Problem Loading XP on Ancient Dell Laptop

November 27, 2010 at 18:15:45
Specs: Windows XP, Pent II-266 128Mbs ram
Hey Guys, got a good one for ya’… I’m totally stumped! I’m working on a Dell Laptop, a Latitude CPi D266XT. It had Windows 98 on it, but after having problems connecting to the internet with a NetGear MA521, I decided to update to Windows XP so that I could use a Linksys WPC600N for the wireless network. Then I discovered that I couldn’t get the laptop to boot up from a CD and when I went into BIOS to reset the boot up priorities I found that the option area for that wasn’t highlighted allowing me to change the line up. So after researching the internet for a day or so, I figured that I would just take out the hard drive and hook it up to my desktop and load XP. About halfway through the setup it rebooted and I got the B s O D, saying that I needed to run a disk scan. So now that leaves us at this point… the drive is back in the laptop and when booting up, just after it clears the BIOS data screen it gives me this message:
Please select the operation system to start:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Unidentified operating system on drive C.
Use the up and down arrow keys……..

At this point I hit enter and the white loading bar comes up and then freezes and that’s it. All I can do from there is just shut it off. Bios still disallows changing boot up sequence… First device is Diskette Drive, Second device is Internal HDD and Third device is None. I have no idea where to go from here guys. Is there a way to force a boot from CD so that I can complete loading XP? I’d really appreciate your input! Thanks!!

See More: Problem Loading XP on Ancient Dell Laptop

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November 27, 2010 at 18:25:03
You can't install XP on one system then swap the HDD into another & expect it to boot. At the very least, you'll have to do a "repair installation" in the laptop to get it to work. You're not going to be able to tolerate XP with just 128MB RAM anyway. IMO, you're wasting your time.

Try this:

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November 27, 2010 at 18:37:25
if you can download this and create a bootable cd:

then boot from the cd and see if it will recognize either of those wireless cards.
You might get lucky.


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November 27, 2010 at 19:45:33
larryf215: the OP can't boot from CD... and that's only the first of many problems Redeye7 is going to encounter, not least of which is that 128mb RAM. mickliq is quite right... this is going to be as much fun as watching paint dry, at best... and that's if you can actually get the thing going past many more hurdles and actually get to a desktop. Good luck doing anything past that.

"I've got a good one for ya... ..I decided to update to Windows XP...". That was a really bad move, really bad. If you can, get Win98 re-installed back on there, and deal with a much smaller problem (as you should have done in the 1st place: the NetGear MA521). Now, it's even more complicated than it was. A "clean" installation of Win98 is likely the best/fastest/simplest, and certainly most satisfying experience you're gonna get with that hardware configuration. It takes more than "kewl talk"...

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Related Solutions

November 27, 2010 at 21:34:32
Thanks guys... kinda thought I messed up pretty bad! If I could get it to boot from the CD, I'd be able to load 98 back up. I'll see if I can figure out how to get 98 back on it! Sure do appreciate all your help. Thanks for your clarity, Larry, sure gives me the direction to go in!

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November 27, 2010 at 21:48:25
Dell™ Latitude™ CP and CPi

256mb max


Apparently this model has a modular bay - you can install a floppy drive module or a CD drive module (or another hard drive in a module) in it, but you can't "hot swap" the drives.

If you're going to install XP, you should install the max ram you can install - 256mb.

See the info at mickliq's link in response 1.

That should work for booting from the XP CD or any bootable CD because it's for the exact same model.

If CDRom doesn't show up as a choice, the CDRom module may have a poor connection at it's connector - try shutting down the computer, unplugging the CD drive from the modular bay, and plugging it back in, making sure it's plugged in all the way, then try again.

If you still can't get that to work, there is a method you can use when you can't boot from the CD drive, and if you can't have a floppy drive and a CD drive installed at the same time or "hot swap" them, but you need at least a, say, 4gb hard drive or larger, and you need to
- use an inexpensive laptop IDE to desktop IDE data/power adapter and hook the drive up to a desktop IDE cable on another computer,
- or - install the hard drive in an IDE external drive enclosure and connect it via USB (to a port that can actually supply 500ma) to another computer that has ME or preferably 2000 or up on it.
- or - use some other type of adapter that accomplishes the same thing.

On the other computer...
- don't boot from your hard drive
- you delete all partitions on your hard drive
- then you install an older operating system on a SMALL partition - don't choose the default size that fills the drive E.g. install Dos 7 or Win 98 or Win 98SE on a 2gb (2,048 mb) partition. Make the small partition in 2000 or up in Disk Management (it has to be a FAT partition or preferably a FAT32 partition, not a NTFS partition) .
- Copy the \i386 folder and it's contents from the XP CD to that partition.

- install the hard drive on your computer
- boot and load the older operating system.
- Run XP's Setup by running a command - C:\I386\winnt.exe
Install it on - make a new partition on - the remaining un-allocated space on the drive.
You will then have a dual boot situation.

- if you want to recover the space used by the Dos 7 or whatever os installation
- copy the \i386 folder from the Dos 7 or whatever partition to the XP partition, for possible future use.
- use a third party partition manipulation program in XP to delete the Dos 7 or whatever partition, and add the unallocated space to the C partition.
E.g. install the freeware Easeus Partition Master Home Edition.
- edit boot.ini to eliminate the Dos 7 or whatever os choice and the dual boot situation.

The same method (or a very similar method for 2000) can be used to install XP or 2000 on netbooks that have no built in optical drive (XP's and 2000' s CD cannot recognize most models of USB optical drives).


