View Full Version : I want to do an utterly clean Win98 install

20-07-2002, 08:43 PM
But from memory, doesn't it need to start from inside Windows?

I tried that, can't even choose a directory and it just goes over the top of what is there.

My Win98 knowledge is starting to date, but I am not sure if I can do it from the command prompt.


20-07-2002, 08:48 PM
You can install from windows, and you get the overwrite option you saw.
If you start from the w98 start up disk with CD option , you can run setup.exe and it will prompt you to install windows to a different folder

20-07-2002, 08:54 PM
Hmm. Not sure if I have any Win98 floppies, is that what you mean? One that came with Win98? Don't remember a floppy coming with Win 98.
Don't have an SE cd that will autostart, not sure that this PC will Autorun from CD at all. (it's an old P200 for my mother).

20-07-2002, 08:57 PM
Here is the link
It also has a link to how to make a floppy from earlier versions of windows

20-07-2002, 09:00 PM
Or else this should be available
Here's how to create a startup disk:

Click Start

Point to Settings and click Control Panel

Click Add/Remove Programs

Click the Startup Disk tab

Click the Create Disk button

Heather P
20-07-2002, 09:02 PM
Got room on your disk for the contents of the Win98 CD? If so, open windows, open explorer, copy contents to a new directory on your hard drive then you don't need to use the CD!

(I'm also discovering that this is really handy later - don't have to find the CD when adding drivers - it gets them straight off the hard drive).

Restart in DOS mode (or turn off, hold down <ctrl> key whilst restarting), move to your new win98 directory and type "setup".

So long as you have no irrational mice upsetting things you're away.

My last reformat I copied the disk to the D: partition, reformatted C: and reinstalled. Completely fresh.

20-07-2002, 09:06 PM
Okay, will give it a go. Thanks people.

Terry Porritt
20-07-2002, 09:23 PM
Well, this is what I do Robo, but you need a DOS boot disk with generic CD drivers, an autoexec.bat and config.sys that will load the CD drivers, and the usual utilities like fdisk, format, attrib, and whatever else may be useful like a text editor.

Boot off the floppy, then you can fdisk and format. Make a directory win98 on your hard drive and copy the contents of the win98 folder on the CD to the one on the hard drive.

Remove the floppy.

From c:\win98, type setup, and away it goes.

Elwin Way
20-07-2002, 09:26 PM
The win98 Cd (non-upgrade) originally came with a bootable cd and a bootable floppy (see instructions above) for machines that look to boot from floppy first.

Terry's got it right.

20-07-2002, 09:31 PM
So much easier to install from the hard drive. Faster, easier, and everything is their for when the CD is *needed*. Only problem is that it takes up space.

Heather P
20-07-2002, 09:37 PM
and if you want a step by step guide I have one (down to every last key press). When reinstalling my husband's computer last week I wrote it so that NEXT time he can do it himself!

20-07-2002, 09:39 PM
A common method of installing off the hdd is to make a C:\windows\options\cabs folder on the 'clean' disk. Copy the files from the root of the Windows CD to this folder, and all of the cab files. Most else on the CD is superflous. Of course, run setup from the HDD.
Alternatively, you can create this folder after an installation, and copy the cabs to it. You then need to edit the registry (search for 'sourcepath') to point to the cabs on the HDD.

Susan B
20-07-2002, 10:20 PM
Heather, you good girl! FAQ #1 How do I perform a clean reinstall of Windows? still has a vacancy for a kind knowledable person to fill....

Doesn't matter what version it is, as long as it is specified. I thought I could see your name on it.

Thanks!! :D

20-07-2002, 11:20 PM
> and if you want a step by step guide I have one (down
> to every last key press). When reinstalling my
> husband's computer last week I wrote it so that NEXT
> time he can do it himself!

Just remember to print it out. ;)

Heather P
20-07-2002, 11:27 PM

At Susan's request I have created a FAQ for this. Do you fancy being a guinea pig and testing it?


Heather P
20-07-2002, 11:31 PM

It is printed out and in a clear file folder along with his driver disks!

It also goes further than the FAQ I just created with instructions on reformatting, installing printer and monitor and configuring his email. All passwords included.

20-07-2002, 11:39 PM
well robo guess wht i have unfortunatly been doing :_| :_|

i like to use UBD from startdisk.com (not sure on ady)

boot with ubd, format disk, use the wincab copy menu to copy cab files over. exit go to wincabs dir and run setup.

ubd does have an automated install but you really do need to set up the config for it first otherwise some parts of windows will not work.

21-07-2002, 12:18 AM
I will do it tomorrow.
Going nuts playing a PS2 game at the moment, Krakan. Kind of fun.

21-07-2002, 01:59 AM
This is how I do it ....

Download a boot disk from www.bootdisk.com and then.....

