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Windows 7 RC installation stalls & asks for External DVD driver RRS feed

  • Question

  • Acer TRavelmate C110 series (C112Ti) notebook/convertible tablet PC (vintage 2003).
    RAM 1.24 GB RAM, Pentium M 1.1 GHz. It has an OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Controller.

    The HD on this machine was trashed, so I had to replace it to try out Win 7 RC. I replaced it with a new 60GB drive, which required that I re-install Windows XP. I installed all updates to SP3 & the computer great on XP. This means the new HD uses FAT32. Once all this was done, I tried to install Windows 7 RC.

    The travelmate C110 series uses an external CD/DVD (Manufacturer AOpen model ESV-189i PRO) connected to the firewire port. It works normally under XP.

    I used Microsofts Windows 7 compatibility tool & determined that my hardware SHOULD be compatible with Win 7, except for the modem (which I never use & could care less about).

    The Windows 7 RC installation disk booted from the external drive without difficulty & started the install. Shortly thereafter the installation was interrupted and I was notified that it could not continue until I provided a driver for the external CD/DVD. I aborted the install (the only method of aborting I could find was to turn off the power. Ctrl-Alt-Del did nothing, nor did a variety of keystrokes). XP worked fine after this, although Chkdsk had to correct a few allocation errors presumably made by Windows 7 (no further disk errors have been found).  I am actually using the Travelmate to write this forum question & sending it out via the built-in WiFi.

    I spent the next day trying to find a driver for the CD/DVD drive to no avail. Acer does not have one, nor does the manufacturer. I am told that the generic 1394 driver from microsoft should work, but cannot find it & don't know how to install it.

    I presume that the Windows 7 RC will have to convert my drive to NTFS (which may be the reason for the disk allocation errors discovered after the aborted attempt to install), so I presume that I'll need to provide the driver via a USB thumb drive (there is no disk drive other than the DVD).

    Can someone guide me to the necessary driver & tell me how I can get it installed?

    Thanks in advance.
    • Edited by ckumark Friday, June 26, 2009 7:33 PM Fixing thread title bug
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:28 PM

Answers

  • You've identified a number of facts here that can contribute to installation failures.

    First, you have a "vintage 2003" notebook/tablet, which significantly pre-dates even the existence of Vista, and makes it highly suspect that your machine is not hardware compatible with Vista! -- much less so for Windows 7.

    Second, it has a memory configuration that's been known to cause complications. I'd guess the machine originally shipped with 256mb ram (designed, as it were, as a Windows XP system), and you've added an additional 1GB ram.

    Third, your IEEE 1394 controller may be a possible contributing factor down the line, if Win7 doesn't have in-box drivers for that interface. I would suggest, if possible, disabling the 1394 interface in the BIOS until after you've successfully installed Windows 7.

    Fourth, I'm not sure why replacing the hard drive "required" reinstalling Windows XP -- but having done so with a =FAT= filesystem on a 60GB drive is not a Good Thing under any circumstances, and Windows 7 will not install to a =FAT= formatted filesystem, so upgrading the Windows XP SP3 to Windows 7 is not possible in this configuration.

    Fifth, the subject of your message would seem to indicate that your External DVD firewire drive does not have in-box drivers for Windows 7. You'll need to check with Acer to see if they've developed a functional Vista/Win7 driver for that External DVD firewire device -- but even then, there's no methodology for incorporation boot-time DVD drivers at this point -- and many people have found themselves stymied by this issue.

    Booting from any DVD drive is usually a non-issue, as the BIOS emulates the boot events as a floppy disk. However, as soon as the installer attempts to read from the drive as a large-volume DVD media -- it fails for lack of an appropriate in-box driver. This scenario has been observed repeatedly with older DVD-ROM drives, older systemboard with BIOSes that do not fully support boot/install from DVD, and various combinations thereof. In your case you actually got a clean break by being prompted for the driver -- the question then revolves around whether such a driver exists. You've noted no success at trying to find one.

    Further, I doubt that it is the =1394= (firewire) driver that is the issue. The native 1394 driver from the Win7 installation DID work, or Windows 7 would not have even been able to recognize that it needed an "External DVD" driver. Almost certainly the issue is the driver to talk to the DVD itself. This may be remediable, though, if you can locate a newer 1394-based external DVD drive (a RW drive would increase the odds significantly). A newer (RW) drive may well have in-box driver capability.

    Whether Win7 contains the capability to 'convert' your drive to NTFS from FAT, I cannot say. It's been EONS since I even touched a FAT formatted drive. Frankly, unless you have some reason you need to keep that XP SP3 installation, my recommendation would be to DELETE that partition entirely if you ever get to that point of the installation, and let Windows 7 create, from scratch, a new partition and format it as NTFS.

    I'm also skeptical that you'll be able to provide the driver via USB thumb drive, as that would also require the installer to have the requisite in-box USB drivers to access the USB v1.1 interface on that circa 2003 notebook/tablet. Again, I think your better road to success would be to try to borrow/buy a newer DVD-RW drive that's more likely to be accessible by the in-box Win7 drivers.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    Principal/CTO, Onsite Technology Solutions, Houston, Texas
    Microsoft MVP - Software Distribution (2005-2009)
    • Marked as answer by cancerfixer Friday, June 19, 2009 11:27 AM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 10:26 PM
    Answerer
  • OK. You've helped a great deal. This whole project was born out of my curiosity to see what Win 7 was like before deciding on replacing my current XP desktop workhorse. Not wanting to muck with that heavily used (and essential) PC, I remembered the old Acer tablet sitting in my closet with a dead HD. A great test platform - or so I thought.

