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Reformat laptop hard drive, reinstall OS, no CD-ROM

by JasonUMD / February 23, 2004 12:09 AM PST

I recently received a laptop from someone that is pretty decent for what I want to use it for. The problem is that I need to reformat the hard drive and install an operating system. However, the laptop does not have a built in CD-ROM drive. I looked up the specs on this particular laptop and it uses a PC card based CD-ROM drive that I was not given. Is there any way to redo this computer witout the CD-ROM.

I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but I just thought I would ask.

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Re:Reformat laptop hard drive, reinstall OS, no CD-ROM
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2004 12:17 AM PST

You didn't write:

1. What you have to work with.

Example -> Floppy, USB port, Ethernet, Serial, Parallel port.

2. No mention of what OS you want to install.

Procedures will vary.

3. No make/model means I can't pre-emptively note where to find drivers if you were to install some Microsoft Windows. Microsoft doesn't supply drivers for motherboard support items like the USB in most cases and certainly not the Video and Audio.

Best of luck,


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Re:Re:Reformat laptop hard drive, reinstall OS, no CD-ROM
by JasonUMD / February 23, 2004 12:27 AM PST


The computer is a Toshiba Portege 7020CT. There is a USB port and 2 PC card slots. There is an integrated modem but no integrated network interface. There is also no floppy drive. I want to install Windows 98 SE. The computer is a 366 MHz P3 with 64 MB of RAM.

Knowing that information, do you have any ideas?

Thanks again.

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no CD-ROM, no Floppy. What else can boot? Hard disk doesn't count.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 23, 2004 12:46 AM PST

There is a very arcane method of putting the drive into a desktop and FORMAT C:/S to get it to boot, then copy the WIN98 directory there plus any drivers you can imagine, but this involves removing the hard disk, some hardware skills, command line skills and an adapter like

But this method is best just described as above and I can't offer any step by step method since the above is all a person would need if they were to do such. There are many hurdles here and on top of that, one wrong move and you start over.

Drivers are best collected from Toshiba's web site.

Sounds like fun.

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Re:Reformat laptop hard drive, reinstall OS, no CD-ROM
by rookieixix / February 29, 2004 4:41 AM PST

If it has a floppy drive, you can use a parallel Backpack CDROM drive. It works from the parallel port and requires a floppy drive to load the drivers. By far the easiest external CDROM I've ever used.

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set windows xp, no a, no cd, no usb for laptop computer
by cavaliertv / August 24, 2008 9:12 PM PDT

My laptop computer hard drive went out. The cd-rum is not working. How could I setup windows xp

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Replace the cd-rom drive.
by Kees Bakker / August 24, 2008 9:17 PM PDT

Of course, if the cd-rom fails and the hard drive fails, this might be a sign of a very old laptop, that's ready for recycling better than spending money on repair. Your choice.


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Cheap fix?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 25, 2008 1:01 AM PDT

Replace the CD RUM (?) first.

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windows xp see the cd\dvd but can read inside after I instal
by cavaliertv / August 31, 2008 1:48 AM PDT

After I install fresh windows xp from the cd rum, window can see the icon of the cd\dvd but can not read it. Device manger said driver _NEC DVD_RW ND-3550usb dvice and QSI CDRW/DVD SBW242B are OK (Not yellow).
Do you believe the CD/DVD went bad during windows installation?

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Having seen that happen
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 31, 2008 1:52 AM PDT

It does happen. The test of the drive is simple. Try to boot the XP CD again. We don't need to install XP but I find its a good test.

If that works, look up XP UPPERFILTERS on google, remove those as well as the old boot SAFE MODE, remove all cd/dvd drives in device manager procedure. Reboot, retest.

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format notebook no cd rom or floppy
by Mark Sprigg / March 28, 2010 7:18 PM PDT

I was given an ACER ASPIRE 1 it has no cd rom or floppy drive.It will not boot as it says file missing or corrupt. < win xp installed>

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This is like a car
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 28, 2010 9:10 PM PDT

Without tires. Sometimes you have to replace the missing parts.

Or it is like working on a car and you find you need a spanner. Not only you don't have a spanner but you may discover more about spanners than you intended. i.e. the tools to get the job done.

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