From MS-DOS:
* Make sure you have access to your CD-ROM drive. See
above for more information.
* Free an additional 120 MB of disk space in addition
to what Setup will require. Setup will typically
require 195 MB for an upgrade from Windows 95.
* Create a temporary folder called "W98Flat" on the
drive with plenty of free space to store the Setup
files. To create a temporary directory, switch to
that drive letter and type: MD W98Flat.
* Now, switch to the Windows 98 Second Edition CD-ROM
drive and to the Win98 directory.
* Then copy the Windows 98 Second Edition Setup files to
the temporary directory you just created by typing:
Copy *.* <drive letter>\W98Flat.
* After all the files are copied, restart your system
and perform a clean boot by bypassing your startup
files. See "Performing a Clean Boot" for more
* Switch to the temporary directory you just copied
the files to and start Setup by typing: SETUP.

That,s actually off the win98 cd
The boot disk you download will have cd drivers and everything you need on it.

p.s: As you can see Microsoft do have a sence of humor ,they created an emoticon on this forum ,without even trying.

Susan B
21-07-2002, 11:14 AM
Heather: Didn't want to vandalise your FAQ by posting graffiti on it.

Your FAQ looks really good to me but to have the Wizard himself offer praise is highly honourable. Congratulations!!

I'm sure my non-PC-interested hubby would have no trouble following it, and that's saying something! :D

Heather P
21-07-2002, 01:33 PM

Re the graffiti remark I'm posting here to avoid it myself.

Writing the FAQ made me think of variables so it wasn't a simple copy and paste because I had to take out my own variables. I also renamed the FAQ away from "Clean install", again for the variable reasons.

Variables I thought of:

Start with empty drive / reinstall windows on a disk containing info

Size of disk

Partitioned disk / Non partitioned disk

Hardware - network cards, monitors, printers....

Software - Stand alone programs / programs that install system files


Not as easy as a straight cut and paste.
My own 8Gb drive is now partioned into 6GB (programs) and 2GB (data). Win98 went into D:\win98 and C: was then reformatted.

Smaller disks might not work as well for this - say my daughter's 1GB drive (one partition only).

I could include variables in the FAQ but it would lengthen it considerably.

I wrote the instructions whilst reformatting Alan's machine with his computer knowledge in mind. I don't think I missed any steps but it would be handy if Robo used it to verify this.



Susan B
21-07-2002, 06:29 PM
I think that you could go on forever if you want to consider all the variables, but probably the only thing you might need to add to your FAQ is what the others have said regarding including format, etc.

It's an excellent guide for someone wanting to know how to do it for the first time, or needing a refresher.

For people wanting to know how to partition, add network cards, reinstall software, etc there could be, and actually is in the case of networks, other FAQs to turn to.

In my opinion we just really need somewhere to direct someone who has a problem that reinstalling Windows will solve, who doesn't know how to do it. Just like we do when someone wants to know how to get rid of spam.

I'm still planning to do a page of links to good sites and although I know of good tutorial sites for reformatting/reinstalling, none of them have straight to the point simple instructions like you have provided.

21-07-2002, 07:56 PM
dosn't anyone find it strange that thy geek god robo is asking about something so simple that hes proberly done 100 times already? ?:|?:|

Elwin Way
21-07-2002, 08:49 PM
I was hoping that question would answer itself eventually...

Heather P
22-07-2002, 12:21 AM
Hey, I have had a number of computers over the years, currently have 3 on a network and 3 misc ones floating around. That has meant A Lot of reformats for one reason or another.

I have a hand written sheet telling me what to put back and where - and I use it because in 6 months or a year I can forget something vital.

Handy thing - instructions.

22-07-2002, 12:33 AM
> dosn't anyone find it strange that thy geek god robo
> is asking about something so simple that hes proberly
> done 100 times already? ?:|?:|

well we're talking about robo here.

If it's about playing the Thunderbirds theme when you open your garage door with a Palm. We'd ask him ;)

As for why he was asking in the first place. He must be having trouble trying to find worthy material for the section in PC World. So he's asking us a question hoping to get some relevant info.

Because I don't think he really wants to put all this WFTW and "candy" stuff in the magazine.

22-07-2002, 10:30 AM
I don't know where I got the idea that SETUP had to run from inside Windows, maybe it is SE upgrade. Anyway, have done from Dos prompt, it asked me directory name (I had already renamed old directory to oldwin) and away I went.
Thanks for not slapping me for being such a nong, I probably deserved it. This machine is driving me nuts.

Scott Bartley
22-07-2002, 11:05 AM

you nong

just kidding...love your work :)

Elwin Way
22-07-2002, 11:07 AM
There, see?

Sometimes its the simplist things that trip us up.

22-07-2002, 01:14 PM
>Sometimes its the simplist things that trip us up

tell me about it. a simple spelling error (had too many letters) with deltree command ended up wipeing out windows hence my recent reinstall. :_|

22-07-2002, 01:30 PM
Ouch! Been there, done that.
Once a guy I know thought format meant screen format and nuked the boot floppy (it was quite a while ago, about PC Dos 2.11).
We are all human, I would much rather ask a dumb question that waste another couple of hours or screw something up big time.