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Installing XP Tablet on HD w/o built-in USB's or CD-ROM

Discussion in 'Tablet PC' started by Norm, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Norm

    Norm Guest

    My Tablet's USB ports don't work But an aftermarket PCMCIA USB hub did. The
    Tablet does not have a CD-ROM. The original HD crashed. Now I don't know
    how to install XP Tablet. If I take the HD out and make it an temp. external
    drive on my Desktop, can I copy certain files onto the HD to get started?
    Any Suggestions, or should I just toss it?
    Norm, Sep 17, 2009
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  2. Try it with an external CD-ROM drive. I can not say, however, if the
    BIOS will support booting from a drive connected with your PCMCIA card.

    In case not you have to work around:
    1.) Connect the new HDD to your desktop computer.
    There are cheap adaptors for connecting a notebook-drive to the IDE of a
    2.) Create the necessary partitions. I would suggest two: one for the
    system, the other for your data.
    3.) Make the drive bootable with DOS. This can be done using a bootdisk,
    f.e."Windows 98 SE Custom, No Ramdrive"
    4.) Copy the whole of the i386 directory if your XP-CD on the second
    partition. Copy the SP2 and SP3 files also.
    Collect all of the manufacturer's drivers and software add-ons and add
    them too.
    5.) Put the HDD into the TabletPC, let it boot.
    6.) Thereafter you can call the install from your drive D:

    Caveat: It could be that the recipe might have to be slightly modified
    in order to make the TabletPC parts of the OS available. It works fie
    fro normal notebooks without CD-drives. But I did not yet try it in my
    It would be good if you could use an XP-CD with SP2 integrated. Then the
    install could be done in one run.
    You should least try to get hold if the data on the broken HDD.
    Could be that the drive is not totally defective.

    But you can not copy the IS and programs.
    You have to make a fresh install from scratch.

    Good luck
    Rainald Taesler, Sep 17, 2009
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  3. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Thank you Rainald for the help. I have partitioned the tablets HD using a
    eide to usb adaptor. Loaded i386 on "Data" partition, and put all the
    drivers I could find on the "system" partition.
    I have the Operating Sustem Recovery CD, but the Tablet won't boot from it.
    Yes, I reconfigured Bios and put CD-Rom first in boot order.
    The problem I have now is making the HD bootable. I went to the bootdisk
    site and downloaded your recommendation, but it wants a floppy drive, which I
    don't have. Happy to make a donatiion on the site but what should I use now??
    Norm, Sep 18, 2009
  4. The latter was not wise at all. You'll need them later and when
    the partition during the install the are gee.
    Move everything to the data partition.
    OK (or better: not good)
    So we will work with booting from the HDD with DOS.

    Which kind of Recover CD do you gave?
    Is the OS (Win XP) integrated or is the OS separately in CD(s)? If the
    latter: how many?
    BTW: Which brand if TabletPC?
    Bo problem. I created an ISO-image of the boot disk (app. 3MB) Collect
    it from my FTP-site:
    ftp://ftp.hs-heilbronn.de/vdb/compaq/bootdisks/bootdisk98se.iso .
    Then burn a CD from it.
    Then open a DOS-B (CMD = commandline prompt), navigate to the CD-drive.
    Use FORMAT to format the HDD ad transfer the DOS system:

    format <drive-letter> /s

    where <drive letter> means the system partition of the notebook HDD.
    Enter this without the brackets, f.e.:

    format g: /s

    So far steps.
    The rest will depend on the type if your OS/Recovery CDs.

    I'll be away (abroad) until next Friday. I might be able to check the
    news but I'll mist probably it be able to reply.

    Rainald Taesler, Sep 18, 2009
  5. Norm

    Norm Guest

    OK, every thing moved to data partition.
    I have a Motion Computing M1400. The recovery disk starts up just like a
    WinXP installation disk. When I put the disk in the cd-rom the Menu comes up.

    Tried format g: /s but it would not accept the /s

    Downloaded all the files available on BootDisk web site (Paid the $4
    w/paypal) But could not get the HD to boot in the tablet.

    Question: When the HD is able to boot, will I be able to plug the eide/usb
    cable into my laptop and it would boot up? Not sure I said that right.

    Thanks again for your help

    Norm, Sep 26, 2009
  6. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Rainald, I hope you have not given up on me?

    Norm, Sep 27, 2009
  7. For sure not.
    Things are a bit complicated. So I need some tome.

    Rainald Taesler, Sep 27, 2009
  8. Norm

    Ian Guest

    My Tablet's USB ports don't work But an aftermarket PCMCIA USB hub did. The
    Norm, do you have the docking station for the M1400? I had a similar issue
    with my M1400 and I found that I could plug an IDE cd-rom drive into the usb
    port on the docking station using a usb adapter, and then just do the reload
    with the tablet sitting in the docking station using the Motion Computing
    reload disc

    word of warning, for whatever reason, SP3 causes severe issues on the m1400
    Ian, Sep 27, 2009
  9. This might be a good excuse to load windows 7 (which has tablet extensions)

    since your pcmcia usb hub works that might be the basis of running an
    install off of a usb memory key containing windows 7... high capacity
    usb memory keys are pretty cheap, but, be aware, may not offer boot
    options, especially via the pcmcia hub.

    How hard is it to remove the hard drive? There are $20 usb hd adapters
    that will allow you to fully set up a bootable drive using a different pc.

    Spend some time on the internet to find a good win7 help forum... things
    to ask;

    which version (the skinny is not ultimate unless it has something
    specific you need)

    Get tips on memory key installs... the good news is that with the advent
    of netbooks, this is a common need nowadays.

