unsolicited at swiz.ca
Thu May 28 22:52:50 EDT 2009
Oksana Goertzen wrote, On 05/28/2009 10:16 PM:
> Hello Everyone,
> I have in my possession an old PIII Toshiba Tablet. It has no cd rom in it
> and it doesn't boot from USB. I need to reinstall Windows on it. I'm
> thinking of taking the hard drive out, partitioning it with Linux,
> making one
> partition bootable, loading FreeDOS on that partition and putting the
> install files for the XP Tablet edition on there and setting it up again.
> Has anyone attempted anything like this? Does this sound like it might
> work? It also supports PXE boot (something I've never worked with,
> but will be soon - however I want to set it up before then). :)
This should work. I have done similar in the past.
A couple of thoughts for you though.
- you don't need FreeDOS. (Not that FreeDOS is a bad idea.) Once the
disk is in another machine you could sys it and it should be bootable
again. Put the tablet install files on it as you mention, etc. While
in the other machine, you might want to disconnect all other drives
then make sure you can boot with this one. (It's really annoying to
put a laptop drive back in and discover the boot commands didn't
take.) [Any combination of sys, format, making it bootable, etc. will
work. Be it via creating a boot diskette first (Right-click A:, choose
format, tick create an MS-DOS startup diskette), using mmc/disk
management, a prior version of MS-DOS, whatever.] You should be able
to sys the hard disk from a diskette.
- More than once I've created a 680MB (CD-sized) first partition and
loaded FreeDOS into it. Then used the rest of the disk for Windows.
i.e. Should something happen, I can stick the disk in any old machine
and at least get to the dos prompt. Perhaps the same idea is
appropriate for you in this case. FreeDOS also has Grub For DOS and
NTFS reading (at least) utilities. You could load FreeDOS and let such
lurk there until and unless you have a need. Vs. scrambling for it
after the fact. In the meantime, you can make the windows partition
active for the moment, and only make the first partition active if you
have to. If you pursue Grub now though, defaulting to Windows, you'll
be able to choose Free/DOS later, should Windows fail to boot.
Otherwise you'll be pulling the disk out again to set the first
You could also just add another line to boot.ini, after the fact, to
achieve the same. e.g. my boot.ini also has the line:
C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
You should be able to google a similar boot.ini line for command.com,
or windows single user mode.
Just be careful when you install Windows again - many versions of
Windows will reformat your drive without regard to your preferences or
When you get everything back to how you want it to be, you might just
take an image of the tablet drive. In case you have to do this again.
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