Windows 10: Installing Win10 on an old Compaq laptop

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  1.    21 Mar 2016 #1

    Installing Win10 on an old Compaq laptop

    As an experiment, I'm trying to install Win10 on an old Compaq laptop that originally ran XP, but over the years, I have upgraded it to Vista, and then to Win7, and it still works OK.

    It won't boot from USB so I made a DVD of Win10 and while it starts to boot from that, and puts up the little blue "window" logo, 10 hours later, that's still there and there's no sign of activity -- other than when I remove the DVD, Windows complains about being interrupted.

    So, since I have removed the OS partition to make room for Win10 (it only has an 80GB drive), I though that (maybe) the following could work:
    1) Boot from a WinPE disk to get access to a file manager
    2) Copy the contents of the Win10 DVD to a partition on the drive
    3) Right-click setup.exe in the Win10 folder and run it -- to start the actual installation

    Anyone know for a fact this will NOT work -- and save me the time trying it?

    I've also read that you can do much the same by mounting the ISO file, but that would mean I would have to restore Win7 to the PC and install an ISO mounting app (which I have) -- and the problem with that is that there is then very little room left in the "C" partition, and I want to do a clean-install, anyway,

    Comments anyone? -- other than I'm "crazy" to even try this!

    Oh, and BTW, it's a Compaq Presario 2580US laptop -- has a P4, I believe.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    21 Mar 2016 #2

    Setup.exe will run from within Kyhi's WinPE recovery disk. You can also create a 4.5 GB partition on the hard drive, copy the Windows 10 setup files to it, mark it as active and then boot the computer from the hard drive and Windows setup will run that way. Then select the custom install option and install Windows 10 to the remaining unallocated space on the HDD.

    Oh...before you boot from the HDD you have to open a command prompt. Navigate to whatever drive letter the small partition is. Let's say E: drive. So in the command prompt you would do:

    CD boot
    Bootsect /nt60 E: /force /mbr

    then you can reboot the computer from the HDD and Windows setup will start.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,403
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       21 Mar 2016 #3

    One caveat: I have a Dell Latitude D810 from about 10 years ago that came with WinXP. It's running Win7 Pro just fine but can't be upgraded to Win10 as there are no suitable video drivers for the X600 adapter, just something to be aware of on older equipment.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    21 Mar 2016 #4

    Just one more option. You can use OLoP Linux to boot a computer from USB even though to bios don't support it. It really works, I've done it. Here is a video that explains it.

    PLOP: Boot From USB on ANY Computer - YouTube

    I am running Windows 10 32bit on a Dell with a P4HT processor. Surprisingly it not that bad.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    21 Mar 2016 #5

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Setup.exe will run from within Kyhi's WinPE recovery disk..
    I understand the rest of what you posted, but what does "from within ..." mean?

    So, if I were to boot from that disk, how would I then go about installing Win10, understanding that I have both an ISO file and a DVD?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    21 Mar 2016 #6

    Using the three steps in your OP.

    Mark Phelps said: View Post
    1) Boot from a WinPE disk to get access to a file manager
    2) Copy the contents of the Win10 DVD to a partition on the drive
    3) Right-click setup.exe in the Win10 folder and run it -- to start the actual installation
    I have tried running Windows 10 setup.exe from Kyhi's recovery WinPE and it does work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    22 Mar 2016 #7

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Using the three steps in your OP.

    I have tried running Windows 10 setup.exe from Kyhi's recovery WinPE and it does work.
    Thanks, I'll give it a shot.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    22 Mar 2016 #8

    Mark Phelps said: View Post
    Thanks, I'll give it a shot.
    The advantage to doing it that way (running from Kyhi's WinPE) vice making the install partition on the hard drive bootable is that if you make the install partition on the hard drive bootable, when Windows is done installing onto the rest of the hard drive you will actually end up with dual boot. 1 option will be Windows 10 (installed) and the 2nd option left over will be Windows Setup.

    So, when you copy the setup files to a partition on the hard drive, do NOT mark that partition as active, or you could end up with a dual boot with your boot files on the install partition. All of that is assuming MBR and legacy bios booting, though. With UEFI and GPT disk partitioning, the bios should still see the Windows setup EFI boot files and present that as an option to boot from even after the Windows installation is finished.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    22 Mar 2016 #9

    Tried the Kyhi's Rescue CD -- and while the PC can boot from it and read it, as soon as the Reading Files bar finishes, the PC reboots and starts over.

    Tried the 8.1 Rescue version -- same problem.

    Tried both the Win10 and Win8.1 rescue CDs on another PC -- work fine.

    Made the Win10 4.5GB partition bootable, did the bootsector command, rebooted the PC. As soon as the little blue Windows "logo" displays, the PC immediately reboots!

    So, booted from an MR Rescue CD, and ran the setup.exe file from the partition in which I loaded the Win10 DVD files. Am waiting for that to run, now.

    UPDATE: Install ran and finished, but upon rebooting, I get a flashing cursor and an immediate reboot. Nothing else on the screen, no messages.

    The install looked weird because instead of the usual Win10 black screen with big circle, I got the old Win7 UI screen with the individual steps being checked off.

