Windows Legacy OS forum

Question

Help rebuilding old acer with win98

I still have our first computer we bought back in 98 or so. We only use it for scanning pictures and a few games the grand kids play and hasn't been online for many years. The other day it locked up and after several frantic attempts to ctrl-alt-delete I ended up powering down with the reset button. When attempting to restart it wouldn't get past the acer screen. I have the recovery disc that came with the computer and have used it many times through the years with great success so decided to just do a rebuild and move on. Well, this time no such luck. It starts up and begins preparing the partition and after that I get an error "invalid media type reading drive C". At that point I can't go any further with out rebooting and starting over which ends up with the same result. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it very much.
Steve

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All Answers

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Answer
Too little to work with.

In reply to: Help rebuilding old acer with win98

But go on google and try that error message. My bet would be a failed HDD or one that is beyond Windows 98's capability.
Bob

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Answer
You asked for recommendations I see

In reply to: Help rebuilding old acer with win98

Here's my recommendation. Throw that old computer in the trash and get a new one with Windows 7 or 8. Really, on the technology scale XP is an antique and Windows 98 is stone age. For the most part computers are expected to last about 5 years, you got triple that, so count your blessings and move on just like if you were driving a model T Ford that wouldn't crank any more.
`
Did you know you can buy a tablet computer for as little as $40 (7 inch) and a 10 inch one for as little as $99. I have a 7" Android 4.2 (jelly bean) I bought for $39.99 a couple of months ago - that's less than the cost of a hard drive, and it will surf the net, do email, play games, and I can download from over a million apps via the Google Play Store. It's great for dinking around, looking at email, pictures, etc. I wouldn't use a tablet for serious work - I want a real keyboard and a 15" or bigger screen, but you can't beat it for portability and the kinds of things you mentioned.

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New computer sugestions.

In reply to: You asked for recommendations I see

Actually we have six computers in this house with windows operating systems. (2) xp's (3) 7's and one 8. Two of the 7's are lap tops for when we travel. So I understand the model T ford concept it's just that I would like to get this old one back up and running. Just hoping to get little technical help.

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Then supply more technical information.

In reply to: New computer sugestions.

I don't see much about the PC in question so I offered what you could do without telling the forum more detail.
Bob

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Acer Aspire

In reply to: Then supply more technical information.

Thanks for your reply Bob. This is an acer Aspire model# 7121 with Windows 98 O/S. When running the recovery disc I get as far as formatting the partition 1 and while trying to recover the allocation units it gets up to about 5% (#97,840) and gives the error "not ready" " Format terminated" " Abort, Retry, Fail?" and that is where it stops, stays on that screen until I ctrl-alt-delete then it starts all over again. It does seem to have progressed a little further than when I started yesterday.
Steve

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Sounds like

In reply to: Acer Aspire

Failing/failed drive or a drive that is not supported. As you didn't supply the drive make/model/size (technicals) I'm left to guess it's the original.

Try some old dos boot diskette (there are so many on the web today) and fdisk/format it manually (tutorials are again on the web.)
Bob

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All original

In reply to: Sounds like

Yep, it's the original drive. The recovery disc is the same one I've used in the past so I believe it's supported and the disc is compatible. The dos boot diskette, could this be used with the D drive or would they have to be the floppy/ A drive type?
I'll search for a decent tutorial and see what I come up with.
Steve

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Depends on what you have.

In reply to: All original

Dos diskettes are out there and boot CDs may be too new for some folk. Given you've been around DOS and Win98 so long I would leverage your skills.
Bob

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In all likelyhood you need a new hard drive

In reply to: New computer sugestions.

Since you can't format that ancient drive, you'll likely need a new IDE drive (although you still haven't said what you have). I see Amazon has them for as little as $13 for 80 GB drives. If my very foggy memory serves, Windows 98 doesn't support NTFS formatting, but I think FAT32 may handle 80 GB. I remember some limit around 128 GB, but there were others lower than that I can't recall. Your BIOS may have a problem; that's only speculation since you've still failed to give us the specs for your current hard drive.
`
Note that every time you post in these forums, the following is shown before your eyes:
<div>"<b>

Please read before posting</b></div>If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended."
`
The answers you get are only as good as the info you provide.

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Not so fast.

In reply to: In all likelyhood you need a new hard drive

I've found bum partitions to cause this. This is why I boot a dos diskette and use fdisk to remove all partitions then create a new partition and try again.
Bob

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Like I tell my wife Bob, maybe so. :-)

In reply to: Not so fast.

I bet you 10 virtual quatloos he ends up either throwing the thing in the trash or buying a new drive. Windows 98, boy some folks must have a lot of time on their hands!
`
I think I'll go back and contemplate the relative merits of LED vs CFL lights. Laugh

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I can't buy a new drive that Windows 98 supports!

