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Can't boot to CD on Dell Optiplex 5166

Posted on 2002-05-21
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I have a Dell OptiPlex GXMT 5166 with a fried version of Win95 on it (user deleted most of it into the Recycle Bin while it was running; don't ask).  However, when booting from boot floppy, the CD-ROM drive containing the Win98 2E CD (full deal, not upgrade version) is not found, just A: and C:.  I went into the BIOS to change to "boot to CD" and that wasn't an option, just floppy and HD.  I'm not sure if the CD drive was original or not, but I believe it was.  BIOS is Phoenix Technologies ROM BIOS 1.10 A19.

1) Everything would be dandy if I can find some way to fire up the CD-ROM.

2) Or is this thing so old that I need to upgrade to a BIOS version that knows about CD drives?  If so, can I do it (from the POST line info, looks like a ROM, not an EPROM), and basically how (never done one before).

I've got a decent amont of experience, just not in the BIOS area, so you won't need to go into beginner-level detail.

Thanks
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Question by:MarkusAurelius
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by:rid
ID: 7025354
If the BIOS can't handle CD boot, It can't. Possibly a major flash update can take care of that, but don't hold your breath while looking for it. If the CD unit is properly connected and jumpered it should be recognized by the win98 drivers on the boot floppy (most CD:s are). I'd suggest verifying the hardware setup and the BIOS settings for the IDE controllers (enabled). If you can find out the make and model of the CD unit you could try using the proper drivers on a bootable floppy; they may be something out of the ordinary.

Regards
/RID
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by:MarkusAurelius
ID: 7025390
Thanks for the comment.  Sorry, let me clarify the original description a bit more.....

The HW connections are fine; everything worked great undre Win95 until it was trashed last week.

However, the emergency diskette was made under that Win95 installation, not Win98.  Is there some way to modify the floppy to allow visibility of the D:?  I'm sure I can get download the proper drivers, but wouldn't it take something more than just saving them to the floppy, such as editing the autoexec.bat or config.sys?
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Expert Comment

by:Death-Speak
ID: 7025413
When you boot from the 98 floppy does it indicate that CDROM drivers have been loaded successfully? Or if it failed to find a cd drive?
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rid earned 50 total points
ID: 7025432
The normal 98 bootable floppy loads a generic CD driver that works with most units. If you watch the startup screen, you should be able to see the load attempts, and possible failures. I assumed such a floppy and that's why I suggested a hardware check - normally this works very well.

If you need to do driver loading "manually", you need to edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat files.

In config.sys you need to have a line that loads the driver for the unit, cdrom.sys or whatever:
device=\path\cdrom.sys /D:CD01

In autoexec.bat a line that loads mscdex.exe (which of course must be present):
\path\mscdex.exe /D:CD01

However, a 98 boot floppy should take care of this.

Regards
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:Death-Speak
ID: 7025455
http://www.bootdisk.com

You should be able to download a program that Makes a Win98 SE Floppy for you, it should work on any system. Win95, floppies must be modified manually to add cd rom support, Win98 has it built in.
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