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Help with formatting and loading Win98 on to hard drive

Old 08-07-01, 08:32 PM
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Help with formatting and loading Win98 on to hard drive

I went into DOS and entered the command format c:

The drive was scanned for bad clusters which took a while, then it said it was formatted. I put in a Win98 start up disk. I got the three choices where you can start Win98 with CD-ROM support, without, etc. I selected CD-ROM support and I got a message saying that the config.sys file was corrupted and I was using the wrong version of the Win 98 start up disk or something like that. This is the same disk I used when I loaded Windows 98 onto my new hard drive. Anyway, I can't seem to get Windows 98 on the drive and sometimes when I reboot, the computer starts to read the floppy but I don't ever get the three choices(cd-rom support, etc.).

Any ideas?
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Old 08-07-01, 08:36 PM
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Take your floppy out and reboot from the CD. Are you able to do this? Does your computer support it?
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Old 08-07-01, 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by X
Take your floppy out and reboot from the CD. Are you able to do this? Does your computer support it?
I've tried rebooting from the cd and it searched the cd but won't boot from it.
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Old 08-07-01, 09:05 PM
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Ok, then it seems you have a non-bootable one. Do you have access to another computer that you can use to make a new Win98 boot floppy with CD drivers? It sounds like yours got trashed.
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Old 08-07-01, 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by X
Ok, then it seems you have a non-bootable one. Do you have access to another computer that you can use to make a new Win98 boot floppy with CD drivers? It sounds like yours got trashed.
I made a new one and it's not working.
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Old 08-08-01, 12:27 AM
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Originally posted by Alvis
I've tried rebooting from the cd and it searched the cd but won't boot from it.
Have you checked your BIOS to make sure that boot from cd rom is enabled/selected?

FYI, you should be able to check this by watching the computer screen as it starts to boot up. There should be something that says "Press xxx to change system settings/Press xxx to view system configuration."

I've seen Ctrl-Alt-Enter and F2 as options on Dell machines. Just press the key(s) it tells you too and there should be a "boot up" or "boot from" option.

Or, you can email me and I can send you the contents of the Win 98 boot disk (it's a 732kb zip file).

email: [email protected]

-David
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Old 08-08-01, 08:32 AM
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At this point you have either a bad floppy disc, or perhaps a bad floppy drive, both of which are compounded by what appear to be erroneus BIOS settings.

First - Try getting a Win98 boot disk from a friend and see if you get a boot menu. If that works, see the procedures below to do a clean install of 98 from your hard drive.

Second - If that doesn't work, spring the $2.99 to get a disc drive cleaner from radio shack or wherever and try cleaning your floppy drive. Then retry step one.


Last - Blade is 100% correct to have you check your BIOS. All official (provided by MS or the OEM) 98 CD's are bootable, and if your system is relatively new, it should just be a matter of adding the CD-ROM to the boot sequence. In addition to the keys Blade mentions, ESC, DEL and F1 are also quite common. If you cold-boot (power off and then back on) you should see a message along the lines of "Press F1 to enter setup." If you get an OEM spalsh screen, press ESC to see the BIOS messages instead. Once you get in, find "Boot Options" and follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to make the appropriate changes.

To install Win98 from a Hard Drive:

(Assumes no need to save anything on the hard drive)

1. Boot from Win98 Startup disc (or any boot floppy that enables CD-ROM support)

2. At the DOS prompt enter

format c: /s

(This will make your hard drive bootable)

3. Accept format

4. When complete give drive a volume name. I suggest "boot" or "system"

5. Enter the following:

c:
md windows
cd windows
md options
cd options

Note: the following line assumes you used a Win98 startup disc and have only one hard drive partition. If the CD-ROM was assigned a drive letter other than "E:" use the letter it was assigned. It also assumes you have the Win98 CD in the CD-ROM drive.

copy e:\win98\*.* /v

6. When complete, remove all discs and CD's, and reboot.

7. At the resulting DOS prompt enter the following:

cd windows\options
setup

8. Follow the directions to install 98. It will suggest an installation directory of c:\windows.000. Choose other location and change the highlighted c:\windows.000 to c:\windows and accept the location at the subsequent warning window.

The same sequence works for installing WinME if you substitute "Win9x" for "Win98"

FWIW - I NEVER install an OS from the distibution media, and have never had any problems with a bad or unstable install. It's usually a quicker install, and allows you to reinstall Win98 any time you want, simply by booting to DOS, deleting "win.com" from the directory c:\windows, and then rerunning c:\windows\options\setup

Let us know how it goes.

Last edited by jhansen; 08-08-01 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 08-08-01, 08:40 PM
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I've tried most of the things that have been suggested. However, it will not boot from my Windows 98 cd(could this be because it is a copy?). Also, the system is just doing funny things. For instance, I put in a boot floppy and got as far as being able to run fdisk. When it asked if I wanted large HD support I pressed yes. The screen went blank and I was left with a blinking cursor and nothing else happened.

It is possible I formatted the drive incorrectly? I did it by restarting in DOS and entering the command, format c:.

By the way, I have boot floppies from three different independent sources and none of them will work. I have also tried a different floppy drive.

Occasionally, I also get funny messages such as the Config.sys file is corrupted on the floppy and something like, "You have overflowed the dividers,"(something like that but not exactly).

I swear this thing was working until I formatted the drive.
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Old 08-08-01, 10:55 PM
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Formatting the drive should not affect fdisk because you need to fdisk before you format. Have you tried fdisk /mbr to put on a new master boot record? We're grasping at straws here.

