July 07, 2004

Some Days You Just Can't Get Rid Of A Bomb

I finally got my hands on a legitimate Windows 98 set-up disk and it worked! Woo hoo!! But, it didn't fix the problems. D'oh!

So I'm trying to reformat the C:\ drive last night, right? I've got my ten-pack of floppies and instructions on how to do it.
The first thing I tried to do was to create a boot disk. Easy as pie, eh?
I slipped the disk into drive A:\ and clicked on the "create start-up disk" button in the Add/remove programs program.

"A:\ is inaccessible. Device is not ready."

I tried it again and again for an hour or so while playing a few games of Freecell. No change.
Then I restarted the computer with the disk in the drive and it finally recognized the disk! So I did the whole "create start-up disk" thing and it sure looked like it was creating a start-up disk. I watched the little line grow from 5% to 28% to 76% to 100%. Yay!
Then I got a message:

"Cannot write to drive A:\. Files may be lost."

Huh? Nothing copied I assume. But I wouldn't know because I couldn't get the device to be "ready" again. *sigh*

So, now I'm gonna grab the 3.5 floppy drive out of my old computer and see if it works better than the new(er) one. If it doesn't work then the problem isn't with the device but with something somewhere that I have no idea what to do about.
I'll either be back on line soon (over the weekend at the latest), or I wont be back for a long long time.

Wish me luck! And chime in with some advice if you know anything about this stuff! Or better yet just send me a new computer!

Okay, okay. Since all of my posts this past month have been about computer problems I'll entertain you with a joke.

The doctor walks into the room and tells the patient "I have two bits of bad news for you, Mr Smith."
"Just give it to me straight, Doc" he says.

"The first news is that you have cancer," says the Doctor.
"Ooh, cancer..." Mr Smith says woriedly. "That's awful. What's the other bad news?"

"The other bad news is that you have Altzheimer's"

"Oh, man. Altzheimer's," he says shaking his head is dismay. "That's really really awful. Oh well," he shrugged, "at least I don't have cancer."


Posted by Tuning Spork at July 7, 2004 01:10 PM

Ok if replacing the floppy worked then you may be on your way; I hope you are and that is a good place to start. However, if you have a bigger problem...

Put the floppy drive back where it was and get that old computer working in DOS mode.

Boot the newer computer and hit DEL or F3 or whatever you have to do to enter the BIOS setup when it is booting. Go the wherever it indicates the boot sequence and change it to boot first from D: or CD-ROM, then from the A: or FLOPPY drive. You may have to dig around to find this.

If booting from CD-ROM from the BIOS is not an option, you need to do more stuff than I have time to explain tonight but e-mail if you want more help.

Assuming you can boot from CD-ROM:

Put a floppy in the old computer. In DOS, at the C: prompt, do

sys a:

do a dir command.

There will be a directory that has format.exe in it. It may be C:\DOS, or it may be C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND if a windows machine, or it may be somewhere else, but you need to find it.

cd into that directory, then do

copy format.exe a:

Then put this floppy in the newer machine. Reboot. it should come to the A:\ prompt.

format c:

when it's done, remove the floppy disk, put the windows cd in the cdrom drive, and reboot. It should work Good lock

Posted by: John Climacus at July 9, 2004 12:57 AM

Wow, thanks John!!

I haven't moved the old floppy drive from the old machine to the new one yet since I don't even enough time on a weeknight to complete the reformat.

My guru Lawruh thinks your suggestion is good, but tonight I'm going to try to get rid of the virus with the Norton disk she gave me this morning. If that doesn't work then tomorrow I'll move the old floppy drive to the new machine -- 'cause I'm not sure that that drive EVER frickin' worked.

If that doesn't work then I'll return the floppy drive and follow your instructions.
And if that doesn't work then the only choice left would be between the wooden or the aluminum baseball bat, mheh.

Thanks again!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at July 9, 2004 12:55 PM
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