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Bought nasa computers, system whiped ...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Dead, Dying or Booting Problems » Bought nasa computers, system whiped off, will start up « Previous Next »

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dana holbrook
Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 7:08 pm:   

i do not know if i am crazy or what , but my son talked me in to buying about 38 used computers from n.a.s.a. in houston , i have powered up almost all computers
all including 4 laptops come on showing need system disk , all are marked with tag showing system whiped clear , how do i load an operating system onto
them? i have a window 95, me and xp disc , do i need a boot disc ?? help , thank you,
some of these laptops made by sai show u.s. gov cost of 40,000$
some of the prolina servers show 18,000$
cost new ,i would gladly trade some equipment for help , also have over 40 pc 15,16,18,19 inch monitors and 21 printers , all working . any help
could be compensated ,

thank you dana holbrook

ps , this a father / son project to make money for a new car.
Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 9:20 pm:   

well, if they don't support boot by cd, then you can use a win98 startup disk, with copied as an added bonus. start then up, fdisk to see what the partition is, (i usually delete a partition if it's already there on a new machine), remake a new partition, using whatever space you feel you want too, in say, fat32 (large disk), then format it. you have to reboot in between each step of partitioning, and formatting. then install the os using the boot disk, for cd rom support, if yours do not have boot cd.

you need to have drivers handy also, for the hardware on the computers, most, if they're recent, will be able to be found on the web, if not, they you may have to find someone that has it, which can be a chore in itself. you can try the manufaturers web if they are still around, or post places such as here, and see if you have people help look for them, or have them archived like i do, i have primarily nividia and fic drivers, and some drivers handy for modems, or such, but until i know specs, i can't say if i have anything for you, i had a crash for my zip a long time ago, which wiped 700 megs of win95 info, but i think i have most the updates still for that os, transferred to cd rom, before i lost it all. ruined my zip disks i had the stuff on. darn click of death, heh. win98, and xp or 2000, will be easier, since they're fairly new.
Cecil Kent
Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 9:42 pm:   

You have a lot of work to do. You will need to know what hardware is on each computer and have the software for them. The three basic hardware devices on a computer are the video card, sound card, and modem.
The basics are as follows, use a win98 bootup disk to boot up the computer. At the a: prompt use fdisk and partition the hard drive for fat32. After that is done restart the computer, bootup on the same win98 bootup disk. At the a: prompt format the hard drive. When this is done change your dos prompt from a: to the drive letter of the cd-rom. In most cases it will be an e: prompt. Then insert the windows me cd into the cd-rom. Type SETUP at the dos prompt and then press the enter key.
The second way is using windows me cd to boot up on. Just put in the cd and reboot the computer. If this doesn't work check in cmos and see if you can change the first boot device to the cdrom. If all fails just use the first set of instructions.
I know there are other ways in doing this, but we are talking basics here and this should get you up and running.
Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 7:18 pm:   

win , Cecil ,

thanks , I am an machinist and run c.n.c. machines with cad-cam g-code programming , virtual Gibbs / master / AutoCAD I am failure with programming and turning on computers only , I always took mine to the shop ! for repair.

I am somewhat failure with finding software drivers on line and have down loaded to floppy and installed on another computer , for printers ,etc
I think I can get drivers for video ,sound and modem .

I only have a win 95 cd and made boot disc on older computer I have.

I also have windows pro xp , but most of these systems are Pentium 2 and 3 systems.

were can I get a win 98 boot disc and windows 98 or me c-d ??

I have been hooking up the computers and using win 95 boot from older computer , I was in comos/ bios set-up and writing down hard drive size / type processor
I did not thank to change start-up to c-d drive read first , with win 95 cd in cd drive.

when you say at a: prompt use fdisk and partion the hard drive for fat 32

i am lost , i was at a: prompt trying to put a:e/run/setup": and enter to run win 95 c-d

but it did not work

how do you prompt fdisk ?"

how do partion for fat 32 ?

after restarting how do you format the drive

i also have about 10 sony and mitsubishi 19 and 20 inch monitors that have
no cable for standard 1 plug only 6 to 8 connectors that look like single
vidieo audieo female plugs , i found about 4 computers ( digital servers )
that have these connections , are you familur with these

also none of these came with plugs or keyboards , i have a few but all the dells and
compacs use a smaller plug than old computers ones i have is this a newer plug .

my compac has usb connectors

how do you load operating systems on laptops that do not have cd drives ??

I have 2 dells and one Toshibas and 2 sai that were up in space , these laptops
were marked as all i bought with a tag showing original cost

just the two sai were 78 ,000 $ i will sell for 100$

I have one compac prolina that has 7 hard drives and says 18,000$ it said
1997 is this worth anything ?
do you load win 98 on this?

I thank you for your help , so far 32 of 38 computers have fired up .

any help will be greatly appreciated and if your help gets me on the road .