Otherwise the floppy drive and/or cable, hard drive and/or cable, or memory are suspect. Check out or replace the hard drive cable and put in a minimal amount of memory for the time being. The CD-ROM and hard drive should be on separate cables if possible, maybe disconnect the CD-ROM while trying to format the hard drive. And make sure your BIOS has autodetect selected for your hard drive. These are the cheapest ways to start.

Last edited by X; 08-09-01 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 08-09-01, 01:27 AM
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Originally posted by Alvis
I've tried most of the things that have been suggested. However, it will not boot from my Windows 98 cd(could this be because it is a copy?). Also, the system is just doing funny things. For instance, I put in a boot floppy and got as far as being able to run fdisk. When it asked if I wanted large HD support I pressed yes. The screen went blank and I was left with a blinking cursor and nothing else happened.

It is possible I formatted the drive incorrectly? I did it by restarting in DOS and entering the command, format c:.

By the way, I have boot floppies from three different independent sources and none of them will work. I have also tried a different floppy drive.

Occasionally, I also get funny messages such as the Config.sys file is corrupted on the floppy and something like, "You have overflowed the dividers,"(something like that but not exactly).

I swear this thing was working until I formatted the drive.
I just think something is wrong with your bios settings. the overflowed dividers is not a message you would get from just not having a bootable disc.

you are not overclocked are you?? if you are then back the cpu down to normal settings or even underclock it. the goal is to get this bootable.
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Old 08-11-01, 01:36 PM
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I want to keep this at the top as I am still working on this. Tried making a bootable cd and that hasn't worked either. I'm going to try changing out the floppy drive cable and the HD cable and see if that does anything.

What BIOS settings do I need to check?

Did I mention that this computer seemed to be working until Tuesday when I formatted the drive?

By the way, I am not overclocked.
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Old 08-11-01, 04:57 PM
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Further findings:

I swapped the hard drive with a much smaller one that still has everything on it(Windows 95). It boots up just fine. I tried to format this drive the correct way, by booting with the floppy. I can't successfully boot from the floppy even with this new hard drive. However, I am able to boot up with Windows 95 and use Windows Explorer to check the contents of any disk in the A drive. I tried switching floppy drives and I still can't boot up from the Windows 98 start up disk, or the hard drive utilities disk that I have. So I can use the floppy drive for some applications but not for booting up the system. I am wondering if there is something wrong with my BIOS/CMOS settings or the motherboard. I am just at about a point where I want to give up.
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Old 08-11-01, 06:50 PM
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Alvis,

If you can boot off the small Win95 hard drive, do so with the other drive as a slave. Then from within windows, you can format the other drive and make it bootable by choosing the option to transfer system files.

It is then a simple matter to copy the cabs off the Win98 CD to an install directory, shut the system down, remove the small drive, change the new drive jumpers back to master, boot from it, and then install the OS.

I would strongly encourage you to get a "Real" Win98 CD though, there's no telling what might or might not be wrong with your "copy".

To make a boot floppy - Open Control Panel, Open Add/Remove Windows Components, and click the startup disk tab.

If you make a clean boot floppy and can't boot from it, then I can only reiterate what I and others have said. You have a bad hardware component, and if you don't have the wherewithal to diagnose it, seek out a local professional, and let them do it. I don't want to guess at what's wrong, but it sounds like at least one of the boot floppies you are trying to use are bad, and the error messages you are getting make me suspect either the memory, or a thermal problem with your CPU.

You did clean the floppy drive didn't you?
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Old 08-11-01, 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Alvis
Further findings:

I swapped the hard drive with a much smaller one that still has everything on it(Windows 95). It boots up just fine. I tried to format this drive the correct way, by booting with the floppy. I can't successfully boot from the floppy even with this new hard drive. However, I am able to boot up with Windows 95 and use Windows Explorer to check the contents of any disk in the A drive. I tried switching floppy drives and I still can't boot up from the Windows 98 start up disk, or the hard drive utilities disk that I have. So I can use the floppy drive for some applications but not for booting up the system. I am wondering if there is something wrong with my BIOS/CMOS settings or the motherboard. I am just at about a point where I want to give up.
So the same floppy setup works perfectly once you've booted into Windows, but won't work when you try to boot off it? It seems possible that there's something wrong with your BIOS. I know that Win95, like all modern OSes, talks to the HD controller directly as opposed to going through the BIOS. It's probably the same way for the floppy controller. So if the portion of the BIOS that handles the floppy is misconfigured/corrupted, the only time it's going to be apparent is when you're accessing it through the BIOS (ie during boot up).

I'd try simply resetting the BIOS to factory defaults first and then seeing if you can boot to a floppy. You might want to go through and copy your current BIOS settings onto a sheet of paper, though.

If that doesn't work, then try clearing the CMOS, leaving the BIOS on factory defaults.

If that doesn't work, you can try re-flashing the BIOS. You should be able to get the BIOS and flash utilities from the manufacturer of your computer or the motherboard.
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Old 08-11-01, 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by belboz
If that doesn't work, you can try re-flashing the BIOS. You should be able to get the BIOS and flash utilities from the manufacturer of your computer or the motherboard.
Just a note of caution about this. You must do this in true DOS mode, not DOS under Windows. If anything goes wrong, and it easily can when you're not sure about the integrity of your machine, you will kill your motherboard.
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