I have installed the most current BIOS available from the Dell website for my Inspiron 7500, which upgraded it from A06 to A14. The only apparent effect was to spiff up the Dell graphic in silent boot mode... no new options/capability whatsoever in the BIOS itself.
The whole point of this endeavour was to get the capability to boot from a USB device, which does not even appear as an option in my previous or current BIOS. This seems pretty ridiculous, since the system clearly recognizes a bootable hard drive in an external USB enclosure, can read and write from/to it, and recognizes files on it as being system files, etc., as appropriate.
Is there a BIOS upgrade/replacement available for this system that will allow boot from USB? This would be a MAJOR breakthrough for me! Thanks for any/all advice.
If the BIOS does not support boot from USB you can try using the Plop-Bootmanager.It works perfectly on my 7 year old Acer laptop.
I used the following option to install Plop(because this option does not change the MBR)
"3.Windows boot menu (NT, 2K, XP, VISTA and Win7)"
It's worthwhile studying the manual and make sure that you backup your important files
Thanks for your reply MicroTest.
I tried the Plop Bootmanager, with no success. When I select USB as the boot device, it says "No Boot Device Found, Please Re-Try It". Nevertheless with a normal internal hard drive boot the system sees/recognizes the external USB drive and all its contents.
Note that the OS on the external USB drive is Windows 98SE, and on the internal hard drive is Windows XP. Is that the problem? What's the point of an alternate boot device if it can't run an alternate OS?
Thanks again for your input and any additional comment
I don't think that it is possible to boot Windows 98 from a USBstick - I have never tried it but there might be some workaround on the internet.
A good source of USB information is this site
To test if the Plop bootmanager works on your machine in general visit
Download "YUMI" and create a bootable disk with one of the many applications available.I would try "FREE DOS" or "DBAN" (Drive Nuker) as they are very small in size and quickly downloaded.You could also install a Linux distribution that's offered in the list but depending on the age of your laptop the graphic card might not be supported when loading Linux.(LinuxMint10 runs perfectly on my Acer but LinuxMint 11 and 12 don't - distorted screen)
Anyway - as soon as Plop has access to the YUMI boot menu you know Plop works.....
If you need Win98 for some older programs you could install VMware player(it's free) and run Win98 in a virtual box - for instance I run WindowsXP inside Windows 7 - that way I can still use my "beloved" software from the good old days...
Read the manual and check if your laptop meets the requirements VMware player needs
It is " possible to boot Windows 98 from a USBstick"
Its called HIRENS BOOT DISK.
For the MSDOS portion of the DISK all you need is a WIN98SE startup floppy and the HP USB format tool.
I've Been Using it for years now Hiren and Pankaj's Homepage
Is The Official Creators site
Version 8 or 9 is WIN98SE
Version 10 - 15 is mini XP
I assumed that "WayOldDell" was talking about a genuine (and legally acquired) Win98SE edition that he wanted to use as a live operating system running from his USBstick.
I tried the information given in the video (I own a legal Win98SE edition) - looked promising but stopped the installation as it took too long for scandisk to check the USBstick after running Win98 setup - I might try it later again.
Anyway: the main focus is currently on Plop - if Plop doesn't work then no boot from USB at all.
I use "genuine (and legally acquired) Win98SE " and other versions of windows.
I have "genuine (and legally acquired)" DOS, WIN311, WIN95, WIN98, WIN98SE, WIN2000, XP, Vista, 7.
I take great exception to being told that I do otherwise.
Hiren gives directions on how to make a WIN98 or WINXP usb boot flash drive. Just as the
BARTPE author does.
Some Older Bios that allow Booting will only work on Flash Drives of 2 Gigs or less because they do not understand FAT32 but work fine with FAT16.
Bart's PE Builder helps you build a 'BartPE' (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP
I should probably describe my configuration more precisely:
I'm not using a USBStick or Flash drive, per se. It is a Sabrent 2.5" IDE hard drive USB enclosure. I physically removed my 20GB hard drive (formatted as FAT32, with Win98SE installed) from its Dell caddy and mounted it into the Sabrent enclosure, which has a USB output. So effectively it is an external hard drive.
For the internal hard drive I now have a 60GB drive (formatted as NTSF, with Windows XP installed). When booted from the internal (XP) hard drive, the Sabrent external enclosure appears as drive F, and there is full read/write capability between the two drives. Note that the reverse is not true... if I swap the hard drive positions and boot internally with Win98SE, it cannot access the external drive. This is a known issue (i.e., NTSF drives can read FAT32 drives but not vice-versa) but I don't seee why that would affect what I'm trying to do, namely, boot by default from the internal NTSF/WinXP drive, with the option to boot from the external FAT32/Win98SE drive. If the latter is selected, I don't care that the internal hard drive will be inaccessible from the external boot drive.
The only other relevant feature I can think of is that the Dell USB drive is 1.1 rather than 2.0. That certainly doesn't seem to be a problem for I/O between the respective drives, which works fine when booted from the internal XP drive.
As long as I have your attention, any idea how to uninstall the Plop BootManager? It seems benign enough, but is evidently VERY deeply rooted. I've removed every file I can find associated with it, but it still pops up on every boot, asking me to choose between XP and Plop. If Plop isn't going to solve the USB boot issue I would just as soon not go through this option selection on every boot. Thanks for any suggestions-
NTFS is not required and you can format FAT32 to boot Command.com c:\ and LEAVE the drive that way and install XP.
It will then have a dual boot menu. Boot.ini probably needs to be modified to remove PLOP. I dont actually use Plop so....
WIN98 is not designed to be booted in GUI mode from the USB ports. Hirens gives you a way to do this but it is NOT the standard windows install.