Install Windows XP without floppy or cd drives
5 pages
- uses the laptop IDE to desktop IDE data/power adapter
- uses Dos 7.1 - scroll down to the download to make a Dos 7.1 CD
- he neglects mentioning the partition Dos 7 is installed on should not fill the drive

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November 28, 2010 at 05:20:25
Impatient: didn't response #1 let the OP know how to boot from the CD? Also from the link in response # 5:

FDD/CD-ROM/HDD causes your computer to attempt to boot first from a bootable diskette.

If the computer does not detect a diskette in the diskette drive, it tries to boot from the CD-ROM drive. If the computer then does not detect a CD in the CD-ROM drive, it attempts to boot from the hard-disk drive.


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November 29, 2010 at 18:25:35
Thank you IMpatient and Tubes... sure do appreciate both of your replies. I just took the CD module out and put it back in a couple of times. It still does not give me the option of change boot up priority in bios. But you both gave me some more direction and options. I'm definitely going to attempt getting Win98 back on it to start with and then go from there. If I can at least get it to boot up again in 98, that'll be over half the battle! Thanks again guys!

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November 30, 2010 at 07:46:51
Win 98 and 98SE run very well with 128mb of ram, more so if you're using a graphics card in a slot rather than onboard video.
Which do you have ? If you're not sure, Second Edition is printed on the CD if it's 98SE.

You will get much better overall performance in 98 or 98SE with your old computer than you will in XP, but there are advantages and drawbacks to using 98 or 98SE.

If you're determined to use XP, we strongly advise that you install the max ram that can be installed in your laptop - 256mb. XP just barely works as it was intended to when you have 256mb of ram and integrated video. Your Windows swap file on the hard drive will be accessed a lot more if you have only 128mb of ram, resulting in a lot more thrashing of the hard drive than you had in 98 or 98SE.

I have one computer that still has 98SE on it and I use it nearly every day - K6III-450 cpu - so I have learned how to have it run better on the internet these days.
An advantage - I haven't needed to install any anti-malware software on it for about 2 years - the recent malware isn't targetting ME and older operating systems anymore. The most I need to do is close the internet browser or reboot the system when I get malware popping up while on the internet.
A BIG disadvantage - the IE version that 98 and 98SE comes with is useless (4.x in 98's case; 5.x in 98SE's case) on the internet now.You need to install at least IE 6, then the IE 6 SP2 updates, but even with that there are a lot of web pages that no longer work or no longer work well (long delays loading script) in IE 6 SP2. I have found that the last version of Netscape works better, and more recently, that you get even better results with Opera - versions up to and including version 10.10 support you using ME and below fully, and you can even load the latest version if you don't mind that ME and below are not 100% supported for all features.
Another disadvantage - the highest Adobe Flash version you can load is 9.x. Many web pages use Adobe Flash. Most Flash content will work fine with that, but you sometimes get prompted to update your your Flash version - don't bother trying that - a newer version won't install.
98 and 98SE don't have built in support for recognizing USB flash drives or memory card readers or USB external drives or USB 2.0 controllers, but there are some very good generic USB drivers you can load that will add that support for many USB devices.

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November 30, 2010 at 21:04:22
Wow, great information, Tubes! I'm definitely going to go back to Win98 if I can get it to load. I do have a copy of the 2nd Edition. I just haven't taken the hard drive back out and plugged into the desk top yet, guess I've been dreading it and also watching the grandkids for a few days. I'll get back to it in the next day or two and post my results first chance I get! Thanks again for all your help...sure do appreciate it!

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November 30, 2010 at 22:01:12
For Win ME and below, you use Fdisk to delete the existing XP partition(s), then make at least one new one - it's better if you don't have only one partition on the hard drive - specify something smaller than the default size that fills the drive for the first one - 1,024 mb per gb - so that you have a small partition in the remaining space you can store data on you don't want to lose if you ever need to load Windows from scratch. You can software partition (using FAT for partitions max 2gb, or, usually, FAT32 ) each partition with Fdisk - , the first one must be vmade Active, if it isn't made that way automatically. Then run Format on each partition, e.g. format C: , format D:, etc. Then you type Setup at the prompt.
You can boot from the 98SE CD to run Fdisk, Format, and Setup.
You must delete any NTFS partition on the hard drive with Fdisk because 98SE (ME and below) can't recognize NTFS partitions.

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December 1, 2010 at 21:24:56
Here’s an update… Tubes, I used your instructions and plugged the hard drive back into the other PC and finally got enough 98 installed to get the hard drive back into the laptop and finished loading up. The only problem is that the display is only 2/3 of the screen and that’s after loading up the video driver from Dell’s support site. I saw somewhere that someone updated the monitor driver, too, but haven’t been able to find one yet.
And that pretty much leaves me back at the original problem…
I’ve got the latest driver and utility software loaded for this Netgear MA521 Wireless PC card. The networks in the neighborhood are detected, including mine, however when pinging packets are sent out but not received. I just can’t seem to figure it out. It’s just not connecting! Anyway, thanks millions guys… Tubes… great instructions… got me loaded and running, wouldn’t have gone back again and gotten done without ya’!

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December 1, 2010 at 22:27:12
"The only problem is that the display is only 2/3 of the screen and that’s after loading up the video driver from Dell’s support site."

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

The main chipset "drivers" include info that tells windows how the main chipset supports video.

Does Dell have the Win 98SE main chipset drivers on their web site in the downloads for your model ?
If they do, did you install them ?

If they don't, as I recall, the 440BX main chipset drivers are NOT built into 98SE. If that's the case, you need to get the LAPTOP version of the 440BX drivers from the Intel web site and install them. The LAPTOP version supports devices and features that are found on laptop computers but not on desktop computers.

