Difference between Win98se start up floppy vs. usb stick

May 20, 2012 at 20:55:47
Specs: Windows XP
I've always preferred prepping my hard disk for OS installation from win98se floppy disk because I think it lets me have full access to hard disk and have always preferred FAT32 format over the NTFS that why I never liked prepping HD from the OS installation CD and have always suspected that access to the HD is limited. So was wondering if using a win98se on usb stick would be better. What is your preferred way to prep HD before installing OS?

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#1
May 20, 2012 at 22:59:57
Hi,

Personally, I prefer using a USB stick when possible.

HTH

Elinor Hurst
http://elinorhurst.blogspot.com


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#2
May 21, 2012 at 10:09:28
Win9x/ME doesn't use & can't use NTFS, so I don't know what you're getting at? 2000/XP can use either FAT32 or NTFS but the FAT32 format tool built into the discs does NOT support partitions larger than 32GB. This is because Microsoft wants you to use NTFS. Vista & Win7 can read/write to FAT32, but cannot be installed on it.

When installing Win98, I boot off the Win98 boot floppy & run FDISK from the DOS prompt. I wipe out all partitions, then create at least 2 new partitions (one for Windows, one for storage). Then I go back to the DOS prompt & format. There is no format choice between FAT32 or NTFS because Win98 doesn't support NTFS. To be able to use a USB stick, the motherboard/BIOS must support USB option in the boot order. Many older boards do not support USB booting.

When installing 2000/XP/Vista/7, I prep the HDD in advance using 3rd party software such as available from the HDD manufacturer or I use UBCD. I only use FAT32 on small drives (20GB or less) because FAT32 usually performs better on smaller drives. When using FAT32 on larger drives, there's a lot of slack space (which means wasted space). NTFS has a default cluster size of 4k, the FAT32 cluster size varies depending on the size of partition, it maxes out at 32k. That means that a 1k file on NTFS takes up 4k, but the same file on FAT32 can take up to 32k. And the max file size when using FAT32 is 4GB minus 1 byte.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192322


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#3
May 21, 2012 at 13:15:25
You might have problems finding 98 drivers for computers with a 'boot from USB' option since those motherboards are relatively new compared to hardware designed for 98.

Also, there's no problem with prepping the drive with the 98 cd as long as your computer can boot from cd, The files needed for that are the same on both the floppy and cd.


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Related Solutions

#4
May 22, 2012 at 03:32:27
As riider states, Win9x doesn't support NTFS, so there's no issue there except choosing between FAT16 or FAT32.

There's little difference between booting of a floppy (for machines that don't support booting from optical-disc), and booting off CD (for machines that do). Only some (older) machines that were designed for Win9x will allow booting from USB anyway, and there's little advantage (other than possibly speed) for doing so...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#5
May 22, 2012 at 15:27:52
khusk lists WinXP as their OS.

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#6
May 25, 2012 at 01:43:32
Beg to differ about the USB bootable issue. I can boot off Linux-based USB-stick anyday on my box. And it isn't old! ;-)

Elinor Hurst
http://elinorhurst.blogspot.com


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#7
May 25, 2012 at 09:21:37
But if it was old you couldn't do it because your bios wouldn't have a 'boot from USB' option.

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#8
June 6, 2012 at 16:21:39
Win 98 and 98SE have no built in support for recognizing USB flash drives - ME was the first Windows version that did.

How would you get around that when trying to install 98SE from a flash drive ? ?
........

"There's little difference between booting of a floppy (for machines that don't support booting from optical-disc), and booting off CD (for machines that do)"

As in, booting from the 98SE CD emulates booting from the 98SE Startup floppy disk.
........

I frequently made FAT32 partitions slightly smaller than 32 gb (32,768 mb) - that way the file allocation unit size was 16 kb rather than 32 kb.


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#9
June 6, 2012 at 20:34:04
I've never had to do an install that way but I think the logic is that the bios gives the USB drive an initial drive letter that should allow the install to proceed until the first reboot, which of course is done from the hard drive. After that I'm not sure. If setup has copied all the files it needs to the hard drive then the install should continue. I'm fairly certain though there'll be a problem when it tries to find drivers in the latter part of the install.

If a person boots from a USB stick instead of a 98 floppy bootdisk then it shouldn't make any difference at all since the bootdisk's job is done once the 98 install begins. There's no need for 98 to recognize the USB drive since the install is using the cd. The bootdisk (or USB drive) just gets it started.


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#10
August 5, 2012 at 19:43:33
"Win 98 and 98SE have no built in support for recognizing USB flash drives - ME was the first Windows version that did. "

I did have a USB disk once that supported 98SE. I think it was 256 or 512 MB. The drivers had to be downloaded for 98SE and the maker was verbatam I believe. Also I had a external; case for IDE drives that supported 98 SE.Just because the OP does not come back in 3 or 4 days to reply, does not mean he will not come back and reply.


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#11
August 6, 2012 at 16:47:05
Not heard anything from the poster since May.

Silly question (maybe) but are we sure this is W9X?
Reason I ask is that the spec is given as XP.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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