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Help installing Windows 98 on old Tablet

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
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September 3, 2010 12:41:33 AM

First post, hoping to find a solution here.

I recently purchased an old Intermec Pen*Key 6642 tablet computer on ebay with Windows 98. After a week of installing programs I booted it one day to find an error telling me to reinstall (I do not recall exactly what it said), so I foolishly took out the hard drive and went to my secondary laptop.

First I tried a simple install to the hard drive from the secondary laptop. Obviously, this does not work and only produces errors upon being placed back in the tablet. I've tried various Boot tricks to boot DOS and other install disks to the USB drive, but most end with errors and none completely worked. This has included attempted installs of Windows XP, ME, 2000, 95, and even a couple tries of linux. For most I just get error messages, but for xp it goes through the copying of the setup files but upon rebooting for the installation I am prompted to REMOVE MEDIA. Judging by the little information I've found on this tablet, I am assuming it only works with Windows 98.

Now for the challenge: this tablet PC has no CD drive, no Floppy, a single USB port that appears does not work too well with booting, and even worse a keypad with digits 0-9, ENTER, ESC, and a DPAD. This means I can't use DOS to run E:\setup or even F8 to accept the EULA. This issue with the keyboard is the worst, as I can't even run unattended installs because I can't type the setup command from DOS. I have not heard of USB working in DOS, and I've even tried some USB drivers for DOS with no success. Needless to say, I am quite out of ideas.

Sorry for the long post or if this is the wrong section for this, but I really want to get this old tablet working again.

Specs: 160MB Ram, 266Mhz, 4.5GB hd, single USB, VGA out, single PMCIA slot, Infrared port, and something referred to in the specs as a "Floppy Port Expander"
September 3, 2010 6:43:58 AM

The Technical Manual tells you how to restore the OS (section 5), but you need a special CD to do so. Presumably it contains the special drivers needed for this product. Unfortunately, Intermec list the product as "Out of Service" so I don't think you'll get any help from them.
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September 3, 2010 9:18:24 PM

Ijack said:
The Technical Manual tells you how to restore the OS (section 5), but you need a special CD to do so. Presumably it contains the special drivers needed for this product. Unfortunately, Intermec list the product as "Out of Service" so I don't think you'll get any help from them.


Thanks for the link to the technical manual, the one I got with the computer is much shorter. Luckily, I still managed to back up the special drivers for the touch screen and infrared before I uninstalled as well as the WINDOWS folder, but nothing else. What I find interesting in the above manual is that it doesn't specify how to install Windows, but how to restore a premade HD image to it. Hopefully, this isn't the only way to reinstall windows because I doubt I'll be able to get my hands on one of those.
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September 3, 2010 9:41:40 PM

Which Linux distro did you try? There's a post here from someone saying that they got Debian Lenny to run on it, but not Ubuntu. Might be worth a go.

And that's now exhausted all the information I can find about this oddity. Good luck with it!
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September 4, 2010 12:47:44 AM

Thanks, I'll try installing/running a live cd of Debian Lenny tomorrow. As for the linux distros, I've tried Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora, and a couple custom builds that didn't work either. One disk I burned apparantly had a Live Rescue option in the form of Damn Small Linux which ended up being booted off of the flash drive instead of the distro I wanted, but I turned it off before I saw the results. Hopefully I'll get one of those working and possibly find a way to get windows installed from the linux OS
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September 5, 2010 9:44:08 PM

Today I tried DSL like before, but it too refuses to start. After the splash screen appears, repeating error notifications scroll down and the keypad loses its functionality. No luck in debian either as the USB writer I use doesn't seem to write it properly and the tablet cannot boot the image.
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