"I saw somewhere that someone updated the monitor driver, too, but haven’t been able to find one yet."

In most if not all cases, at least with laptops newer than yours, the monitor drivers are embedded in the brand name's video drivers for your specific model. If Dell doesn't list monitor drivers for your model, either that's your case, or you're supposed to load laptop LCD display drivers that are already built into 98SE.

RIGHT click on a blank part of your main desktop screen - choose Properties - that takes you to Display Properties .
Click on the Settings tab.
What does it show there ? What monitor on what video adapter ?

If it says Default monitor on the proper video adapter,
Plug and Play Monitor on the proper video adapter,
then you need to load laptop LCD display drivers. You could try loading one of the ones built into 98SE first, but there's not many of them.
Click on the Advanced button on the Settings window, click on the Monitor tab, click on
Display a list..., Next
Show all Hardware
In the list on the left, scroll UP to (Standard Display Types)
Try choosing a Laptop Display Panel that has the proper resolution the same as your laptop.
Close the Monitor window
OK on the Display Properties window.

"I’ve got the latest driver and utility software loaded for this Netgear MA521 Wireless PC card. The networks in the neighborhood are detected, including mine, however when pinging packets are sent out but not received. I just can’t seem to figure it out. It’s just not connecting! "

Setting up a wireless network connection is not as straight forward as (as easy as) setting up a wired network connection.

If you're connecting to your own wireless router, the Security settings in your wireless adapter's settings must be compatible with the Security settings in the router's configuration settings.

If you want to connect to someone else's router, your wireless adapter's settings for THAT connection must be compatible with the Security settings in THAT router's configuration settings.

You must choose a wireless connection to connect to. You can only connect to one wireless connection at a time with a particular wireless adapter.

You can't connect to the internet via a wired and a wireless connection at the same time on the same computer - one or the other.
If you have both a wired and wireless connection to a router from the same computer, disconnect the wired connection while you're setting up your wireless adapter's internet connection, after you can connect to your router wirelessly.

If you look for available wireless networks in you wireless utility and you see "security enabled" or similar for a connection, then when you try to connect to that connection, if your security settings for that connection - most likely the encryption key string or password - are NOT right, you WILL NOT be able to connect to that wireless connection, until you supply the right type of and right encryption key or password.

For the connection to your own router that you can access physically
- the SSID must be the same - the label you see for your router when you look at your available wireless connections list
- the type of encryption must be the same
- the encryption key or password must be the same
- in Win 98SE, the wireless channel used may need to be the same (2000 and above can auto detect whatever channel it is the router is using in Window's Wireless Zero utility).

If you don't know what the Security settings are for a router that has "security enabled" or similar
- in someone else's router, you can't access it unless that person chooses to tell you their settings - at the very least the encryption type and key or password, maybe more.

- in your own router, you need to access it's configuration settings. If you can't connect to it wirelessly, then you MUST connect to the router on a computer that is connected to it via a network cable - your computer, or another computer in your local network.

The manual for the router tells you
- the URL you use in your internet browser to access the router's configuration log in screen
- the default user name and password you use to access the configuration settings

If you're not sure what to do there, we need the make and model of your wireless router.

In 98SE (ME? and below to Win95) you also must have File and Printer Sharing enabled in your Network settings in Control Panel in order to send data back and forth between computers in your local network, or to share a printer over the network with other computers that don't have a printer directly connected to them. Your computer, and the other computers on your local network, will be able to access the internet even when that's NOT enabled.
All the computers in your local network must use the same Workgroup name - the default one, or preferably a custom one.

If you're sharing a printer directly connected to a computer on the local network,
- the printer model must be set to Share in it's own settings too - RIGHT click on the model - Sharing - Shared As.
- you must install drivers for the printer on all the computers on the network that you want to share the printer with - on the computers that are not directly connected to it, you install it (Add a printer) as a Network printer.
In 98SE (ME? and below), you must also select the folders or whole drives you want to Share in the folder's or drive letter's settings, by RIGHT clicking on a folderor drive letter, after File and Printer Sharing has been enabled on the computer, and choosing Sharing - Shared as, and the Access type.
Shared folders and drives (and printers) will have a tiny hand icon ontop of their normal one.

NOTE that you may need to reboot after changing network related settings in 98SE (ME? and below to Win95) in order for them to be applied.

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December 2, 2010 at 22:33:52
Well, again, you nailed it Tubes. I’ve updated the video, VGA adapter and found some chipset downloads and I’ve got a full screen once again and 256 colors. So that just leaves me with the problem of not getting a connection to the network. I got into my U-Verse modem settings and tried to find some security and encryption settings that resembled settings in the MA521 configuration and didn’t see anything other than the channel that it’s operating on and they’re both on channel 9. I know it’s got to be something simple in the configuration but I still just can’t put my finger on it. Unfortunately the D266XT doesn’t come with a port/connection to hook up to the modem with a cable. Two to three weeks ago I found this website and followed these instructions also. I'm not sure if there's something in there that wasn't quite right or that I didn't follow close enough. So, I’m still trying to find the configuration or setting that’s incorrect and not letting me connect. The network connection icon shows the green monitor and above it the symbol on the left is red and the symbol on the right is green with red on the very top edge of it. I’m not sure if that’s indicating partial connectivity or not! So, I’ll give it another shot tomorrow. Again, thank you for all of your help, Tubes. I can’t believe this laptop is actually working again. We’ll see what tomorrow brings!!!

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December 3, 2010 at 09:27:34
".....I’ve got a full screen once again and 256 colors..."

