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Old 07-06-2007, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

I'm dealing with a very old laptop. It has no CD drive and only has a serial port. How do you format this thing? Is there a way to go from a USB device such as an external DVD player/burner to this serial port? If so what is required?
Can you interface a normal computer through the serial port and if so could I format the drive that way?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

you could open up the laptop and take the hdd out of it then put it in another computer to reformat/ reinstall.
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

Thanks kfc469, that seems like the most practical way to go.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

I don't know what size hdd they used in that age of laptops, but if it's a 2.5", then you will need something like one of these to hook it up to a desktop: USB to IDE Adapter, USB to IDE Cable, USB 2.0 to SATA IDE Cable, USB 2.0 to SATA IDE at TigerDirect.com
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

What manufacturer and OS? It might have a partition with the ability to reformat?
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwinkle View Post
What manufacturer and OS? It might have a partition with the ability to reformat?
manufactures only really started to do that a couple of years ago. If this computer is old enough to only have a serial port, I doubt it has a recovery partition.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

Ya no chance of a partition in this thing. It has no space to begin with. I have to assume when it was manufactured the drive was formatted and then put in the laptop and not formated while already in there.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

If it is so old it doesn't have a floppy drive, the HD is probably too small to put much of an OS on it anyway. Heck I have a couple old 486dx lappys that have win95 on em and they have a floppy drive. Dinosaurs but they work.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

I think he means NO CD drive SD, if the HDD is put in another comp and formated it doubt it will work with windows because of the whole NEW mobo it's a new computer so you don't get to use the OS that came bundled with it. Try DSL if you have issues with OS size on the HDD.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop with only a serial port, how do you format?

Thanks for the replies. Ya it's really limited. Ended up going through floppies installing 95. Right now for internet it's connected through another machine via a DCC(Laplink) set up. Had to use Slimbrowser because it just isn't enough to handle even something like Firefox. That's as far as this is going to go. It is just not enough to be a stand alone computer.

Thanks everyone for the ideas.
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