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  1. #1
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    Help with old Toshiba laptop

    I have an old Toshiba Satellite 420CDT. It has 40mb of RAM and 100mhz processor. I want to get it running again so I can install a bunch of old games, like Doom, Quake, etc. The issue is that the cd rom drive isn't recognized. It needs the drivers to be installed. I downloaded the drivers, but there is no way to get them on the laptop. The reason is because there is no floppy. What I am trying to do is to avoid buying that 2.5''IDE adapter because geeks.com wants 2.95 plus 7.00 DOLLARS SHIPPING LOL Call me cheap but I'm not paying almost 10 bucks for that crap. Also, I need to reinstall the OS. It has Windows 98 SE on it, but it is running terribly. When you open windows, crazy colors start appearing in the background for a few seconds, same with closing windows. Sometimes it doesn't fully shutdown, sometimes it doesn't fully boot up, and sometimes you can ONLY boot into safe mode. Other than that, it runs pretty well on that 100mhz Processor.

    What I want to do is figure out how to get that driver software on there so I can get the CD ROM working. The ports on the laptop are the PS2 port, some small port that has a floppy drive next to it, vga port, serial port, PCMCIA slots (2), SCSI port and head phone jack. Also, may I mention that there IS NO FLOPPY DRIVE!!1

    I have lots of junk laying around. Maybe I can use that junk to somehow get the file on there. But here is what I tried. I tried an external SCSI apple cd rom drive. One side went into the apple drive while the otherside I put it in the Serial port. The drive wasn't recognized. I tried an Iomega Zip drive, which connected into the serial port. The drive wasn't recognized.

    What I did was probably stupid, but I'm trying to get this thing working. Also, I have one of those USB to PS2 adapters. Can I put an HD in my External hard drive case, connect the USB cord into the USB to PS2 adapter, and plug it into the port? Will this work? LOL

    It's a cool little laptop. I like it. What I really like is that the battery still holds a charge.

    PLEASE HELP!!!!

  2. #2
    N00b squad Member corpsejockey's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Indiana
    No usb port? I had a 220cds, and it had a usb port in the back under a sliding cover. Anyway, you could also use a pcmcia network card, although you might run into a driver problem again with win98.

    Edit - If it has a dialup modem, you could use one of those isp free trials to get on the net and download the drivers.
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    HEAT

  3. #3
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    Nope, no USB port. Behind the little flip cover is some port with a floppy next to it, and some other port with a [...] as its icon. I have a wireless netgear PCMCIA card, but that won't work because I need the drivers to get it to work. Plus, there is no modem.

  4. #4
    N00b squad Member corpsejockey's Avatar
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    http://cgi.ebay.com/Laptop-2-5-to-3-...QQcmdZViewItem

    Cheap adapter on ebay - less than $1. You could probably make your own if you have the parts available.
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    HEAT

  5. #5
    Member ps2cho's Avatar
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    You could get a PCMCIA USB card.
    Main: i5-2500k @ 4.2GHz:.:P8Z77-V LE Plus Mobo:.:8GB DDR3 RAM:.:AMD 7870 2GB GPU:.:Corsair H50:.:Corsair 520HX PSU
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps2cho
    You could get a PCMCIA USB card.
    But that will probably require drivers, which would be on a cd that comes with the pcmcia card, which would be useless because the cd rom drive isn't recognized.

  7. #7
    dwschoon's Avatar
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    Is it recognized by the computer at all? If so, it should be recognized by windows. You could see if the bios allows boot from cd, then put a win98cd in and let it format/install. If the computer doesnt see the cd drive, then it could be a hardware problem.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by corpsejockey
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Laptop-2-5-to-3-...QQcmdZViewItem

    Cheap adapter on ebay - less than $1. You could probably make your own if you have the parts available.
    Problem solved - this is the only thing that will help you.
    Anyone need meat?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwschoon
    Is it recognized by the computer at all? If so, it should be recognized by windows. You could see if the bios allows boot from cd, then put a win98cd in and let it format/install. If the computer doesnt see the cd drive, then it could be a hardware problem.
    lol, I can't seem to figure out how to access the BIOS. I keep pressing the delete key but it doesn't work. What key am I supposed to press?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald McDonald
    lol, I can't seem to figure out how to access the BIOS. I keep pressing the delete key but it doesn't work. What key am I supposed to press?
    escape works on my toshiba. you should buy one of those adapters to make it easier on yourself


    NOTE: even in the 386 days, i dont remember a CD ROm driver ever being needed, even my samsung combo drive worked in windows 98 without any drivers. you might have a deeper problem there.
    Anyone need meat?