A filled screen - good.
256 colors - not good - you probably should be able to select a higher number of colors in Display Properties - Settings.

If you can't.....

RIGHT click on a blank part of your main desktop screen - choose Properties - that takes you to Display Properties .
(or - Start - Settings - Control Panel - Display Properties)
Click on the Settings tab.
What does it show there ? What monitor on what video adapter ?

"...we've got the newer AT&T modem which has the wireless system built into it..."

We need the MODEL of it !
If it was proved to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), we also need their name - the configuration settings may have default settings tailored to your ISP's wishes, and in that case, the ISP's web site often has a custom made manual for it.

Standalone high speed modems have no configuration settings you need to access - only standalone routers and combo router / high speed modems have that. When it's a combo (combination of) router / high speed modem, the configuration settings are for it's router.

When I refer to settings for the router in the following, that also applies to the router in a combo router / high speed modem.

".....the D266XT doesn’t come with a port/connection to hook up to the modem with a cable."

As I said above....

"If you don't know what the Security settings are for a router that has "security enabled" or similar

- in your own router, you need to access it's configuration settings. If you can't connect to it wirelessly, then you MUST connect to the router on a computer that is connected to it via a network cable - your computer, or another computer in your local network. "

OR - if another computer on your local can connect to the router wirelessly, then you can access the router's configuration that way too, but that's NOT recommended when you are going to be changing settings - a wired connection is much more reliable.

I have not tried to use a wireless network adapter with a system as old and slow as yours, but I have used a wireless G one with someone else's original Athlon system - 500mhz slot A - in ME and I set it up for her to connect to a combo wireless router / high speed modem, and later a wireless router, using encryption, in the next room.
ME was first released in the last month or last few months of 1999 - 98SE was first released in the spring or summer of the same year, so ME isn't much newer than 98SE.

"decided to update to Windows XP so that I could use a Linksys WPC600N for the wireless network."

Apparently that's an older PCMCIA (PC CARD) network adapter (Cisco no longer makes it) , and drivers are available for it for only 2000 and XP.

Do you already have that or were you intending on getting one ?

If you already have it, does it plug into the card slot?
If it can't physically plug in, you can't use it.
There's no such thing as an adapter you can use to adapt it if it doesn't physically plug in.

Recent PC Card network adapters, and as far as I have seen, all wireless ones, are Type II 32 bit - if your card slot supports only 16 bit cards, the adapter won't physically plug in, but 16 bit cards can be used in it.

The configuration settings are inside the router or combo router / high speed modem itself and have no operating system minimum requirement, other than you probably must have Win 98 - the original version - or possibly 98SE minimum - or above on the computer, and have a wireless utility that came with the wireless adapter that will run in the operating system if it's ME or below. You may not be able to use the wireless N in wireless N mode - 5.0 ghz mode - because of hardware or main chipset limitations, but you can use it in wireless G mode - it behaves like a "super" wireless G adapter at 2.4ghz - cheaper wireless N adapters and routers can't use 5.0ghz in any case.

"Winipcfg just shows subnet.. same thing!"

The first thing you see when you run winipcfg are the the specs for the PPP adapter.
Ignore that !
That's always shown zeros for both for me - that has nothing to do with your wireless (or wired) network adapter.
Place your cursor on the down arrow to the right of box PPP is shown in, select your wireless adapter.

Tell us what you see there.

The first line should show the MAC address of the wireless adapter - it's unique identity code. 00-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx
x being any of 0 to 9 or A to F (16 possibilities) - the first two are always zeros.

There are no capital Os or lower case Ls in that.

If it's connecting to a router, the second line should show
xxx being 1 to 3 numbers any of 0 to 255 (256 possibilities)
That's the address the router has assigned that particular network adapter.

The third line shows the Subnet Mask address. If it's connecting to a router, that's determined by the router.

If it's connecting to a router, the fourth line shows the IP address the router is using.
yyy can be 1 to 3 numbers 0 to 255 (256 possibilities) , but usually it's one digit under 9, often 1.
If you have more than one physical network adapter, that is the same for all of them that connect to same router.
The second line has at least one digit different in the last three numbers for each adapter connected to the same router, the rest of the address is identical to that of the router - the xxx in is the same.

When that is set to the wireless adapter, click on tye More info button.

Host name - the Workgroup name, if a local network has been set up

DNS Servers, Default Gateway, and DHCP Server should be the same when you're connecting through a router - , the same as the fourth line in the previous winipcfg window.
IP address should be the same as in the second line of the previous winipcfg window.

Node Type - if your wireless adapter is connecting to the internet, it's usually Broadcast.

The last two lines - if your wireless adapter is connecting to the internet, you will see a date and times there.

You pointed to:
Setting or Changing Your IP Address:
Windows 95 or Windows 98

Usually you DO NOT need to change your IP address settings !
In most cases, the default settings the router, or the wired or wireless adapter if it's not connected to a router, uses are what your ISP requires - there are exceptions, but we would need to know which ISP (Internet Service Provider) you are using in order to look that up.
If you have other computers connected to the same router, and they connect to the internet fine, and if a local network has been setup between the comuters and that's working, the IP address and Subnet Mask should be the same on the Win 98SE computer. If other computers connected to the same router have 2000 or above on them, you can use run - cmd, then ipconfig /all to see those (a space between ipconfig and /all).
If you DO need to change the IP address, usually you change it ONLY for the router (you must do that in the router's configuration settings) , or if you not using a router, ONLY for the wired or wireless adapter you're using (you must do that in the operating system).

