Installing 98 on old PC, no command prompt

By canesheadcase
Sep 23, 2007
  1. Hi all, been a long time since I've needed help with my PC, but here I am again...

    We have an old Gateway that we haven't used in ages, and we were planning to get rid of it, so I formatted the drive, completely wiped it, there was nothing left, no OS, but we were getting rid of it. When we turned it on, it would come up and say "invalid disk" something like that, basically it said "theres nothing on the hard drive to boot"

    Now, we do want to keep it, and to re-install 98 on it, since it had 98 on it, it obviously meets the requirements, but I can't install 98. I have a legal copy of a CD that says "Microsoft Windows 98" "For distribution with a new PC only..." etc. So I figured plug the computer in, turn it on, put the CD in... and nothing happened. It just sits there. I went and looked around google and saw "startup disk" stuff, but honestly I have no idea what I'm doing. Every "help" page starts in the command prompt and my computer doesn't even say the "invalid..." that message anymore, no cmmand prompt. It's just a blank screen... doesn't even recognize its plugged into a computer.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    You probably need to get into the bios and set the drive boot order to put the CD before the hard disc. Then boot onto the CD and away you go, automatically, just follow the prompts.

    if you need instructions to get into the bios you press a key as the PC boots up. There are different keys, but delete, F2, F8 are the most common. Your bootup should tell you as it starts for a second or so.
  3. canesheadcase

    canesheadcase TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    ok, so I tried to get into the bios, I pressed delete, F2, and F8, and nothing happened. Is it possible that the monitor is not supported? Maybe the computer is doing something but I'm missing a monitor driver? The screen is still not recognizing any out-put from the tower.
  4. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,012

    yes. You need to do what gbhall says, and make sure its set to boot from cd.

    Are you using Onboard graphics?

    Regards Jase
  5. canesheadcase

    canesheadcase TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    ok, i got it working, I made a startup disk on XP, and got the command prompt up, got into the bios like you said, booted from teh CD, and 98 is installing as I speak! thanks for all the help!
  6. Jase123

    Jase123 Banned Posts: 1,012

    Glad to hear you got it working.
    :wave: Welcome to Techspot. :wave:

    Hope you enjoy your stay here at Techspot.

    Please post any questions/problems you may have in the appropriate forums.

    Regards Jase :wave: :wave:
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