In reply to: Like I tell my wife Bob, maybe so. :-)

Well, I have to recant a little. Some new drives are 1TB drives and to support DOS you place a jumper on it to limit the size to 32GB. Wow that can really peeve some.
Bob

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Ran FDISK

In reply to: Not so fast.

Ok, this machine is an acer aspire desktop 7121 with Windows 98 O/S, Seagate Medalist 8641/ST 36641A 8.6 GB IDE hard disk drive. I downloaded a windows 98 boot diskette from bootdisk.com and googled a tutorial. I then re-booted the computer with the disk. I ran fdisk, deleted the existing partition and then created a new partition, re-booted to format. The computer then begins to recover the allocation units until it gets up to about 5% (#97,840) and gives the error "not ready" " Format terminated" " Abort, Retry, Fail?" and that's as far as it goes. I went through thas several times and it always gets up to 97,840 units before terminating.
Thanks in advance for your time.
Steve

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Like I said earlier

In reply to: Ran FDISK

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Western Digital WD800BB 80 GB IDE Hard Drive

In reply to: Like I said earlier

I believe this is the hard drive you were referring to. Western Digital WD800BB 80 GB IDE Hard Drive
It's advertised @ 7200 rpm. Will this cause any problems as the old drive is 5400 rpm?
Steve

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(NT) No.

In reply to: Western Digital WD800BB 80 GB IDE Hard Drive

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Be aware you still have to deal with DOS's 32GB limit

In reply to: No.

I've used bigger but it can be confusing to those today. RPM is not a factor here. And I'm not duplicating the web here about the patched FDISK that allows 64GB drives. All that is well worn and out there.

I advise to stick to 32 or less GB to avoid arcane issues.
Bob

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Hard drive less than 32 GB

In reply to: Be aware you still have to deal with DOS's 32GB limit

Thanks, I'm glad you clarified the 32 GB issues. So should any IDE 40 pin hard drive less than 32 GB work? I have found several 10GB that are reasonable.
Steve

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(NT) Any IDE HDD less than 32 GB should work.

In reply to: Hard drive less than 32 GB

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Good to read.

In reply to: Ran FDISK

I like your last post. You did all the right moves yet it looks like the HDD has indeed failed.

Time to find another drive.
Bob

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OK, my next question?

In reply to: Good to read.

OK, now that I'm going down the new hard drive road, and considering I get a new drive with the original specs, once the new drive is installed will I be able to use my factory recovery disc to complete the install or will I need an original 98 copy?

Thanks again for all of your help with this.
Steve

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Should be fine up to 32GB.

In reply to: OK, my next question?

"Both Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE have problems running on hard drives bigger than 32 Gigabytes (GB) and certain Phoenix BIOS settings. A software update has been made available to fix this shortcoming.[38] In addition, Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE are unable to handle hard drives that are over 137 GB in size with the default drivers, because of missing 48-bit LBA support - whole disc data corruption is likely. Third party patches are available to fix this shortcoming.[39]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_98#System_requirements

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Try the restore disks.

In reply to: Should be fine up to 32GB.

Back then, the better ones would restore to a blank HDD. And were not locked to a set size drive and rarely restored from a restore partition. Restore partitions came later.
Bob

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You'll need a Windows install disc

In reply to: OK, my next question?

The factory restore discs usually copy data from a hidden partition on the original disk. Of course you could try Linux which is free, IF your BIOS will support whatever replacement you get.
You won't find a hard drive with the original specs because it's too old and too small. You can find an IDE 80 GB drive at the Amazon link I posted. Since it has the same IDE interface as your original, it will likely work, but as old as this system is, there're no guarantees. 80 GB is tiny by today's hard drive standards - most new PCs are being shipped with 1000 GB or more. Since your original hard drive is 8.6 GB, it's possible your BIOS won't be able to handle even as little as 80 GB. The one at Amazon is only $13, so if you want to gamble on it, go ahead.

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New Hard Drive Installed

In reply to: You'll need a Windows install disc

First I want to thank you all for your help with this. I installed the new WD200BB 20GB hard drive and everything installed and is running. The only problem is that when I start up I get a black screen with message "press any key to continue". I then press any key and it goes to the windows desktop and every thing works great. And when restarting again the same thing. Is there a setting I need to change so it boots right to windows?

Steve

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RE: You asked for recommendations I see

In reply to: You asked for recommendations I see

@wpgwpg: That's besides the point. The point is that whoever is trying to restore his Acer PC with Win98 wants to do so for nostalgic reasons.

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Watch out for those old posts.

In reply to: RE: You asked for recommendations I see

While I feel we gave the OP great advice, for you my advice is to let old posts lie.

As this is such an old post, I'll close it now.

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