I know some of this equipment you may want

barter is ok with me all I need is knowledge and some patience

thanks , Dana Holbrook 936-377-4637
Cecil Kent
Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 9:05 pm:   

To start with, find someone that has win98 on their computer. On the win98 computer go to the control panel and click on the add/remove programs icon. After the screen pops up look at the tabs at the top. One will read startup disk, click on it. From there just insert a 3.5 floppy in its drive and click on create disk.
This bootup disk is like the win95 disk, but the difference is that it allows you access to a cd-rom drive and also allows you to partition the hard drive to a fat32 system. This bootup disk should work on all your computers including any laptops.
Now with that said and done. You must determine which computers will get win98 or win95. By the way you can still buy win98 at any store that deals in software.
The rule of thumb that I use is if the cpu speed is 133 mhz or less use win95. All else use win98. You also must consider how much memory is in each computer. Win95 can run on as little as 4meg. I do recommend at least 16meg. win98 can run on 16meg, but I recommend a least 32meg. The rule of thumb here is the more memory the better.
If you need to add memory do so. If you choose not to use win95.
Next on the list is what version of win95 do you have? There are two, win95a and win95b. I hope you have win95b, because it will make things a bit easier to deal with. I hope this will help separate out your computers.
Next on the list is partitioning and formating the hard drive. In the interest in saving time go to this link
It will give you all the info on partitioning a hard drive.
One last note, if your using win95a partition the hard drive to a fat16 system. If your using win95b or win98 partition the drive to a fat32 system.
This should keep you busy for quite awhile.

On the subject of some machines not having a cd-rom drive, you can use a serial cable between two computers and copy the operating system to the computer that doesn,t have a cd-rom drive. Also you can check to see if these computers have a ethernet card installed, if so two cables and a hub will work best.
Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 6:54 pm:   


thanks i have win 95 b and i got the first computer to load the the operating system
the laptops have all got ethernet cards and all came in cases with all plugs and extra batteries
the link to partion drive help worked well.

did you know how the large 19 to 21 inch
sony monitors hook up i have never seen
connections like these , they are 4 female plugs that list audio / vidio.

i want to thank you for your time and help

i belive ( hope ) i can get most of these
computers working and in the process
my son and i can learn computer repair, the basics

thanks , dana holbrook
Cecil Kent
Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 7:52 pm:   

Can't help on the monitor problem. You may find some help at this web site.

Good Luck
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 9:09 pm:   

cecil and win ,
thanks the monitor site and driver guide worked well,

i have booted up 3 computers with win 95
worked well with your help , thanks
i got a win98se disc and win98se boot disc.
on 3 computors i have tried after fdisk
and partion drive in fat 32 , then formating

when i change to e drive and then enter setup
the cd drivers blink on and off and then i get






Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 3:03 pm:   

drivers for the boot disk can be one problem, winxx has most generic drivers, but on some computers, you need a specific driver for the cd rom. or, it can be a bios setting. or, it can be a cd rom that's failing. um, i have another disk that you may try, it's for deleting partitions such as ntfs or linux, but does all, it has more drivers on it, you can try booting up on it, and then switch to the win xx boot disk at the command prompt, then see if the computer reads the cdrom. i'd have to send it to you email or file transfer, but it fits on a floppy disk.

another thing i forgot to mention, is, if they wiped the computers just by formatting and any such as the servers are or were unix based partitions, you wouldn't necessarily be able to partition with a 98 disk, you'd need this disk to delete that partition(s) so you can create a new one.
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 6:15 am:   

win ,

if you can send by e-mail that would be great,

i think you are right that c-d may be bad.

I tried the win 98 disc , the boot disc worked fine .

when I try to load the c-d , at prompt after portioning drive and formatting , I get an error 101 cannot read drive "e"

I tried on three computers one that had an Adaptec 40 x burner , still not working

I then tried to use c-d on computer with win 95 loaded and it auto booted but when I tried to update it got alarm fault can not read drive " d"

I think the c-d has is no good maybe like my
computer i always slow down burn speed.

i hope this is it , what do you think ?

i hope your job search went well

thanks again , dana holbrook
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 2:10 pm:   

ok, sending it, you have to unzip it to a formatted floppy disk, just the contents of the file, no folders.
Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2002 - 9:02 pm:   

win , cecil, I don't know why 1st disc did not work , but the second disc i got worked great ! loading like you told me . thanks , I loaded 4 computers with win 98 last night all of them loaded with no faults

what has surprised me is a got a stack of 14 pc hp LaserJet printers and I figured most
printers were junk but the first 4 I hooked up to above computers work great !

these printers fly and they sound like a jet engine and print out 10 pages like 1 minute

, you can put in 2 inch of paper and there are quiet , but weigh like 200 lbs .

again thanks for the help , Dana Holbrook
Posted on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 1:44 pm:   

lol, good! well, as i said, the first disk is a win98 boot disk, generic drivers for most, but not all cd roms. also, it cannot delete a unix partition. the other i sent was basically delpar. it has more drivers, and can delete the unix, ntfs, and linux partitions as well as fat partitions. it will allow you to go and delete all partitions and load it's own set of cd rom drivers, you can pick one actually from a list, then switch to the windows boot disk to repartition and format, even though it can be used to recreate a partition.
Posted on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 1:46 pm:   

oh, HP is a darn good brand for printer, good quality and tech support. it's all i will ever use.
Posted on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 7:29 pm:   

