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Run Windows 7 setup from same hard drive that it will be installed?


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#1 RescueTech

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:42 PM

I've run into a unique problem, and I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction.

Here's the situation:

I had to replace the HD on a laptop, but the BIOS has a supervisor password that nobody knows. So I can't change the boot order, and it boots from the HD first when one is installed. I took it apart and removed the CMOS battery hoping that would clear the password, but no luck.

So, the only thing that I can think to do is take the drive to another system and set up a bootable partition from which to run Win7 setup. I used to do this all the time with 98 and XP, but I've never tried it with Vista or 7, so I don't even know where to begin.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

#2 RescueTech

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 12:13 AM

I tried the instructions from here: http://www.11011.net...ve-instructions

but I never could get the hard drive to boot.

Luckily, I discovered in the process that it was set to fall back to PXE boot, so I was able to boot an LTI image from my deployment server. While it didn't have the LAN drivers for this laptop (even though I injected all of them from driverpack - go figure) I was able to run setup on c: from the LTI (WinPE) command prompt, and it installed successfully.

#3 agni

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:24 AM

You can boot plop using PXE.From plop you can boot any harddisk or USB irrespective of the boot order in the bios.


You can also read this for more information on installing windows 7 directly from hard disk.
http://agnipulse.com...condary-medium/

#4 RescueTech

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:07 AM

Thanks, agni -- I've run plop linux from PXE, but I've never tried the plop bootloader. That makes sense. If I run into that situation again, I will definitely give it a shot.

#5 RoyM

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 05:50 PM

Try PC Cmos cleaner:
http://www.pccmos.com/product.html

#6 RescueTech

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 06:46 PM

Thank you, RoyM. I found a tool similar to that, but it said not to use it on a laptop. I couldn't find any mention of whether or not to use this one on a laptop.

In retrospect, I think that I should've powered on the laptop with the CMOS battery out.

Anyway, it's a client's system, and he wasn't even aware that it has a supervisor password set in the BIOS. So I'm just going to leave it be since he won't need to get in there for anything. I don't want to risk bricking it.

BTW, I was surprised how fast the install went running from the HD. I normally deploy an image via PXE, but I'll do this again the next time I have a system that LTI doesn't have LAN drivers for. The only thing that I would do different would be to put the setup partition at the end of the drive, so once Windows is installed I can delete it and resize the Windows partition from Disk Management.

#7 RoyM

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:38 PM

Looking in the internet you wil find that most laptops will not reset cmos or passwords by removing battery. Too Easy to circumvent security that way.
Most laptops now have another chip just for passwords that cannot be reset by battery removal, some can be shorted via ic pins to wipe, others cannot.
I have personaly used PCCmos cleaner on a number of laptops and destop pc's . depending on the machine you may be able to wipe, just the password,
other times I have had to wipe entire cmos to circumvent security, You then must go into bios and reset everything, But at least you can get in now.
Most of the time it will identify the pc it is running on and suggest factory passwords for you if it cannot find the password.

#8 RescueTech

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:11 AM

TY, RoyM -

Again, it is not my system, but I will keep this in mind the next time I run into this problem. Laptops are especially painful when it comes to resetting CMOS password.

#9 RoyM

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:30 AM

I agree, better to be safe than Sorry ="Buying Customer a new computer".

#10 RescueTech

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:40 AM

Exactly. I'd rather make money than lose it. :)




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