Windows 98 Command Prompt on Bootup only

By naimwe
Oct 3, 2005
  1. I need help. Recently my friends father had an old Dell Inspiron 3800 wiped clean. I tried to install Windows 98 onto it, and it stated that it already had an operating system installed on it. Each time I restart the computer the windows screen flashes on quickly and then goes immediately to a C: prompt. I tried some things but none seemed to work. I am not sure if the autoexec file is working properly, or what the problem is. Can anyone help me:(?????

    I appreciate your time and attention.

  2. Herbster63

    Herbster63 TS Rookie Posts: 32

    sounds like the system hasnt been formatted proper or the harddrive has a partion on it maybe. Reformat with a windows 98 startup disk again and delete any partions on the harddrive
    hope this help if not sorry :eek:
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    at the c:\> prompt, type dir /p and hit enter. Tell us what you see. In particular, is there a windows directory mentioned in the list that is displayed.
  4. naimwe

    naimwe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Windows 98

    So, should I reset the partition, and then reinstall windows 98?
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Please could you reply in the thread if possible, that way other people can benefit :)

    You have no windows directory, nor do you have an autoexec.bat or aything else for that matter.

    Herbster63 is correct. You need to format and install.

    Use a win98 startup floppy disk and choose the "load without cd-rom support" option.

    once loaded, type fdisk /mbr and hit enter.
    Then type fdisk -> you will be taken into a new screen containing partition options.

    Follow the numbered options to delete the existing partition. Once the partition has been deleted, create a new partition in it's place. Then exit Fdisk. You will then need to reboot the computer.

    Use the startup disk again as you reboot, and this time use the option for CD support. At the command prompt type format c: to format your drive.

    After this, you should have no problems installing windows by changing to your CD directory (remembering that the ramdrive is drive d: and so your cd drive is incremented by one letter) and running setup.exe

    Alternatively, you may like to copy the cd contents to a folder on your C drive and run setup from there (it can be quicker depending on how quick your computer is).

    Hope this helps.
  6. naimwe

    naimwe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Windows will not complete setup

    I ran the fdisk and deleted the partitions and then recreated them. I then proceeded to add windows 98 to the laptop. It installed itself until about the last portion where is states that it is setting up hardware and finalizing settings. The computer then just freezes, anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks for your time and attention.

  7. blaacksheep

    blaacksheep TS Rookie Posts: 70

    You're almost there. When it freezes, power down the computer and then restart it cold (don't use the reset button). Choose the option to let windows continue installing. You may have to do this a couple times until windows has quit probing whatever it is that's causing the freeze, but it should eventually finish.
  8. randy2411

    randy2411 TS Rookie

    how do i totaly erase my hard drive i just found a HP Pavilion for free it boots up fine but it keeps telling me there is no OS on the hard drive but it dosent let me get it into the safe mode to reformat i push all the F keys to try to put it into boot sequence can any one help me ??
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