    You have 120 days to run _with no product key_ nice amount of time to
    decide if you want to stay... if you use a product key before the 120
    day limit that will demand one, the money's been spent.

    Disclaimer... I'm an observer... collecting facts and impressions of
    win7 but have not gone there (yet)

    Beverly Howard
    Beverly Howard, Sep 28, 2009
  10. Sorry to say this:
    You are talking like the blind one on colours!

    IMHO your posting is good for nothing but spreading confusion.
    Are you following the device: "The situation has been complicated
    enough. Why not stir up things a bit more"?

    Sadly Yours
    Rainald Taesler, Sep 28, 2009
  11. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Thank You, Ian. I recently bouught off ebay a Flex Dock, Motion Computing
    docking station, primaily for the purpose you suggested. It does not work.
    When I plug my external cd-rom in, with the recovery disk in it, the cd-rom
    light comes on for a few seconds, and nothing more. I tried restarting the
    tablet with the cdrom plugged into the docking station usb port. Same
    Durint the tablets start-up I can tap the screen with the pen, and get into
    Bios. I have changed the boot order from HDD to Cdrom to removable devices.
    Nothing. Just a flashing _ at the top left on the screen. B & W.
    Thanks again, Norm
    Norm, Sep 28, 2009
  12. Norm

    Ian Guest

    for an external CD-rom drive, are you using one that is hub powered, as in
    only has a usb cable, or one with an external power source as well? you may
    want to use one with an external power source to prevent the usb ports from
    being shut off; they may not be getting enough voltage.

    another stupid thing: does your cd-rom support bootable disks.. I've had a
    few cd-roms, both ide and usb external that did not for whatever reason.

    the other questions I have: is your reload cd an original Motion computing,
    or a copied? just had to ask because I've seen some copies floating around
    where the boot sector was bad.

    usually when you attempt to boot off a cd-rom and all you get is the
    flashing cursor, and then it goes to error or whatever other screen, it's
    because that for whatever reason, the drive is not reading a boot sector on
    the disk - either it doesn't support it, or it's not on the disk to begin

    The only other option I can see is to pull the harddrive.
    You need to attach it to another pc with an adapter. Format the drive as
    FAT32. Then copy a BARE dos bootable cd to the drive. (io.sys, command.com,
    msdos.sys) and then copy the entire cd into a folder on the drive as well.

    example: c:\installcd

    when it starts up, it should boot to a basic c:\> then you can go into the
    folder c:\installcd\i386

    and run winnt.exe that will start the dos install routine. you can install
    to an existing partition on the drive without losing the data already there
    from the cd.

    patience is key, because you may end up repeating yourself quite a few times
    to get it to install right.
    Ian, Sep 28, 2009
  13. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Thank You Ian, Beverly, and Rainald,

    Well in frustration I bought another M1400 off ebay, last night. My plan is
    to use Acronis True Image and copy the image of the new one to the old one.
    The old one has the "View Anywhere" screen and I want it for navigation
    purposes on my sailboat. If this works, I will probably sell the one I just
    bought. I figure this is probably cheaper than sending it in to the copany
    for repair.

    I have the original Recovery CD. My ext. Cd-Rom is separately powered. If
    I have the CD-Rom plugged into my laptop and close the drive with the
    recovery disk in it, it autoruns and has a menu to install WinXP. But not
    with the tablet.

    The usb hub/pcmcia card won't work because the drivers are needed on the
    Thanks to all, I will keep you posted,

    Norm, Sep 28, 2009
  14. Your opinion is noted.

    However, I stand by my opinions.

    Have a nice day anyway,
    Beverly Howard
    Beverly Howard, Sep 28, 2009
  15. Hi Ian,
    your below quoted suggestion is some kind of a modification of what I
    had suggested in my posting if Sept. 17 (Message-ID:
    They contain what I see as serious mistakes. Ps see below
    This is not sufficient. The HDD would not be able to boot with DOS if
    the DOS-files are only *copied* to the drive.
    To make a disk bootable (be it floppy or HDD) it's necessary to transfer
    the system files and to create the needed MBR.
    This can be done with either
    FORMAT <drive letter> /S
    or with
    SYS C:
    No. The files for installing the OS should be copied to a separate
    Working this way will naturally *remove* the directory holding the
    install files when during the install the HDD will be formatted.
    Therefore the "i386" directory has to be copied to a second partition,
    f.e. d:\i386.
    The second partition world later be the proper place for storing the

    Pls do not misunderstand my intervention. It's not not only based on my
    own experience but also on the results of literally hundreds of cases in
    the HP notebook forum where I was able to help users being unable to
    install Windows from a CD.

    Rainald Taesler, Sep 30, 2009
  16. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Rainald, Do you know that format e: /s did not work? I would like to try
    sys c: but not sure at what point to do this.
    Here is the latest: Received a second M1400, has WinXp SP3 installed. It
    recognizes a external usb dvd-writer, but not a 2.5" HD on a usb/eide
    adaptor. The HD/USB is recognized on the Acer Netbook I have, so I know it
    communicates. Doesn't WINXP have all the drivers you ever need? I think I
    will remove the HD from the tablet I just bought and try it on the old (to
    me) one and see if it will startup. Any thoughts on this?

    Norm, Oct 4, 2009
  17. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Well the HD from the new one worked in the old one. Now to copy the image
    from one to the other. Maybe as ext usb drives on my Laptop. Would Acronis
    True Image do this?
    Norm, Oct 4, 2009
  18. For sure.
    But it needs a bit of care!

    Rainald Taesler, Oct 5, 2009
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