Replacing an old hard with a new one

Posted on 2004-11-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
About a month ago, I tried to replace my 2gig old hard drive that runs on win98 operating system.

I thought it would be easy but I had such a difficult time doing that that I dropped the idea.

I had replaced the old one successfully but I could not get it to install win2k pro.

I was instructed to change the boot sequence to cd rom so that win2k could be recognized but it did not.

Can you, anyone be kind enough to work me through the steps, any easy steps as I am a novice in this.

I have since traded the 40 gig hard drive I had originally purchased for a new one.

I am starting all over and any help WOULD be greatly appreciated.
Question by:simflex
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    by:Luc Franken
    Hi simflex,

    As your original disk was a 2GB I think the problem you're facing is that the BIOS doesn't support a 40GB drive.
    Please check if the BIOS is recognizing the "big" disk, if it doesn't, you have several possible options:
    1) Get yourself a BIOS update that will make it able of seeing disks that big
    2) Add a PCI IDE controller that will overcome the BIOS limitations
    3) Drive overlays (my suggestion is to stay away from these as much as you can)

    Then, if setting the BIOS to boot from CD-rom doesn't help, leew gave you a good suggestion of using win2k bootdisks, but that your cd-rom doesn't boot does say something, please clean the disk, also make sure it's a legal one (all legal ones are bootable, illegal ones might not)

    Once the installation starts, make sure to let windows setup create partitions on the disk and then format them (if you want a single partition, you're bound to the NTFS filesystem)



    Author Comment

    I want to thank both of you for your quick response.

    LucF, when you "also make sure it's a legal one (all legal ones are bootable, illegal ones might not)", what does that mean.

    Is there certain cds that a pc treats as illegal?

    To both of you, so there is nothing wrong as far as removing one hard drive and replacing with another?

    By that I mean, It isn't really a big deal to remove one hard drive and replace with another?

    Lee, I will check out the link you provided - thank you.

    The floppys, are they makeboot floppys or just bootdisk?

    Sorry I am asking so many questions, I am just trying to make sure that before I get to the stage of trying to boot from cd or floppy, that I did everything right as far as removing one hard drive and replacing with another and then sticking the cd to read from it.
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    by:Luc Franken
    >>what does that mean.<<
    That means, legal, or illegal copies that are made without putting a bootable part on the cd-rom won't boot. The easiest way to see if your disk is genuine is to see if there's a holographic logo in your disk.
    >>Is there certain cds that a pc treats as illegal?<<
    Nope, the computer itself won't treat anything as illegal, software might, but win2k has not much more protection than the cd-key. But you surely know licencing on Microsoft products is very strict.

    >>there is nothing wrong as far as removing one hard drive and replacing with another?<<
    Just as long as the jumper settings are the same (and the BIOS is able to recognize the new bigger disk) all should be fine.

    >>are they makeboot floppys or just bootdisk?<<
    They are the same as the ones you make with the "Makeboot.exe" file which is on the original win2k disk.

    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    First of all you need to make sure that you partition table is either set to FAT32 or NFTS as you might have problems running a 40Gb drive
    on the old FAT16.
    Use both the above comments and first go to and download a bootable floppy.
    Then head over to your manufacturers website to download a new BIOS version for your system, this also installs via a floppy most of the time.
    Then you simply upgrade your BIOS and the run the bootdisk.
    When you enter the disk i.e DOS A:\
    you can simply type fbdisk /mbr to clear the masterboot sections of the harddrive,
    the you type fdisk to set up your File Allocation table to support large harddrives and convert it to FAT32 for instance.
    If you need more information of a clean Windows Installation you can always check USBman:
    Hope this helps,

    Author Comment

    Ok, once again, thanks all for the rapid response.

    Once again, I have to log off.

    My laptop fell, did not break but the display is not working anymore.

    So to use it like I am doing now,  I  have hoot it to a desktop monitor until I can get it fixed.

    My other monitored died - by way of attrition.

    So only one monitor and I have to jpggle between the pc and I am trying to repair and the laptop for loging here.

    I will advise all of progress or lack therefore.

    Once again , you all have been great!

    Author Comment

    Once again, your comments helped me solve this problem.

    Thanks all for the excellent and rapid response to my issue.

    All your responses were valuable.
    BjornEricsson's suggestions helped me install the new harddrive successfully.

    I must point out that I didn't find bios in the manufactorer (Compaq)'s web site but everything else worked like a charm.

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Glad that it did help and you now are back to business again,
    Normally the BIOS updates can be a little bit tricky to find but it should be on the Compaq/HP website,

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