I'm trying to install windows 98 SE, but Scandisk sees error

January 12, 2012 at 13:27:38
Specs: Windows XP Media Center edition SP3, 3.73 GHz 1 physical processor, 2 logical processors/4GB RAM
I have a Dell desktop with Windows XP SP3 installed.

I don't want to mess up my MBR because it's a bit of a hassle to reestablish it so that I can restore it using my preinstalled factory partition. Although, if I had too, I probably could as I've done it once before when I had to install windows XP on another hard drive to clean my primary RAID configured hard drives. It was quite a while before I figured out what to do, a hassle I'd prefer not to have to go through again.

Okay, I'm attempting to install windows 98 on another Hard drive that used to have windows 98.

I turn off my other three hard drives via the bios, leaving only my DVD writer and my Win98 drive running. I boot up with a downloaded A: 98 SE boot disk with CDROM support. I go to F:\win98, and F: is my DVD writer drive, for some reason, and then I type setup.

Then Windows 98 pops up a screen saying that scandisk has found an error on the hard drive. It wants to do a full scan of my hard drive. I think this might be normal, although it appears to find the error without doing a scan, unless it does one quickly in the process of bringing up the windows 98 setup screen. Anyhow, it tells me that it cannot install windows 98 when there is an error.

Now about the hard drive in question:
I formatted and partitioned it using Easuse Partition Master, Home edition, of course. I have a 10GB partition, upon which I plan to install windows 98 SE, and a 4.XGB partition upon which I'm going to attempt to make an image backup of my Windows 98 once I'm done installing all of the necessary drivers and updates that I can still find either in my possession or online.

Continuing on:
Now I scanned the harddrive in question with cmd's chkdsk, and through windows XP drive properties. Being a Maxtor drive, I scanned the drive with the SeaTools boot disk, but neither could find an error, and if the windows XP Chkdsk did find any error, it didn't report it.

I'm not sure what to do next. I've been hesitant to allow scandisk to isolate the sectors it thinks are bad, and if I did, would that allow me to install windows 98, because it literally takes hours for scandisk to complete it's sector by sector scan in the windows 98 setup process.

The next thing I'm going to try in the immediate is to use Easeuse Partition master to attempt to bring my drive back to the way it was, no partitions in hopes that partitioning it with fdisk instead will be more conducive to windows 98 installation.

I managed to finally get into the Win98 install screen. I did this by using the wipe option in the above program, and it set my hard drive to unallocated across. I then booted with the floppy disk again and used Fdisk to partition and then I formatted both drives that I had just partitioned. Scandisk did not pop up this time, the windows 98 install screen popped up and gave me a
Message SU0013
This message told me that it cannot install windows98 and that I cannot use a Hard Drive formatted with NTFS and something else with an H in it, not FAT32.

Anyhow, I reactivated my boot drives, and checked out the drive, it's formatted using FAT32, so I'm not sure what the problem is. I'm going to look around online concerning that message.

See More: Im trying to install windows 98 SE, but Scandisk sees error

Report •

January 12, 2012 at 14:08:17
The 1st thing I need to ask is why do you want Win98? Are you trying to install it on a modern system with more than 512MB RAM? I doubt you're going to get that to happen without lowering the RAM amount.

How about providing more details? Start by listing your complete system specs & size of HDDs. Are they SATA or IDE? Win98 doesn't support SATA so you're not going to get it to install on a SATA HDD unless it's done in a Virtual Machine.

Report •

January 12, 2012 at 14:21:29
It's and IDE hard drive set as master, and the DVD writer is set as slave. I have 4GB of RAM installed despite the fact that XP only uses just over 3GB, but I bought it before I realized that, so might as well keep it right?

The Hard Drive that I'm attempting to use has already had Windows 98 on it. It's size is just over 14GB.

Anyhow, you're saying I'm going to need to somehow trick my system into reading that I have only 512MB of RAM?

Oh, and it doesn't matter why I want Win98, I just do. Anyhow, to answer your question, it's because I want access to real DOS, and I want a working real OS that will run older games. I've used Dosbox, I know there's something called virtualwhatever that people install windows98 in, but I want a separate OS on my system. I realize that booting to Win98 will require me to hit F12 and select the drive to boot from, and I'm okay with this if it means not having to reestablish my XP MBR

Report •

January 12, 2012 at 14:29:48
Windows 9x can only use 512MB of RAM without system modifications.

There are "tweaking" methods that will allow you up to about 1.5GB, however I have never been able to get them to work. To use more than 1.5GB a third-party patch is required.

