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Starting Windows98 from Startup disk

By Jmoss
Feb 1, 2008
  1. Alright, my dad needs some files from our old windows98, it says two files its missing and then resets. I've tried starting it up from the disk, but it dosen't show the windows screen, it show a black screen with a command prompt

    A:\>

    If I can, how can I acess files from this screen?
     
  2. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    DOS Commands

    Use HELP. The commands you will be using are DIR, CD and COPY. Do a COPY /? to get individual help on the COPY command, for example. Generally, DIR lists the files and directories on the hard disk. You usually start on the C: drive, to get to the root type C: and enter, then type CD \ and remember the backslash and forward slash have different meanings. Then type DIR to see all the files in the root directory. If an entry is listed as a <DIR>, type CD DIR where DIR is the directory entry. DIR also means folder. Then type DIR to see what's in that directory. To get to the next level directory, simply type CD DIR again, where DIR appeared in the previous directory listing.To copy large amounts of files to a new computer, DOS might recognize a USB hard disk, but don't hold me to it, that you simply connect to the USB port. The USB disk would have to be formatted in FAT32, not NTFS. Use the format command if you purchase a new USB disk, but be extremely careful because you can lose all you data if you do it wrong. For Windows 98, the USB hard disk must be less than about 120G, so find a small USB disk. If the USB hard disk becomes D:, then after CDing to the proper directory, use the copy command with the wildcard option to copy the files from the C: disk to the D: disk. Thus, COPY *.* D: will copy all files in the current directory to the root of the D: USB disk. Notice the period and the colon, since this font is small. If your computer has a floppy disk drive, you can copy small files to the floppy disk drive, the A: drive. This is the better bet than the USB disk. Thus, COPY FILE.TXT A: would copy a file named FILE.TXT to the floppy A: drive. The maximum size for a floppy disk is 1.44M, small. Have fun.
     
  3. Jmoss

    Jmoss TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This computer has two CD drives, can I copy the files onto a CD instead? Also, can I view the files before copying them?
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  5. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    You can view the files in some versions of DOS by using the EDIT command, i.e. EDIT FILE.txt and you can also use the TYPE command, i.e. TYPE FILE.txt . DOS does not support burning to CD like windows. Knoppix at www.knoppix.com is a boot CD linux OS alternative (that you'd have to learn) and it likely burns to CD. It is linux but handles windows format files. You can also try the other boot OS mentioned in the previous post, ultimate boot CD. All boot CD OSs are ISO images and are lengthy downloads done on a different computer and require ISO burning software to make the bootable CD. A free ISO image burning program I use is My DVD Maker at www.my-dvd-creator.com. It burns CDs also, so don't be afraid of the name. This is not hard to learn--tho it misleads you into thinking you can only burn a DVD when you can indeed burn a CD. You, of course, need CD burners on both computers.
     
  6. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    Hard Drive Enclosure

    Does anyone post to these posts? It been a long time for a reply. A HARDWARE alternative to getting the files off of an old computer is to use a 3.5" (or 2.5" if a laptop) USB hard drive enclosure. It cost a maximum of $50. It allows you to remove your hard drive from the old computer (open the computer case, remove the two connecting cables, and unfasten/unscrew it), slip it into the enclosure and connect the two cables, connect the power supply, and connect the USB cable to the new computer. The drive then functions as a USB drive and you can copy and paste to your heart's content with (my) computer in windows. Have fun.
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    But it requires 2 computers (if the original cannot accessed)

    Mind you I do it that way. But I have 3 computers!
     
  8. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    Why would you want to copy files if you didn't have a new computer to copy them to?
     
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Floppy/Flash Drive/Burner
    Or your idea an external HardDrive
     
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