is there a way to copy a cd to 3.5

October 16, 2010 at 17:59:48
Specs: Windows XP
I need to load win 98 to a pc without cdrom. Can I convert a cd to 3.5. And yas I know it will require a few more than 1, 3.5 disk.

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October 16, 2010 at 18:28:18
Yes, it is possible to copy the contents of a Win 98 install CD to floppy disks.
HOWEVER, you will have some serious problems in doing this. The Win98 folder alone is about 170 MB while the capacity of a 3.5 floppy is only about 1.4MB. Also, most of the CAB files are larger than the capacity of a standard format disk. That means you would need a special utility to format them. And you will need more than 100 of them. Since Win98 was never designed for installation from floppy you will have some other problems as well.

I have never heard of anyone even attempting this, let alone actually succeding.

There has got to be a better way.

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October 16, 2010 at 19:13:05
Why don't you just install CD drive?

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October 16, 2010 at 20:17:08
Another method would be to get an old--probably external parallel port connected--zip drive and copy the contents of the WIN98 folder on the cd to a zip disk and then to a similarly named folder on the hard drive. There is dos support for those zip drives.

Of course, as already mentioned, why not get a cdrom?

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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October 17, 2010 at 13:40:03
LMiller7's "Since Win98 was never designed for installation from floppy you will have some other problems as well." takes the cake for me.

It turns out all 9x except ME was made for floppy installation from the very beginning. 95 and 98 Gold cab file sizes were exactly 1,716,224 bytes in size because that is what fits the 'DMF' formatted floppy EXACTLY to the byte. So it appears that they were made for floppies after all. Microsoft just isn't going to be selling them to you, YOU have to simply copy them to floppy disk all by your lonesome.

98se cab file size is 1,802,240 bytes in size which also happens to be the exact size to fit an even more specialized floppy format. Unfortunately, most floppy drives are not even capable of reading let alone making the format nor copying the cab file to the floppy once made. But you get the point? MADE for floppies again.

Let's say you don't want to do either of those specialized methods and just use a file splitter to cut the cab files in two pieces, use standard 1.44 floppies to move the files over and then do a simple DOS mode:
copy /b file1+file2
once you've booted into DOS mode on the target machine in order to re-join the cab file to all it's prior glory and power. You then just install windows from the hard drive on the target machine and you really need nothing special in the way of programs except one of any of a hundred file splitters available. HJSplit is a good one either DOS mode or Windows version will do the trick for you.

Copy /?
will give you all the details on how to use the internal DOS command to re-join the files together as if they were never two files in the first place. The re-joined file retains it's digital signature as well. Anybody can do this - it only takes the will to see the tedious job to it's completion. You get to re-use the floppies and so 100 isn't even close to what you need, I would do it with 10 or less.

My only real tip here would be to use real, 'boot to' DOS mode to format your floppies to begin with - it makes a far more usable disk than one done by Windows. Dunno why, don't care either, just passing it on. And then since you'll be in DOS mode a lot, why not do your file splitting with a DOS mode HJSplit program as well? Set the two machines close together too, you'll have a lot of back and forth going on.


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October 17, 2010 at 15:32:33
When buying a retail version of 98 back then the manual had a coupon you could mail back to MS and get a set of floppies. So yeah, MS acknowledged the occasional necessity of installing 98 from floppies.

I don't know if the cab files on the floppies were the same size as on the CD. It would be a completely different installation so they could have constructed them however they wished.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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