See these links:
Relevant Info:

Third-Party patch:

Report •

Related Solutions

January 12, 2012 at 14:34:58
Having too much RAM, will that bar me from installing windows 98 SE completely, or can I install it still. Also, what error should I be seeing if I have too much RAM because the only error message I saw was:
Message SU0013

Report •

January 12, 2012 at 14:43:45
The first stage of installation will complete, but when the machine reboots for the second phase you will get an error something like this:

"Insufficient memory to initialize Windows"

When there is really too much memory rather than not enough. So you will never make it to the 98 Desktop without some modifications or reducing the RAM to 512MB.

If you really want to use 98, then I recommend the third-party patch. It's worth every penny. There is a demo version that works for 10 minutes to verify compatibility. It is available on the site I linked above.

Report •

January 12, 2012 at 16:07:55
Thanks, but first I have to figure out how to get past this message su0013, then I'll tackle that problem.

I rebooted since the last time to try booting from the Win98 CD itself rather than the floppy disk and I'm getting Scandisk saying that I have an error again. I don't know if my WinXP keeps writing something to the disk that's causing this error issue or what, but it seems I'm going to have to do another wipe of my drive, and then repartition and format it using Fdisk again, except this time I'll boot from the CD when I do this. I'll see if that message appears again or not.

Wouldn't it possible to program a boot disk that reads the system RAM, however high it is, triggers the Windows98 boot up, and then when Windows98 looks for system RAM, the boot disk communicates 512MB of RAM instead of the full amount? I seem to remember something about properly edited boot disks being the universal cure-all for MS-DOS on up to Windows 98 software troubleshooting, more particularly for games that needed special edits to start properly.

Report •

January 12, 2012 at 16:44:08
Followup questions are asked for clarification. You didn't bother to list your system specs but if you have a reasonably modern system, you're not going to get Win98 to install or run properly no matter what you do. Modern hardware doesn't support 98 & there are no drivers available. This can all be avoided by running 98 in a virtual machine. Either that get an older system to run 98 on.

Anyhow, you can't install Win98 while you have 4GB RAM installed. You need to lower the memory amount to 512MB or less, then attempt the install. If you get it to work, you can edit the vcache settings in the system.ini file, then re-install the rest of your RAM again.

Report •

January 13, 2012 at 00:30:43
Not exactly. It depends on how you define "modern."

By looking at the OP's system specs at the top, I'm going to make an educated guess that it is a high-end Pentium 4 HT system. Therefore, if I am correct and if his motherboard uses the Intel 865 or 875 chipsets there ARE drivers and it CAN BE MADE to work.

And you CAN install Windows 98 with 4GB of RAM IF you have the third party patch.

vcache is irrelevant and will not help unless he plans to drop down to below 1.5GB of RAM.

Report •

January 13, 2012 at 11:29:18
Why would you recommend that someone pay $20+ for a patch to be able to run an outdated OS? I'm really not a big fan of VM, but sometimes it's the best option.

Report •

January 13, 2012 at 15:49:09
I can drop down to 1GB RAM, I think. I was just inside my computer the other day and can't remember if I have two 2GB cards or four 1GB cards. I believe it's four 1GB cards. And yes it's a Hyper-threading Extreme P4. Someone once told me that having a second logical processor so that the 32 bit system can run 64 bit applications is Hyper threading. I'm not sure what the chipset is. I can't seem to find it listed other than Pentium 4.

As for my other stuff, I'm hoping to find at least generic drivers for most of it if I can't find a specific driver for windows 98. I know my video card probably will just have to use generic drivers. It's a Sapphiretech Radeon HD 4850 1GB, but my sound card is a sound blaster Audigy, and I'm hoping it's compatible with the older generic sound blaster drivers.

Anyhow, first I have to get past that message.

Are there things in XP that I may have set that can cause an empty drive to give a false error when windows 98 scandisk looks at it just before installing? The only way I've avoided that error detection so far is if I wipe the drive so that it's unallocated and then use fdisk right before I try to install windows 98 to partition the disk, then I format the partitions, then install windows 98. I'm going to do it again, a second time to see if it works this time using only the CD rather than the floppy boot disk. I expect I'll see the message again.

Also, once I finally can do something in windows98, isn't there some way to hide the extra RAM from windows 98. I mean there was a way to hide or even to trick games into thinking there was more way back when. Why is that impossible now?

Report •

January 13, 2012 at 17:41:36
SU errors are usually--but not always--associated with ram. Dropping it to 1 gig if that's the lowest you can go with your existing sticks may allow you to get it installed. Sometimes 98 will install with 1 gig; sometimes it won't. Of course if it does install it's gonna run bad without the tweaks. You could also consider buying a 512 stick on ebay just to get it installed.