(Not using a router = when there is no router between the network adapter and the standalone high speed modem ( or the combo router / modem high speed modem has the router disabled in it's configuration ) - only one connection can be made to the internet.)

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December 4, 2010 at 00:17:02
I went to the display settings and the max colors that it will allow is 256, which isn’t going to bother my friend that owns this. She has a desktop that she’ll do anything requiring graphics or color on. The Display reads: Laptop Display Panel (1024x768) on NeoMagic MagicGraph 128XD.

The model of my ISP’s modem is: 3800HGV-B by 2Wire Gateway. My ISP is AT&T Yahoo. My network consists of the afore mentioned modem connected via cable to a home-built desktop, two wireless laptops and one Kodak wireless printer.

As you mentioned, the Dell has ’98 on it so it won’t support the Linksys PC card, so I’m stuck trying to connect with this NetGear MA521.

Winipcfg IP Configuration shows Adap. Add.:00-09-5B-21-93-88 IP Add.: Subnet Mask: Default Gateway: Under Host Information the DNS Servers: Node Type is:Broadcast. DHCP Server is blank as is everything below it… guess I’m definitely not connecting.

All of the pieces of the network connect fine up to this point. There's just something about this Dell! Thank you again, Tubes! Time to hit the rack.

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December 4, 2010 at 20:40:06
"...the max colors that it will allow is 256, which isn’t going to bother my friend that owns this. She ..." "....The Display reads: Laptop Display Panel (1024x768) on NeoMagic MagicGraph 128XD."

" friend that owns this. She ..."


According to.....

Latitude CPi D266XT
Dell™ Latitude™ CP and CPi

System chipset: Intel Mobile 440BX PCIset
Latitude CPi D300XT
Latitude CPi D266XT
Latitude CPi D233ST

PC Card controller Texas Instruments PCI 1131 CardBus controller
PC Card connectors 2 (type I or type II cards can be used in any combination; type III cards can be used only in the bottom connector)
Data width:
PCMCIA 16 bits
CardBus 32 bits
(so your PC Card slots DO support 32 bit cards)

Video type 128-bit, hardware-accelerated PCI
Video controller NeoMagic 2160
Integrated video memory 2 MB
Video resolution:*
* Extended video modes require special video drivers.

Latitude CPi D300XT
Latitude CPi D266XT
Latitude CP M233XT

1024 x 768 pixels, 65,536 colors; supports XGA

a..k.a High Color (16 bit)
That's a lot more colors than 256 !

Drivers and downloads for your Latitude CPi model series for Win 98:

Did you install at least these "drivers" ?:


CD/DVD - if you have the Adaptec drive - optional - install the application

IDE and EIDE controllers

Input Device Drivers - touchpad

Video - NeoMagic driver - NM2160

"NeoMagic driver - NM2160"

NOTE that that does NOT say "NeoMagic MagicGraph 128XD"
Particularly, the number not being 2160 or similar raises a red flag for me !

If you DID install that NeoMagic driver, you may have installed it improperly.

Unless the instructions for installing a device tell you otherwise.......
You DO NOT install drivers for a device while booting into Windows, if the software for the device has not been installed yet - when Windows detects a generic device or New Hardware while booting, you allow it to search for drivers, it doesn't find any, and it wants you to show it the location of the drivers - CANCEL that, continue on to the desktop, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.

If you DID install drivers that way,

(The following also applies if you want to re-install the software)

- go to Settings - Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting.

Install the software properly by running the proper download you got from the web.

The same applies no matter when Windows finds New Hardware !

"System chipset: Intel Mobile 440BX PCIset "

I'm not sure whether 98SE has the main chipset drivers for that built in.

The Dell site does not list main chipset drivers for 98 for your model, but I know from previous experience sometimes brand name builders don't list them when they should list them.

Go here, download this, and install this:

INF Update Utility - Primarily for Intel® 400 Series Chipsets
This is the last version of the Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility that supports the Intel® 400 Series Chipsets.

It doesn't do any harm to install that if they've already been installed.

I think it would be a very good idea if you Un-installed your wireless adapter's drivers and software (wireless settings program) in Add or Remove Programs and start over.
Keep in mind the above stuff about NOT installing "drivers" while booting, unless the instructions for installing the device tell you otherwise.

Doing that should also wipe out any improper settings you have made for the device in the specific wireless adapter's Network settings.

"Netgear MA521"

(End of Life Products)
802.11b Wireless PC Card (main support page)

Lots of info to look at.

Reference Manual:

If you haven't already done so, READ IT !

Note - if you don't have that (if you have the CD for it it's probably on that) , ftp links in posts on this site are NOT "active" links - you must copy the whole ftp line to your browser's Address line box or similar .
When the manual has fully loaded, click on the floppy icon at left in the top bar and select a location on your hard drive to copy it to.

You install the software for it BEFORE you first plug it in.

Quite good instructions for 98SE.

Security - you use Infrastructure mode to connect to a router

Apparently, you don't need to specify the channel for this adapter unless you use Ad Hoc mode

If Security is Enabled in the router
- you use the same type of encryption as the router is using
- you use the same encyption key or password as the router is using.

If you're using the default type of encryption and encryption key in the router's configuration, the encryption key is the one on the label on the bottom of the combo router / DSL modem.

If you're NOT using the default type of encryption and/or default encryption key in the router's configuration, or both, whatever the router's configuration has, you wireless adapter must have the same.

"My ISP is AT&T Yahoo."

ISP AT&T Yahoo

DSL info

Quick links bottom right

FAQs - requires a Zip code or the first 6 digits of a phone number
Could you supply either of those to us ?

