I replaced the hard drive on a 5 yr old Dell laptop, partioned and formated, which I think worked as far as I can tell.

Now I need to install windows ME, but I the laptop can only have cd-rom OR floppy in at a time so I have to swap the floppy and disk drives. I tried to follow directions I found, put oakcd*.sys on the hard drive as explained here: http://kb.iu.edu/data/ajgd.html

Problem is, when I get to the point where I restart the computer with the CD-ROM in place, it still says Invalid system disk replace the disk and then press any key.

Did I do something wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Try googling your laptop model to see if it will boot off of a CD. If it does, you shouldn't need a floppy at all since a WinME disc is bootable. If your computer does boot off of a CD, which I suspect it can, you would need to F2 into the setup of the computer when it first boots, and change the boot order to boot off of the CD.


Five years ago, I was exposed to Windows ME for the first time. I'll never forget my initial response, which was, I hope I don't have to support this computer....

Sorry for the bad news, but Win ME was a mistake.

Now, on to a suggestion - I recall some of the early laptops having a separate cable that could be attached to an external port to allow you to run the floppy or the CDROM drive as an external device. I cannot remember if this was specific to the Dell models we used at the time or not, but I do remember having this capability.

Also, during the time when Win2K was first available, I used to install WinNT first and then upgrade to Win2K. I can't remember why I took these steps except to say that I could always boot from the CDROM drive with the WinNT CD.

This may not solve your problem, but I think you are on the right track with putting the basic OS files on the C drive and figuring out how to get it to see the CDROM with the oakcd utility. Unfortunately, I have no test computer to use to try out these methods. If you have a Win2K installation floppy boot disk available, it will likely have the files you need to boot your computer and recognize the CDROM. Copy that system to your hard drive, or at least look at that boot disk for an example of preparing the hard drive for installation from a CD.

My head hurts from trying to remember all of this from so long ago....