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Question Bought an old PC, cant install Windows or Linux

Feb 6, 2020
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Hello lovely people!
I just bought 2 cheaps PCs that were going to be thrown away by a company. They had everything wiped out and HDD were given to me seperatly. They are quite old but seems to be working (as per the seller and the fact I can access the Bios). I believe there is one HP9200 ultra slim and a HP 8300 ultra slim.
Problem is I cant install any OS. I've tried via USB, burned a dvd with windows, a live linux USB key... Nothing worked, either I access the Bios, or get a black screen. I've tried modifying the boot options but it seems that it is not even trying to read the USBs not the DVDs... Being quite a newbie at this, I am stuck and was hoping to get some help from pros...
I dont know what else to tell you to make things easier, I do realise I am not giving much info but not sure what else you may need...
Thanks in advance for the help!
Nufan.
 

stonecarver

Upstanding
Nov 18, 2019
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Another factor is you said the drives were a separate deal yes given to you from the same place, first place I would start is to hook drives up to a working machine and make sure partitions are set. MBR and or GPT and make sure drive can be seen on test machine.

When they were wiped I bet there just sitting virgin "blank"

a live linux
That's actually a good idea If you can Use a live linux DVD or USB and you can see if each machine is working. You can boot machine even with no Hard Drive just to test.
 
Last edited:

dorsai

Honorable
Hello lovely people!
I just bought 2 cheaps PCs that were going to be thrown away by a company. They had everything wiped out and HDD were given to me seperatly. They are quite old but seems to be working (as per the seller and the fact I can access the Bios). I believe there is one HP9200 ultra slim and a HP 8300 ultra slim.
Problem is I cant install any OS. I've tried via USB, burned a dvd with windows, a live linux USB key... Nothing worked, either I access the Bios, or get a black screen. I've tried modifying the boot options but it seems that it is not even trying to read the USBs not the DVDs... Being quite a newbie at this, I am stuck and was hoping to get some help from pros...
I dont know what else to tell you to make things easier, I do realise I am not giving much info but not sure what else you may need...
Thanks in advance for the help!
Nufan.

Are the HDD drives showing up in the BIOS ?
If they are then it's just a matter of selecting the correct boot option in the BIOS by making only the DVD option available...not the HHD until after the OS is installed. Use a bootable DVD ISO for the install. You can forget using USB on old machines...it as always a crap shoot if it would work...much better to use a bootable DVD with something like Acronis to make the drives bootable if the OS ISO tools wont do it.
 
Reactions: stonecarver
Feb 6, 2020
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Alright...
I've got two choices here : either my cats did something on the PC overnight, or I should give up the booze...

I am currently installing Windows on one of the machines. Via DVD. I had to change the HDD during installation to GPT (using shift+F10), but so far seems to be working (i am not getting too exited though, decompression is still at 0 so far).

I'll probably need more help at some point (because lets face it, it cant be that easy), but I want to thank you guys some much for helping me with this!!!
 

King_V

Distinguished
Yeah, it was one of the weird things in the BIOS that confused me about the old HPs. Booting from USB is considered one of the options under Boot From HDD (or whatever they called it). I kept thinking USB was its own separate category like most of the other systems I've dealt with, but, HP put USB under the HDD category.

Kinda weird.
 
Feb 6, 2020
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Thanks to everyone who helped me with this matter, it is greatly appriciated!!!

I want to let you know what happened there. I may look stupid but it may help others in the future.

I bought this PC to replace a PC that was link to a TV. I had indeed a black screen (well, actually a "no signal" sign) whenever I wasn't in the Bios. But it seems like I wasnt doing anything wrong, It just that the TV was displaying "no signal" when there actually was a signal, as everything worked fine once I plug it to a monitor. Not sure why but that is definitely what happened.

Thanks again!

Nufan
 
Reactions: dorsai and King_V

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