You asked if XP might be doing something that is causing the scandisk error. I doubt it but for the 98 install I suggest you disconnect the XP drive. Also, make sure the 98 drive is properly identified in cmos/bios setup. Then when you boot up with the 98 bootdisk or cd, at the dos prompt type fdisk/mbr and enter. That will overwrite the MBR and remove any changes to it that XP or previous OS's may have added. Run fdisk/mbr twice. Obviously you don't want the XP drive recognized when overwriting the MBR else you may lose its configuration so again, it's best to disconnect it and not just disable it in cmos/bios setup.

Then run fdisk to do the partitioning, reboot and format and try the installation again with the reduced ram.

Scandisk may be finding an actual problem with the drive or it may have something to do with all the ram or the advanced (for 98) hardware you're using. If it's the latter you can start the installation with SETUP/IS so it won't run scandisk. There's some other setup switches here:


you may want to experiment with given your hardware.

But that said, I agree with Riider. You really ought to consider an older PC, something like a P-III for 98. And your intention to use 'generic' drivers is probably not going to work. Either the drivers match the hardware exactly or they won't install.

Report •

January 13, 2012 at 21:43:18


Bottom line is W98 is well past its sell-by-date........

Report •

January 13, 2012 at 21:49:27
Because I believe in helping people use their computers the way they want to use them. If the OP wants to run Windows 98, then I believe he has the right to do that if he chooses. And I believe he should get better answers than "you should upgrade your OS" or "you should downgrade your computer" or "you should run it in a VM." This is rubbish.

As I've said before, I never cease to be amazed at the attitude of many of the posters here. Is it such a problem for you people to help posters do what they want to do, rather than telling them what they should do in your opinions?

I run Windows 9X Pentium 4 systems with more than 512MB of RAM EVERY DAY. There ARE OFFICIAL 100% WORKING drivers for almost any P4 board out there. There IS NO REASON to downgrade to Pentium 3 or before. You have not experienced Windows 9X until you run it on P4 hardware.

I have sent you a PM.

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 00:42:25
The reason to use older hardware is self evident from the problems the OP is having. The fact it is sometimes possible to run 98 on this newer hardware doesn't mean it's easy, especially for a newbie. Basic chipset support from Intel for 98 may not include video, audio, ethernet or USB 2.0 support; it certainly won't if it's not Intel hardware. Those drivers are separate and may not exist. Most users aren't prepared for or are even aware of the potential problems. I'm sure you remember this fellow:


and how it turned out for him:


And even if he does find 98 drivers the user is still faced with finding software that will run with 98. Sure he can use older versions, if he knows where to find them and exactly what versions he can use. Of course that's a problem he'd have with older hardware too. But again, all too often that's a realization that comes after he's put a lot of money into acquiring the new hardware.

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 08:13:42
Regardless of what LoneCrusader said, if you insist on running Win98, running it in a virtual machine is the best way to go. Microsoft offers VirtualPC 2007 for free:


EDIT: I just looked at the links provided by DAVEINCAPS. I find it funny that one of LoneCrusader's responses in those threads was: "If you plan to use Windows 98 you need to be sure that you find a motherboard that has manufacturer supplied Windows 98 drivers, or you're going to be in for a lot of headache".

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 10:42:11
I think I got knowledge up my sleeves, so here goes nothing.

- want to run 2000/XP apps in 98SE? go here.
- to fix the "SU0013" error, go here.
- to tell you the truth, I ran Windows 98SE on a computer with 1 gig of ram (without tweaking), and it ran just fine.
- windows update doesn't work anymore :( . so, go here for the unofficial 98se sp 3. it's still in beta, so be careful.

now that's alot of knowledge right thar. enjoy. ;)

@LoneCrusader THANK YOU! you made my day!

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 15:09:13
Really? What does it take? Do I have to track down driver pages for X number of P4 motherboards to prove this to you?
Lets take the Intel D875PBZ for a first example.
Here is a link to the driver download page for this board. you will note that Windows 98SE drivers are listed for the Chipset, for the Gigabit LAN card, and for USB2.0. This board does not have integrated Audio.
*I will make a note here, for anyone using this for reference, that Intel (inadvertently?) introduced a bug into the version of the Chipset driver installer, it will not open on 98SE despite claiming to support it. However, older versions of the installer work. I have many older versions archived if anyone needs them. I plan to investigate the incompatibility of the newer version further when I have the opportunity.

