View Full Version : Laptop with no cd - help please

23-09-2003, 10:20 AM
I have a Compaq Lte 5250 laptop with no cd running win 98 and I want to install Office 97 so as to be able to use excel. I bought this cheap laptop because I only want to be able to use excel away from home for 1 week a year. Showing on one of the PC World pages is an ide adaptor which would enable the laptop hdd to be directly connected to my desktop. My desktop has a cd, 1 hdd and runs win xp. As I am only a computer newbie, can a computer expert out there tell me where to get one of these adaptors and tell me step by step how to connect this hdd to my desktop without blowing anything up! and configure it so that I can successfully load this software. Thanks in advance.

23-09-2003, 10:36 AM
Get some one to burn a copy of MSExcell onto a cd and put it in the cd drive to install the Excell.

23-09-2003, 10:54 AM
Does your laptop have a 3.5 inch floppy drive?

23-09-2003, 11:32 AM
You would be better doing a Link between the systems via a Null-Modem Cable, or a Network if you have a Network Card in the laptop/PC.

If you dont have a Network Card, then you can go for a Null-Modem Cable for around $15ish from DSE :-)

23-09-2003, 12:03 PM
Yes, the laptop does have a 3.5 inch drive.

23-09-2003, 12:10 PM
To Chilling_Silently. The laptop has a pcmcia 28k modem but no connecting cable. The desk top has a 33.6k modem.

23-09-2003, 01:01 PM
U can either copy floppies insanely with a software like winzip or ARJ zipping it to a 1.4MB disk and doing it sooo repetitively. Or like Chill has suggested a null cable, network would be better if u have that thou..

Zip drive is good too, if u have it external thus use on lappie and desktop.
don't bother about the modem, won't work. well technically it can be v slow thou and u need two phonline.

23-09-2003, 01:04 PM
If u like to use the cd rom more freq with the lappie. U can get a external case enclosure, then plonk the cd rom drive into it then u can use it external on the lappie and desktop. Going via parallel or USB ports or scsi or firewire..

23-09-2003, 03:53 PM
To nomad. I think that loading this software on for me will probably be a oncer. I just want to get excel working on this laptop which I will probably only use for about 1 week per year. So I guess that I am looking for the easiest and probably the cheapest way of achieving this. Do you think that using an ide adaptor to connect the laptop hdd to the desk top is a good idea or a bad idea?.

23-09-2003, 03:56 PM
The IDE adapter should work -- Dick Smith's might have them.

Graham L
23-09-2003, 04:22 PM
I'd be reluctant to advise you to remove the HDD of a laptop and connect it to another computer. Sure it's a "nice" way to load a disk up, but laptops are fragile. They use very thin cables, very light duty connectors.
It's a lot easier to break one than to fix it. :-(

You'd be much safer using DCC, and a "Laplink" cable on the parallel ports, or a "null modem" cable on serial ports. Then you copy the installation directory of the CD on to the laptop hard disk, and install it from there.

It might be slow, but it's a oncer. And it won't do any damage. The floppy way is also possible (just ZIP compress the installation directory, using the "span" option to use multiple floppies), but less desirable. I'd guess that a lot of floppies would be required. :D

23-09-2003, 04:31 PM
a lot of the hdds are user removable. plug out and push in basically. this is how my P3 and my P2 was like.

drag it out, connect to a IDE cable, copy files across, reconnect it back to the laptop. IDE cable roughly works the same price as a laplink cable thou.... 2 equal decisions

Graham L
23-09-2003, 04:34 PM
A lot aren't. If removing the disk drive needs a screwdriver, the cable way will be a lot safer.

Susan B
23-09-2003, 04:54 PM
I have found DCC (Direct-Cable Connection) using the parallel ports to be a cheap and satisfactory solution compared to forking out big $$ to transfer stuff from one PC to another. It is slow, but you're only doing it once, so that won't matter.

DCC does not appear to be included with Windows XP but if your desktop PC is also using Win 98 (or anything earlier than Win XP) you should be OK.

Like Graham said, what you need to do is copy Excel's installer folder to the desktop PC and then copy it to the lappie via the DCC (or whatever you end up using).

You can find plenty of DCC how-to sites with a search on Google. A couple of useful ones can be found here (http://www.wown.com/j_helmig/dccmain.htm) and here (http://www.lpt.com/Support/DccCommonProblemsAndSolutions/dcccommonproblemsandsolutions.htm).

23-09-2003, 10:37 PM
To Nomad, Graham L & Susan B. Thanks very much for all your suggestions. As a matter of interest, the hdd on the laptop just pulls out so if I can find an ide adaptor this may be the easiest way of loading the software. Hey Nomad, do you know if the ide adaptor will be set up such that it will be impossible to plug the laptop hdd in the wrong way round?.
Thanks for the connections to the DCC sites Susan. I really appreciate everyones help. Cheers, Rocke.

23-09-2003, 11:18 PM
The cable, I think u need one of those funny cables. Cos desktop uses 3.5" hdd, laptops are 2.5". Avail at DSE ... To be honest I have never tried, I have network and optical drives on the lappie.

Graham L
24-09-2003, 02:31 PM
I fear that the connector you see when the drive is unplugged won't be the same as the one a 2.5"-3.5" adaptor will fit.

I could be wrong (:D) ... the one to match an adaptor is a 44 pin one, (2 rows of 22 pins) ... which is smaller in both dimensions than the 40 pin IDE one. (The extra 4 pins are for power). If you want to get an adaptor, take the disk into the shop so you can see.

As far as idiotproof adaptors go, there's sometimes a key slot in the housing on the drive connector, so a socket with a key ridge can only be put in one way. I've seen floppy and IDE cables which can only be put in the wrong way round. Plastic surgery to cut off the key fixes that:D) . Usually you are trusted to ensure that pin 1 goes to pin 1 ... (and the pin1 wire is usually
the one with a coloured stripe on the cable.)