Does Windows 98 have to be installed on "C :"?

  theDarkness 19:45 09 Dec 2010

I have heard that Win 98 can only install on the very first empty partition on a hard disk, and that it can also only be installed on this partition if it is labelled as "C :"? Is this true, and is there an easy way around either of these issues?

Unfortunately xp was installed first, so its currently labelled as C:, although I have at least moved the data using EASEUS Partition Master so that it is no longer the first on disk, so it now comes after the empty 'for 98' partition, running in NTFS format. I now have the partition I wish to use for 98 as primary. This has been formatted as FAT32.

Inserting 98 after a reboot, windows tells me that there is data on the hard drive, and if I wish to delete it or not before an install, so Im assuming that the cd is not relating to the formatted fat32 initial partition on the hd? Right now the partition I wish to use for 98 is labelled as H:, so how can I change this to C? Hopefully if this is possible then the 98 disc (original edition) will install correctly, and on each boot up I can be given the choice of which windows I wish to start up.

I currently have
C: - Hard drive 1 (with XP installed)
D: - DVD Drive
E: - Hard drive 1 partition (with media)
F: - Maxtor Hard drive (with media)
H: - Hard drive 1 empty partition (empty, FAT32 formatted for 98)

  MAT ALAN 19:50 09 Dec 2010

click here

might help...

  MAT ALAN 19:52 09 Dec 2010

click here

More info here, forgot to mention the simplest way to do this is to (and should be) WIN98 first then XP...

  theDarkness 20:02 09 Dec 2010

"Drive C: must be FAT16 or FAT32 to be able to install Windows 98 after XP is already installed. The 98/Me installation routine cannot write to an NTFS partition."

I think im stuffed then, despite having now formatted a hard drive partition as FAT32 on my initially NTFS xp system drive, as I cant afford to lose anything on C by reinstalling both 98 and then xp as FAT32. I cant backup my files on C: or E: from my list, as no spare space on any external devices.

I thought since I had a new partition as FAT32, everything would be fine with an 98 install, as long as I found a way to swap the hard drive letters (the 98 partition to C, and the xp partition to anything else)?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:04 09 Dec 2010

Win 98 can be on any partition as long as its Fat32

Its the boot files that have to be on the root of a boot able drive.

You could always boot from a floppy as long as the autoexe file on the floppy points to the location of windows 98.

If you do not have a floppy then if your machine can boot from USB make a bootable usb with the windows 98 boot files on that with the autoexe file point to the fat32 partion of windows 98 .

Also windows 98 will not be able to see your NTFS drives so any files you want 98 to access MUST be on a fat32 partition.

  theDarkness 22:45 09 Dec 2010

How can I ensure that the boot files for both 98 and xp, on the same hard-drive, on seperate partitions, of differing file formats-fat/ntfs, are both at the root of this drive? I cant boot from floppy as I cannot even finish an 98 installation, its cd wont recognise the fat32 partition I have made, possibly since its currently not labelled as 'C:'. If I type the current drive letter of the fat32 partition (H), it wont accept it. I have also tried changing the label, but anything other than C does not work-and I cant change the xp drive partition letter from C to anything else. I know its possible, but probably not a good idea. I think the next time Ill try this, Ill definately be installing the earliest operating system first! Its quite an old xp system, which was why I thought a seperate partition might work faster and be more compatible than any virtual drive for running old programs.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 23:29 09 Dec 2010

"anything other than C does not work"

Windows 98 cannot see NTFS so it can only see the FAT32 drive and therefore thinks it is C:

so let it install windows to that drive

"How can I ensure that the boot files for both 98 and xp are both at the root of this drive?"

You could copy the XP boot files to H (

MAke a new boot.ini file on H
as follows
open Notepad and copy and Paste this

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, first partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, second partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, third partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="First harddisk, fourth partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, first partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, second partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, third partition" /sos
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Second harddisk, fourth partition" /sos
C:\="Previous Operating System on C:\"

This should find XP on any of 4 partitions on 2 separate drives.

  theDarkness 00:13 10 Dec 2010

haha, slightly confusing-so I had my newly formatted H partition as FAT32 with no contents of its own. When I was ready to install, it would only list C: in the installation process, and perhaps more worryingly- would state that C: DID in fact have content, so I always assumed that it wasnt referring to the new H: drive?

Because of this, I didnt want to take the chance of installing to this partition, just in case it was referring to another other than H (even though as you say, they should not be visible). I needed at the time to perhaps use some basic commands to try and get it to list every drive that it could actually see before the install, just to make sure and be safe. Or just buy a small hard drive for any seperate operating system installations, haha.

are u saying that by adding the above boot info, my current xp should then be selectable from bootup, along with win98, if the 98 installation was successful? I just dont know why 98 keeps referring to the drive as having content, if the H partition is all that is visible? Unless it can only read to H, but as a whole knows that there is other content, eg other partitions, but then I wish 98 was alot clearer in its descriptions! thanks

  theDarkness 02:41 10 Dec 2010

update-didnt work, after agreeing to install, i was being told that I had insufficient ram space (1 gig on this system), so it would seem that ill have to revert to using a virtual pc, unless theres a way to fool earlier versions of windows into thinking that I have an agreeable amount of ram. thanks anyway-i think I had a similar problem before in trying to get my win95 to run.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

WPA2 hack: How secure is your Wi-Fi?

Microsoft Surface Book 2 hands-on review – bigger and 5x faster

Best kids apps for iPhone & iPad

Que faire si son iPhone ou iPad est tombé dans de l'eau ?