How to install Win2K to a Toshiba Portege 3440CT when  the PCMCIA CD-Rom will not power up when booting from floppy or HDD

Posted on 2004-11-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Toshiba Portege 3440CT had Win98.  I wanted to upgrade to Win2k.  I put in the Win2K Install CD, but it hit an application page fault midway through and stopped... So I decided to reformat the HDD and do a clean install.  

Problem: When I switch on the notebook, F2 gives me the option to select the boot device. If I boot from floppy (as in a normal OS installation) the Noteworthy/Port PCMCIA CD-Rom drive is not powered up by the machine (light goes off as soon as I select boot drive as floppy).  So after booting from floppy (I tried Win98 and Win2K boot disks) Setup cannot proceed because the CD-Rom, where the Installation files are, has not been powered up so the boot/setup programs cannot find it and do not recognize it.  Same is true if I boot from HDD, in that power to the PCMCIA CD-Rom is turned off as soon as another boot device is selected.

If I choose to boot from the CD-Rom, power stays on, the Win2k setup files are read into memory, but I get a blue stop error when Setup tries to start Win2000, and it says "inaccessible boot device".  I also tried making a boot CD that contained the whole Win2k setup files, but once I booted with it the PC would only recognize the boot files, not any of the Win2k instalation folders that I put on the CD.

I downloaded a boot disk from Toshiba,but got the same result, in that the setup wont proceed because the CD never powers up when booting from floppy or HDD.

The floppy is a USB-connected external Toshiba unit.  There are no internal drives in the notebook. I DID upgrade the latest BIOS but it did not help.

Any hints????
Question by:abomze
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Wayne Barron
    There is a problem with trying to Install Win2k onto this version of Laptop.
    I do not have this laptop, but have done some searching,
    And everything that I have found points to the:
    Trying to either "Upgrade" (or) "Fresh Install" of Win2k on this model.
    Basically kills the CDRom Drive.

      When you tried to install Win2k, it loaded its default CDRom drivers.
    This in return caused your computer to Halt
    I put in the Win2K Install CD, but it hit an application page fault midway through and stopped

    Your Motherboard is now not recognizing the CDRom Drive. As it is not compatible
    With Win2k.

    Here are a list of the drivers for your laptop.
    For "Windows 2000"
    Not in "english" Site URL were drivers are located

    Sound Drivers -

    Modem Drivers -

    ( The driver below, may be the "Video Driver" not really sure, cannot read the language on the site)
    ?????? Driver -

    Toshiba Utilities -

    You will have to sign up on this site.
    CDRom Drivers -

    Once you get all this, the first thing that you want to do, it try to get the CDRom Drivers
    Back installed.
    I am thinking that the CDRom drivers should be a self creating bootable Floopy.
    But not really sure.

    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    You can try to create a dos-boot diskette with CDRom drivers from a Windows 98 PC. Use an image of this diskette to create a bootable cd rom and include ti i386 directory of your win2k CD to that new CD.

    Now boot your portege with this cd, use fdisk to create a primary partition large enough to hold your OS. create an extended Partition for the rest of your disk and create a logical drive. Reboot, then format both drives. use the command sys c: to get the win98 system files on your disk. now copy the i386 directory to the logical drive of your disk. when done remove the cd drive and reboot. Change to drive d:, directory i386 and start winnt.exe. The installation should now start.

    Author Comment

    Rindi, I have made a Win98 boot CD, with the W2K i386 and all the other Intallation CD folders on it.  However, when I boot with it, after i get the a: dos prompt for the CDRom drive, I can only see the boot files such as mscdex, config, etc.  It will not let me go "cd i386" or anything like that to get to the Win2k installation files which are on the CD. This prevents me from copying them to the C: drive for installation. Do you know how I can get to the Win2k files when they are on the boot disk CD?  I can make another Boot CD if needed.  Thanks!
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Try other drives, like d:, e:, etc (when your CD boots, you should see which drive letter gets mapped to the cd).