Win is quite correct for his assessment on HP printers. It's the only one I recommend.
Posted on Monday, September 30, 2002 - 8:12 pm:   

win , cecil ,

the printers do work well ,

i have been havinggood luck booting
computers by seeking c-d rom first with
win xp pro , i was surprised that after booting up 6 pc computers with 300mhz or better computers that i have booted 3 more with
233mhz processers that had 2.5 gig h-drives
one other had a 187 mhz processer!1
i have left them on for 5 days running music on
media player looped and all 10 are still running!!!

i was told xp would not work with
300mhz or less ?

but now let me trouble with this problem

i have a compac proliat 4000
series 3115 mainframe

this has 6pc 20 gig hard drives

it boots up and xp disc but says system will not boot from cd

it has a compac bios that has self test that checks and shows all disc and two floppy drives

do i need a boot disc for this system only ??

it shows in test that c-d hasbootable software but will not work

says system not bootable from c-d

it does not regonize win 98 floopy
it says system not bootable

when i run self test it shows no errors

does win xp have a floppy boot disc??
i have not seen one

can you load xp on another hard disc and plug
into a another computer , i have not tried this?

thanks again for the help

ps : if you need any monitors or printers let me know , i will give big discount , thanks

thanks dana
Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2002 - 1:21 pm:|ProLiant%204000 there's some info on that brand.

as far as the server itself, you can go get a copy of linux and use it. it's cheaper. it doesn't seem to have a recomendation for XP. this is a server, not a workstation, and an older product,so you'd need win nt, win2000 server, novell, or linux to run it. ah, i looked up linux 7.3. looks like compaq has some software for it. i think that's your best best, i am not sure if linux 8.0 from redhat will do, but it should. it just came out on the 30th of sept. you can probably pick up a copy from a friend who has cable or dsl and can download the iso's directly from the net, and burn it to cd for free, not cost but time. or, you can go to the store and buy a copy for way cheaper than any of the others.

what's the exact model of it? 4000? or 4000R? is the page for software/firmware for redhat 7.3

as far as the recommended specs for XP, it's a minimum, not what it will run on, it'll run slow, and might have issues if not run on the proper mhz, memory, harddrive space, etc on the computer.
Posted on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 7:54 pm:   

win ,cecil.

win thanks for the info , the computer with linix7.3 , it works great,

i want to think both of you for your help , my son and i have booted 18 computers , most with windows xp some with 98se

i have sold 11 computer systems with monitor , mouse , keyboard , speakers and laser and older printers .

i got 500$ for two compacs with hp 4 printers and 200$ to 300$ for the rest

i then sold 14 monitors for 25$ each and 4 printers for 150$

i am surprized that used computers have a market in the small town i live after putting add in the paper most sold by word of mouth.

with my original investment of 1,200$ plus 275$ in parts

i have still netted over 3,000$ ( my sons new car money )

and my son and i each have a laptop and his own computer plus i still have a garage of parts
and 7 computers to sell .

what surprized me is after each sale that person told family and friends and i would sell them one , one guy bought 4 computers ,

i did not think the market in the country was that good for sale of computers , i was wrong.

again thanks

if your are in texas look me up

dana & william holbrook
Posted on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 8:47 pm:   

Your Welcome
Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 2:13 am:   

you're welcome, and there is a market. not everyone wants, needs, or can afford a new pc or parts to replace burnt out equipment. with linux becoming the new fad, a lot of people are learning and switching to it, and the old computers have the hardware that linux programmers have made drivers for. monitors are expensive even still. i buy them from a recycle place here about $80 for a 17 inch, since paying out $800 for a brand new viewsonic a few years ago......bleh. too much money even though it rocks. i've been taking my old stuff and after an upgrade, i build a new pc with the older parts and either sell it, or give it away (donate). i don't have the room to have tons of computer parts and if it goes to a worthy cause, that's fine by me.

by the way, i may have to move soon, to nevada, and possibly won't have an internet connection of my own for awhile, but have use of another persons. so until i know for sure, you can still e-mail me at my current address. if i move, i'll give you my hotmail or yahoo address if you need further contact, i'm keeping those accounts.
lavelle chase
Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 9:27 am:   

Help, my CD tray is stuck and won't open. What can I do? Thanks for any help
Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 12:38 pm:   

is it that it won't work at all? or that it just won't open for a particular reason? if you get a paperclip and use one end to push in the small hole you find in the front of the drive, it should open it up for you. if it's that it won't work at all...then it's more than likely you either have a problem with windows detecting the drive properly or that it's kaput.

for the windows detection, you can reboot into safe mode and in device manager, delete all cdrom drives you find there, then reboot and windows should redetect it.
Jerry Wheeler
Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2003 - 6:19 pm:   

How do I put a new BIOS in a computer that I think has lost it's own because if I'm right the batery went dead.

I realy need help.

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