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Grandcheapskate
September 22nd, 2015, 12:43 PM
Hi Guys,
I am installing Win98 onto a machine which used to have DOS. I formatted the C drive (using Win98 software) but left data on all the logical drives. I boot off a Win98 diskette and then run the SETUP program from the full install CD. The OS starts to load then I get a message telling me an operating system already exists and I need to use a Win98 update CD.

Since there is a blank C drive and no OS files on the other logical drives, my only conclusion is a Win98 full install CD wants every defined drive to be completely empty. Is that true? If not, what else could it be?

Update:
Just for fun I decided to try using the Win98 Upgrade CD even though there is no OS currently on the C drive. It seems to be working. Very interesting. It appears I can upgrade without an existing OS on the hard drive.

Also interesting: it choose the default OS location as the D:\Windows, not C:\Windows.

Thanks...Joe

Stone
September 22nd, 2015, 01:31 PM
You need to check your partition table. You'll likely find something you didn't expect. FWIW, an OS is only three files, two of which are hidden.

stangman517
September 22nd, 2015, 02:56 PM
Hello Joe.

Granted you posted an "Update" my comments from the peanut gallery below . . .

Since you have a partition formatted as drive C I would put an OS on that partition. I favor using DOS (IBM or MS-DOS). If there's enough space on this partition then Win98 will install and it doesn't care what are on the other partitions. They are extended partitions so they will be left alone. If they're either HPFS or NTFS then DOS will not see them. You may be forced to dump the data from those extended partitions and then recreate them using the fdisk pgm and then use them with DOS or Win98.

Re: boot from a Win98 diskette and the OS starts saying an OS already exists may mean it's trying to install Win98 on the boot media.

Does Win98 require all partitions be empty? Neh not really but the file system types cannot be anything other than FAT16. If they're HPFS for NTFS then nope Win98 cannot see them.

Stone
September 22nd, 2015, 03:32 PM
Not so... WIN98 natively supports FAT32.

Chuck(G)
September 22nd, 2015, 05:31 PM
My usual to install Win98SE from a CD-ROM is to get a Win98-formatted system floppy with FDISK and FORMAT on it, as well as any CD drivers and MSCDEX.EXE. Set up CONFIG.SYS appropriately, use FDISK to partition the hard disk, making sure to have the C: partition active. Reboot, do a FORMAT /S C:, then copy all the files from the floppy to the C: drive. Insert your CD, remove the floppy and reboot. Run the CD setup from the hard disk.

Never fails.

Grandcheapskate
September 22nd, 2015, 06:34 PM
I got Win98SE loaded just fine using the upgrade CD, but it's still a very weird series of events. Here's the sequence:

1. Two hard drives. Master drive contains an active primary C partition with DOS 6.20 and an extended partition with three logical drives all formatted and some with data. The slave drive is one large extended partition with four logical drives. All partitions were created by DOS and therefore are FAT16.

2. Boot the machine using a Win98 diskette which also contains some utilities (such as FDISK). Because DOS is still on the C drive, during the floppy boot I get some warning about compressed drives not working. I assume Win98 is complaining because it sees a DOS operating system. But the boot process continues and I get the A prompt.

3. Using the utilities on the floppy, I format the C drive. All other drives are left intact.

4. I start the SETUP program from the WIN98 full install CD and after some preliminary screens I get the message I cannot use this CD because an operating system already exists and I need to use the upgrade CD.

5. I repeat steps 3 and 4 with the same result.

6. I repeat step 3 and try running the SETUP program from the Win98 upgrade CD. All goes smoothly. The only odd thing is the default drive for installation is proposed as D:\Windows rather than C:\Windows. But I changed it to C:\Windows and that's where it got installed.

So apparently even without an OS installed, the Win98 full installation CD will not work if any of the other drives have data. And conversely, the upgrade will work even if no prior operating system is installed as long as some drives have data.

How about that?

Joe

SomeGuy
September 23rd, 2015, 05:25 AM
You probably have *something* on the D: drive that it identifies as a previous version of DOS or Windows. Perhaps a copy of command.com, hidden msdos.sys or IO.sys files, or a copy of win.com. I don't remember the full list of files it searches for off hand. The drives don't have to be totally blank, but if I recall correctly it searches the entire directory hierarchy for these files.

