ARCHIVED: To install Windows 98 or Me on a laptop, how can I use the startup disk if I cannot use the floppy disk drive and CD-ROM at the same time?

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Note: UITS recommends that you use a current version of Windows on computers connected to the Indiana University network; see Recommended Windows operating systems at IU.

Many laptop computers have interchangeable floppy disk/CD-ROM drives that you cannot use simultaneously. To do a clean install of Windows 98 or Me on an empty hard disk drive, you will need to copy the contents of the startup disk onto the hard drive and edit files in DOS.

Note: For security reasons, you should install Windows or rebuild your Windows computer offline (i.e., unplug your network cable), and then take certain measures to assure its security before putting it back on the network. For instructions, see Safely rebuild your Windows computer

To do a clean install, follow these directions:

Note: These instructions will work only with a Windows 98 or Windows Me startup disk. Also, this process will only work if the laptop computer has only one hard disk or partition. If your laptop has multiple partitions, you will need to remove them before proceeding with the instructions below.

  1. Start your computer with the floppy disk drive in place, and with the startup disk in the drive. When asked if you want to start with CD-ROM support, select Start the computer without CD-ROM support.
  2. You will eventually see the following prompt:
    Above that, you should see a line reading "The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive X:". Throughout this document, replace X: with the drive letter specified by this line. At this prompt, enter:
      format c: /s
  3. This command will take a moment to complete, and at the end it will ask you to specify a disk label. Enter an 11-character name or simply press Enter.
  4. Once you are back at the A:\ prompt, enter:
      copy oakcd*.sys c:
  5. When the A:\ prompt appears again, enter:
  6. You should now see an X:\ prompt. Enter:
      copy mscdex.exe c:
  7. Enter edit. This will open the text editor in DOS. Enter the following line:
      c:\mscdex /d:mscd001
  8. Press Alt-f and select Save As.... Name this file c:\autoexec.bat.
  9. Press Alt-f again, and select New.
  10. Type the following line:
      DEVICE = C:\oakcdrom.sys /d:mscd001
  11. Press Alt-f and select Save As.... Name this file c:\config.sys.
  12. Turn off the laptop, insert the CD-ROM drive, and restart. The computer will come back up with the A:\ prompt as before. Now, enter D:.
  13. Put the Windows CD in the CD-ROM drive, then enter Setup. This should start Windows Setup.

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Last modified on 2018-01-18 13:07:49.