Can anyone help with this Windows installation problem?

Philip Hamm

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I have a second hand Pentium III Compaq Deskpro that I'm trying to installe Windows Me on. I have the Win98SE boot CD and the WinMe upgrade CD. I also have Windows NT 4.0 on a bookshelf if that is a better option (Does Win NT 4.0 support USB?).
I have partitioned the 10 Mb drive and formatted it using the Win98SE startup CD. However, when I try to install Win98SE or WinMe I get the message "Standard Mode: Fault outside of MS-DOS Extender" followed by a register dump. The system then tells me that COMMAND.COM is invalid and prompts me for the location for the valid command.com.
The computer has no model number at all whatsoever, which is frustrating to no end. It simply is identified as a "Deskpro" (I hate Compaqs - I had a lot of trouble with some Compaq machines at a former job). There is a number on the back that says "Series PD1006" and on the top it has a sticker that says "DPENM P600/10/128/NTCUS).
I have reason to believe that despite the fact that this computer has a sticker on the front that reads "Designed for Microsoft Windows NT / Windows 98" that it may have been specifically designed for NT.
Compaq's tech support web site has been unhelpful and I have absolutely no documentation at all whatsoever. My next step is to try to install my Windows NT 4.0 Operating System. I don't know how that will go.
Any tips??????

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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
[Edited last by Philip Hamm on October 21, 2001 at 08:41 PM]
 

ThucN

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this computer has a sticker on the front that reads "Designed for Microsoft Windows NT / Windows 98" that it may have been specifically designed for NT.
I wouldn't put much stock into the "Designed for" statement. I think it's just marketing hype. You should be able to install pretty much any OS, even Linux, on that computer.
If you can, try partitioning more disk space, then reformat the partition.
There's also a chance that the "fdisk" utility that (I'm assuming) you used didn't do a very good job of partitioning the drive. I was once in a messy situation of re-partitioning my corrupted hard drive, and fdisk did a terrible job of it. Then I used an fdisk utility from another company (can't remember the name right now--one of the Linux distributions). This non-Microsoft fdisk did a much better job of partitioning my hard drive, thus allowing me to format it properly.
Hope there's something in this post that'll help you out.
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TqN
 

JohanK

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Jan 22, 2000
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Double the partition info by running fdisk to make sure you have set the primary DOS partition and that it is active. If so, format harddrive using 98SE boot disk. After formatting, install 98SE and then change to ME.
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Shayne Lebrun

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I don't know about the more modern compaqs, but they are VERY fucked up machines. Some of the desktop machines I used from compaq at a previous job, the frickin BIOS was installed on a very small partition on the hard drive. Fdisked it for Linux, and the machine wouldn't boot. Ooops.
 

JohanK

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I hope this is not another Compaq horror story...best of luck Phil.
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Rob Gillespie

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I'd imagine that if the BIOS was indeed on the HD then he wouldn't be getting as far as he is with the installation. Compaq are a law unto themselves though, so anything could happen.
 

Philip Hamm

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I -may- be able to dig up some boot OS/2 diskettes and run FDISK using that. I used the Win98SE boot CD FDISK to partition the entire 10Gb boot disk as one large partition. I have an old copy of Partition Magic laying around also. I hate hate hate Compaq desktops. Thanks for the tips, but nothing new here.

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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Kevin P

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I hate hate hate Compaq desktops.
Me three! When I'm computer shopping I always walk past the Compaqs without taking a second look at them. Compaq is definitely the BOSE of the computer industry.

Who else would be dumb enough to put a BIOS on a hard drive partition? Wipe the partition, or even replace the hard drive and the machine is toast. I've worked with Compaqs where the BIOS setup is on the partition, but without it the machine could still boot Windows. There may be a "system restore" CD that can restore the partition, but if you don't have that CD, there isn't much you can do.
KJP
 

AndyVX

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Yikes! Compaq's are rotten little machinces! I personally wouldn't spend a dime on them.
Well, my suggestions would basically be the same as everyone else's here. One thing I wanted to add though is if you get the computer working, don't install WinME! Just stay with Win98SE.
Andrew
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Philip Hamm

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Why not install WinME? I've been using it since it came out without any problems. I've heard people say "avoid Me!" since it came out, but I've heard that with every version of Windows since 3.1.
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Richard Cooper

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Hmm, this reminds me a little of a problme I had once. Are you booting from the install CD or a boot disk? If you have a boot disk which asks you which type of CD drive you have (Sony, Goldstar etc.) I found that it didn't matter which make I had, Sony would be the only one to work. If you're booting from the CD, have you a startup disk which you can load CD drivers from instead?
As for the criticism of ME, I'm going to disagree. It's fine for me
 

Philip Hamm

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I think this computer is totally f**ked.
Windows NT 4.0 Blue Screens on boot / installation disk 2. If I partition it in 98SE it blows up the WinMe and Win98 installations. I am going to email Compaq and see if they can help. I hate Compaq desktops. It looks like a new motherboard for the fine Pentium III 600 may be in order.
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Mike Voigt

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IF you don't care for the data on the HD, try the following:
1. Start computer, go into hardware setup (usually F8, or DEL key, or something).
2. Set it to boot from CD first, then floppy, then HD.
3. Save the setup.
4. Use the Win98SE boot CD to set up the HD first (partitions), then proceed to install.
5. Use Me Upgrade to set up for that.
See if that helps. As for hating Compaq's, you can add me to that list. A Compaq was the machine that convinced me to build my own

Mike
 

Kimmo Jaskari

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If your installer screams when it tries to run the MS-DOS extender, most likely you have a memory problem. One of the classic symptoms of bad memory is when the machine runs fairly ok in DOS mode without trying to use extended memory, but when accessing the extended memory during an OS install it chokes.
Try the install again with some other memory chips. If you have several in the machine, remove some and try installs with different chips.
There is software out there that runs memory tests. Try here:
http://www.nu2.nu/utils/
That is the webpage of a guy who has a very nice how-to on creating bootable CD-ROM's among other things. In his utils directory there is a RAM tester for the PC; just boot the PC from a clean boot floppy (ie one that doesn't load any memory managers etc) and try that one. Haven't tested it, but it might tell you if your memory is bad.
Otherwise just test with other chips.
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/Kimmo
 

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