Starting up a 4 year old m/c with a new hard disk.

  Mr.Baz 17:36 30 Jul 05
Locked

I have been given a Compaq Deskpro EN with no documentation or support disks so I must preserve the contents of the hard drive.
I propose to replace the hard drive with a new larger capacity one, replace the CD ROM with a DVD/CD r/w drive, increase the memory from 256 to 512 Mb and install XP Home edition. The existing HD is 20Ghz with NT4 installed. This can be used in an external case as backup storage for the system with one of the imaging programs.
Questions.
1. How do I find out what hard disk to get. Or more precisely what can the machine handle?

2. What is the appropriate sequence of changes?

A full copy of XP costs about twice as much as the upgrade version so I can save £60+ by loading 98SE first. Are there any hidden snags?

Can I install 98SE on to a bare drive or do I need Dos first. I have Dos 6 among my souveniers. The earlier versions are on 5¼" floppies so aren't much use!

I presume the DVD drive will best be left until last.

  howard60 17:52 30 Jul 05

I would install your hard drive and use a start up disk for win98 then there should be no problem installing the new os. With ME upgrade you do not have to load the previous os it asks for the cd and checks that. I believe xp does the same. I would not buy anything else until such time as you have this working and see that everything else is ok.

  Diemmess 17:57 30 Jul 05

Bear in mind you want to preserve existing setup on old HD. I assume the old C: drive is loaded with 98SE?

It might be possible to download the old Compaq drivers for the motherboard, and I'm sure life will be less complicated by disconnecting the old HD and starting from scratch with the new one.

Yes you can install 98SE without DOS first. 98 has its own DOS incorporated and uses this a lot.

98 will not load if XP is there first, it wants to install on C: - nothing else.

  pj123 17:59 30 Jul 05

I don't think I fancy your chances doing that. There are many hoops that you will have to jump through.

  Eric10 18:16 30 Jul 05

If you haven't bought your hard drive yet you can get a legal OEM version of XP at a reduced price when you buy the drive (or other hardware) from certain sources such as CCL Computers click here. Look under Software, Operating Systems. This way you can install XP without messing about with Win98.

  Mr.Baz 19:08 30 Jul 05

Thanks Eric10 I've looked at CSS, their prices look good and as an OEM version is usually about £10 cheaper than the upgrade version that means I can afford a better drive.
But, how do I find out what the machine can take? The present drive is Western digital 20Gb Enhanced IDE. I can search under that description but is their not a limit to the capacity that the machine can cope with?
Incidentally, Diemmess, the old os is NT4 and the upgrade to XP can't start from there

  dan11 20:14 30 Jul 05

1. How do I find out what hard disk to get. Or more precisely what can the machine handle?

Download everest home click here. The NT machine is working? it should run on NT. This will tell you your motherboard details. Post them here.

2. What is the appropriate sequence of changes?

When you have found out what hard drive and memory you want. Disconnect the old drive, connect up new drive. Install extra memory. Adjust bios if needed. The load operating system onto the drive.
When fully loaded, connect the NT drive as slave. Then transfer important details over to new drive.

3. A full copy of XP costs about twice as much as the upgrade version so I can save £60+ by loading 98SE first. Are there any hidden snags?

No need to load 98se first, if you use the upgrade disk (XP) it will either ask for the 98se disk to be inserted or the code, in the XP installation. OEM will be cheaper and will not require the 98se disk or code. But they are restrictions with an OEM disk. The main one is that the disk can only be used with that machine, it will not be transferable, if say the machine total disintegrates.

4. Can I install 98SE on to a bare drive or do I need Dos first. I have Dos 6 among my souveniers. The earlier versions are on 5¼" floppies so aren't much use!

You will not need to, if you use XP. Every thing should be available from the XP cd. Even partitioning the drive can be done in the installation process.

  Strawballs 20:28 30 Jul 05

I have recently put a new 80gig HD in an old old 600meg Duron machine and as I got a HD I also got OEM of XP Home for £65.66 from click here and put the old drive back in as slave and delieted 98se. XP installed all of the MOBO drivers.

  phono 21:15 30 Jul 05

Can you give the exact model of your computer so I can do some research on it regarding HD sizes supported.

Some early Compaqs have a hidden partition on the hard drive which acts like the BIOS, if you put a new drive in one of these machines you have to download software to create a floppy disk that creates the required partition and installs the appropriate software on that partition before you can proceed to install the OS.

  Mr.Baz 18:43 31 Jul 05

Hi Phono
Thanks for the offer. The m/c is a Deskpro EN but I can't find anything that looks like a Model No. anywhere on it. In searching for memory I see that there is a long list of different models, mine seems to be the last of the series having a 1Ghz Pentium III processor. There is only one hard drive bay but three memory slots, some apparently only have two. I have found the original installation log if there is any usable information in there and the Serial number is 8130FHGZ128W ENS/P1.o/20e/6/128can UK

For the others who are interested the old drive has Windows NT4 and apparently the ugrade doesn't work with that

  phono 21:19 31 Jul 05

Try here click here for latest BIOS and drivers for XP home.

Still trying to establish the largest HD it will take although you could always put a HD controller card in it, if the BIOS supports booting from it of course.

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