How to install Windows 2000 on old laptop with a broken CD drive?

I have a 9-year old laptop and recently lost the hard drive. I want to buy a new hard drive, but then how do I install the operating system on it without a CD drive?

What if I connected the new hard drive that I buy to a different computer (a desktop with a working CD drive), via an external USB hard drive box, and then copied the folders on the Windows installation CD to the new hard drive? Then put the new hard drive in the old laptop, and install the OS from the copied folders? Would my BIOS give me a "C" prompt that would make that possible? Would the installation routine run or would it demand that I put a CD in the CD drive?

Or, what if I installed the OS to the new hard drive from a different computer, again, with the hard drive connected through an external USB hard drive box. If I then put the hard drive in my laptop, would it work? I realize it needs to detect my hardware, and this method wouldn't let it do that.

Thanks for any answers.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey Reggie,

    Sorry buddy, but there are too many 'unknowns' here. I can't be certain if this will work in your case, but you can try the following.

    Install the hard disk into another laptop. You'll need to find one that uses the same size HDD as your's. That would be the physical dimensions and connector.

    Now, you're going to install Windows 2000 only to the point of the first reboot. If you recall, when Windows installs it begins in a basic text mode screen, simulating graphics. After the first reboot a basic video driver is installed and your display runs in graphics mode.

    We don't want to complete that first boot. Watch the install carefully and as soon as all the files are copied to the HDD and the system begins to reboot TURN OFF THE POWER!!!

    Now, remove the HDD from the borrowed laptop and install it back into your old laptop.

    Press Power and if all goes well, the system will continue to install itself from the files it copied.

    If this works for you, reinstall your friends HDD in the borrowed laptop and boot that system. You'll need to network these two computers together so you can use the borrowed laptop's CD / DVD drive to copy all the install files across to your newly rebuilt laptop. Place them under the C: drive in a folder called W2Kcd (or some other folder name that's easy to remember). This way it's available from your HDD when you install other programs and such.

    Finally, take your friend out for coffee or supper for being such a good sport and loaning you their laptop to do this.

    Have a great one...

    Michael McLaughlin @ Iron Oak IT inc., Calgary, AB

  • 1 decade ago

    Simply copying files from the installation to the hard drive won't work, as it wouldn't put a boot sector on the hard drive. A better idea would be to run the install on the new computer and install it to the hard drive. Windows 2000 can still detect your hardware when you plug it into the old computer.

  • 1 decade ago

    Buy a new CD drive. Better yet Buy a new laptop

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