The OEM version refuses to install if an existing OS is present, and the upgrade refuses to install if a qualifying existing OS is not present - that is by design. The typical workaround is to place/remove the files it is looking for or modify the setupex.dll.

PeterNC
September 23rd, 2015, 07:15 AM
I typically FDISK the entire drive and then install 98SE.

Grandcheapskate
September 23rd, 2015, 08:18 AM
You probably have *something* on the D: drive that it identifies as a previous version of DOS or Windows. Perhaps a copy of command.com, hidden msdos.sys or IO.sys files, or a copy of win.com. I don't remember the full list of files it searches for off hand. The drives don't have to be totally blank, but if I recall correctly it searches the entire directory hierarchy for these files.

The OEM version refuses to install if an existing OS is present, and the upgrade refuses to install if a qualifying existing OS is not present - that is by design. The typical workaround is to place/remove the files it is looking for or modify the setupex.dll.

At 4am this morning it hit me. The D drive contains the full Windows 3.1 directory. This must be why the full install sees an OS (despite the fact Windows 3.1 by itself is useless) and the upgrade thinks an OS is there. It also explains why the installation defaults to D:\Windows as that is where I have my Windows 3.1 files.

Thanks guys. Another DOH! on my part.

Joe

stangman517
September 24th, 2015, 03:51 PM
Hmm, my Win98 SE shows FAT16; if you're correct then there must be a switch upon installation. Care to share?

Stone
September 24th, 2015, 05:12 PM
FAT32 was introduced starting with OSR2/WIN95B which preceded WIN98. OSR2 and WIN98 support both FAT16 and FAT32. I believe FDISK identifies FAT32 with something like ...'enable large disk support' or something to that effect which allows partition sizes > 2 GB.

stangman517
September 26th, 2015, 09:50 AM
Question to both Chuck(G) and Joe.

Using he Win98SE boot diskette and when using fdisk, does this make it 32bit? I recently did a Win98Se install and THOUGHT it was native 32bit but I checked and saw it was FAT16 not FAT32. Stone mentioned this, but my brain said "wait a minute; mine is FAT16." SO I had to check and saw it's supposed to be native FAT32.

I also thought Win95 is a hybrid 16/32bit and Win98 was 32bit . . .

If using a Win98Se boot diskette and its fdisk makes it FAT32 then I'll start mine over.

Thanks

stangman517
September 26th, 2015, 09:55 AM
I remember choosing the large disk support; I thought FAT16 supports up to 2gb parts. It's been several months since I did this and cannot remember if I used DOS fdisk or Win98 fdisk.

krebizfan
September 26th, 2015, 10:11 AM
Win98 will run with either FAT16 or FAT32 and format disks either way. For partitions with 512MB to 2GB, there is a poorly worded prompt that determines which format is used. Should you make a mistake and get a large FAT16 partition, the full Win98 package includes a utility to convert that partition to FAT32. Run Defrag after conversion because there will be a lot of isolated free clusters created.

See
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/221829
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/180134

There is a flaw in the Win98 and Win98SE implementation that fails with 64GB (or larger) hard drives. There was a fix but I don't think it can be downloaded from MS anymore.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/263044

SomeGuy
September 26th, 2015, 10:44 AM
I also thought Win95 is a hybrid 16/32bit and Win98 was 32bit . . .
Windows 95, 98 and ME all use the same "hybrid" 16/32bit architecture built on top of the DOS/Windows 3.x code base.

Stone
September 26th, 2015, 11:16 AM
Windows 95, 98 and ME all use the same "hybrid" 16/32bit architecture built on top of the DOS/Windows 3.x code base.Not quite... it was introduced with OSR2/WIN95b so the original WIN95 release did not use the 32-bit architecture.

krebizfan
September 26th, 2015, 11:29 AM
Not quite... it was introduced with OSR2/WIN95b so the original WIN95 release did not use the 32-bit architecture.

Win95 was a mixture of 32-bit and 16-bit compiled sections. Even Win 3 had 32-bit parts for tasks like swap file. FAT32 does not need 32-bit code anymore than FAT12 required 12-bit code.

