View Full Version : A Word of Wisdom from DavidP

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01-06-2002, 06:11 PM
The Book of David

Chapter 1

And it came to pass that DavidP went up to his computer, and he connected the old scanner, which is by name called the Visioneer OneTouch, to the old computer.
And it came to pass that DavidP searched round about for the scanner software, but could not find it. So DavidP found a newer version of the scanner software, which is deemed version 7.0, for USB scanners only, and installed it on his old computer.
Then DavidP rebooted the computer, and a loud voice boomed from the computers screen, "Error: 24634df35 243624 b un", and it was deemed the Blue Screen of Death.
And it came to pass that DavidP fought with the computer, and wrestled with it, but to no avail.
And so DavidP formatted the computer's hard drive.

Chapter 2

And it came to pass that DavidP brought forth the Holy Windows 98 CD. And he read from the instruction manual:
"Thou shalt install Windows 98 on drive C. And the drive of installing shall be C. Not B, for it comes before C, and not D, for it comes after C, but C and C only."
And it came to pass that DavidP booted to DOS using a boot disk.
And so David inserted the Holy CD into the CD-ROM, but to no avail. The CD-ROM would not work. And it came to pass that a loud voice boomed from above, "Invalid drive specification."
And DavidP wrestled once again with the computer, throwing it to and fro, and searching for a way to enter the sacred BIOS of the computer.
And it came to pass that no entry to the BIOS could be found, and so DavidP was filled with ire.

Chapter 3

And it came to pass that DavidP brought forth diskettes of innumeral numbers. And three of these diskettes were labelled, "MSDOS 6.12."
And DavidP brought forth MSDOS and placed it into the diskette drive, and installed MSDOS onto the computer.
And it came to pass that DavidP brought forth Windows 1.0, but passed it by in favor of a better version of Windows.
And so DavidP once again inserted the Windows CD, which was labeled Windows 98, in hopes that it would work because MSDOS was now installed, but to no avail.
And it came to pass that DavidP found a program, which by name is called FDisk, and tried various things, but again to no avail.
And so David tossed the computer to and fro, angry with its incompitence.

01-06-2002, 06:20 PM


-man, that sucks.

01-07-2002, 11:29 AM
okay...nobody i guess understood how to reply to this thread...

I need help here...

I had to format my HD to get the computer working again, but now the CDROM wont work at all, so i cant reinstall Windows.

I installed DOS 6.12, but that didnt have CDROM drivers on it...so finally i found some CDROM driver disks, but they didnt fix it either.

I decided to install Windows 1.0, but that didnt fix it, considering it cant even run its own programs.

I could ghost if I knew how, but i dont know how to do a low-level ghost.

And I cant figure out how to get into BIOS at all...i have tried everything. I even printed out the specs of the motherboard, but it didnt say how to on that.

What can i do?!??!?

01-07-2002, 11:32 AM
Well, considering you probably don't have a recovery disk or anything like that... I'd check with the mobo manufaturer for advice on getting into BIOS (on every computer we've ever owned, you just press delete when booting up, but that could be a coincidence).... Past that... um.... see if MS offers versions of XP on floppy? :)

01-07-2002, 11:56 AM
thats a good 1000 floppy disks considering XP takes up a gig of space...

the manufactuer is Compaq. Thats where i got the motherboard specs. It is a Compaq Desktop Pro 590.

01-07-2002, 12:04 PM
First off, it'd only be a shade under 700 disks, so that's doable, right? Besides, I was kidding.

Have you tried to e-mail Compaq about it yet?

01-07-2002, 12:10 PM
i only have about 350 disks...

01-07-2002, 12:17 PM
Find a friend with win98. Go to friend and create startup disk. Insert startup disk in computer a: drive. Turn on computer. Select option to start computer with CDROM support. Insert OS cd. Go to CD directory. Type setup /? and hit enter. Use what ever switches you like... i.e. setup /is to setup and not run scandisk (from WINME option list).

01-07-2002, 12:20 PM
already did that...didnt work.

01-07-2002, 12:22 PM
Really. What didn't work about it. Could you gain access to the CDROM in dos?

01-07-2002, 12:27 PM
So you have a computer that had a valid OS and the CDROM worked. You decided to start over and formatted your hard-drive and used fdisk to set C: to your primary active partion. You put in a win98 startup 3.5 diskette and chose the option to start your computer with CDROM support and the computer started but the CDROM still didn't work?

Correct so far?

01-07-2002, 12:27 PM
no...i cant access the cdrom at all for some reason...

not using a boot disk...not after installing drivers...i even tried unconnecting the cdrom, booting, turning off, then reconnecting the cdrom and booting again...

if i could get into BIOS i might be able to enable the cdrom somehow, but i cant get into BIOS

01-07-2002, 12:30 PM
My coworker said to try F10 on a compac (for bios entry). He wants to know what model you have, too.

