View Full Version : A Word of Wisdom from DavidP

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01-08-2002, 10:09 PM
Ok all of you need to pay attention...

His cdrom device isn't enabled in his bios because his CMOS is GONE!!!! Pre 98 compaqs placed the CMOS and Setup data on a 3meg non-dos partition. This is a compaq inherent problem and a search at www.compaq.com gives the information needed to fix this problem. (and on a side note... where is the autoexec.bat and config.sys file located on a formatted HD? Oh wait there isn't either...)

Drivers won't help (he has a win98 startup disk for god's sake and that has the appropriate generic driver to start his cdrom). They do not help because the CDROM CANNOT BE FOUND on boot with the 98se boot disk. That is not a driver problem.

He cannot get into F10 setup because it does not exist. So... NO he can't enable it in the BIOS/CMOS.

Now, back to step one.

Get your CMOS and F10 Setup working again (as per Compaq recommendations). No the executable definitely wasn't made for XP. (I ran it on my 98 machine... it is really old software...) You need to find a friend with a 95/98 computer (maybe ME). When you run it... a fullscreen console window opens and after you go through some terms and agreements crap, it makes two disks for you. One is for the boot to remake your hardrive so that you can get into your BIOS and CMOS. The other has different diagnostics written specifically for the Deskpro. I could mail you the F10 setup disks, but that would take a while (two days or so). If you want me to mail you the disks, pm me and give me your address...

Justin W
01-08-2002, 10:12 PM

I'll say it again. Despite what Betazep believes, mscdex.exe is not a device driver (as Camilo has explained) and 98 boot disks are completely worthless for 95% of the computer population. Amazingly, Win ME disks actually come with a lot more generic drivers, so that will probably work..

Anyway, a very simple fix is www.startdisk.com Download the Ultimate Boot Disk and go for it. See my previous post for details.

Justin W
01-08-2002, 10:14 PM
appropriate generic driver to start his cdrom

No he doesn't, but...
He has a BIOS because he can access his hard drive. By the same logic, he should be able to access his CD drive as well. However, compaqs are evil, so he should probably worry about the CMOS setup stuff as well..

01-08-2002, 10:27 PM
You are right on the mscdex... sorry bout that. (my coworker is laughing at me...) I am interested in seeing if the startdisk works. Do you not think that he should deal with his F10 setup issue?

>>>and 98 boot disks are completely worthless for 95% of the computer population<<<

that I find interesting. I have six 486/100s in my house and four cdroms. All of them boot fine with 98se boot disk w cdrom support. Both my laptops at work also (one is a damn compaq presario)... my primary desktop at home... my friends three computers... my coworker just laughed over my shoulder and said that both his computers also get cdrom support.... oh... the 20 junk computers that we have in the back of my office (the ones with cdroms... my coworker said) Jesus, it is great to be in the 5% category. You can see where I got my bias... I assumed that since all the comps that I have touched have worked with a 98se bd that it was pretty supported. I am not being facetious. I believe that you have had experiences to the contrary....

Will the boot disk say that the device doesn't exist if a suitable driver isn't there or is that a CMOS/BIOS problem...? (edit... or hardware as pointed out by Strider.)

01-08-2002, 10:29 PM
>>He has a BIOS because he can access his hard drive.

We agree...

>>>Download the Ultimate Boot Disk and go for it.

That is one hell of a boot disk!

01-08-2002, 10:36 PM
I dont want to have to open up one of my other
computers, find an open slot, install the HD in that computer,
install Windows on the HD, and then put it back in the computer I
am trying to fix...so if nothing else works i will do that...

You know, I ran into a similar problem when taking an A+ certification course. It turned out to be the CD-ROM Drive that was bad and could not be accessed using the basic mscdex.exe. It would only function on systems with Windows already installed. A real piece of crap. Before you think about switching the hard drive, I would consider swapping CD-ROM drives first.


01-08-2002, 10:41 PM
That makes a lot of sense because mscdex isn't finding his cdrom, but I think Justin is saying that this is due to there not being a driver on the 98se boot disk.

Justin W
01-08-2002, 11:05 PM
I've found 98 disks work some of the time when they are used on the computers they are made from (there are certain CDROM drives that defy even this). The UBD really is quite impressive. I have found it invaluable on many occasions (though I adimt to have a rather mutated version).

As for BIOS, I may have missed reading about an error yet, just that he can't get in (ya tried del, right?) Sometimes removing the HD and all disks and booting will give an "F2 to enter setup" option. Exactly what kind of computer is this. Sorry if this has been posted, but I'm in a bit of a hurry.

05-28-2002, 03:39 PM
EESH, sorry if my suggestions have been repeated earlier, but this is a large thread dealing with a topic I've faced many times.

Get 2 brand new, fresh 3.5 floppy disks.
Wipe your hard drive clean.
Get to a computer running Windows 98, which has internet access.

Download the driver files for your cd rom.
These files are usually titled CdRom.sys.
For my stadard cd rom, my cd rom's driver file is titled Oakcdrom.sys.

[ How to use the CD-ROM in MS-DOS mode ]

1. To access the CD-ROM in Real MS-DOS mode, you need to copy the CD-ROM driver
in c:\Cdrom on your system and modify the following file.

: autoexec.bat
REM mscdex /d:gem001 --> remove 'REM'

2. To access the CD-ROM when you restart PC in "Restart in MS-DOS mode",
you can access the CD-ROM without any modification.
This document which refers to using the cd rom in dos mode, fails to mention that you also need to point your config.sys startup file to your cd rom's driver file ( CdRom.sys ).

Here is a snippet example:

Device=C:\cdrom\oakcdrom.sys /d:gem001
REM Point to the cd rom drive file, providing a drive title.

mscdex /d:gem001
REM Provide access to it now that it's loaded.

For actually obtaining the specific files for your extact drive, refer to:
Driver Guide (http://www.DriverGuide.com).
NOTE: You have to sign up, but they always give an ID and PWD in this manner:
ID: drivers
PWD: all

DriverGuide.com has drivers for everything.
I found the exact software, I remember years ago, for a 10+ year old sound card.

Once found, place it on it's own blank disk.

Ok, so we've hunted down that elusive cd rom driver file.

Now, from your friend's Win98 pc, open up any old dos prompt box.
Put one of your 3.5 floppy disks in his drive and type:
sys c: a:
This will transfer his Win98 system files from his computer to your disk.
Also type,
copy c:\autoexec.bat a:\
copy c:\config.sys a:\

To make the task of returning to your pc less of a hassle copy the following files from his c:\windows\command folder onto your disk:

This disk, will be your custom system disk.
We also now have a cd rom disk.

Still in his dos prompt box, switch to your custom system disk.
Edit the autoexec.bat and config.sys file that are on it by editing / commenting out lines which point to software you do not have.

Back home.
Insert your system disk into your a: and startup your pc.
Unless your pc is severly messed up, you should boot to a Windows 98 dos c:\ prompt. This is good.

Switch to your a drive.
Type sys a: c:, it will transfer the Win98 system files from your disk to your computer's hard drive.
For extra, and added measure do the following(still in a drive):
attrib -r -a -s -h *.*
copy *.* c:\

The autoexec.bat, config.sys and misc files from your friends c:\windows\command folder are now in your c:\ folder.

They currently should be:
and a few others

Place your cd rom disk in your a drive.
copy *.sys c:\

Switching back to your C drive, while using edit.com, edit the autoexec.bat and config.sys files on your c: drive to point to your cd rom software.

Restart your pc with no disks in.

05-28-2002, 03:39 PM
I think that covers everything. :)