Lets take the MSI 865PE-V2 for a second example.
Here is a link to the drivers download page for this board. You will note there are Chipset drivers, LAN drivers, and Sound drivers for 98SE.

Unfortunately, my favorite motherboard manufacturer (SOYO)'s website no longer exists, or there would be another wealth of examples.

I will also note that WINDOWS 95 is supported up until the 845 Chipset (with the only exception being USB2.0 drivers.)

I can continue if you wish....

Now, I will concede that video drivers can be a bit of a problem. However, ATI graphics cards up to the x800 XT Platinum Edition are supported on Windows 98. This is a more than adequate graphics card for any game ever imagined that runs on Windows 9x.

I am unfamiliar with hardware using other Chipsets besides Intel, and graphics cards other than those made by ATI. This is just my personal preference, however, it does NOT mean that these other manufacturers' products cannot be used with Windows 98.
At MSFN we have compiled a list of Windows 9x compatible hardware:

Have you ever tried running Windows 9x on P4 hardware? Have you ever installed more than 512MB of RAM and tried the Demo version of the RAM patch that I refer people to to? I don't think you should be condemning it unless you have tried it.

Yes, I claim the statement you attributed to me. You have, however, taken it out of context. The poster in that thread was trying to use a motherboard for which Windows 9x drivers did not exist, and he had been repeatedly told this by myself and others. I informed him that if he wanted to run 9x, then he must chose the proper hardware.

P4 hardware is the proper hardware. And as I said earlier, Windows 9x drivers exist for almost all P4 boards.

The OP in this thread is using a P4 system. Based on that, there is a good probability that 98 can be successfully used on that system.

Thanks, its nice to be appreciated.

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 15:44:30
"The OP in this thread is using a P4 system. Based on that, there is a good probability that 98 can be successfully used on that system."

Probably not. The 3.73GHz core clock indicates one of the rare 1066MHz FSB P4s. The OP has to be running a newer i9xx PCIe board; none of which support Win9x.

Socket 939 | Dual-core Opteron 185 @ 3.2GHz | 4GB | 1.0TB | Win7 x64
GeForce GTX 460 1GB | X-Fi Ti Pro | A8N32-SLI Deluxe | Antec P182

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 15:45:44
"The OP in this thread is using a P4 system. Based on that, there is a good probability that 98 can be successfully used on that system"

You assume he has a P4 system based on the specs listed under his name & that may very well be correct, but it is also possible that he's asking about a completely different system. I asked for the specs in response # 1 but my question was ignored. It was ignored again in response # 7. All the OP had to do was tell us the model of his computer & we could have done the rest. Since he mentioned that it's a Dell, the specs would have been easy to track down.

OK, let's assume the specs given are to the system he's asking about. AFAIK, there was only one P4 that ran at 3.73GHz & that's the Extreme Edition which is a 64-bit CPU which runs at 1066MHz FSB & was only available as LGA775:


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt the old chipsets that you've mentioned support 64-bit CPUs or 1066MHz FSB. That would mean the system in question is "modern" & does NOT support Win98.

BTW, my guess is he has a Dell Dimension XPS Gen 5 with a board based on the Intel 955X Express chipset:


Do you have a patch for that?

Report •

January 14, 2012 at 17:15:25
Lonecrusader, you're responding to statements I never made. I tend to avoid saying 'always' and 'never' and go with 'sometimes' and 'maybe'. So when someone tries to box me in, implying I made a 'never' statement when I didn't, I can kindly point out that that's not what I said.

I said while it may be possible to install 98 on some newer hardware it's not easy, even when it is possible. That's true. You make my point by directing the user to third party sites he wouldn't reasonably be expected to know about.

And I don't believe we even know yet exactly what motherboard he has!

Putting 98 on most newer hardware isn't straight-forward; it's a project. It's like someone rebuilding an old car. He has to scrounge junkyards and want ads to find the parts he needs. (Hmmm, I wonder if my old '66 mustang is still in that junkyard in Weatherford Oklahoma.) The potential 98 user is unlikely to be prepared for that and maybe needs to be directed to a more practical endeavor.

I've probably put 98 on some P-4 machines. If so, it's been awhile. I can remember hunting down drivers for motherboards that supposedly didn't support it. It's a hassle and a person who does it has to have more motiviation than just wanting a computer to run 98.

Don't get me wrong. I love 98 and would use it more if IE 7 would run on it. I named my kids Windows98 and Windows98SE! But there's a difference between what (might be) possible and what is practical.

