Opening Up A Laptop?

Hi, I'm hoping someone will be able to help me with this:

I got this older Compaq Laptop from my girlfriends aunt to work on. I'm a regular desktop hardware person, not a laptop person, so I'm kinda stuck. I took the laptop home with me to format the HD and re-install XP on the laptop, but the stupid DVD-ROM in the laptop will only read DVD's and not CD's, so installing XP was unsuccessful. I actually got far enough through it though to format the HD, just not install XP, so now the HD is blank, she needs her laptop back and I cant install XP.

My question to anyone is: Is it easy to open a laptop? And can it be connected into a regular desktop PC for the little bit of time that I would need to use my Desktop's CD-ROM drive to install XP on this laptop hard drive?

I appreciate any help greatly. Thank You.
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  1. Its not as simple as plug and play between laptops and desktops. Their drives use different form factor of connectors.

    You could find an adapter cable to convert your laptop hdd's interface into a regular ide connector but these are not common. The ones i've seen normally convert to USB or Firewire. Anyway, if you found the cable, once you install WinXP on the drive, after you plug it back into the laptop, chances are, WinXP will stop running because of the large change in system config. Then you'll be forced to call M$ to reactivate it. You could get away with it if you used Win98 or WinME.

    If your laptop can boot from a USB device then you're in luck. You could get an adaptor to convert your cd-rom's ide connector into USB and boot from it at your laptop.

    Sorry if this post is a little bit confusing. I'm a bit blurry eyed now.

    :cool: :eek: :redface: :frown: :lol: :mad: :eek: :smile: :tongue: :wink: :evil:
  2. I understand it perfectly fine, and thank you.

    I did go out and buy a USB CD-ROM drive, hoping that it could boot from that, but it was unsucessful. Luckily I had 30 days to return the device, so no loss to me, other then the laptop still couldn't install XP. Pfft..

    Anyway though, I do appreciate it.
  3. Hmm this just occurred to me. Maybe you could boot using a WinXP installer diskette and then do the install from the USB cdrom? Not sure is the USB drive would work but it could be worth a try. Or you could try mailing compaq and ask them about the DVD drive. Speaking of which, you could ask a friend to burn the WinXP onto a dvd. Many people do it to fit service packs and other patches and add-ons into one place.

    :cool: :eek: :redface: :frown: :lol: :mad: :eek: :smile: :tongue: :wink: :evil:
  4. Hehe...funny you mention that. I did do that. Unfortunately burning XP to a DVD from a legitimate(sp?) copy of XP won't install correctly.

    Before I tried installing XP I tested out the DVD-ROM with a DVD, and the DVD played just fine. No skipping, no slowing down, no errors...but when I tried installing XP on a DVD I had error after error after error, just non-stop errors.

    I thought about calling Compaq, but they only help people with warranties for free, and this comps warranty is long gone.

    I didn't try the diskette idea though...perhaps that could work.
  5. Take a look at this thread. Maybe it'll help you.

    :cool: :eek: :redface: :frown: :lol: :mad: :eek: :smile: :tongue: :wink: :evil:
  6. go to, and look for the download for the boot (or startup, cant remember) disks for win XP. it should make like 6 of them total. boot the laptop from those, then when it asks for the win xp cd, use the XP cd in the USB cd-rom drive. i dont see why that wouldnt work.

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