restart yielded no results - asking for boot disk again as if nothing was installed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:04 am 
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Hmmm, could it be your IDE controller is not supported by NT? Since it appears that XP has no problems locating the HDD, that could be the problem.

I remember you could press [F6] during NT install to insert a vendor-specific driver disk, but there are two potential problems here.

1) There might not be an NT driver for your IDE controller

2) You might not have a floppy drive. The anal thing about it is that you have to use a floppy disk for this purpose. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:12 am 
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Location: Rochester, NY
I don't recall if it was that utility, but one of them did find the floppy, but then failed it. I wish I had the confidence to open the case, but that would be the point of no return! I've installed memory, modems etc but am always so afraid I will destroy something in there. I may just return the m/c to the person that built it to get the OS on. Isn't the fact that the files won't write an indication of a bad hard disk?

I tried running the XP install again last night and it was skipping even more files, then my cat stepped on the power strip and shut everything down. I should have given up way before that. I'm just so frustrated.

Is there a way I can burn the Win98 and WinNT boot floppies onto CDs? If so, do I have to create an image of the files, or are the boot sectors specific to floppies?

Thanks so much for your help.

Julie


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:29 am 
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Location: Rochester, NY
Hi Victor,

Thanks for your help on this so far. I was wondering what your thoughts were on burning the files from the Win98 and WinNT startup floppies onto CDs? Or are there boot sector files specific to floppy disk that will not work the same way on a CD? As you can see I'm still not ready to give up, but if I don't get it tonight or tomorrow I will have no choice.

Julie

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:11 pm 
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I don't think it will work this way. AFAIK the boot sectors are different for floppy and CD.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:26 am 
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I brought the machine to work with me today, I'm determined to get this resolved. Both Win2000 and WinXP loaded OK w/out any file write errors, but then booted up looking for system disk. I'm suspecting that the BIOS is not setup right to boot from the hard drive. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks again.

Julie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:42 am 
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Guess what it was...the jumper was set to slave for the hard drive!! Win2000 is now loaded. So glad someone else took a look at it for me. Thanks so much for your help.

Julie

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