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BogdanV

Building a new Setup for 98/Me

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What I have in mind would be a 2 phase project :

-1st : build a live cd with Setup.exe as shell + VBE driver for 32bit and higher res.

-2nd: build a custom setup that copies a compressed image of 98/Me (that didn't go through the HW driver installation) in the target partition, expands it, makes it bootable and reboots for the final Setup stage.

In the 2nd phase version of setup, you'd also be able to choose the amount of RAM to configure the system with (so that you won't have to mess with DOS and manually edit system.ini).

I was thinking that launching setup from a 98 environment would be faster than the current win3.1 way (I'm thinking of 32bit vs 16bit operating mode) and you'd also get more eyecandy with 800x600 and 32bit graphics.

As for the 2nd phase, I think thats kind of what MS does with the current WIM-based installs of Vista and 7, plus, the setup process is streamlined by the fact that user interaction is kept to a minimum (although some might not like it).

Also, I know that nothing beats a classic install from HDD, but wouldn't this be nicer for fresh installs and "more modern" ?

This could also work like the live cds from linux distros. You get the chance to see how Windows works and you can launch it right away.

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I like this idea vary much! I think it would be cool it would be a new way to configure Windows 98 and if you could format within the live cd rather then using the windows 98 boot floppy to start setup that would be convenient.

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What I have in mind would be a 2 phase project :

-1st : build a live cd with Setup.exe as shell + VBE driver for 32bit and higher res.

-2nd: build a custom setup that copies a compressed image of 98/Me (that didn't go through the HW driver installation) in the target partition, expands it, makes it bootable and reboots for the final Setup stage.

In the 2nd phase version of setup, you'd also be able to choose the amount of RAM to configure the system with (so that you won't have to mess with DOS and manually edit system.ini).

I was thinking that launching setup from a 98 environment would be faster than the current win3.1 way (I'm thinking of 32bit vs 16bit operating mode) and you'd also get more eyecandy with 800x600 and 32bit graphics.

As for the 2nd phase, I think thats kind of what MS does with the current WIM-based installs of Vista and 7, plus, the setup process is streamlined by the fact that user interaction is kept to a minimum (although some might not like it).

Also, I know that nothing beats a classic install from HDD, but wouldn't this be nicer for fresh installs and "more modern" ?

This could also work like the live cds from linux distros. You get the chance to see how Windows works and you can launch it right away.

I have already done something similar.

I installed Windows 98SE up to the first reboot.

Retrieved the files.

Added my Patches and Updates.

Wrote an installer that allows me to place Windows in any Directory and sets the Computer and Network names.

Burned all of it to a Bootable CD.

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On my part, I'm thinking on deploying a compressed image from a light 98 environment, to take advantage of 32bit processing.

Using compression would mean a small copy time (although I don't know if this would be counterbalanced by decompression time -which would be triggered from within the partition to increase performance).

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I like the idea I have used the Mini 98 off of Hiren's Boot cd it works but it is 16bit and its capabilities are slim at best. I think a live installer were you can preconfigure your setting before install would be nice.

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If you boot from CD, drive letters will not be the same. CD will become C:. All registry paths created during setup will be wrong.

I belive it's illegal to distribute a setup that contains original Win98 files. You must create a program that copies the files from original CD in user's computer and builds the setup program - just like 98SE2ME.

Edited by Marius '95

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If you boot from CD, drive letters will not be the same. CD will become C:. All registry paths created during setup will be wrong.

A CD can be setup to boot as A:.

My setup program edits all relevant registry paths before building the initial registry.

I belive it's illegal to distribute a setup that contains original Win98 files. You must create a program that copies the files from original CD in user's computer and builds the setup program - just like 98SE2ME.

I agree. The CD I mentioned is for my use only.

A distributable version would require access to a licensed Windows CD.

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I've hit a problem here. I guess I'm not the only one who went through the same issue.

I made a mindows install. After that, I build a flopy image as outlined in bootcd.zip from the mindows project site (renamed autoexec.txt, msdos.txt and the like to bat and sys accordingly).

I checked the image and it works correctly, so I went forward and build a bootable cd using the flopy image above and placed the mindows %systemroot% folder's contents in <cd root>\min\ as outlined in autoexec.bat

Rebooted VPC and manually entered R:\win to start windows (strangely, autoexec simply ended with a pause command).

The first weird thing was scanreg telling me that it didn't have enough space to "fix a problem that he found". After that, I get a quick error flash about

reinstalling windows (missing stuff ?) and the virtual machine crashes completely (I'm left with the VPC Machines Console).

I have to mention that in my mindows's config folder there were no user/system.dat files (but it booted ok). Starting the live cd without system/user.dat spewed several errors and crashed the VM, so, I ran patchsys and patchuse.exe from bootcd.zip and used the resulting files for registry.

This brought me to the symptoms I mentioned in the beginning (scanreg, crash).

Can someone tell me what/where could the problem be ? Its quite weird that scanreg yells "no free space" because the entire system folder is on the ram disk (xmsdsk) which has enough space.

Edited by BogdanV

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