01-07-2002, 12:32 PM

Compaq FAQ: How to get into BIOS/CMOS (FAQ2920)
To get into CMOS/BIOS/Computer setup/Diagnostics/ (these are all the same), Hit F10 when the computer beeps 2x on boot. If that does not work, then disconnect the keyboard from the computer and boot the system. You will get an error offering 2 choices of F1 or F10. Plug the keyboard back in (you will no harm the system) and then hit F10.

Created: 4/19/99 2:11:34 PM
Modified: 7/28/99 9:48:34 AM
Author: John P

(Note: Wow, I can't believe that something powered by ask jeeves could have been worth anything)

01-07-2002, 12:33 PM
>So you have a computer that had a valid OS and the CDROM worked


>You decided to start over

False. I had to start over because of severe errors I had started to get because of some scanner stuff....i wont go into it...just know that i formatted the HD...

>You put in a win98 startup 3.5 diskette and chose the option to start your computer with CDROM support and the computer started but the CDROM still didn't work?

I put in the startup disk and nothing happened. absolutely nothing. I have also tried a Win95 startup disk, same result.

>My coworker said to try F10 on a compac

I will try it.

>He wants to know what model you have, too.

Compaq Desktop Pro 590

it has:
1 GB hd
32 MB of RAM
120 MHz processor

01-07-2002, 12:37 PM
>>>I put in the startup disk and nothing happened. absolutely nothing. I have also tried a Win95 startup disk, same result.

So your computer didn't boot from A: at all? (like the light didn't come on and the diskette didn't get read from and you couldn't select start computer with cdrom support).... or.... you started computer with cdrom support from the boot disk and your cdrom didn't work. Sorry to be redundant... but it is so hard when you cannot talk face to face. Something gets lost in the text.

01-07-2002, 12:39 PM
I have to go... but if you get into the BIOS, make sure A: is your first boot device and then boot from the a: drive with cdrom support. Also make sure that your CDROM is turned on to AUTO or equiv if such a choice is available...


01-07-2002, 12:43 PM
it boots to the A:, but nothing happens. it just goes to the command prompt.

I tried F10 ten trillion times, both before it beeped and right when i heard it beep 2x....nothing happened.

I reformatted the hd and put in the Win95 startup disk, but it still just goes to the A: prompt. Nothing happens.

01-07-2002, 12:45 PM
I'd still e-mail compaq and see if it's a common thing...

Or, you could spend about $30 and just replace it. :)

01-07-2002, 12:52 PM
I tried taking out the keyboard. It came up with this error:

301 Keyboard error or System Unit Error

Then it displayed a blue window at the bottom of the Screen which said:

F1: Boot

But there was no F10 option for BIOS. So I put back in the keyboard and pressed F10 anyways, it just rebooted the computer.

01-07-2002, 12:53 PM
What happened when you pressed F1? (if you did)

01-07-2002, 12:54 PM

01-07-2002, 12:56 PM
Could it be that your HD's bad, and not the mobo? If you happen to have a spare somewhere, I'd try to swap that into it....

(grasping at straws)

01-07-2002, 01:05 PM
the HD is fine....it hasnt had any problems.

01-07-2002, 01:20 PM
go you access the drive letter?

eg. "cd x:" works? where x is the cd rom.

01-07-2002, 01:35 PM
>>>it boots to the A:, but nothing happens. it just goes to the command prompt.

take dos of of your hard-drive... wipe the drive clean. You say that it boots to the a:, then it has to go through the boot process on the win98 startup disk. If that is the case, then you would have had to select start computer with cdrom support. If you didn't, then you do not have a win98 startup disk. If you did and it goes to the command prompt. Then you should have cdrom support. Your cdrom may have a drive letter that isn't normal because support software may be loaded to the D drive though it is usually loaded to the E: drive if you have one partionless HD and a CDROM. Type D: enter and if that doesn't work type e: enter. Do a dir in these if possible. When the computer boots from the 98 boot disk (you do not need a HD for this to happen) and you select to start the computer from CDROM support, it should tell you during the boot process what drive you are using for your cdrom or it will tell you if there is an error. I think I could email you a win98 startup disk if you suspect that you do not have an appropriate one. Good luck

01-07-2002, 01:35 PM
no, when i try to access the cdrom drive it says:

Invalid Drive Specification

01-07-2002, 01:39 PM
email me the Win98 bootup disk...

Whenever I put in my Win98 startup disk it says it is an invalid system disk.

