Creating Win 98 Boot Disk on CD?

July 9, 2005 at 09:34:36
Specs: Windows XP, P4 3000

I need to create a windows 98 boot disk on a CD-ROM to fix a hard disk problem on my windows XP machine. The XP computer doesn't have a floppy disk drive. Can I just copy the contents of a windows 98 boot disk on over to cd? Where can I find a windows 98 boot disk anyways?

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July 9, 2005 at 09:40:31

You would use your burning software to create a bootable CD from a floppy disk (or image of one)

Bootdisks are *widely* available online (Google??)

Can't you just boot from the XP CD?

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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July 9, 2005 at 09:42:06

Or can't you just boot to safe mode?


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July 9, 2005 at 09:52:59

I was adviced by more than one person that I need to create a windows 98 boot disk to fix my windows XP disk drive problem (I don't know if these guys are geniuses or full of crap or what). ANYways, I guess I could describe my disk drive problem...

When installing windows XP on a new computer I mistakenly set a disk drive partition size to zero. The machine froze and I had to reboot. When I tried to install XP again I deleted the botched partition and the drive kinda 'disappeared.' (I installed XP on a second drive). The first drive doesn't show up under the hard disk listing in My Computer. The device manager says that the disk drive is "enabled" and working properly but when I click on 'populate' in Volumes it says that the Disk is "Unknown," "Unreadable," and has a capacity of zero. The disk drive doesn't show up/isn't accessible via disk management.

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July 9, 2005 at 09:57:37

"set a disk drive partition size to zero"

.. that sounds somewhat familiar(?)

Booting from the XP should allow you to do whatever is required, although by all means try your (convoluted) approach. Win98 tools may not work as hoped on modern (enormous) hard drives

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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July 9, 2005 at 10:18:09

Jboy is that what you meant?

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July 9, 2005 at 10:26:27

If I understand your posts correctly, there are two (or more) HDDs on your PC.
The HDD in question is the one on which you initially tried to install WinXP but failed because the partition problem.
So you installed WinXP on a second HDD and now want to make the first HDD useable.

If so, the startup disk sounds like a good idea.
The utilities on the disk should be able to see the HDD and partition and format it.
One thing:
Is the drive you are using formatted in NTFS or FAT32?
If its FAT32, I advise you to disconnect that HDD while working on the other HDD to avoid any chance of accidentally formatting or otherwise doing anything bad to it.

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July 9, 2005 at 10:31:02

I posted earlier in a different forum about my hard disk problem and got a solution. The topic of this post was initially about putting a windows 98 boot disk on a CD-ROM, whether or not this was possible/would work, etc. But people started taking issue with the whole windows 98 boot disk idea (i.e. why do I need a windows 98 boot disk?) so I had to explain my hard disk problem. I already tried using the windows XP disk and I found no intuitive way to fix the problem. With regards to finding the 98 boot disk files on-line, I haven't found anything yet (most of that I've found are these executibles that write directly to a floppy disk--I don't have a floppy disk drive).

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July 9, 2005 at 10:33:25

efs2, yes, you hit my situation right on the nose (formatted in NTFS btw). Thank you.

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July 9, 2005 at 10:37:47

Ok, well (understandably) I'm not all that conversant with the features of XP - there's a whole 'nother forum for that

"are these executibles that write directly to a floppy disk"

Yes, of course they are. The executables contain a floppy. disk. image. - you would use that with your burning software. What did you expect to find?

Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

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July 9, 2005 at 12:24:04

I can not comprehend why XP will not undertake what you want, it has tools for formatting/partitoning available during install.

Also if you have the WinImage Software you should be able to extract the files to a folder!

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July 9, 2005 at 12:42:29

My initial forum question was on whether or not a 98 boot disk copied onto CD-ROM would work just as good as a floppy (I'm not sure I got a definitive answer to that question; then again, we did get sidetracked a bit). What I did was this: I found different computer with a floppy drive, ran the windows 98 boot disk executable (which dumped the contents of the boot disk into a floppy disk), burned the contents of the floppy disk onto a CD-ROM, then tried booting the problem computer. No luck--I can't get the boot disk to boot even after selecting the CD-ROM drive as the boot source.

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July 9, 2005 at 12:45:06

Windows is Windows (why didn't I get a Mac?). When I try to partition the problem drive using the XP install disc it says that the drive "isn't accessible." It simply cannot be done.

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July 9, 2005 at 13:35:13

Is the file system NTFS or FAT32?


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July 9, 2005 at 13:36:37

If you burn the files from a bootdisk to a cd all you have is a cd with bootdisk files on it. You don't have a bootable cd.

What you want is a bootable cd with the bootdisk files on it. You need to familiarize yourself with the bootable cd option in your burner software.

98 can't access NTFS partitions. 98 fdisk can remove an NTFS partition. But then I would expect that XP could do that also.

Anyway, I guess give the 98 bootable cd a try (once you get it made), run fdisk and remove the partition(s) on the problem drive and see if that solves your problem.

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July 9, 2005 at 13:54:41


Instead of trying to create bootable CD, the easiest thing you can do is download BartPE or Ultimate Boot CD. I believe either one will allow you to do whatever you need to do to correct the HD problems.


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July 9, 2005 at 14:48:43

In the course of searching around for a way to make a bootable CD another unrelated windows problem has cropped up. I've had no success so far in making the Windows 98 boot CD (the ancilliary windows problem may have something to do with it, I don't know). I'd like to try the one of the solutions suggested above (e.g. BartPE) but... I... think I'm losing my mind and need to take a break. I'll try again in a couple hours. Thanks all for the help so far.

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July 9, 2005 at 14:51:05

Okay, the fog is lifting.
The Startup Disk downloads are direct-to-floppy .exe utilities, which are no good for you.
So I found this website with the Windows ME Startup Disk ISO image and instructions on how to create a bootable CD containing those files:

The Windows ME Startup Disk is the same as the Win98 Startup Disk, but I think it includes a couple of extra utilities.
Anyway, it's the one I mostly use now and know it works.

Good luck.

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July 9, 2005 at 17:06:25

I tried a couple of the .iso image files at the All Boot Files website.
They don't boot unless the "Bootable Disk/CD" option is selected when burning them to a CD.
I don't know why. I thought an .iso image from a bootable disk burned to a CD made the CD bootable.
Anyway, there's no advantage to using the .iso image files.
So I second DIC's recommendation that you re-burn the Win98 Startup Disk files to a CD and choose the "Bootable Disk/CD" option.
I'm sorry if I added to your frustration.

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July 25, 2005 at 08:54:40

I made an easy to use guide that explains exactly how to make a windows 98 boot disk cd
all you need is a floppy disk and disk drive and a cdwriter.

Six simple steps.

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