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lets break down your problems..
1) Can't connect to Internet. Do you have a winmodem ? have you configured connection in kppp or mcc ?
2) Cannot get CD rom to read. Is it a CD burner ? Tried running hardrake to see if its found ?
3) Cannot reinstall windows (to try and start again, but partition this time. Is your bios set to boot from cdrom ? is your cdrom a bit scratched ?
4) Will not recognise Zip drive. Got the kernel module installed ? tried harddrake to see if it will set it up ?
1) no idea - sorry.
2) Yes, it is a CDRW. But I cannot get any disks to read, DVD, CD ROM, CD Audio, nothing will read.
3)BIOS boots from floppy first, then CD ROM. But if a windows DOS floppy is inserted I am told to 'Insert a system disk'. Then the CD does not read either.
4)Have tried Harddrake but without success. Am not too bothered at the moment though.
1) You havent configured your internet access. Open up mcc and in the network section
2) How are you trying to access the CD ?
3) Thats why. You want to boot from cdrom first.
4) Your zip drive probably isnt supported check www.linuxcompatible.org to search for it and see if it works. Also try the hardware page on the mandrake site.
You have to be more patient to install Mandrake.
I am a linux newbie and it took a few days to understand the installation and settings process. And the first advice i can tell you is to prepare your hardware list.
Try to solve the problem step by step by giving us this list and we will do our possible to help u
I am accessing the CD by double clicking on the CD icon. I get a message telling me unable to find mnt/CDrom or something.
I've also tried booting from the CD first on bootup. It still doesnt work. Even when it did work (about 2 months ago) it reinstalled Windows and formatted the hard drive. However, upon restart the machine still tried to load the Mandrake OS, even though it was deleted. I'm thinking the LILO boot manager is responsible?
If you have the windows installation disc(s), then to get you back to "square 1" you should be able to put the disc into the drive and then reboot the system. The windows should then re-install over the mandrake (though it does take quite a long time to re-install windows).
You haven't posted any system spec, but I suspect the connection problem is because it's a winmodem (a software based modem - you might be able to get it configured, you might not).
The cannot read cdrom bit, might have one of 2 solutions. firstly if it's a data disc, then you could try to /mnt/cdrom and then use konqueror to surf to the disc though mandrake normally has an "automount" facility i.e. if you have an icon on the desktop for it, then put a disc in and dig around konqueror - you might just have to look in /mnt/cdrom, rather than actually mounting the disc. I have both a cdrw and a dvdrom. mandrake insists on calling them cdrom (the dvd) and cdrom2(the cdrw). To play music, I have to open, say kscd or grip and where it tells you the device, change it from /dev/cdrom or /dev/cdrom2 to /dev/scd0 - this, I understand is to do with the "scsi emulation" often used in relation to cd burners. also, you will often have sound muted by default. This is often sorted by opening either aumix or kmix and un muting and turning up the volume.
redgore has already mentioned a possibility about the zip drive. Though I have heard of zip drives working OK under linux.
I wonder, should a configured Lilo on the HD be able to interrupt booting from disk or CD even though these are searched for boot capability first? I doubt that. Either the boot floppy is not actually bootable, or the boot sequence in BIOS is still C, A, CDROM or something like that. What use would a configurable boot sequence be if the HD boot block could still get in sideways?
I take it we're talking IDE HD and CD-ROM and not SCSI?
The Zip should work, at least mine does - but tell us what kind of Zip it is (internal, external, SCSI, parallel...).
If /mnt/cdrom isn't found that means the mount point is not correctly configured. Harddrake (from the Mandrake control center) should be able to help you fix it.