Caluser2000
September 26th, 2015, 11:36 AM
Not quite... it was introduced with OSR2/WIN95b so the original WIN95 release did not use the 32-bit architecture.Tell MS that then. Reading the back of the Windows 95 box "32 bit pre-emptive multitasking"

On the leaflet inside the package in the table on the back page "Performance Features" under For More possibilties- "32-bit preemtive multitasking and multithreading"

To quote SomeGuy:


Windows 95, 98 and ME all use the same "hybrid" 16/32bit architecture built on top of the DOS/Windows 3.x code base.

Stone
September 26th, 2015, 11:43 AM
I guess I should have said FAT32 file system. :-) My bad.

Caluser2000
September 26th, 2015, 11:54 AM
There is a flaw in the Win98 and Win98SE implementation that fails with 64GB (or larger) hard drives. There was a fix but I don't think it can be downloaded from MS anymore.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/263044It's included in the unofficial fixpack I believe.

I learnt a few weeks back there is a Freedos kernal implimentation that has Fat32 support which could be used on 286 systems.

Chuck(G)
September 26th, 2015, 12:03 PM
Woah...

We're talking about two different notions of "32 bit".

Windows 95/98 and ME are largely 32-bit code. That is, they use code that makes use of 32-bit registers and addressing on an 80386 or above. In a sense, it's a whole different instruction set. VxDs, for example, are 32-bit executable code. Even Windows 3.0 can make use of 32-bit code. There are even DOS programs that, with the proper "extender" can use 32-bit code. An 80286 cannot run 32-bit code.

That's a whole different issue from FAT12 vs. FAT16 vs. FAT32. The names refer to the size of the bit field used to link disk blocks or clusters. Originally, DOS started with 12-bit cluster enumeration--and that's what's used even today for most floppies. That is, the disk is divided into up to 4,090 or so "clumps" or "clusters" of sectors. On a 360K drive, this is quite natural, as there are only 720 sectors to link together. Initially, hard disks started out this way. but that can be very limiting, both in the amount of storage than can be so enumerated and in the number of files that can be stored.

Let me detour a bit and explain the FAT (File Allocation Table). It's nothing more than a list of clusters (groups of sectors) that's stored in a predefined location on a disk partition or drive. Each slot in this list either points to nothing (the cluster is available for allocation) or signifies the last cluster in a chain of clusters for a file, or points to the next cluster in the chain of clusters that describes the storage used for a file. Just that simple--a FAT is a list. Without it, you've got no way to determine if clusters of sectors are in use or even what their place in a file is.

When the 12-bit FAT became inadequate as hard disks became larger, a 16-bit slot was adopted for hard disks, so up to roughly 65,000 clusters of sectors can be described. Eventually (by about DOS 6), even this was inadequate, so a 32-bit slot was adapted, allowing (theoretically) about 4 billion clusters to be described (it's actually much less, as certain values in the 32-bit slot are reserved for special uses)--and this is what's used for larger partitions in Win9x. (FDISK selects the type of FAT automatically based on the size of the partition, so, for, say a 100MB partition, a 16-bit FAT type will be used).

But 32-bit FAT file systems can be accessed just fine in real-mode 16-bit code. FreeDOS, as well as IBM PC-DOS 7.x can do this as can the DOS boot from Win9x (95 OSR2 and beyond).

There's lots on the web that explains it better than I can.

Caluser2000
September 26th, 2015, 12:13 PM
I know Chuck. As per below:


FAT32 does not need 32-bit code anymore than FAT12 required 12-bit code.

All implementations of Dos I've previously come across personnally gave the impression a 386 up was required to support FAT32. PTS32, IMS Real/32 etc. Freedos shows this is not the case at all. Certainly a Windows 95b disk wont boot on a 286. Neither does a Dos China Union Unofficial MS Dos 7.1 boot disk. Not that Fat32 is really needed on a 286 at all though.

A list of Dos varients that support Fat32 on this link http://www.cn-dos.net/msdos71/dosfat32.htm

stangman517
September 27th, 2015, 12:30 PM
This helped me; it successfully converted from fat16 to fat32 on my 98se box. Thanks for the info and links.