Remove Windows XP then Reinstall Windows 98

Hewlett-packard / Dm170a-aba a350n
August 11, 2010 at 14:33:09
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 2.8 GHz / 511 MB
I have an old PC that I have replaced and the OS is Windows XP. I have it set up in my work shop and what I would like to do is uninstall Windows XP and install an older OS -- Windows 98, for which I have a disc. What I would like to know is first, can this be done and if so could someone please help me out with instructions on how to do it? Thanks.

See More: Remove Windows XP then Reinstall Windows 98

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August 11, 2010 at 14:47:02
Did the computer originally come with Win98?

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August 11, 2010 at 16:12:25
Yes, the computer came with Win 98 but a friend installed XP for me later on.

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August 11, 2010 at 16:52:09
Do you have a Win98 CD and boot floppy?

You also need a floppy drive and a CD drive.

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August 11, 2010 at 20:35:40
Wrong forum nothing to do with XP, should be in the W98 Forium.....

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August 11, 2010 at 20:56:38
I have to disagree with you there because the operating system in the PC is XP and I want to know how to get rid of it before replacing it with Windows 98.

To OtheHill, yes I do have a Windows 98 CD but I don't know anything about a boot floppy.

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August 12, 2010 at 03:15:38 is where you can download a copy of a '98 boot floppy; save to a hard drive; expand to a floppy.. Use that floppy....

Get the '98SE version that includes CD drivers; and also fdisk and format utils. Often one or both of the latter are in a compressed folder within that floppy (once expanded from the image) already expanded.

Some - but not all - '98 CDs were bootable; but always useful to have a boot floppy to hand regardless?

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August 12, 2010 at 04:37:21
Do you know the model of your Packard Bell? You may need to download some drivers before wiping the hard drive.

Win98 uses the FAT32 file system for the hard drive. Most likely you have the NTFS file system currently installed. Win98 can't be installed on a partition formatted using NTFS. So you may need to delete the partitions on the hard drive and create new partitions then formatting it/them using FAT32.

At this time I would ask why you want to return to WinXP? How long have you used WinXP?

If the specs you list in your first post are correct that computer did NOT come from the factory with Win98 installed on it. The processor is much faster than anything available at that time.

Did you use the Win98 installation for any length of time? If so, were there any problems?

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August 12, 2010 at 09:13:36
First of all, pay no attention to the specs listed with my first post because they apply to this PC that I am using right now. The one I want to convert is an older PC that was built by a local merchant who is long out of business. Anyway, it did come with WIN 98 and like I said, my friend upgraded it to XP. Up until recently my wife had been using it but now she has replaced it so it is now sitting in my work shop. The reason I want to revert it to WIN 98 is because I still have several old programs that will not work on XP or newer systems, one in particular that I have never been able to find another as good, and I thought that I would switch it back to WIN 98 and use it occasionally for these old programs.

How can I check to see if it has the FAT32 or NTFS file system? To be honest with you I don't know much about them.

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August 12, 2010 at 09:20:00
I also forgot to mention that when my friend upgraded the PC to XP he also put in a larger hard drive and more memory. I suppose this might complicate things even more?

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August 12, 2010 at 09:28:54
mmm Seem to recall that too much RAM is an issue for '98; but there is tweak in the ini file to resolve that. The OS will go in nonethless as I understand it... (RAM limit - unmodified - is 512Meg?)

And if you don't have the correct Fdisk util that too becomes an issue if drive is too large for '98. this is discussed here:

However you asking how to remove XP and install 98SE?

How is the drive partitioned at present; and file formats?

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August 12, 2010 at 09:40:36
As per #9, Look in Disk Management to determine both the total hard drive capacity (disk 0) and the file system. It will either state NTFS or FAT32. Most likely FAT32.

If the hard drive is larger than 127GB then you may have problems that you are not aware of. The simple check at this point is to carefully watch the POST screens at start up to verify the BIOS is configuring the hard drive by both the drive model number and the FULL drive capacity.

If the BIOS is identifying the capacity at 127GB for instance, that would indicate the BIOS is not 48 bit LBA compatible and the hard drive is not fully compatible with the motherboard. If that is the case continuing to run WinXP on that computer will eventually result in data corruption or loss.

The RAM issue was addressed in #10. Win98 can't use more than 512MB of RAM Running more than that causes problems. If the computer is the vintage you indicate the RAM count is probably more like 128 or 256MB.

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August 12, 2010 at 09:48:53
He's got XP installed OK.

What we need to know now is how many partitions on the drive as is; and file format(s).

As XP is installed (and presumably bootable?) all this is viewable via MyComputer or Explorer.

Right click on each drive/partition listed therein. It will show a dialogue window giving both each drive/partition's size (used and unused space) and the file format.

We can deal more completely/succinctly with the RAM issue later - once '98 is installed...

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August 12, 2010 at 13:03:49

The OP stated the hard drive was replaced with a larger one. I am trying to verify there is no issue with the drive being larger than 127GB. If the computer originally came with Win98 the BIOS most likely is NOT 48 bit LBA compliant.

I agree the RAM issue can be dealt with later.

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August 12, 2010 at 18:14:41
Okay guys, I went out and checked and here is what I found. The operating system is Window XP Service Pack 2 and the hard drive is 74.5 GB (9 GB used and 65.5 free). The file system is NTFS and the RAM is 256MB.

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August 13, 2010 at 02:43:12
And you wish to remove XP and install '98SE?

Presuming so.. The RAM isn't an isue - you're obviously under the '98 limit of 512 Meg (thus no need of tweaking ini files).

In truth you have more than enuff RAM for '9x/ME to wrk very happily... Any more is a waste - unless you're into serious number crunching apps (spreadsheets and serious games etc....).

Boot up with a '98 bootdisk - the one with the later Fdisk inculded; or even better an ME to bootdisk to same end (and that it also available at as a download - and probably better to get that one anyway regardless)

Run Fdisk and inspect partitions; then opt to delete the non-dos partition (which is how dos/'9x/ME see ntfs...)'

Then (still using Fdisk) reconfigure the drive afresh... I suggest a decent size Primary for the OS etc.... and balance of drive (Extended partition/logical-drive) for data - only... I'd suggest 5Gig for OS etc; certainly no more than 10Gig...; as '9x/ME don't need much room (unless you really stack up assorted apps/utils etc....).

Format both as fat32.

Then with the '98 CD in the slot/drive... access it and run '98 setup routine; install it to c: drive...

You may have to find the graphic card drivers anon; unless they happen to be included within the defaults sets in the '98 itself. Initially you will be able to set system up using default vga drivers; and then go on-line etc. to locate the more advanced/complete set for the graphics card.

Fdisk routines...

installing '98 (and also ME)...

Remember that once you delete XP you have in effect a "new" blank drive... And thus the comments in the above links apply equally so.

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