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Clean install of Win98

How to Fdisk, Partition, Format, Reformat, Install - using 98 OEM CD by TekTippy4U
Posted: 24 May 04 (Edited 13 Jul 04)

This FAQ is designed to make a Clean Install go smoothly using a Windows98 OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) CDROM. The premise is to let Windows do most of the detection and work.

Please BEWARE of 4 things before Proceeding;
1. You WILL Lose all your Data on your Hard Disk..
2.Some COMPAQ / HP / PACKARD BELL / IBM PCs that utilize "Diagnostic and Hidden Partitions" are NOT to follow the steps below for various reasons. (please defer/refer to other FAQs located here at TEK-TIPS or Post a ? in the forum).
3. Below Steps are intended for use - IF you have a Windows98 OEM CD only - not just a SYSTEM RESTORE CD (though the steps can be similar), there are other issues - especially if you fall into the #2 category above....
4. Possibly most importantly is, you NEED to have your COA (Certificate of Authenticity) Number, to Complete the Windows 98 Setup - also known as the Product Key - it's a Mix of 25 Alpha-numeric characters, in groups of  5 (12345-6789A-BCDEF-GHIJK-LMNOP). This info can be obtained from the Registry from your working system, so make sure you have it before you wipe the drive.

With an OEM -  inscription will say - "For distribution with New PC only, for product support, contact the PC Manu."

*You'd set your BIOS to "Boot from CDROM" as first Boot device. (e.g. Press F1,F2, Del, F10, or other to Enter BIOS (CMOS) Setup).(most PCs, starting ~1995-96 have this ability - also known as the El-Torito standard)

*When you "Boot from CDROM" you are always presented with 2 choices - If you choose #2 then you are presented with 3 more choices.

Restart with 98 OEM in CDROM Drive (use CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart, whenever necessary)

*First Screen*
*2 choices  [1] Boot from HDD
                       [2] Boot from CDROM
                     (Always use the up/down arrows to choose 2 Boot from CDROM during the next 4-6 Reboots, until Win98 is fully installed).

*3 choices   [1] Start Windows 98 Setup
 follow            [2] Start Computer with CDROM Support
                        [3] Start Computer w/o Cdrom support (almost never).
*Choose Start Computer with CDROM Support this is the 1st and ONLY time in this process that you'll choose this option...it's only used by me to access Fdisk in order to Delete existing partitions.
Use Fdisk to delete existing Partitions. (this causes the Win98 Generic CDROM and SCSI Drivers, and DOS Tools to Load).

(Essentially at this point, once booted with CDROM support, it's exactly the same as if you used a Win98 Startup Floppy (EBD) to boot from, and remember that the CDROM DRIVE LETTER is pushed back one drive letter)

*type Fdisk and delete all partitions in the order described below...
<http://www.newlogic.co.uk/kbase/fdisk/page1.htm>  and
<http://www.computerhope.com/sfdisk3.htm> are just a couple of sites that explain Fdisk a bit. (search the web using "Win98 fdisk" as a Key word, if necessary - for more) - (typing fdisk /status will give you a view of all DOS partitions and status - usually an NTFS/2K/XP partition will be seen as non-dos, though in certain circumstances, an NTFS partition may not even be seen at all by fdisk).

1st  - Non-Dos  (most likely, there are none to delete)
2nd - Logical Dos Drives (could be many)
3rd  - Extended Dos Partition (only 1)
4th  - Primary Active Partition

*Reboot from CDROM again and choose #2 (Boot from CDROM) from the First Boot menu

*********NOW CHOOSE**********
*1. Start Windows 98 Setup from the 2nd menu,
You'll be prompted to "Configure Unallocated Hard Disk Space (recommended)" which invokes Fdisk to run

*Always answer/type "Y", (for FAT32) - only if you DON'T WANT multiple/many 2.1GB FAT16 partitions...if you do - than answer "N".

If you'd like multiple FAT32  partitions, just be sure to NOT  allocate ALL the Hard Disk space when you create the Primary Partition. This will leave you space in which to create the 1 Extended DOS partition, and then many  Logical Dos Drives within (these will show as extra Drive Letters)

*Once done creating the Primary Partition , Answer Yes when prompted to make the newly created Primary Partition "Active"

*Now you can create an Extended DOS Partition (only 1) and allocate the rest of the HDD space to any Logical DOS Drives you'd like to add.

you may get a message to remove a floppy disc....ignore it completely use CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot if necessary

*Reboot from CDROM again and choose #2 (Boot from CDROM)

*1 Start Windows 98 Setup and.... Voilß....FORMAT starts/ runs on it's own because Win98 Setup recognizes that the drive isn't formatted yet. Once formatting is finished, you'll be prompted to Reboot yet again...and again "Boot From CDROM" , then "Start Windows 98 Setup" and now Setup will run and after awhile and atleast 1 restart, possibly 3 restarts (you'll always "Boot from CDROM" first)....it'll continue to run (Setup) phases of install on it's own (with some User intervention to enter information in the fields and to accept the license agreement). At some point, you'll be prompted to enter your COA Number.

You can choose to leave the BIOS Boot Order set to CDROM, Hard Disk Drive, Floppy. Just take any bootable cdrom out of the cdrom drive, so as not to always prompt the Boot Menu to appear. Or you can arrange the Boot order any way you like. Each device in the Boot Order will be Bypassed, one by one, should the system not be able to Boot from It.  

Win98 will automatically run ScanDisk on the Primary Active Partition before formatting....however if you create an Extended DOS partition and Logical DOS drives(D:, E:, F:,etc) - that you must always run a thorough Full Surface Scan on the drives BEFORE writing any Data to them.

For me...I create the Logical DOS Drives in Fdisk....and then from within Windows Explorer - Format and run a Full ScanDisk.

I'd like to extend a grateful thank you to the regulars here at TEK-TIPS for contributing to the info, which allowed this FAQ to be created (short list = Cdogg, Carrr, Edfair, Wolluf, Ski, and others whom I will thank when I remember their screen names...ooops...some brain cells are re-growing; ANFPS26 ....and diogenes10, Syar2003....

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