    Author Comment

    I finally solved the prob myself.  The root cause of the issue was that NO ready-made boot disk for any OS contains drivers for a PCMCIA PC-Card CD-ROM unit.  I finally found one I think on, that said it was for DOS, called "p301cdrd.exe", for the Noteworthy 24x CD-ROM on a PCMCIA PC-Card.  Then I was able to finish the job by:

    1. Download the "p301cdrd.exe" DOS drivers file and extract the files to a floppy. Note this is not yet a bootable floppy.
    2. Get a copy of the file "" from another boot disk or anywhere else.  Add it to the floppy from 1.  Do the same with the file "HIMEM.SYS"
    3. Get a copy of "smartdrv.exe" and also add it to the floppy from 1.
    4. Next use a regular Win98-style boot floppy or floppies to boot the notebook.  Be sure the boot floppy has "" on it.  After booting, at the a: prompt type "sys c:" to copy the boot information from the boot floppy to the C: (HDD) drive.  The notebook is now bootable from C: (remove the floppy disk first).
    5. Now boot the notebook from the HDD. Make sure the C: drive contains the file "" on it (copy it there if it does not)
    6. Insert the floppy disk from 1. At the c: prompt, type "sys a:" to copy the boot information from the c: drive to the new floppy.  The floppy from 1. is now a bootable floppy.  Test it by booting, and confirm that you can see the floppy, the HDD and the CD as a:, c: and d: drives.
    7. To install the OS off the CD, you will want to install Smartdrv first else the CD-ROM will be read at old-fashioned 1X speed and installation will take forever.  To do this, turn off the notebook and put the new boot floppy into a regular PC (you can use "edit.exe" editor directly on the notebook if you have it on one of the disks, and you know how to use it).  Edit the floppy's "config.sys" file by adding a line
    "device=himem.sys /testmem:off".  Check that the file "himem.sys" is already on the floppy.  Last, edit the floppy's "autoexec.bat" file by adding the line "a:\smartdrv.exe" after the line containing  "MSCDEX.EXE".  
    8. The new boot floppy will now:
    - Install HIMEM (needed for Smartrdrv)
    - Setup PCMCIA PC-Card CD-ROM DOS drivers
    - Setup Smartdrv to give better CD-ROM speed
    Now boot the notebook with the custom-made boot floppy and you can then run whatever installation program you wish (i386/winnt.exe or setup.exe, etc) from the CD-Rom.
    9. You will still need to download and install PCMCIA CD-ROM drivers for the Operating System once the OS is installed.  You will notice that the OS doesn't show the D: drive CD-ROM after doing its first clean boot.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Wayne Barron
    abomze ;

      Is their any reason why you did not use the links that I provided for you?
    Or commented on the links that I provided?

    The links that I provided was for your computer with Win2k compatiblity.
    A lot of research went in on finding this information for you.
    For you not to comment on rather or not it helped you?

    Author Comment

    carrzkiss: I apologize for not responding to your comments sooner.

    I checked the links you put in, but as you mention the sites are not in English, or French, or Spanish or Japanese or Portuguese or any language that I might hope to understand... and I am not about to run executables on my machine when I have no idea what they are.

    You also said that there is a problem installing Win2K on this machine, which is not true; the little original Microsoft sticker on the front of the machine says Designed for Windows 2000 (as well as Win98 and WinNT4).  The problems had nothing to do with the OS.

    The REAL problem is that no boot disk provided by Microsoft or by Toshiba contains the DOS boot startup drivers for a PCMCIA Card-based CD-Rom drive.  Neither DOS or the OS alone can recognize a PCMCIA Card CD-Rom drive. The final solution was to:
    1. Find a PCMCIA Card DOS Boot Startup driver set of files
    2. Make a custom-built boot disk that installs those drivers

    What helped me find the answer was, on one of the normal boot disks I tried, there was a help file accessable by pressing one of the F-keys, which opens up the helpfile in the DOS text editor.  I read every line in that helpfile, which was very long, and all the way at the bottom was a small last line that said the boot disk does not contain any support for PCMCIA-based CD-Roms. That prompted me to start searching the Net specifically for PCMCIA-based CD-Rom Boot drivers.

    I appreciate the time you spent on my question, but unfortunately your comments did not help me in solving the problem.  Believe me, I wish they had helped, because it would have saved me many late sleepless nights.

    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Wayne Barron
    But like most people on EE, I go by the information that you provide.
    I then do research on that information.
    All the information that I found, states that the machine that you have
    Was built for Win98 and has some difficuties running Win2k.

    The links that I sent over too you, When you download the drivers.
    Wome drivers have accompaning English translations.

    The site is a legitimate site, I have downloaded drivers from them before.
    With no bad vibes.


    Close the question, refund their points

    Accepted Solution

    Closed, 250 points refunded.

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