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Need help booting a laptop via PXE


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#1
o2mcgovem

o2mcgovem

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Hi, earlier on this year my sister or father (depending on whose view you take -- best not to get involved) dropped a laptop. Needless to say, Windows didn't load back up, and a quick check in the BIOS confirmed that the hard disk had died (no IDE was displayed).

Ten months later, we've got around to buying a new hard disk. It installed fine, and the BIOS says that there's an IDE connected but the laptop has no floppy or (internal) CD-ROM drive so I have not a clue as to how to reinstall Windows. I just figured that I could hook up the external CD-ROM drive (which came with the laptop) and use that to re-install. I found someone with exactly the same problem and the same laptop on Google here if you'd like to know more.

The only way I can see to move forward is to try booting via PXE, but I've no real idea how to do this. I've heard that you can install a PXE server in Windows, or you can use Windows Server's "Remote Installation Services", or there are Linux versions. I could do with somebody giving me a push in the right direction. I can get copies of Windows Server 2003 and 2008 for free through college, so price isn't a factor... I'd just rather whatever's easiest really.

Any help would be much appreciated, since we've got a perfectly good laptop going to waste at the moment. :)

Thanks,
Michael :)

P.S. Some things I found on Google that might be helpful?

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#2
fawoodward

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Why not use the external cd-rom to install windows? I see your link to another issue similar to yours, but he said he can hear the CD start to spin after boot, which means it's attempting to read it so his issue is probably different from yours.

And to use PXE, do you have another computer or laptop to install and use as the server for remote installation?
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#3
o2mcgovem

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The external CD-ROM does spin, it powers up fine but it doesn't show in the BIOS as a device. I've tried a few CDs, including XP and Vista but to no avail :)

I had another idea, I was going to just put the hard disk in another laptop and install it on there and then swap it out but I can't find a laptop with an IDE. :/

And yep, I do. :)
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#4
peterm

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Did you check the other hard drive 1st to make sure it was not loose ?
Have you gone into the bios and made the cd rom 1st boot option?
If you have another computer you can buy an adapter to fit a laptop drive into it.
laptop drive adapter
a place in the old dart that sell them
Or since you have a cd rom try this and see if it makes your cd rom work. (you will need an external floppy drive)
external floppy
make cd rom bootable
Cheers
Peterm

Edited by peterm, 07 November 2008 - 03:25 PM.

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#5
o2mcgovem

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Hi peterm, thanks for the reply. :wave: In answer to your questions...

Yes I did check the first hard drive, it was definitely broken. And yep, I did make sure CD was set as the first boot in the BIOS, but that didn't work since the BIOS didn't show there was a CD-ROM drive at all in the devices list. Oh, and no external floppy drive either. :)

I was going to buy one of those connectors the other day, but couldn't give the parents a clear answer on whether or not it would mess up our desktop PC. I figured that it wouldn't, but I couldn't be sure. Probably seems like a silly question, but using one of those won't mess up our desktop will it?

I'm going to take back the drive I bought the other day. Since the laptop came with a 40 GB drive, I wanted to get as close to 40 as possible to be sure it'd work so I ended up with a 60 GB drive. BUT, when I got home I had a proper look and it runs at 4200 RPM with a 2MB cache. Not sure the 2MB cache part is, but I know the last hard disk had an 8MB cache and ran at 5400 RPM so I'd guess there'd be a noticeable difference in performance. AND, it cost £60!

Turns out I can get a better hard disk as well as the connector thing for about £40 (inc. delivery):

Do you think the laptop will be able to work with an 80GB drive when it came with a 40GB one?

Thanks for all the help so far, much appreciated.
(I gave blood the other day, now have a rather nasty looking bruise :))

Edited by o2mcgovem, 07 November 2008 - 03:44 PM.

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#6
peterm

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Hi Michael
The new drive is way slow
the 80gig is fine - you could go larger if you like.
With the adapter it will not affect the desktop. I use this device on a desk top.
It just makes the drive show up as anothe hard drive.
The only thing you might have to do is change jumpers on the desktop drive to be master with slave
and change the lap top drive to slave. It depends on how old the desktop drive is. To change the drive is easy and will not cause any harm.
We won't know until it is pluged in.
Cheers
Peterm

(I gave blood the other day, now have a rather nasty looking bruise tongue.gif)

If you have a bruise then the nurse who hooked you up is not very good at her job. :)
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#7
o2mcgovem

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Alright, cool. :)

I took it back today and what a fuss they made! I read the receipt and it said that all I had to do was take it back to the shop within 14 days, sounded simple. When I got there I was interrogated as to why I was bringing it back, then I had to fill out a form only to be told that I wouldn't be getting my money until the drive had been sent to technical services (or something similar) for testing to ensure that I had not damaged it, "not saying that you have" (in the words of the lady). I was planning to use some of the money from the refund as bus fare home, but since that didn't happen I had to walk about 8km to get home. So we're now waiting another 7-14 days to actually get the money back so we can order that hard disk and the adapter thing.

