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How to disable C: HDD from Dell BIOS - Win XP


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#1
Paul W.

Paul W.

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I have a Dell Inspiron laptop with Win XP Media Center. I also have an external USB hard drive that has four partitions (FAT32, FAT32, FAT32, NTFS).

From BIOS (or whatever they call it now), I removed the internal HDD C: from the bootup sequence. I put in the Windows 98 Setup CD into the CD drive, and restarted the computer. Even though I removed the C: HDD from the boot sequence, and the system booted up from the Win 98 CD fine, my C: HDD is still visible and recognized. How do I completely remove the C: HDD from BIOS like I used to be able to do from my desktop computer? I could not find a way to disable the internal HDD from BIOS.

I don't want to have any changes whatsoever to the internal HDD of the laptop.

I want to install Win 98 to one of the FAT32 partitions of the USB external HDD that is connected to the Dell laptop, so that I can connect the USB HDD to my old desktop computer running Win 98.

My desktop has two physical HDD's. The bootup C: drive is on the verge of a platter crash. I want to boot from the USB external HDD after physically disconnecting the C: drive. The second (slave) drive on the desktop is the D: drive. Once I safely boot up from the USB HDD, I want to copy all the data from the D: drive to the USB HDD. Then I can format the D: drive, make it the primary master, and install Win 98 to it.

Is this the best and safest way to do this? As I was writing this message, I thought that maybe I can simply physically disconnect the desktop C: drive (the one on the verge of a platter crash), change the D: drive to the primary master drive, change the BIOS to boot from the CD ROM (Windows 98 Setup CD), connect the USB external drive, and then copy all the data from the C: drive (the drive that used to be the D: drive) to the USB with using DOS commands (COPY, XCOPY).

Sorry for all of the confusion.

Thank you very much!
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#2
Neil Jones

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Laptop BIOSes don't generally allow you to disable the internal HDD like they used to because it generated a lot of support calls from users who like to "play" with the settings and have no idea how to get them back to a working state.

USB support under DOS is virtually non existant, and all the drivers that are available are generic which means they won't work on all systems anyway.

Your best bet is to take your dying drive to a friend's XP machine, then burn it to a CD/DVD, then replace your HDD and reinstall Windows. It's far easier to do it this way than mess around with USB drivers under DOS and external drives and so on.

Edited by Neil Jones, 18 June 2006 - 05:22 AM.

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#3
Paul W.

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Thank you for the information. I agree with you. I have an XP laptop machine, so I'll probably just get an enclosure for the desktop 98 HDD, and burn DVD's of that data with the laptop. I'm just on a very tight budget, and that I could save $30 by tweaking with drivers, etc. Again, thank you very much.

PEACE OUT!
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