Shop for DSL equipment:

"The model of my ISP’s modem is: 3800HGV-B by 2Wire Gateway."

They do not list that model here:

Closest is ....
2Wire DSL Gateway Model 2701HG-B No DSL filters included

I don't see any manuals or support there for the DSL combo router / modems, but that may only be available via the FAQs .

If the 3800HGV-B came with a printed manual, or a manual on a CD that came with it that may be the full manual, READ IT carefully !

Otherwise, this is the only info I can find - generic help...


How to Change Wireless Settings

The default encryption key is on the label on the bottom of the device.

Open a Web browser and type or

Network Name - it's actually the default SSID label - the label for your router you and others see when you or they look for available wireless connections that are in range (close enough to be picked up). You can change that if you like, as long as you remember the label for your own device.

Wireless Channel - in 98SE, the channel in the router's configuration and in the wireless adapter's configuration probably have to be the same.

SSID Broadcast must be ENABLED

Wireless Security - it's recommended that you Enable it, because if you don't, anyone within range of your wireless adapter can access your computer when the comuter is running.

However, if you want to find out whether your problems are caused by wrong security setting , you could disable it both in the the router's configuration and in the wireless adapter's configuration.

If you do Enable Wireless Security, pick an ecryption type, or use the default one and the encrytion key on the label on your device.

MAC filtering - optional.
Only the network adapters MAC addresses have been entered for can access the router, or any network adapter other than the ones listed can access your router.
For the former, if you use that you must enter the MAC address of YOUR OWN wireless adapter, as well as the MAC address of the other wireless adapters you want to allow to access your computer.
If you DON'T enter the MAC address of YOUR OWN wireless adapter, you won't be able to access your own router after settings have been saved, until you have set it to defaults manually (there is an internal button you can press from the outside of the device for x seconds to set it to defaults, via you inserting a stiff wire through a tiny hole).

Additional Settings - leave those set to defaults for the time being.

That's all that's there.

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December 5, 2010 at 22:31:56
Well, I went back and double checked all the downloads from Dell support and I've got each of those downloaded and run and a few others. The video file was the one that I had previously loaded. Everything is still the same with the max colors at 256.

I also uninstalled everything for the MA521 and re-installed everything fresh and we're back at the same place. I'll go back through the manual that you found and also the previous one that I used and see if there's anything that I'm not seeing. I just went through the 3800HGV-B, all the settings and I can't find any other security settings that would coincide with settings or configurations in the NetGear configurations and setups... but I'm still checking all that out again. I'll get some fresh eyes on it in the morning. Thanks much, Tubes!

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December 5, 2010 at 22:59:53
Quick Update... reloading the video files must have just now done it! I've got High Color16 bit and True Color 24 bit!!! You're right again Tubes...Thank Ya'!

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December 5, 2010 at 23:18:08
That's good to hear that you have more than 256 colors !

Could you supply a Zip code or the first 6 digits of your phone number (area code, the next three) so that I can look at the FAQs on your ISPs web site ?

If that doesn't help I could try looking for a manual for your 2wire combo router/modem elsewhere.

Things I keep forgetting to mention are....
- In 98SE and below you often have to reboot before software changes actually take effect, especially network related and wireless network and adapter settings.
- When you set up a Local Network in 98SE and below it can take a long while for the other computers to show up in Network Neighborhood the first time, especially when you have a slower computer - you just need to leave all the computers running and they'll eventually appear, then after that they're always there. If they don't appear in 98SE, reboot all the computers, and wait again.
If you have other computers on the local network that are using 2000 or above, you'll be able to see the 98SE computer on those computers before you can see the other computers in Network Neighborhood, the first time.
- Some newer printers cannot be shared over a network between computers with ME and below on them and computers with 2000 or XP on them, but many older printers can be shared.
- A local network between computers with ME and below on them and computers with Vista or Windows 7 on them is one way - the latter can access the former but not the other way around.

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December 6, 2010 at 11:44:36
Sorry I forgot to leave ya' my zip last night, Tubes.. it's 92504. I'm sitting back down with it right now and reloading everything from scratch, one more time! Thanks

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December 6, 2010 at 13:37:53
By the way, you DO NOT normally connect one DSL (or cable) combo router/modem to another one via a network cable.
If you're connecting the 3800HGV-B to the Linksys router, you won't be able to connect to the internet by making a wireless configuration for your adapter that suits the 3800HGV-B's configuration.

It is possible to have a wired network/internet connection through the 3800HGV-B to the Linksys router in that situation, if you DISABLE the router in the 3800HGV-B's configuration - in that case the second device acts as a network switch - but I know of no way of making that work for a wireless connection because the wireless support requires that the router be used.
Also, the two devices must be using different wired IP addresses (wireless devices that also have wired ports have a wired IP address, the same one you use to access it's configuration settings, and a wireless IP address - the latter is used by the wireless connection) - in this case they're probably different, but sometimes you need to change one of them from the default IP address.

DSL info

Quick links bottom right

I selected FAQ and entered that zip code - I got a support page.
I clicked on links under Internet support, but all I get is a page that is always the same page that appears to be useless.
I don't know whether that would be the same for your case - the software may be detecting that my Windows 98SE is set to Canada, in the background - that doesn't happen often to me in 98SE but sometimes that does happen - I don't get the proper page because of my Country setting.

Search using: 3800HGV-B

Apparently it's both UVerse and 2wire

Most "hits" on the web for it's User Guide are relatively useless.
They never finish loading in 98SE, and are SLOW to load in Vista on my relatively fast 3.0ghz cpu computer.
or many "hits" lead to that same page. `

I searched for: 3800HGV-B manual and eventually found this...

