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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

bad news and good news on the computer front.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

bad news and good news on the computer front.

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Bad news: still can't get the desktop booted.
Good news: can't get it booted because the 80gb drive I had around the house has an old windows install on it and it's hanging. Either I'm a blind idiot or I can't remember how to get to DOS. formatting the drive is a perfectly reasonable option to me (though I'd prefer hanging onto the files and just stripping the windows directory then reinstalling it).

Thoughts, suggestions? Would be appreciated.
  • What happens if you F8 right after turning it on?
  • In case the aforementioned F8 doesn't fix everything, would a DOS boot floppy help? Alternatively, I could supply you with a LinuxCare bootable rescue CD, which might be able to mount the old partition and read off the files. (It can certainly run fdisk and nuke any partitions it finds...)
    • Please note: I'm offering a DOS boot floppy, not a Das Boot floppy.
    • Good god, did I partition this drive. You know, I think I did.

      A DOS boot disk seems like a good idea, as f8 ain't doing the job.
      • I just tried calling to see if you wanted me to run that over to you now, but got no answer on the house line. I then tried the last cell-phone number I had for you, and got someone who spoke Spanish. Ummm...

        Right. So, when and how would you like me to get that floppy to you?
        • Having just come off call, I'm ignoring the phone because it brings me pleasure to not have to answer it. Sorry about that. Cel #'s changed since last you used it, too.

          When... lessee. Thu I've got dinner with the 'rents, Fri I've got Cirque du Soleil...
      • Hmm..

        Something that just came to mind:

        If you've set it up so it checks the floppy drive to look for a StartUp disk, I -think- you can put a blank disk in the drive, turn it on, and it'll check the floppy drive before anything else. Finding no StartUp program in there, it'll shrug its shoulders and turn to you, "What now, Boss?" with a DOS prompt.
        • Re: Hmm..

          hrmn. if I could tell it that the boot disc was my CDR, that would work, too. But it didn't seem to want to do that.
        • Re: Hmm..

          Not unless it has a version of DOS built into the BIOS. Granted, BIOSes used to come with a BASIC interpreter built in, but those went the way of the dinosaur sometime before 1990, and I never heard of one with DOS.

          I'm pretty sure a modern BIOS will, instead, say "Non-system disk or disk error. Please insert a system a disk and press any key", or words to that effect.

          Heck, a really modern BIOS might even say "Boot from floppy drive... failure" and then move on to the next boot device.
      • I'm free tomorrow. If you want, you can just call or email when you get home from work.
        • it looks as though I've finally gotten into the Windows Setup stuff, by finally figuring out how the $*@& to get it to boot from my CDR. Yay!
  • Depending on the Windows version:
    98: You can boot from a Win98 CD & get out to a prompt. To make the hard drive bootable, it's just "sys c:"
    NT & XP: To get anything off of an NTFS partition, you could:
    a. install over it; without formatting, you'd just lose some configuration info.
    b. boot from a Knoppix CD, which lets you read & write NTFS now. I've worked with external drives & burners with this too.

    Re-reading previous replies, it looks like it's not letting you boot from the CD; hit DEL, usually, to modify the BIOS. I can make a Win98 boot floppy without difficulty. Oh, & I found directions to make a Knoppix boot floppy.

    My only problem there would be that I think I only have one floppy handy.

    Offhand, I'd check the partition info with Knoppix, & work out an attack from there.
    • Prompt from WinXP CD

      To get a prompt out of a WinXP CD, hit the Recovery Console. "Fixboot" is the equivalent of "sys c:"

      There are a couple of other files to copy, sez one guy.
      • Re: Prompt from WinXP CD

        Your solution was not ENTIRELY what I'd needed to do- but you have put me on the right track.

        You may have a sugar cookie, and my eternal gratitude. :D
        • Re: Prompt from WinXP CD

          • Re: Prompt from WinXP CD

            now hopefully, when I get home this evening, I'll figure out how the @#*!& to tell a Soyo motherboard to boot with the CD first and the hard drive last.
    • Re: Prompt from WinXP CD

      Looking around, it looks like Soyo uses Award BIOS, which uses (Del) or (Ctrl)(Alt)(Esc) to access configuration.
    • Re: Prompt from WinXP CD

      I'm not sure if I'll check my email again tonight. If you need anything, do you still have my phone number?
      • Re: Prompt from WinXP CD

        I have laptoppage, and I can go to Soyo's support site as conveniently as anybody. :D

        Also, you're not the only soul w/ a tech clue around that I know (see other comments on this thread!): you're the one who first shook loose a little bit of clue in my own brain. I'll manage, I'm sure. But thanks!
  • Don't you work for microsoft?
    • Yeah, but in a somewhat rarified field. If you were doing graphic design for Blue Cross, let's say, and had trouble at home with your health insurance that you wanted to try and handle the same night and knew there were folks on your friendslist who make their living wrestling health insurance, wouldn't you ask them for their input?
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