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How to launch a customized version of MSBATCH.INF


Alb
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Hello,

I prepared a customized version of MSBATCH.INF (which is found in the /tools/sysrec directory of the Windows 98 SE install CD), then I copied all the content of that CD in the C: hard drive (on a directory that I created for that purpose) but now I am not able to launch that customized installation. Where am I supposed to type the command "setup msbatch.inf" ? I tried a few times but unsuccessfully (??)

Best Regards

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Thanks a lot. I followed your suggestion and succeeded in starting my customized installation of Windows 98 SE. The process goes well until to the copy of Win 98 SE files into the system. Afterwards the installation procedure requests an (unavoidable) reboot of the system. After that reboot the installation should continue with the installation and setting up of the hardware, but, in my case. my PC restarts as though the installation has to start from the very beginning (??), and this happens both if I use the Win 98 SE boot floppy or the Win 98 SE installation CD.

If I do not use any of them, then, this message appears: "I/O Error. Change the disk and hit a key" (I'm translating it from Italian into English).

Do you have a suggestion to get round this problem? I remind you that I created a folder named Win in the C: hard drive, then I copied into it all the files of the Win 98 SE installation CD, prepared a cusomized version of MSBATCH.INF file and, according to your suggestion, copied it into \WIN98 folder (the one containing SETUP.EXE and .CAB files). At last, I booted the PC with the Win 98 SE boot floppy, changed the drive letter from A: to C:\Win and typed "SETUP <enter>".

Best Regards

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I booted the PC with the Win 98 SE boot floppy, changed the drive letter from A: to C:\Win and typed "SETUP <enter>".
An idiosyncrasy of using the Install from HDD and a common error (don't feel bad).

First (by whatever means), a Partition needs created and made Bootable (as you undoubtedly did).

Second, the Folder gets copied to the (any) Partition (as you did)

Third, boot to a DOS prompt (by whatever means - minimum DOS-5 I believe)

- notes - an EBD Floppy is fine (you used it). It expands the EBD.CAB to a RAMDISK.

- Also, the Win98 CD has that selection in its Startup ("Boot CD", then "Start Computer").

- Notice that the EBD.CAB is not expanded to RAMDISK for CD Boot so the FORMAT program is unavailable.

- If your CD is not bootable, Boot Floppy Images can be easily found and created (bootdiskDOTcom).

- Bootable USB can only be used if you have DOS USB Drivers (a different subject - search MSFN).

Fourth, "CD x:\Folder", then "x:" (where the Install is, "x" is the Drive and "Folder" is the Install foldername)

- (as you did)

Fifth, run Setup

Win9x always installs on the Active (Bootable) Partition of (usually) the First Physical Drive. The Install Folder can be on any HDD/Partition. The beauty of it is you no longer need the CD when you Add/Remove Programs. Note also that the MSBATCH.INF could be put on a Floppy/(elsewhere) and pointed to during setup (e.g. "SETUP A:\MSBATCH.INF"). This keeps it from being on the HDD (for all to see). The MSBATCH.INF can be named anything as long as its pointed to by SETUP. Since this is Text-Mode, all Folders/Files involved must be 8.3 file/folder names. OEM's usually (used to) create the "C:\Windows\Options\Cabs" folder and place the Installation there and run Setup as you did, then Image the HDD and Clone it across the OEM Computers. Of course, OEM's also "tweaked" ("sysprep'ed") it to allow for the EULA and other items. I believe :unsure: they use(d) a MiniSetup (minimal Win98 Boot) to allow for entering User Info, etc (similar to NT-style SysPrep). More on that here (a PDF). The tool can be found here (post#5).

This is just an FYI (and fleshing the process out) in case others stumbles across this thread. (note - both problems have been discussed before)

Edited by submix8c
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I assume you have already created, formatted, and set active a partition as outlined by submix8c. :yes:

Thanks a lot. I followed your suggestion and succeeded in starting my customized installation of Windows 98 SE. The process goes well until to the copy of Win 98 SE files into the system. Afterwards the installation procedure requests an (unavoidable) reboot of the system. After that reboot the installation should continue with the installation and setting up of the hardware, but, in my case. my PC restarts as though the installation has to start from the very beginning (??), and this happens both if I use the Win 98 SE boot floppy or the Win 98 SE installation CD.

If I do not use any of them, then, this message appears: "I/O Error. Change the disk and hit a key" (I'm translating it from Italian into English).

Do you have a suggestion to get round this problem? I remind you that I created a folder named Win in the C: hard drive, then I copied into it all the files of the Win 98 SE installation CD, prepared a cusomized version of MSBATCH.INF file and, according to your suggestion, copied it into \WIN98 folder (the one containing SETUP.EXE and .CAB files). At last, I booted the PC with the Win 98 SE boot floppy, changed the drive letter from A: to C:\Win and typed "SETUP <enter>".

Best Regards

First - after the first reboot of SETUP, you do NOT need to boot from a floppy or the CD. SETUP should have made the hard drive bootable. If you reboot from the floppy or CD and run SETUP again, it will start from the beginning.