Whenever I put in my Win95 startup disk it just says:

Starting Windows 95....

and then goes to the A: prompt.

01-07-2002, 01:56 PM
You need another win98 se start-up disc.

the one you have is probably corrupted. You will then get a chance to boot with cd-rom support. dont do that you dont need it yet. at the command prompt type fdisk
type y for large disc support
delete the partition you are using and then recreate it and make it primary then exit from fdisk and reboot from the win98 start-up disc.
this time at the command prompt switch over to the created ramdrive and you will find the format program. type...
format c: /s
and let it do its thing.
reboot again from the disc and this time select with cd rom support. Now you can put your windows disc into the cd drive and run setup.

01-07-2002, 05:14 PM
he doesn't need large disk support... but the rest holds true other than your really do not need to xfer the system files to the HD because 98 setup will overwrite them anyway and you don't want to be booting from the hd anyway until windows is installed.

It appears that I cannot make an email copy of the win98 startup disk due to the way the boot sector is written. The executable that I have can be downloaded here...


I would get the WIN98SE one instead of WIN98 because it has more tools. Download the executable... run it to create a boot disk. Use the boot disk as stoned_coder said. There is a huge difference between the win98 and win95 bootdisks due to cdrom support etc. Do this... and you will be up and running in a couple of hours.


01-07-2002, 05:58 PM
going there now...

01-07-2002, 06:12 PM
okay....i tried it...this is what happened.

first it said Starting Windows 98...

then the CD check thing came up...so i was like, woohoo! it might work...then it automatically said that it couldnt find the CD rom drive and continued boot up straight to the A: prompt without entering installation.

I need to get into BIOS to enable the CDROM....but ive tried everything....how can I get into BIOS....

01-07-2002, 06:37 PM
It's F2 on my system here, F8 on the one upstairs, F2 on my laptop, and F1 on my friend's computer (which I spent 4 hours doing, it would seem, almost the exact same thing you are.)

What I'm basically saying is to boot up and try one hot key per boot.

01-07-2002, 06:42 PM
great...now i get to try two more hot keys! F2 and F8! :)

01-07-2002, 07:28 PM
neither F2 or F8 work.

I did get a response to F8...but not BIOS...

F8 simply let me choose how I wanted to boot...in safe mode...normal, etc.

01-07-2002, 08:26 PM
normally delete gets you into the bios.

and yes if you want partitions that are bigger than 8 gb then you do need large disc support.

01-08-2002, 12:23 AM
"Compaq Desktop Pro 590

it has:
1 GB hd
32 MB of RAM
120 MHz processor"

>>>and yes if you want partitions that are bigger than 8 gb then you do need large disc support<<<

I will give you three guesses why he doesn't need large disk support...;):D

01-08-2002, 12:41 AM
Q. Why can't I get into CMOS Setup by pressing the F10 key at boot. How can this be fixed?

A. First, check your hard drive for a Non-DOS partition of about 3 MB. To do this, run Fdisk and select option four, "display partition information." The setup utilities are located in this partition. If this partition is not there, run setup from the diskettes.

If the diagnostics partition is OK, you may have a Virus. In order for Setup to run 640K of conventional memory must be free. If you have a virus you need to remove it from the system before setup will run.

Could this mean that they are holding their cmos in 3megs of non-DOS disk data.... argx! That sucks royally. Another reason why I hate Compaqs....!!!!!

edit... that is what they did. You cannot access f10 setup in compaq desktop pros before 1998 unless you have a floppy disk with the program on it or the three megs on your hard drive that has it in it... f&*( me... what a pain in the arse. I am trying to find the f10 setup disk for you...

01-08-2002, 01:05 AM
ok... here you go...


go here and get the F10 Setup and Personal Computer Diagnostics (I would get version 1.23a) in the ROMPaqs and System Software section. I will double check the link after I post this to verify that it gets you there. THat will make your setup disk for the F10 setup which will allow you to run your CMOS setup. Then you can enable your CDROM if it is disabled, and then boot with the win98 boot disk and enable cdrom support. Let us know how it comes...


01-08-2002, 07:07 AM
a Since I've seen so quick replies from you DavidP I assume that you have another computer of your own there. How about plugging the HD of that 120 Compaq to some other computer (obviously with a cd-rom) and installing Windows there and then plugging it back?

b Look for your motherboards manual and see if you can find some switch or smth where you can reset your BIOS setting (most BIOSes have a: first in the boot sequence as default). I believe that unplugging that battery might do the trick also (though I suggest checking that up before trying...)

01-08-2002, 10:46 AM
Good idea (with loading the hd on another computer) other than it will be setup with all of the drivers and plug n play devices for that computer which will require him to go into safe mode and delete all of his devices when he gets back to his compaq.

