Boot from a parallel port CD Drive.


Since I am not good at explaining things, I will expose the whole situation.

I have a Dell Optiplex GX150 and the CD-Drive that comes with it does not work. I have tried everything to have it working but nothing worked and I gave up. However, I got a windows ME emergency disk and formated the HDD but the problem remains. Today I got an external HP CD Writer plus 7500 (2-4x) that connects using a parallel port. When booting up this device is not recognized so I can't install any OS. I went the HP site to check drivers but none of them seem to be suitable for DOS, so I don't know how to get the external CD Drive recognized. Does any one have an idea on how to solve this problem?


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magus123Connect With a Mentor Commented:
i could not find anything for your problem , i looked for a dos driver and nothing.
you can probably apply another mfg driver to the problem and hope the
cd-rom gets picked up.


1. buy a replacment dive new from mfg , or buy a replacment drive from ebay.used
or new

2. if dos is setup , if you have access to laplink for dos , transfer the os setup files
to c:.   you will need laplink dos software and laplink parallel transfer cable , crossover.

note : these other options reffer that you computer will be open.,
 you will have your  new cd-rom ontop of the old cd-rom or other place
where it can sit firmly until you complete the installation , once installed ,
install everything back to normal , than consider downloading the os related
driver for the external drive , or buying a newer usb drive.

also note : some people have successfully  removed their external cd-rom drives
from there enclosures , and used it as a regular cd-rom drives.  "not recommended"
for beginners , and could cause conflicts.

3. if tech savy , open up the pc ,  check how many ide slots you have , if the cd-rom
is connected by itself to 1 ide slot , dettach the  ide cable from the cd-rom and
attach it to another cd-rom. cd-rom drives are cheap. then run win98 startup disk.
which can be found at , or you may have the option of booting
from cd-rom , and maybe able to boot the os from cd-rom.

same procedure just different for slave and master connected devices

4. if tech savy , open up the pc ,  check how many ide slots you have  , if the cd-rom
is attached to a hardrive , check master and slave configurations and set the
new cd-rom in apropriate jumper settings .

good luck on your ventures.
HynesCoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I believe you can remove the cd drive from the case and install into your computer, its going to be an IDE interface.
i was looking at that , and checked on ebay , looks like a oem specific drive. not standard,
but i could be wrong.  but only way to find out is open the tower and see.
he maybe be able to fit in the bay , but may have issues in the front bezel.

heres dell instalation help on that model

Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

some dell messageboard people are saying it uses a slim line cd-rom , like on laptops , so
it must be a replacment oem drive
Phill_upsonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
dell optiplex gx150's have a variety of case design's, the most common is the small and large form factor desktop cases.  If its the smallest (your dell e771p monitor barely fits ontop of the base) then yes, its an oem slimline device, however, it does connect to an ide port so any other cdrom will work, it just wont fit permenantly inside the case.  If you have the medium sized desktop case then it will, it just sits behind the facia.

On the front of the case there is a grey bit saying tell, if its about 3 inches wide and pulls open to reveal usb and headphone sockets, its the large desktop, if there is no cover for the ports, its the small form factor.

As for booting via parallel cdrom drives, you would need very specific drivers on the boot disk to query the parallel port, load the driver.sys in dos and make it available to mscdex to make it visible.
daliernestAuthor Commented:
I am reading at all the suggestions. I will try them  now and get back with results.
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