Clean install of Windows on a Laptop

Last week I had occasion to re-format and re-install Windows ME on a Dell laptop. I have a choice of either a floppy drive or cdrom drive, but not both at the same time. I did the same thing about a year ago and thought I remembered the details, but didn't. Did a google search for help, but what I found was written by people who obviously had not tried it before. One guy said boot from cdrom, but I couldn't get it to work.

My game plan was to format the hd and get the laptop to boot from there, then install enough stuff on the hd to be able to use the cdrom drive. Here's the way I finally did it:

l. On my desktop pc made what I call a "Format disk" containing fdisk.exe, format.com, and command.com. Used this to boot the laptop, run "fdisk," then "format c:/s." (I found that not every version of format will support the /s switch). I was then able to boot the laptop from its own hd.

2. To my "format disk" I added the following:

And you need a simple autoexec.bat file with the following:
MSCDEX/D:MSCD001
and a config.sys file with:
DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS  (probably not needed)
DEVICE=C:OAKCDROM.SYS/D:MSCD001

3. Copy these files into the root directory of the laptop. Power down, remove the floppy drive, install the cdrom drive. On power up the cdrom drive will be recognized as drive d if you do all the above right. Then just insert your windows cd in drive d, and from the c: prompt type "setup." Nothing to it once you know how. Some cdrom drives may need different drivers.
Norman

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