  11. #11
    dwschoon's Avatar
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    On my toshiba i keep hitting the escape key when i power up, then hit F1 when prompted. I can also hit F2 to access a boot order menu.

  12. #12
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    Cool thanks. ESC worked. I'm in the BIOS, and for boot priority is says "FDD-HDD." And if I press space, it says "HDD-FDD."

    I hope the drive isn't dead or hopefully there isn't something serious. I didn't think there was a need for a driver, but on driverguide.com there happened to be a driver for this cd rom. Hopefully, if I can get the driver on it, it will work.

    I'll probably buy that adapter though.

  13. #13
    dwschoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald McDonald
    Cool thanks. ESC worked. I'm in the BIOS, and for boot priority is says "FDD-HDD." And if I press space, it says "HDD-FDD."

    I hope the drive isn't dead or hopefully there isn't something serious. I didn't think there was a need for a driver, but on driverguide.com there happened to be a driver for this cd rom. Hopefully, if I can get the driver on it, it will work.

    I'll probably buy that adapter though.
    looks like your bios doesnt allow booting from cd. I have an old ibm thinkpad with a p166 that wont boot from cd. it is collecting dust because I dont have the floppy for it. looks like your only option is either an adapter or floppy drive.

  14. #14
    dwschoon's Avatar
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    You can get another laptop with floppy for about $40 on ebay if you shop around. Here is one.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/LAPTOP-TOSHIBA-S...QQcmdZViewItem

  15. #15
    dwschoon's Avatar
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwschoon
    looks like your bios doesnt allow booting from cd. I have an old ibm thinkpad with a p166 that wont boot from cd. it is collecting dust because I dont have the floppy for it. looks like your only option is either an adapter or floppy drive.
    I'll probably get the adapter or the floppy drive.

    I have a question though. If I do happen to get the cd rom working, would I be able to boot of the Windows 98 cd? Or would I not be able to since the BIOS doesn't allow me to boot from cd?

  17. #17
    dwschoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald McDonald
    I'll probably get the adapter or the floppy drive.

    I have a question though. If I do happen to get the cd rom working, would I be able to boot of the Windows 98 cd? Or would I not be able to since the BIOS doesn't allow me to boot from cd?
    To me it sounds like a function of the bios not having an option to boot from the cd. Ive searched for cd boot for your laptop on google, and it seems that the bios doesnt ever have an option to boot from cd. sounds like you need a floppy drive.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwschoon
    To me it sounds like a function of the bios not having an option to boot from the cd. Ive searched for cd boot for your laptop on google, and it seems that the bios doesnt ever have an option to boot from cd. sounds like you need a floppy drive.
    Yeah I decided to get one. I went to this computer parts place but they didn't have the external I was looking for. They only had USB ones. I'll see if I can find an external that would work with the Toshiba laptop first. If not, I'll get one of those non working laptops with a floppy from ebay.

    I appreciate your help!

  19. #19
    dwschoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald McDonald
    Yeah I decided to get one. I went to this computer parts place but they didn't have the external I was looking for. They only had USB ones. I'll see if I can find an external that would work with the Toshiba laptop first. If not, I'll get one of those non working laptops with a floppy from ebay.

    I appreciate your help!
    I found several compatable floppy drives on ebay. You shouldnt have to buy a whole laptop, unless you find one really cheap. Good Luck. Kinda makes me want to get my old thinkpad running. I never cracked it open. I wonder if I can pull the cpu and throw a p233mmx in it instead of the 166 in there now.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwschoon
    I found several compatable floppy drives on ebay. You shouldnt have to buy a whole laptop, unless you find one really cheap. Good Luck. Kinda makes me want to get my old thinkpad running. I never cracked it open. I wonder if I can pull the cpu and throw a p233mmx in it instead of the 166 in there now.
    lol A friend of mine happened to have one of those IDE adapters, so he gave it to me. I reinstalled Windows 98 on it by using my PC. After that, I stuck the hard drive back into the laptop. The cd rom drive now works!! Woo hoo! Now I'm going to try to get the Netgear PCI card working on it.

    I wonder if I can upgrade the cpu in the laptop. Something faster than the stock 100mhz cpu. I'd like to stick a bigger hd in there too. After the Windows install, there is only 25mb of disk space left on the tiny little 1.3gb HD. LOL that's one thing that really blows with this laptop.

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