You go here:

You click on the Download link to get Uverse Router Userguide.pdf

It auto saved it to C:\Windows\Temp folder on my 98SE computer then opened it. Huh? I had to copy it from there to elsewhere.

In Vista, it saved it in the location on the hard drive I save many files by default - on the desktop (screen) - and it did NOT open it automatically.

If you don't have that manual that's a good place to get it. That same manual may be the same one on the CD that came with the 3800HGV-B, if you have that.

If you have any questions about stuff it that manual, I now have the Guide to consult.

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December 6, 2010 at 17:13:12
Quick note before dinner... I reloaded everything on the Dell with the 2Wire modem, PC, two wireless laptops(one Toshiba and one Samsung) and a Kodak printer being the complete system... no other routers or hubs. I disabled the security (WEP) like you had previously mentioned just to check for connectivity and sure enough, with no security enabled it connected. Looks like it's gotta be something in the security set up...I think! Dinner time on the West Coast! Thank ya', Tubes!

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December 6, 2010 at 18:08:35
That sounds good so far.

I`m in Canada, MST time zone, a little East of where you are.

You can use network hubs or network switches or wireless access points if you like, between the router and the computers or printer.

I like Kodak`s approach - pay more for the printer initially but the ink is cheap - that costs a lot less in the long run.
I have Canon printers - I refill the cartridges myself.

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December 6, 2010 at 22:44:09
Well, I've been playing around with it and it still won't connect when security is enabled. My friend might be able to get by with just using it unsecured. She doesn't do any banking or finances online. She pretty much just sticks to email and downstreaming here and there. Probably won't be downstreaming anything with the laptop. IE6 is extremely slow.

Yea, you're right about Kodak printers... cartridges are pretty inexpensive. The reason we got the Kodak was because it was getting more and more difficult to refill HP cartridges and get them to work.

Well Tubes, time to shut it down. Sure do appreciate everything you've done for me. Ya' basically resurrected this thing from a paperweight to a laptop that somebody who's never had a laptop, could really get to enjoy and find useful! I know she's really going to appreciate all your effort! Thanks much!!! Hope your night is great!

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December 6, 2010 at 23:11:14
You've gotten everything else to work . Why not continue with this to get the Security working, to justify the the large amount of typing I've already done for this subject ?

I have lots of tips about 98SE.

One is -
you or she should install a much newer internet browser that can be used with 98SE.
IE 6 is the highest version of IE you can install in 98SE - even when you use Windows Update on the Microsoft web site to add the IE 6 SP2 updates , there are many web pages that are no longer optimized for IE 6 SP2 - long delays, sometimes Java errors. Some sites can't work properly at all with it.

I am using the last version of Netscape, but I have found lately that the Opera web browser works even better.

I'm using version 10.10 found here - the highest version that has Win98 listed for it - it was released 23 November, 2009, only a little more than a year ago:

You can use higher versions, or the latest one, but they have some small problems in ME and below

What is highest version of Opera that works on 98SE?

Opera on windows ME
Also posts about 98FE amd SE

Adobe Flash Player 9 - last one for 98/98SE/ME

IE or Netscape versions available:

I have both installed.
Either the Netscape version works with Opera, or Opera has it's own Flash plug in

More info here - see response 9:

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December 7, 2010 at 18:53:35
Evening Tubes, I'm downloading all the above mentioned things and will be loading them up momentarily. I agree, you've brought us so far, I'll hold on to the laptop for a few more days and see if you find anything else. I'll update ya' shortly and let ya' know how Opera and Flashplayer are working!! Thanks much!!

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December 7, 2010 at 20:43:22
Note that you / she will occasionally get a window that pops up stating there is a newer version of Flash available, or to upgrade the Flash version - ignore that - newer versions of Flash will not install in 98SE.

There is also a Flash un-installer available if it ever gets corrupted and won't un-install in Add / Remove Programs. That's only happened to me once since I've installed it.

Another one for you.

The link for FlashSwitch in the post mentioned at the last link in response 25 no longer works, and the author's web site no longer exists - - so any links to a download on that site on the web no longer work, but there are a few obscure web sites that still have the version I have that never expires - 1.1 build 50 - on a web site other than the author's.


Click on the CKA4Tb tab

Scroll down to CKA4Tb Flash Switch
Click on the second CKA4Tb link under that.

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December 8, 2010 at 00:14:01
It's almost midnight here... about 6 hours ago we got home and I started downloading everything in your post above onto my Toshiba and then burning all the files onto a CD in an attempt to get them on the Dell quickly without having to wait for everything to download. For some reason the Dell quit recognizing anything that I burned with my Toshiba. I still hadn't gotten the Dell to recognize my flash sticks due to not having the drivers for them. Sooooo, I just got everything loaded via CD's burned on the trusty old desktop. Still can't get the flash/jump drives to work. I can't seem to find where the drivers are located in the Dell. I thought they would be in sys32... I'll have to take a little time to search them out tomorrow. I opened it up in Opera 10.52 and it still runs extremely slow. Also loaded Flash Player 9. It seems to allow the browsers to load all of the graphics, but the browsers whether Opera or IE 6 still run real slow. Outlook Express runs really quick, though, so she'll be OK with email. Still not sure about what to do to get it to connect with Security settings enabled. Gotta check my eBay stuff (building a new system) and then hit the sheets. Thanks Tubes, have a great Wednesday!