    I was suspicious of many things, such as the FAT32 problem, which I could presumably fix easily enough by re-partitioning using the XP utilities. But I draw the line at trying to find an external DVD drive that might be able to talk to the inbox driver.  This whole thing was just an exercise to see what Win 7 would be like. For the $100 it cost to replace the bad drive and upgrade the memory (as you correctly surmised) seemed worth it.  But further effort is probably not worth the hassle, unless I can find a friend with an external drive to borrow. I'm certainly not going to purchase one for such an ancient machine.

    I think my best option at this point will be to abort the entire project.  I'll wait until this fall and purchase a new box with Win 7 pre-installed by the manufacturer. That way I can be relatively sure that all components will work as designed & I can migrate applications to the new machine & get on with my life. In the meantime, my restored & fully functioal XP tablet PC will  be useful as a pseudo-netbook to carry around....

    Thank you for your insights, which were a big help in making a decision whether to proceed at tilting windmills or not. I'll consider this issue resolved for me.  If others are in the same position - good luck to you!
    • Marked as answer by cancerfixer Friday, June 19, 2009 11:27 AM
    Friday, June 19, 2009 11:25 AM

All replies

  • You've identified a number of facts here that can contribute to installation failures.

    First, you have a "vintage 2003" notebook/tablet, which significantly pre-dates even the existence of Vista, and makes it highly suspect that your machine is not hardware compatible with Vista! -- much less so for Windows 7.

    Second, it has a memory configuration that's been known to cause complications. I'd guess the machine originally shipped with 256mb ram (designed, as it were, as a Windows XP system), and you've added an additional 1GB ram.

    Third, your IEEE 1394 controller may be a possible contributing factor down the line, if Win7 doesn't have in-box drivers for that interface. I would suggest, if possible, disabling the 1394 interface in the BIOS until after you've successfully installed Windows 7.

    Fourth, I'm not sure why replacing the hard drive "required" reinstalling Windows XP -- but having done so with a =FAT= filesystem on a 60GB drive is not a Good Thing under any circumstances, and Windows 7 will not install to a =FAT= formatted filesystem, so upgrading the Windows XP SP3 to Windows 7 is not possible in this configuration.

    Fifth, the subject of your message would seem to indicate that your External DVD firewire drive does not have in-box drivers for Windows 7. You'll need to check with Acer to see if they've developed a functional Vista/Win7 driver for that External DVD firewire device -- but even then, there's no methodology for incorporation boot-time DVD drivers at this point -- and many people have found themselves stymied by this issue.

    Booting from any DVD drive is usually a non-issue, as the BIOS emulates the boot events as a floppy disk. However, as soon as the installer attempts to read from the drive as a large-volume DVD media -- it fails for lack of an appropriate in-box driver. This scenario has been observed repeatedly with older DVD-ROM drives, older systemboard with BIOSes that do not fully support boot/install from DVD, and various combinations thereof. In your case you actually got a clean break by being prompted for the driver -- the question then revolves around whether such a driver exists. You've noted no success at trying to find one.

    Further, I doubt that it is the =1394= (firewire) driver that is the issue. The native 1394 driver from the Win7 installation DID work, or Windows 7 would not have even been able to recognize that it needed an "External DVD" driver. Almost certainly the issue is the driver to talk to the DVD itself. This may be remediable, though, if you can locate a newer 1394-based external DVD drive (a RW drive would increase the odds significantly). A newer (RW) drive may well have in-box driver capability.

    Whether Win7 contains the capability to 'convert' your drive to NTFS from FAT, I cannot say. It's been EONS since I even touched a FAT formatted drive. Frankly, unless you have some reason you need to keep that XP SP3 installation, my recommendation would be to DELETE that partition entirely if you ever get to that point of the installation, and let Windows 7 create, from scratch, a new partition and format it as NTFS.

    I'm also skeptical that you'll be able to provide the driver via USB thumb drive, as that would also require the installer to have the requisite in-box USB drivers to access the USB v1.1 interface on that circa 2003 notebook/tablet. Again, I think your better road to success would be to try to borrow/buy a newer DVD-RW drive that's more likely to be accessible by the in-box Win7 drivers.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    Principal/CTO, Onsite Technology Solutions, Houston, Texas
    Microsoft MVP - Software Distribution (2005-2009)
    • Marked as answer by cancerfixer Friday, June 19, 2009 11:27 AM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 10:26 PM
    Answerer
  • OK. You've helped a great deal. This whole project was born out of my curiosity to see what Win 7 was like before deciding on replacing my current XP desktop workhorse. Not wanting to muck with that heavily used (and essential) PC, I remembered the old Acer tablet sitting in my closet with a dead HD. A great test platform - or so I thought.

    I was suspicious of many things, such as the FAT32 problem, which I could presumably fix easily enough by re-partitioning using the XP utilities. But I draw the line at trying to find an external DVD drive that might be able to talk to the inbox driver.  This whole thing was just an exercise to see what Win 7 would be like. For the $100 it cost to replace the bad drive and upgrade the memory (as you correctly surmised) seemed worth it.  But further effort is probably not worth the hassle, unless I can find a friend with an external drive to borrow. I'm certainly not going to purchase one for such an ancient machine.

    I think my best option at this point will be to abort the entire project.  I'll wait until this fall and purchase a new box with Win 7 pre-installed by the manufacturer. That way I can be relatively sure that all components will work as designed & I can migrate applications to the new machine & get on with my life. In the meantime, my restored & fully functioal XP tablet PC will  be useful as a pseudo-netbook to carry around....

    Thank you for your insights, which were a big help in making a decision whether to proceed at tilting windmills or not. I'll consider this issue resolved for me.  If others are in the same position - good luck to you!
    • Marked as answer by cancerfixer Friday, June 19, 2009 11:27 AM
    Friday, June 19, 2009 11:25 AM