    I rebooted from the MR boot CD (which was made using PE 3), looked at the files and folders in the installed C: partition, and they're dated from October, 2015. So, I presume these are Win10 files, not Win7.

    I even ran the boot repair from the MR boot disk and while it said it completed, upon reboot, got the same problem.

    Since I can't get the PC to properly read the Win10 DVD, I don't think I can do a clean-install -- which I tried to do, first.

    Unless there's some easy fix to this, the next step would be to restore Win7 and try to do a Win10 Upgrade bu running setup.exe from the Win10 files partition from inside Win7. At least that way, if there is some serious problem, maybe I'll get some kind of message popup.
    Last edited by Mark Phelps; 22 Mar 2016 at 14:31.
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  10. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       22 Mar 2016 #10

    I managed to upgrade an old 2006 XP Acer Travelmate laptop, with difficulty. While it may seem overkill, making your laptop as uncomplicated as possible may allow Setup to complete, and you can add stuff back one device at a time, and one piece of software at a time after you manage to install 10. Before anything check that the CPU is capable using coreinfo.exe from Microsoft Technet Sysinternals.

    The problem, I think, is that the Windows 10 setup WinPE (the cut-back Windows version that runs the "Preinstallation Environment") seems to be more stringent than that of Windows 8.1, and will not play nicely with some old hardware, causing the setup to stall, resulting in abortive installations or semi-completed installations that have not sysprepped properly. Another way to explain this is that even during setup, Windows 10 Generic drivers do not support hardware that does not have at least Windows 7 driver support.

    Whereas I managed to upgrade to 10 from Windows 7 on that Laptop, I cannot perform a clean install, a reset or upgrade. Don't ask me because I have no answers. I can only keep trying as the new builds get better. Here's a link to a screenshot:

    Windows 10 on OLD COMPUTERS - Page 5 - Windows 10 Forums

    Firstly, make sure that the laptop is clean and that the fan and heat exchangers are free of lint and dust, and that the laptop is running cool under load - if the setup fails to download proper chipset software, or fails to resolve an interrupt problem, the CPU will run hot and may shut down during setup. Have additional cooling available to blow cold air over the laptop and make sure the airways are free.

    My advice is to Partition your 80GB to 3 partitions and install your original XP to the first partition sized at 15GB, creating a 30GB Partition for Windows 7(8.1), and an empty partition in the remaining 35-odd GB space, labelled "Windows 7(8.1) backup". Windows XP is your fallback OS when things go pear-shaped, Windows 7(8.1) for upgrading to 10, and the backup for trying again when things fail. You can put the XP pagefile on the Windows 7 partition - they will both use the same filespace for Pagefile.sys - saving a little on the XP volume. Because of the hard drive's small size, don't think of 64-bit even if the processor can handle it.

    Install and run Windows 7 offline (Sp1, preferably) or 8.1 32-bit, on the second partition of the laptop, which will give you a BCD dual booting system with the earlier version of Windows (XP), disable as much hardware in 7(8.1)'s device manager as possible on it, and don't install anything 3rd party on this Windows (except perhaps 7-Zip, but this can be on XP), and copy your Windows 10 x86 DVD files to a folder on the XP hard drive.

    I presume you are able to activate this eligible version of 7 or 8.1 on the laptop.

    You can use the GatherOSState method to obtain a GenuineTicket.xml for activation of 10, or the (non-OEM SLP) product key of the upgradeable OS for activation or just risk upgrading - which may fail. I'd use the first solution.

    Back up the XP and Windows 7 volumes to Backup drive using an imaging system like Macrium, installed on XP.

    Turn off then disable WUAUSERV - the windows update service - unplug the ethernet network and make sure that the WIFI adapter is disabled, no USB, printers, scanners, even the DVD may be disabled. I'd also disable the synaptic or other touchpad driver and just allow a plain PS/2 Mouse driver for your pointer. Turn off Firewall and Defender in the Control panel, and no antivirus or antimalware of any kind since you will remain offline during setup.

    Run MSConfig for a clean boot next boot time. I just managed to install with an external monitor (I had to - the laptop screen is cracked), USB keyboard and USB mouse - I believed that the ACER Laptop keyboard and touchpad were faulty, but found later that they had become disconnected.

    Shut down, take out the laptop battery and plug in the AC adapter, and boot up to Windows 7. This removes one of the problems regarding the power system of aging laptops that seems to kill setup.

    Clean boot Windows 7 using MSCONFIG and check device manager and services for stuff that you had disabled, making sure that everything still remains disabled.

    Run the Windows 10 setup as Administrator from the \sources folder on the copy of the setup DVD on the hard drive where XP is, and not from the root folder.

    Keep everything cool, and be prepared for a long installation.

    No Updates or Microsoft account are possible offline, so keep local username etc., really simple - just for the purpose of install - once the install has completed, we can build up the system with better security.

    I've probably forgotten some things.

    Tutorial subjects from Seven/Tenforums might include
    clean boot without upgrade using GatherOSState.exe /GenuineTicket.xml
    dual boot XP with 7
    clean boot with MSCONFIG
    Using Coreinfo
      My ComputersSystem Spec

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