Compaq Mini 110c Netbook Restore

By Darryl~ Moderator ·
I've been fighting with a little netbook for a few days - it's a Compaq Mini 110c.

Here's the story...

It was virused right to death & after a couple days I still couldn't get everything removed to the point where I could at least get on the Windows Update site.
It didn't have a restore partition, just a restore point from the factory installation (it was using Roxio BackOnTrack, not Windows, for restore points) - well, the restore points were virused also.
I finally decided to download the recovery software from HP & do a clean install - one problem - the image was Linux, not XP. So, I go about making a bootable USB thumb drive with the XP installation files on it because, as we all know, netbooks don't have CD/DVD drives (that drove me crazy for a day until I discovered a nice little utility to do it proper). Okay, here I am, all set to install XP from the USB thumb drive....it boots to the drive....the whole setup process begins....it gets to the point where it's going to copy the setup files to the hard drive and ZAP!

It doesn't detect the HDD (WD1600BEVT SATA)

I looked all through the BIOS & I can't find anywhere to set the HDD type - it just detects it I guess.

I have booted to a Windows 98 USB drive & ran FDISK, it sees the drive & let me repartition it...I made it active....still no joy.

Anybody have any ideas?

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All Answers

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Windows setup has a screen "Press F6 to install third-party drivers"

by robo_dev In reply to Compaq Mini 110c Netbook ...

Not all SATA drivers are on the Windows CD, and yours is clearly not there, if Windows cannot see the drive, then you need to install the SATA drivers from that screen.

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Yeah, I looked into that too...

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to Windows setup has a scree ...

And you know how that works....it askes you to put the driver in the floppy drive.

The darn thing won't even allow me to press F6....it detects that there's no floppy drive

I do have access to a USB floppy drive, but I don't think I want to go that route...I tried this "bootable" USB drive on a couple other computers...I seem to be getting the same problem on all them...so it must be the way the thumb drive is configured.

Thanks for the reply....I tried a couple more things....it's getting personal now! I've been dealing with computer "issues" since the late 70's....I don't want this little netbook to get the best of me


I made a bit of progress tonight...I took the HDD out & installed it in a laptop....I tried a number of different OS disks I have & many of them won't detect the drive & I get a BSOD just as it looks for the drive.

I was able to get Windows 7 (64 bit) to see the drive & actually installed Win 7 on it.....but the little Atom processor doesn't support 64 bit.....and I don't have a 32 bit Win 7 DVD.

Anyway....fun & games....

Give me your thoughts....gotta go deal with another puter problem next door right now.

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You downloaded the recovery software

by Michael Jay In reply to Compaq Mini 110c Netbook ...

and it was Linux? Do you mean that you got a Linux operating system?

Just a little confused about that, but a Linux distro might be nice on that unit.

One more, did you get the download here?

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Hi MJ....

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to You downloaded the recove ...

Yup, it was a Linux distro & it is very fast on it....but the person (young girl) that owns it hasn't even heard about Linux before...I thought I better not take her down that path

The link you posted is for the US site, I was on the Canadian one but I checked both & they had the same software. When I put the product ID in, the only available recovery software is via shipping @ $45...I looked at an earlier model & it had an Image available for download & it sort of led me to believe it was XP because I selected XP as the OS installed on the Mini in the initial search.

Anyway, I'll figure out something....I see Col has a post below yours.....he probably has a couple good ideas.

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Darryl you need to use a Slipstreamed Image

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Compaq Mini 110c Netbook ...

Not a Bare XP image to run the Setup Procedure from.

You could use a Manual Slipstreaming thing like that described here on TR


But the reality of things is that it's easier to use nLite to make this. it's available here


Don't forget to read the destructions here though


Include the SATA Driver which is the problem here.


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Yeah, I did slipstream it to SP3....

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to Darryl you need to use a ...

I figured SP3 should have had the SATA drivers....but I suspect you are right about the driver....I didn't want to mess around by borrowing a USB floppy & trying to get it working the F6 way....I never put drivers in a Windows image before so I'll have to do a little research on that.....soon as I saw the Windows 7 OS picking up the HDD I figured that was the problem.

I used WinToFlash to make the USB thumb drive bootable & put the install files on it...the only problem was the inability to see the HDD (probably the same driver issue)....have you had any experience with WinToFlash? It seems like a decent little utility.

I'll look through the nLite destructions....it should tell me how to put the SATA drivers in....thanks. :)

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SP3 will not automatically include SATA drivers

by robo_dev In reply to Yeah, I did slipstream it ...

You can buy a USB CD-ROM for around $15 USD, and a USB floppy drive for around the same price.

I got a USB CD-ROM drive from Amazon.com for less than $15, delivered. In fact I used it to reload XP on a netbook just yesterday.

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Yeah, I really should purchase a couple things

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to SP3 will not automaticall ...

to support the newer systems that don't have floppy drives, etc.
I don't really use the stuff on a daily basis so it'd be more like buying toys to feed my hobby

You said a USB CD-ROM....have you looked into a DVD-ROM? The newer netbooks have Windows 7 on them & I think it only comes on DVD.

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DVD would be better

by robo_dev In reply to Yeah, I really should pur ...

But my USB CD-ROM only cost $7.52 USD and XP comes on CD.

I bought it only to reload XP on my netbook, period. Less than $10 flies below the spousal-spending-radar threshold.

A similar cheap DVD drive costs $32.14, so I'll bank the $24 savings until I switch to Windows 7 :)

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I think I'll keep my eye out for a USB DVD-ROM

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to DVD would be better

I think it's something I might like to have around.

In the meantime.....the stupid Mini 110c...

I give....

The darn thing just doesn't want to install XP with a thumb drive....I can put Windows 7 one it but the owner doesn't have a license for it....so right now I have the HDD formatting & installing XP on another laptop which I could set the BIOS to campatibality mode.

I figure I can catch it on the first boot into XP & switch it to the netbook...bootinto safe mode & install the chipset for the MB.

I don't know what else to try??????????

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