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December 8, 2010 at 07:51:57
There are plug ins for Netscape that allow you to optionally load Flash stuff on web pages, otherwise not load it - perhaps you need similar for Opera. OR - you could load IE 6 if you've not already done so, and use FlashSwitch - however you will still get delays caused by Java script made for use on newer browsers on many web pages (but not on Computing.Net) See the info at the link at the end of response 25.
If you don't know where to get IE 6 I can point you to where to get it. After it has been installed, Windows Update will have the IE 6 SP2 updates you should install as well.
All security and critical updates for 98SE should be installed from Windows Update.

My 98SE computer has a 450mhz K6-III cpu, so it's considerably faster than the Dell laptop.

Windows 98SE and previous Microsoft operating systems have NO built in support for recognizing flash drives; Windows ME was the first Microsoft operating system that did.

It used to be flash drives came with Windows 98, and/or, more often, 98SE drivers that you could install, but that's no longer the case. You can still download 98SE drivers from a few flash drive manufacturer's web sites, but I've found these drivers to be a better solution.....

If you're not sure whether you have Windows 98 or 98SE, RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties.
Whether it is 98 or 98 Second Edition is shown on the right on the first page you see.

Generic USB Mass Storage drivers.
These allow many USB devices that have no drivers for 98 and 98SE to work in those operating systems.


Win98 original, modified from the 98SE version.

They both say:

"Remove ALL drivers for USB flash drives in Device Manager"

NOTE that I have not had to Un-install previously installed drivers.
If you want to do that, those are listed in Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs.

The 2.x versions support the recognition of many USB devices.
The 3.x versions also support the recognition of USB 2.0 controllers.

NOTE that the 2.x versions have NO Un-install; the 3.x versions DO - in Add/Remove Programs.

After you have installed these drivers, after you have plugged in or installed a USB device that hasn't been plugged in or installed before, you are prompted to have Windows search for drivers - do that, it will find the drivers, and that same USB device is detected automatically when it's plugged in or installed after that.

These drivers work for many devices, but there are some they can't detect.
E.g. Apple never made drivers for their devices for previous to Windows 2000, so an iPod , iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, etc., cannot be recognized.

If a camera or other device that uses memory cards isn't recognized, these drivers will recognize most memory card reader devices if you plug the memory card from the device into a reader

Flash drives and memory cards show up in My Computer or Windows Explorer simply as a drive letter with a Removable Disk label, rather than them possibly having a specific label as they do in 2000 and above, e.g. Kingston Data Traveler.

The 3.x versions of these drivers make the Safely Remove Hardware icon appear in your taskbar quite reliably when certain USB devices data can be stored on have been plugged in. That's not as reliable in the 2.x versions.

The same as in ME and up, you or she must click on that icon when you want to unplug a USB device that it is for when Windows is running, otherwise you or she can damage the data on the device.

The most frequent reason people can no longer access the data on a USB flash drive, USB External drive, or a memory card, is they unplugged it while Windows was running WITHOUT clicking on the Safely Remove Hardware icon in their taskbar lower right, and choosing to STOP accessing the drive.
(If you get a message you can't do that, then stop accessing it elsewhere - e.g. in My Computer or Windows Explorer, or in whatever you were accessing it with, e.g. change the drive letter, then you will be able to STOP it in Safely Remove Hardware.)
The Safely Remove Hardware icon may be hidden - if so, you have to click on < at the left end of the icons in the taskbar to reveal it.
It's a gray rectangle with a green arrow on it in XP, 2000, and ME, (and in 98 and 98SE, only if you have third party flash drive etc. drivers installed, or you have connected an external drive.)
In Vista, and probably Windows 7, it's a medium green small circle with a white checkmark on it.

If there is no Safely Remove Hardware icon, then there's something not right with the software that is supposed to make the icon appear (e.g.that sometimes happens in 98 and 98SE) - you could try rebooting, but if the icon still does not appear, then DO NOT unplug the device while Windows / the computer is running.

You can unplug the device at any time when Windows / the computer is NOT running. You can plug it in at any time.

If you or she can't get a device that should be detected recognized, or if you or she can't access a USB device's data that you or she know had data on it previously that could be seen in 98SE, then usually the problem can be fixed.

Troubleshooting USB device problems including for flash drives, external drives, memory cards.
See Response 1:

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December 8, 2010 at 12:13:05
"For some reason the Dell quit recognizing anything that I burned with my Toshiba."

Try cleaning the laser lens on the laptop's drive - eject the tray, and with no disk on it, wipe off the obvious lens with a tissue or a soft cloth.

All optical drives are sensitive regarding the media - types and brands of CDs and burnable CDs (or DVDs if the drive can read them) - you use with them - some aren't all that picky (e.g. LG) , some are more so (e.g. Pioneer). For newer models of them, the drive manufacturer often has list of media - types and brands - that are known to work in the drive model 100% correctly for the model or for their models generally. Sometimes you can find reviews of an optical drive model where they have tested various media with that model and what the results were.
A CD-R (or a DVD-R if the drive can read them) made in a different drive should read fine in almost all other drives, but a CD-RW or other type of disk may not read properly in a drive it was not made in.

Also, with your laptop drive, it may not be able to read any disk except legacy audio CDs, CD-roms, CD-Rs, and maybe CD-RWs. It certainly can't read CD+ anything disks.

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December 8, 2010 at 23:16:46
Update Tubes... thanks for the above USB drivers link. I went with the 3.2 and got all of my flash/jump drives to work. Bet I've gone through 20 CDs trying to get everything loaded on this Dell. Now I can use a flash drive and save the CDs. Actually, Opera was working so good tonight that I could actually just download a few things that I needed. Hope your night is good! The saga will continue tomorrow!

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