I would just go with the Setup utility that Compaq offers as written above. I had posted to clear your cmos by taking out the battery or removing a short on one of the jumpers, but I deleted that post because it is a poor option. (imagine clearing your cmos and then not being able to get into it and your HD doesn't work anymore...) So, best bet is to make the two Compaq disks from the link I gave you and use disk one to boot your computer and get into F10 setup. The second disk has some diagnostic utilities that would be good for you to work with as well...


Justin W
01-08-2002, 12:33 PM
Windows 98 startup disks have basically no support for CDROM drives (not to mention they have basically no tools). Get the Ultimate Boot Disk from www.startdisk.com I have yet to find a CDROM drive it hasn't recognised, and it actually has useful tools. Works for any Windows OS, including 2000 with a plugin.

Justin W
01-08-2002, 12:36 PM
Oh and here's how you should install your OS:


Exit the boot disk menu.

prompt $p$g


md tmp

cd tmp

*insert OS CD*


cd win98

copy *.* C:




98 will not have CD support until almost the end of the install, but it will need its cab files. When it asks for them mid way thru, you just point it to your tmp directory on drive C and all is good.

By the way, the X: in the instructions is literal. That will be what the UBD assigns your CD to.

01-08-2002, 03:07 PM
Why donīt you try to get the mscdex.exe file from somebody else's computer?
Then you need to copy one line from the autoexec.bat and another from the config.sys, insert them in your corresponding files and reboot.

That's what I always do when I'm starting from scratch.

Unfortunately, I don't quite remember the contents of those lines, but they specify the drive letter and the directory of the mscdex.

When you reboot having those 3 items, you can access your cdrom and start working with it.

About the BIOS access, try ctl+alt+esc or ctl+alt+del

I'm not sure in what brand of computers I used to do that, but it's an alternative...


01-08-2002, 03:23 PM
As said in earlier thread most older Compaqs need a special Bios boot floppy for accessing the bios. Works well when you have the right floppy, download from Compaq. After getting the bios right I am sure the win 98 Boot disk will do the rest of the job just fine.Remeber my old compaq 486 that always needed alot of tweaking to install from the CD.

01-08-2002, 03:26 PM
Actually alot of older Compaqs don't have a CD support in there Bios at all. Then you need to find a Dos driver you can load from the command prompt. Like mscdex.exe or you might find something on the CD manufactors home page.

01-08-2002, 04:59 PM
>> Windows 98 startup disks have basically no support for CDROM drives

Yes they do have a generic driver that works with most drives. (mscdex.exe)

>>>(not to mention they have basically no tools).

Don't need em. It comes with fdisk and a couple of others. Others are loaded after your cdrom is going.

Of course we are talking to ourselves now. DavidP isn't posting... he may have already gotten it.

01-08-2002, 06:37 PM
sorry...the holiday break is over and school is back in so i dont have as much time to posts...


Thanks for the site of the BIOS boot floppy, Betazep, I will try it.


I have that file on quite a few disks, and I even copied it from a floppy to the computer. I just dont know how to use it....Somebody tell me....

>Since I've seen so quick replies from you DavidP I assume that you have another computer of your own there. How about plugging the HD of that 120 Compaq to some other computer (obviously with a cd-rom) and installing Windows there and then plugging it back?

Yeah, the computer I am trying to fix is my computer in my room. The computer I am usually on the net with is the computer I am using right now which is the family computer. I could take the hard drive out and put it in another comp...but thats a last resort...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...

01-08-2002, 07:01 PM

okay....when I run the EXE file i downloaded, what is it supposed to do? It does nothing...(using XP)

I was gonna copy it to a diskette and put it on the computer I am trying to fix...but it is too big for one diskette.

So I sent it to a compressed ZIP folder, but it is still way too big...I even tried zipping it multiple times...

Is it because of XP? Should it be doing something but because I am running it on XP it is not? I could put it onto a CD and take it to one of my 95 systems...

01-08-2002, 09:21 PM
ok, try to pay attention to the mscdex.exe post, apart from the mscdex, you need the drivers of your cdrom, so, you install the cdrom device driver and, then copy mscdex.exe in c: or in the directory of the device drivers (varies within manufacturers), and if the device driver setup program asks permission for writing config.sys and/or autoexec.bat, say YES, and make sure config.sys and autoexec.bat exists, some setup programs don't do anything if they don't exist, the mscdex line in autoexec.bat should look like this:
and in the config.sys

may vary, but not critically, apart from other drivers your system could load.

I'm sure this works, have done it plenty of times in old systems (486 and pentiums), DO IT.