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Install Startup system to D: drive?

Posted on 1998-05-18
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I have 22 486s.  They each have 120 meg hard drives and NO CD ROM devices.  I'm upgrading the machines by adding 2.4 Gig drives so that I can upgrade win95 to OEM2 and also install Microsoft applications on them (all MS products are drive hungry).  Since I don't have CD ROM devices I am considering initially connecting the drives (one by one) to a pentium machine that does have a CD ROM player and installing WIN 95 to the new "D:" drive and then placing the new drives in the 486s.

My question is this..... Can you install a "start up" WIN 95 sytem to a D: drive on a pentium, take it out and place it in a 486 AND then use it as the boot drive for the 486.  I'm worried that I'm asking for trouble.

Thanks
Mark wenning
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Question by:mark73
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johnny_5 earned 100 total points
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I worked for a hardware test/assembly place where we also did system installs of 95. Fun fun fun.   We had a hard drive copy machine that did all the dirty work on 95 installs, but you can simulate the same thing if you've got a generous supply of beer, a carton of cigarrettes, and the patience of a buddhist monk... :)

Make yourself a startup disk with all your appropriate cd-rom drivers, etc. on it such that you can boot your pentium with the cd-rom from a clean hard drive.  Make sure you've got the boot sector on the disk... here's how you do it, actually...

take a blank disk or whatever and type format a: /s or format /s a:, I don't remmeber, one of the two.  Then, copy your cd-rom driver (nec_ide.sys, mtmcdai.sys, etc. - something like that - it's in your config.sys file somewhere) and copy mscdex.exe to your floppy too.  Also copy himem.sys to your startup disk.  It's in the \WINDOWS directory.

now, make a config.sys file that contains the following lines:
device=himem.sys
device=<cdrom driver> /d:CDROM1 (or whatever)

copy it to your a: drive.

make your autoexec.bat file like this:

mscdex.exe /d:CDROM1 (or whatever - just so it's the same in both)

copy it to the A: drive.  

Now, test it out and see if you can boot from the floppy to a dos prompt, and see if you can access the cd-rom.  If you can, then super.  

Take one of your 486's (I'm assuming all the hardware config is the same on those puppies) and plop in your brand spankin' new hard drive, along with your cd-rom from your pentium.  Slap that windows cd in there, reboot with your floppy, go to the D: drive and type setup.

Should work.  Now, you have a hard drive with windows correctly installed for your 486's.  If you tried to install it on your pentium, it would mess the hardware al up, and it's a real and utter mess.  Makes you want to go out and lynch Billy (that is, if the government wasn't already doing it!).  

Okay - so take this drive of yours with the newly installed windows on it, and take it on over to your pentium.  Hook it up with whatever master/slave config you like, just so it's not the booting drive, and also hook up a blank drive as well.  (May or may not have enough room to put your cd-rom on, but it doesn't matter as you don't need it there anyways)  Now, depending on how you have the primary/secondary ide and master/slave stuff arranged, you'll have three drives (assuming each drive is partitioned with only one partition)

C:
D:
E:

C: is the drive you're booting off of - the one your pentium already has on it.

Let's say that D: is the one with the system you just installed on it.

E: is the blank one.  

D: and E: may be swapped.  But you can figure that part out.

Start up your computer, and dbl-click on My Lovely Computer on the desktop.  Go to "View" and then "Options" and then the "View" tab in the options screen and make sure to click the option "Show All Files"

Now, make sure you have two Explorer windows open - One in the root directory of the D: drive, and one in the root directory of the E: drive.  Select everything in the D: drive and right-click-drag it over to the E: drive - select "Copy here"

Get a beer, grab a smoke, chill out for awhile...

When it's done, make sure you do one thing - go to an MS-DOS prompt box and type "sys e:" to make sure that the boot sector gets transferred over to the drive.

Take out the "E:" drive, put it in a 486 and give it a whirl!

The reason you have to do it through 95 is because of the damn stupid VFAT long file names - as far as I know it won't copy them over from straight DOS.  And you can't boot off the drive you're copying because then Windows will give you access violation errors.  Piece of trash.  So in order to copy a drive, you need THREE drives on the computer, or at least three partitions - one to boot off of, one to copy, and one to copy to.

SHOULD work!  Don't forget the boot sector though!  

That, or go out and buy one of those hard-drive ocpy machines!  They're cool!

Hope this helps!




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