One other thing that I don't quite get... my desktop PC is a Fujitsu-Siemens and the laptop is a Medion (for future reference, avoid them). If I put the new laptop hard disk into the desktop to install Windows XP, which OEM disc do I use? The Medion XP disc or the Fujitsu-Siemens XP disc? In the past, I've tried using the Fujitsu-Siemens disc to install on a non-Fujitsu-Siemens PC and it doesn't work. :s

Thanks, Michael.

QUOTE
(I gave blood the other day, now have a rather nasty looking bruise tongue.gif)

If you have a bruise then the nurse who hooked you up is not very good at her job. rolleyes1.gif

:) She was really apologetic and it's a pretty cool bruise, it's green at the moment which apparently means it's healing.
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#8
peterm

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This is the cross our fingers and hope it works part.
You get the laptop disk set up as a slave. Boot the desktop with the laptop OEM
At the point where it says to install windows on c:\windows you change the path to the laptop drive.
I assume your desktop has 1 hard drive ( C ) and 1 cd drive (D)
This will make the laptop drive E.
So at the point that it ask where to install windows you change the default from C:\windows to E:\windows

What boot optionsdo you get in your bios on the laptop

Cheers
Peterm

On second thought we best make sure you desktop takes that kind of adapter.
Look in side the desktop does it have an IDE drive - wide cable.
What would be even easier is if you leave the laptop drive jumpered as Master and you just unplug the desktop
ide cable and power supply and plug them into the laptop converter. This will make the lap top the C drive on the desktop. So you boot the desktop with the laptop oem and install to C drive(now the laptop drive)
After the install you just put the cable and power supply back onto the desktop drive and all should be working.

Edited by peterm, 08 November 2008 - 05:12 PM.

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#9
o2mcgovem

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The desktop has one drive ( C ) and two DVD-R drives (D, E) and then two memory card reader slots (F, G) so it'll be H... I guess.

On the laptop BIOS we get "Hard disk, PXE, CD-ROM, Floppy"... despite there being no internal CD-ROM or floppy disk drive.

:)
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#10
peterm

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ide or sata in the desktop ?
wide ribbon for ide narrow ribbon for sata
Cheers
Peterm
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#11
o2mcgovem

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Hi, sorry about the delay. :)

IDE, I believe. I haven't had a chance to open up the desktop, but in the desktop's BIOS it says IDE. Should I check inside anyway?

We're still waiting for the guys at the shop to ring us up to refund us our money. It's been a week now. Then, of course, it'll be another week before the new hard disk gets here... I hope this is done for Christmas. :/
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#12
peterm

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as long as your sure it's ide then thats fine. The bios should know.
Do you have any questions or dobts about us making the laptop drive the master © drive in the desktop ?


Cheers
Peterm
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#13
o2mcgovem

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Not that I can think of, it seems like the best thing to do tbh. :)

Just a quick update, it's been 2 weeks so I gave them a ring. They told me that it'd been marked as "replace", not refund, and because the HDD is currently out-of-stock that's holding them up. I told them that I actually wanted a refund and she said she'd send a cheque out within a few days.

So, in another week I should have the money, and perhaps a week after that I'll have the new HDD and connector. Better late than never I suppose.

Thanks for the help so far, by the way. :)

Edit: Actually, what does the cache part of a hard disk mean? Just out of interest, really... like what's the difference between a 2MB cache and an 8MB cache?

Edited by o2mcgovem, 22 November 2008 - 08:22 AM.

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#14
peterm

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When you're writing small files to the hard drive, they get written to the cache first (at 100MB or 133MB/s) and then the cache is written to the hard disk in the background with no CPU utilization(the hard drive handles these operations independently).
For the average user they will not notice much difference.
Cheers
Peterm
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#15
o2mcgovem

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Ah, well the CPU on the laptop isn't all that great so I guess a cache bigger than 2MB would be good. :/
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