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Windows 98 install failure

By James Tobin
Jan 2, 2016
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  1. I am trying to install windows 98 in a hp pavillion computer with 256 MB of RAM. I have a widnows 98 bootable cd. On my 80GB drive it kept saying there was a disk error. It simply would not install. I tried installing windows XP and no error and it worked, but I already have xp and want 98. Then I try inserting a different HDD in, a seagate 20GB HDD, and windows 98 setup still will not work. :'( HELP! any suggestions? My floppy drive don't work, but I could try to put DOS on the HDD to start with. I have windows 3.1 diskette images and their extracted files and I wouldn't mind win 3.1 as a substitute, because I love old Windows OS!
     
  2. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +241

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,560   +2,901

    You will need to format the drive as FAT32, preferably by DOS FDisk. And if I remember correctly it will need to be the first partition on the drive. Something about the boot process looking for boot string in the first track.

    Windows 98 will support up to 128 GB, which is the limit for FAT32. Although Windows has a programmed limit of 32 GB for a FAT32 partition. But seriously why would you need that much, 2 to 4 GB would likely be plenty.
     
    bazz2004 likes this.
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +201

    I use VMWare Player which is freeware which lets you run older operating systems on newer computers. I already do this with XP sp3 and it works really well. As I had one old game that won't run even in XP I tried to install W98 as a virtual OS too. When I try something like that I am pretty tenacious but in the end I gave up. W98 is dead and best left buried. Although I got W98 installed it wouldn't support a graphics accelerator so it was hard to think of any use for it. It was an ornament rather than a useful OS and it joined the original 1998 desktop as a scrap item. I have kept the disk because I upgraded to XP from it and the disk and activation code are required if XP is ever reinstalled which is now unlikely. Even in its day I used to get lots of blue screens and crashes with W98. How things have progressed for the better.

    I can't say that I loved W98 but you are certainly going about this the right way. You'll only succeed with classic hardware from the olden days. I still have two Amstrad cpc 6128s.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  5. James Tobin

    James Tobin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cobalt, I bag to disagree because one time I ran windows 98 SE on 75 GB (partitioned however) and it had 1 GB of RAM. (wouldn't run on 2). This install has large disk support enabled. Cliffordcooley: I DID, with linux mint, with MS-DOS FDISK, with everything. bazz2004, WINDOWS 98 IS NOT BEST LEFT COVERED. Spoil it with way more ram than it needs (say 256/512) and it goes faster than win 8.1 with 8 GB RAM and i7 or Linux Mint w/same specs
     
  6. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +241

    Sorry I don't remember to much about 98, Been a long time sense I had that OS. But good luck anyway.
     
  7. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +201

    I think you know a lot more about this than the rest of us so best of luck. I'd be interested to read any follow up post on how it turns out. It must be 13 years since I had W98 running on my desktop with its PII 350 cpu and massive 8Gb hard drive. I forget how much ram there was but it was possibly around 256Mb. Friends were dazzled by my computing power. The graphics card and sound card wouldn't cope with XP so they had to be replaced when I upgraded the desktop. Like Cobalt006 I remember very little about W98 beyond frequent blue screens and all I miss is the odd classic game.
     
  8. James Tobin

    James Tobin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I'm looking for HELP. Does anyone know how I can get around these errors to get win98 or win3.1 on?
     
  9. James Tobin

    James Tobin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did get 98 on virtualbox, maybe it can be exported. I also got windows 3.1 on there too. If I could start by getting DOS succesfully on the hard drive, I could upgrade to 3.1, sorry, install the program called "3.1". Maybe you know how to get DOS on the HDD?
     
  10. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +241

    bazz2004 likes this.
  11. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +201

    Earlier in the year I came across problems installing the Microsoft classic Pandora's Box written for W98 in Windows 10. I found an eBay seller who had adapted the game to run on DOS-box and he let me try it with a view to buy. I had never understood DOS-box and couldn't do anything with it but he had installed W95 inside it and then the game. It did work but was very slow and sound was poor. In the end I went back to find a way to run it directly in Windows 10. I succeeded and the result was far superior to the DOS-box package.

    Out of interest I played around with the DOS-box Windows 95 installation. In particular I wanted to install another ancient game on it. The amount of simulated disk space was minute and I failed. Even surfing with these primitive Windows systems is not practical. My conclusion at the time was that of Cobalt006 and you really need the original vintage computer hardware. Otherwise, Windows 98 or whatever just won't know where it is or recognise the computer it is supposed to install on. Any suggestion that Windows 98 will fly at warp speed on a current system I find difficult to believe but I look forward to your success.
     
  12. James Tobin

    James Tobin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I do have a computer that's old enough for DOS (1992) and no ps/2 mouse slot, but the problem is that it is not ATA compatible. anyway I could resolve this
     
  13. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,234   +201

    There are forums run by enthusists who dedicate their spare time to getting old games to run. Whatever question you ask somebody has probably tried to find the answer before you. I was briefly on one but when I posted a way of running a W95 game using a PS1 simulator my post was immediately removed. It did actually run far better than it did on my original W98 desktop and worked with a games controller too. The same result could have been had legally and much more easily if I'd purchased an old PS1 console on eBay. :)

    Sometimes I wish that I'd kept my original desktop but as I'd already changed some of the hardware to make the upgrade to XP it probably wouldn't have taken a reinstall of Windows 98.
     
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  14. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +241

    I doubt your 92 computer would run 98. You would need to find someone more and likely who has a old win 98 or 95 computer. Who quit using due to a buying a newer computer. I have ran into this quit a few times. I have fixed someones computer and they have wanted to give me their old win 98 computer in exchange.
     

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