Sharp PC9800-T Windows 95 Laptop

edited September 2017 in Hardware
So while looking around in goodwill I found this old laptop that is about 2.5 inches thick (closed) for 10$. So what do I do? I buy it. Now don't get me wrong I want this thing and I think its an awesome find. All the hardware is ok except for the CD ROM drive which does not work. It did not come with a power cord but I manged to find one that worked, but the battery is dead and will not charge. Ok so here is the problem: No OS. It came with no operating system. Now this thing is so old I could not find anything online about it. What I did find was it is meant to run Windows 95. Any idea at all how I can install Windows 95 on this thing. It has one usb 2.0 on the back if that helps. The hard drive fits in under the PC card slot and slides right out. Pictures of the computer are bellow.











Any help/information at all is appreciated! Thank you very much! :D


  • Hey man,

    Option 1:
    First, make a bootable partition with your own pc on the laptop's harddrive with the 95 iso,
    Then, boot from the harddrive and install 95.
    When you're done, delete the install partition.
    Option 2:
    Get a floppy drive, and use P.L.O.P
    Option 3:
    Most laptops use standard cd drives. If you get an old cd drive from another laptop, you can transfer the connector of the old one to the replacement drive.
    Option 4:
    Try to setup a network boot with your main pc to install the os.
  • Is that drive scuzzi? Or a proprietary drive connector.

    I'd see if that machine could boot from usb or take a usb floppy.
    Best shot is finding out what is wrong with the disc drive and/or finding a replacement.

    You could find a way to load dos on the drive with another machine then copy win95 install files and clean install in the target.
  • All these ideas would be good, I think that making an install partition is the best though. One problem, how would I connect that hard drive to another PC?
  • I also restore old laptops.

    My personal favourite way to connect that hard drive to another PC is to use a USB to IDE adaptor. I bought one from Ebay and broke it so I've now ordered another one and I'm waiting for it to arrive.

    I've successfullly installed Windows 95 on a Toshiba 460CDT laptop by using this adaptor, formatting the hard drive as a primary partition and copying the installation CD files onto the hard drive. I then proceeded with the installation as normal except using the hard drive's letter instead of the CD drive's. The fact that yours doesn't have a floppy drive will limit your options; I used a floppy drive alongside the files that would have been read by the CD drive.

    Are you sure that this was originally running Windows 95? Looking at Wikipedia, I see that USB 2.0 was released in the year 2000; this is long after Windows 98 was released. Trackpads were also uncommon. I suspect that this laptop is not old enough to have been originally released with Windows 95.

    I'm similarly trying to solve a non-working CD drive problem. I have just been told by a work colleague that there's some sort of driver that needs to be installed before the CD drive will work to install an operating system. I don't yet know if this is the issue but I hope to find out soon. Swapping the CD drive didn't help me. What happens when you try to use the CD drive?
  • I push the button on the side of the CD drive and nothing happens at all. If you think that it may run a different os I am open to trying multiple.
  • @pixel-perfect
    You mean you can't get to the optical drive under DOS? Each drive is different, some need their own proprietary drivers but most can use generic OAK. Scour the net or check your Windows 98 install disc for OAKCDROM.SYS. Load it into your CONFIG.SYS file. You'll also need to load MSCDEX.EXE through your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

    Example AUTOEXEC.BAT string

    Example CONFIG.SYS string

    In this case, [PATH] is a placeholder for the actual path to your files.
  • I would but if you read my main post you would see that there is no OS at all, not even DOS.
  • Thank you very much BigCJ. I can't get to the optical drive under DOS. I have a separate thread for this. I would like to suggest that we continue this discussion here because it doesn't seem to be the same problem as Win98Rocks is battling. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=9687

    Win98Rocks, I don't think your laptop has the same problem as mine. I can open and close the CD drive but the laptop completely ignores the fact that it exists. I also meant to say that there is sometimes a date of manufacture printed on the hard drive or the CD drive that might help determine the age of this laptop.
  • You were correct there is a date on the CD ROM. Wow, "MANUFACTURED: MAY 1997" Also this is the model number: UJDCD8710. Hope this helps.
  • Just saying, but I don't think any Windows 95 era laptop would have a USB 2.0 port on it.
  • Right frankly I would be happy with finding a floppy drive that fits this. Because I can boot from the floppy and then from there install DOS and then Windows 3.1. (I have boot disks).
  • OMG Are you joking??? This whole time the hard drive fits into a box and it is a 2.5 inch. A adapter plugs into it that then plugins into the laptop! So now I can use an ide to usb to plug it into a computer and make a boot partition! :o I am going to get this ide: Tell me if you think it would work.




  • @Win98Rocks
    Had you read the first line of my previous post, you would realize the instructions were directed toward the user pixel-perfect.

    As for your problem, older computers can be very finicky. If the boot partition wasn't created on that particular computer, there's a good chance it won't work. Older computers use slightly different translation schemes to read hard disks.

    Windows 95 does not support USB 2.0 at all, only the slower USB 1. Windows 98 does support USB 2.0.

    Your best bet will be to try to boot from the optical drive. Check the BIOS settings to see if your firmware supports booting from CD and your boot order. If it is supported, set the optical drive as the first in boot priority. Insert your disc and restart.

    If the BIOS does not support booting from your optical drive, obtain an external floppy drive and start from a boot diskette. Then install from DOS.
  • Right now the optical drive is broken and this computer has no profile online. So I am not to keen on that idea. But now that I have the hard drive input/output exposed I can get the ide adapter and plug this in. Then unplug a hard drive from one of my other computers plug in the ide and tell the computer that's the new hard drive. Boom. Now I can install it from hardware that works.
  • I would just plug the drive into another computer that has a working CD-ROM drive, partition and format the drive, make it bootable (sys), and copy the Windows setup files (and the device drivers) to the drive. Put the drive back in the Sharp laptop, boot it, and run Setup. I've done this many times, it's almost always worked with no problems.
  • So what I ended up doing was what you said, but installing the entire operating system from a different computer onto the hard drive. Still says no operating system when I turn it on. I think that the problem is with the connection with the hard drive to the mother board. I can't open the bottom because it is stuck. So I think this computer is dead.
  • Is the HDD detected in the BIOS Setup menu?

    Installing an OS on a different computer and transferring the hard disk usually does not work, especially with older OSes.

    If Setup doesn't detect the drive, the PC is dead indeed. If you can get the BIOS to detect the drive, try a CD drive that connects to the parallel port, it it has one.
  • Even if the hard drive is unplugged it says Missing Operating system.
  • My head aches from tying to sort through this...
    1.OK, first things first, what does the connector for the CD drive look like?
    2.Have you tried another, or even multiple CD drives?
    3.If you have, have you messed with the BIOS settings to see if the drive is recognised?
    4.Are the connectors on both sides of the drive connector (MB and drive) clean?
    5.Have you taken it apart to check if all the connectors are seated and clean?
    6.Does it have working RAM?
    7.Can it boot from U.S.B?
    8.Can it boot from Serial?
    9.How about parallel (Centronics)?
    10. have you tried running using the HDD in another computer and using, say, a USB live OS or installing W2K (it installs in like 45 min) and copying the w95 or 98 CD to a separate partition and erasing the one you put w2k on then re-installing the HDD in the Sharp laptop and booting from the partition?

  • Sorry about the long time with no update. In the end it started to smoke when I turned it on with a different cd drive inside it. Must have not liked that cd drive. I threw it out and kept the hard drive as a token of this painful experience. Surprisingly it still works.

Sign In or Register to comment.