Report •

January 15, 2012 at 00:11:43
@jackbomb, riider
While I have not personally tested Windows 98 on any 9xx series chipset boards, actually some of the very early ones did have 9x drivers in the same packages as the 865/875 chipsets.

Granted that does not list the 955 chipset, so you may be correct. If so, and if the processor is indeed 64-bit, then I suppose it's a dealbreaker.

It is worth pointing out that simply having the LGA775 socket is no barrier to Windows 9x. There are a handful of 865/875 series chipset boards that used LGA775 rather than Socket 478. And they do have Windows 98 drivers, I know because I have some of them and I have the drivers CD's.


Abit AS8

However, I find it funny that the only leg you have to stand on is the chance that the OP may have one of only 2 P4 processors out of the whole spectrum of P4 processors that MAY break Windows 98. And I say MAY here because I have run Windows 95 on a 3.4GHz Extreme Edition Socket 478 processor myself. Granted there were no 95 drivers for the board, but the sheer fact that 95 can handle that processor lets me know not to count out Windows 9x's ability.

I'm forced to disagree with you again. I fail to see how tracking down drivers for older P3 hardware would be any easier than finding them for P4 hardware. In fact, I would say that it is probably harder to find the P3 content these days. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems logical. It seems to be just as much of a "project" as a P4 system, if not moreso.

As for the "potential 98 user"... anyone who wants to run Windows 98 these days probably wants do do it for a specific purpose, whatever that may be. I agree that it is no easy task to gather all of the various updates (especially now that Microsoft has shut down WindowsUpdate v4), etc etc to prepare the system for everyday use. But this is true regardless of the hardware. Anyone who wants to run Windows 98 these days needs to be prepared for the task they are undertaking. That's why I usually point out that it will not be easy. Anyone who wants to run 98 these days had better plan on becoming an "advanced user" as opposed to the "everyday user." That's the price of running legacy systems.

My problem is that you seem to have a "default downgrade" policy wherein you continuously recommend that the poster downgrade hardware. In the event that the user has a system that is completely incompatible with Windows 9x, then I can agree with that sentiment.
AFAIK there is no solution for PCI-e graphics cards (some have been reported to work but have various issues) and obviously no drivers for systems beyond the 875 or (possibly) early 9xx chipsets. (and whatever later chipsets by other manufacturers) Under those circumstances, I would also recommend a downgrade.

BUT - several of the old "limitations" of Windows 9x have been fixed. There are solutions for using 48-Bit LBA hard drives, more than 512MB of RAM, and also for using SATA drives. Now, I can understand not wanting to recommend third party solutions that you have not personally tested, but posters should be aware that these things exist.

The RAM issue I feel is especially worthy of mention, because it seems to be the most "irritating" problem encountered by 9x users on newer hardware, especially for those who may want to dual-boot with later Windows operating systems that need more than 512MB of RAM to perform well. And it's dead simple. You install the patch and FORGET IT. No tweaking, no editing system files. And then you enjoy your Windows 9x system along with XP or whatever.

And as for "possible vs practical" ... most people would say that it is not "practical" to want Windows 9x at all these days. So those who do want it should be introduced to what is "possible."

Report •

January 15, 2012 at 09:21:05

It's pointless to post about anything other than the OP's system. He said he has a Dell & he listed the CPU as a P4 3.73GHz. As jackbomb & I pointed out, there is only one CPU possibility & only "newer" chipsets support that particular CPU. And those newer chipsets do NOT support Win9x. No one is arguing that Win9x can be run on the older hardware you mentioned, but it can NOT be run on the OP's system except in a Virtual Machine.

Report •

February 21, 2012 at 23:47:56
Apparently because he dared to challenge the OPINIONS of most of the posters in this thread.

Report •

February 22, 2012 at 18:50:05
"Why do everybody have to vote down on what Derek1234 says?"

Minus votes generally go to comments that are incorrect. There were a lot more minus AND plus votes but apparently "someone" complained, so the moderator reset the vote count.

Report •

February 22, 2012 at 23:38:34
More like "minus votes go to comments that we, the "established authority," do not like or agree with."

"Post voting" is a very poor way of judging the "usefulness" of a post. Just because a post is "popular" or "unpopular" does not make it correct or useful.

Derek1234 came here for assistance, and instead he ends up being ridiculed for wanting to use his own computer the way he wants to use it, because the "established authority" doesn't like what he wants to do. Ridiculous.

Report •

February 23, 2012 at 00:36:31
The problem was not with what he wanted to do; it was whether or not he COULD do it and, if he could, what difficulties he was likely to encounter.

Report •

Ask Question