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cannot access compaq armada 1592dt via diskette and cd drives

Posted on 2004-04-21
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
i tried to clean install windows 98 on compaq armada 1592dt running on win95. however i carelessly deleted the diagnostic partition during the fdisk command and formatted the hard disk from windows real mode dos prompt. now using any start-up diskette is not possible including access to the cd drive. my hard disk can still boot since i formatted with system file. how can i gain access to my drives?
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Question by:lyndon1
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by:Callandor
ID: 10879308
Do you have a recovery CD that came with the laptop?
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by:ChrisSchumann
ID: 10880748
Any Windows 98 machine can make a boot floppy that should work to read your CD drive, even for a laptop. You can use that to boot from.

You can even remove all the partitions from your drive if you want Windows Setup to make the partitions.

I like to copy the install files from the CD to the hard drive, then boot with no drivers installed and run setup from there. It seems to go a little quicker (but I've never timed it either way).
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by:lyndon1
ID: 10883350
1. i have the compaq quick restore cd windows 95 only
2. i tried booting up from diskette and cd but it seems the resulting c: prompt came from from the formatted hard disk. i get "not  ready reading drive, abort, retry, fail" when accessing a: likewise i get an invalid drive message when accessing the cd drive. using the dir command on c: i see only command.com. no driver for the cd drive. it seems the boot sequence is not working also.
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ChrisSchumann earned 500 total points
ID: 10883481
Compaq (now HP) has a 22 page manual that you should get, print and read carefully. It's called Installing Microsoft Windows 95 on Compaq Portable Computers and is located here:
http://h200005.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/UCR/SupportManual/TPM_prt039a1098/TPM_prt039a1098.pdf

All manuals for your computer:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DocumentIndex.jsp?contentType=SupportManual&locale=en_US&docIndexId=179111&taskId=115&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=96219

They tell you how to make a boot floppy that will read the CD, so you will have to make the disk on another machine, obviously. Windows 95 CD's are not bootable, and your floppy disk may not be bootable, so your boot order may still be working.

They also have documents on how you can restore your BIOS software partition (which I HIGHLY recommend).

They also have instructions for installing Windows 98, if you would rather do that instead. You will still likely need to make a boot floppy becuase your machine may be too old to boot from CD. In any case, you cannot access those settings until you restore your BIOS partition.
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Author Comment

by:lyndon1
ID: 10884401
1. i have been to compaq website but found no solution to my problem.
2. i made a bootable diskette from other machine but it won't boot from there. i think the main problem is how to access via diskette or cd drives from the c: prompt.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10887951
Is there a security feature in the BIOS that will prevent you from booting from a floppy or CD?
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by:ChrisSchumann
ID: 10888138
This could be quite tricky. You can't change the boot order because the BIOS partiion is gone, and you can't use the floppy drive because you get errors.

I would try another floppy disk, just to be extra sure. Boot your machine using the hard disk (as if you have a choice), and try reading the floppy again. If the disk doesn't even spin, something is very wrong. Either a cable is loose or something much more serious.

If the floppy works, you can eventually restore the BIOS partition, change your boot order, and maybe get to boot from the CD drive, or boot from that floppy disk. If you have the floppy disabled somehow, hmmm... maybe there's a way to return the BIOS settings to default even without the partition, but maybe not. A call to Compaq would be in order then. Even an out of warranty support call should be cheaper than a trip to the repair shop.
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Author Comment

by:lyndon1
ID: 10888179
thank you all for responding. i just discovered the problem- dirty disk drive head. using a disk drive cleaner, i was able to use the setup diskette to repartition the bios. i think the points will go to chrischumann. his answer led me in the right direction.
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