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Win98/actually DOS boot stick for win98 install lol

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:48 pm
by Ami
So... Hi I'm new and kind of in trouble xd. My current situation is the following:
I have found an old PC from year 2000 ish for free. Now, i wanted to put windows 98 on it (currently, there is no OS installed). Next to that, I've been trying to repair 2 other PC's that are a little newer, but both don't post and I don't seem to have working compatible DDR2 RAM for those. (I'm mentioning these, because they both still support IDE, more to that later).
My issue: I only own IDE CD/DVD burners. None of the IDE compatible PCs actually work or will work in the near future, so creating a CD is sadly not an option.
BUT! I have found out, by accidentally connecting the wrong USB stick (i connected one which contained arch Linux), that the PC i want to install win98 on can actually boot from USB stick, so I went for DAYS now, trying to create something that would actually boot! - I still got no clue what I could do.
Worth mentioning is, that I am running Arch on my main PC, and I currently don't have Windows on it installed.
so... What I've already tried:
-Windows VM, creating a bootable DOS USB stick with Rufus (Freedos + MSDOS, which didn't work) and the HP storage tool (told me my USB sticks are read-only while they are not. The 3 different solutions you find for the issue didn't help and the only person that seems to have the same issue never got an answer)
-DD with MSDOS DISK 1 image + DD image with Freedos (wanting to replace the Freedos kernel with MSDOS one, more to that later)
Windows setup with Freedos:

MSDOS stick with DD:
Image - worth mentioning that the PC was actually booting from the USB stick, so the MBR is existing and functional, it just seems to not be able to find the bootloader.

DD with Freedos:
- while mentioned, i wanted to replace Freedos kernel with MSDOS one, as Freedos seems to boot from the USB perfectly fine.. but the version Rufus installs, has pretty much no function at all (some super duper lite version)

The initial plan was to be able to boot MSDOS, put the win98 system files on the stick and start the setup like that, as the win98 image I got is not bootable. Even the bootable image I have doesn't actually boot either, tho..
I'm out of ideas, maybe someone here has got one..
Also sorry if this is the wrong place ask, as mentioned, I'm new. D:
Thanks in advance!!

Re: Win98/actually DOS boot stick for win98 install lol

Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:42 pm
by henk717
As for the arch linux bit, you will probably be better off creating the USB from a Windows virtual machine.
I think Easy2Boot can be created from Linux but the result will not be as good.

Alternatively i have been working on my own DOS distribution, i can make a DD image of the USB stick version if you really need a DD flashable MSDOS7.1 copy.

Re: Win98/actually DOS boot stick for win98 install lol

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:06 am
by Ami
That would be amazing. I'd like to avoid having a windows VM just for this purpose due to the size of the ISO file and my internet being absolutely horrible.
Thank you a lot for replying!

Re: Win98/actually DOS boot stick for win98 install lol

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:52 am
by win98se
Read this wiki for a simple fix.

TL;DR - Boot FreeDOS without drivers, and then launch setup.exe with “/nm” and “/is” as parameters.