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Thread: Installing Windows 98 SE on a 60GB hard drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Installing Windows 98 SE on a 60GB hard drive?

    I got an old ThinkPad from my college that had Windows 98 SE installed (with some kind of medical software running over top of it) on a 60GB hard drive. Like I do with every time I get a machine that still has a hard drive, I wiped out the drive with DBAN so I could do a fresh install of 98 SE. However, I've run into problems that I don't understand.

    When I run the setup program directly, I get this error message:

    https://i.imgur.com/2LadQKK.jpg

    And when I try to run setup from command line, I get this very confusing error message:

    https://i.imgur.com/5rOjbAl.jpg

    My question is, what trick am I supposed to use to get Windows 98 SE to install on this hard drive? I don't have any other 2.5 IDE drives at my disposal.

  2. #2
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    How large is your C: partition? Try shrinking it down to about 2GB using fdisk and trying again.

  3. #3

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    Setup will give you that error if the drive dosen't contain a fat32 partition - Run fdisk before setup (win98 wont partition it for you)
    Fdisk will also tell you if the drive isn't recognized.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Currently Looking for Samsung Sens Pro Laptop's (500, 520,800,820) and accessories, specifically a docking station.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsvince725 View Post
    Like I do with every time I get a machine that still has a hard drive, I wiped out the drive with DBAN ...
    Not always the best approach.

    It's far wiser to examine what you've got beforehand in case there are not-so-obvious quirks that may arise when applying your stated strategy.
    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3" or 5" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

    There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -- Leonard Cohen
    ☞ Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

  5. #5
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    Okay, I went and created a new DOS partition that turned out to be 2052MB. I still get the same "An error was detected while formatting your primary hard disk partition" and "Windows Setup requires 7340032 bytes available on your C: drive" errors.

    I'm confused...and I'm worried that despite having a functional install of 98 previously, the hard drive might be bad in some way.

  6. #6
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    Have you downloaded all the necessary Thinkpad drivers? I know there was a 2000 update to FDisk but supposedly that only matters with drives larger than 64 GB.

  7. #7
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    No actually, I only updated the BIOS. I will have to look for that FDisk update then.

  8. #8
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    It should work. I recently installed 98 SE on an 80 GB IDE drive without a problem. Are you sure the drive is good?. The first message sounds like an error occurred during formatting. Maybe try FDISK and then format in DOS to see if that works.

  9. #9
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    I have 98SE installed on a 120GB SSD. The only problem I ran into was with the 2GB of memory--installing a special XMS and RAM drive to make less memory available fixed that and it installed without incident.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Ken, turns out formatting C: in DOS and then running setup fixed things! The setup is running as it should now, which is excellent.

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