Segadude

Installing Windows 98 without a floppy or optical drive

6 posts in this topic

I just got an NEC Versa SX laptop. I did not come with the optical or floppy drive. It came with a Windows 2000 install. The hard drive doesn't sound very healthy, it clicks a lot. So I want to replace it with a Compact flash card via a Compact Flash to IDE adapter and install Windows 98SE. I copied the Windows 98SE setup files to the compact flash card via my modern PC and a USB card reader. Now I need to run the Windows 98 setup program to install Windows 98 onto the disk. But without a floppy drive or optical drive, I have no way of doing this. I need to make the compact flash card bootable, but I haven't been successful in doing this. The compact flash card is a 133x Transcend 8GB card. I connected the compact flash to IDE adapter internally to a desktop via my adapter. I booted the desktop off a Windows 98 boot and ran SYS C:. I then removed the floppy and restarted the desktop, but the desktop was not able to boot from the compact flash to IDE adapter, so I assume the NEC won't either. I tried running SYS C: twice. Both times it said "System Transferred". Bottom line, I need to make the compact flash card bootable so I can run the Windows 98 setup. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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How did you partition (before formattng the partition) the CF card?

I suspect that you may have not partitioned the card (or having not partitioned it properly), CF card normally come from factory formatted but not partitioned (i.e. as superfloppies).

jaclaz
 

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I didn't partition it, I just formatted it as FAT32 using Windows Explorer. I'll try partitioning it with fdisk.

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55 minutes ago, Segadude said:

I didn't partition it, I just formatted it as FAT32 using Windows Explorer. I'll try partitioning it with fdisk.

Yes, to be a "hard disk like" device the card needs to be partitioned.

Do check it (after having partitioned it "normally" with fdisk) with Ranish Partition Manager (or use directly RPM to partition it), and take note of the CHS geometry that is detected by BIOS, I seem to remember that (it depends on specific CF cards and also on their size) some may have "queer" geometries which won't affect normal usage but that may be an issue when/if some tools are used that assume a "conventional" 255/63 one.

jaclaz 
 

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It turns out that the partition was not set as active. I went into fdisk and noticed that it said that there was no active partition set. So I set the partition as active with fdisk and it's now bootable. Then I installed the compact flash to IDE adapter into the Versa SX laptop, and successfully installed Windows 98SE. 

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All is well that ends well. :)

jaclaz
 

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