Second - you say you copied the contents of the Win98SE CD to a folder called C:\WIN. You do NOT need to copy the entire CD. You only need to copy the \WIN98 folder to the hard drive. If you copied the entire CD, then called SETUP.EXE in C:\WIN, then you are running the SETUP that is in the root directory of the CDROM, not the SETUP from inside the \WIN98 folder. (I've never seen this done, so it may not matter, but it also may be contributing to your issues. :unsure: )

Edited by LoneCrusader
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OUCH!!!! I never noticed that!!! Good catch, LoneCrusader! (point #2)

However, a correction (point #1) - Setup doesn't make the Partition bootable. I've run into this before... You must (should) FDISK to create a Primary/Active Partition (as I said), then Format it. If you use the "SYS" option of Format (prior to the copying of the Win98 Folder) it will add IO.SYS/MSDOS.SYS/COMMAND.COM to the Root of the Drive and after Install you will see that Win98 "thinks" you had a prior version of DOS on it (and think that you can "Boot to Previous Version). Check that in the MSDOS.SYS file (the Option will be there and shouldn't be). OEMSETUP is the one that both Partitions (and makes active) and Formats the drive then proceeds to run SETUP (from CD). This is undesirable for the method being used. I believe that there was a "DOSCOPY.INF" method :unsure: that may have been used to do it but I've never tried it (kind of like a Robocopy pre-install). There's (AFAIK) no other way around it.

You are correct that once SETUP is Initiated that neither the CD or a Floppy is needed after first Reboot. Either/or can be taken out as soon (immediately) as SETUP has been started.

Correcting myself - FORMAT program is on the CD in the WIN98 Folder (unless it's a Win 95 "Companion CD" or any Upgrade CD).

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Hello,

Thank you LoneCrusader and submix8c, I'll take into account your pieces of explanation and try again my customized installation :) (I must apologize for my ignorance in these things, too).

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Well, I left Win98 folder only on the hard drive c: (C:\win\win98 where win is the folder I created on c: and win98 the folder that was copied from the Win 98 Se installation CD, adding to it the customized msbatch.inf file. Nothing else.) c: partition is fat32 and has two flags: LBA and boot. I made another installation attempt, then, but after the successful 1st step (Win 98 files copy into the system), after the reboot (no installation cd was in and I took the Win98se boot floppy away previously) I obtained the the same message: "I/O Error. Change the disk and hit a key". I even thought it was due to a mbr problem so I performed a: c:\>fdisk /mbr but without a positive result. I cannot understand the reason of that and wonder if there is a way to avoid that reboot. Best Regards

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Well, I left Win98 folder only on the hard drive c: (C:\win\win98 where win is the folder I created on c: and win98 the folder that was copied from the Win 98 Se installation CD, adding to it the customized msbatch.inf file. Nothing else.) c: partition is fat32 and has two flags: LBA and boot. I made another installation attempt, then, but after the successful 1st step (Win 98 files copy into the system), after the reboot (no installation cd was in and I took the Win98se boot floppy away previously) I obtained the the same message: "I/O Error. Change the disk and hit a key". I even thought it was due to a mbr problem so I performed a: c:\>fdisk /mbr but without a positive result. I cannot understand the reason of that and wonder if there is a way to avoid that reboot. Best Regards
? I can't understand either... You're not really clear.

How can you "c:\>fdisk /mbr" if the Partition can't boot? Was this from the Floppy? You've obviously gotten through the MBR record because - The message is issued from the Partition Boot code. How did you create the Partition?

It works like this -

1 - BIOS detects the HDD and sets the Parameters (LEAVE EVERYTHING FOR THE HDD ON AUTO!!!)

2 - MBR has Code to Find the Active Partition and Xfer Control to the Partition Boot Code

3 - Partition Boot Code then Xfers Control to IO.SYS in the Root of the HDD.

Does the BIOS support the size of the HDD? You WILL be limited to a given Size based on the BIOS. In other words, have you REPLACED/ADDED that HDD and the BIOS is incorrectly reporting it (all settings for it = Auto / AutoDetect).

If the BIOS is correctly reporting it AND it's recognized as the correct size - START OVER! You did something wrong OR you just popped it in from another PC OR you used some other utility to Partition It.

The reason I say this is - HOW did you know the Flags that were set? FDISK doesn't do that... When you first run it, it asks

- "Do you wish to enable large disk support (y/n)", after which you select "Y" and then you select

- "Display Partition Info". IF it reads

- "C: Partition 1 / Status A / Pri DOS / Volume Label (n/a) / MBytes (doesn't matter) / System FAT32 / Usage (n/a)"

then that would be correct - UNLESS your HDD Partition is too big (greater that 120gb). There is a limit to the size unless you "patch" the FDISK/FORMAT/(and a couple of other files).

1 - Boot to the Floppy (an Emergency Boot Disk, I hope) DO NOT change drives!

2 - enter "FDISK /MBR" (while you're at it, double-check the values I indicated above)

3 - enter "SYS C:" and press enter

4 - Change to the Folder where the Install Files are and again run setup.

If that doesn't work -

Your EXACT message should be "Disk I/O Error replace the disk and press any key". If it isn't, the Partition has been FDISK'ed/Formatted with a non-Win98Se Boot Disk. and you should start over by DELETING the partition and follow the steps I gave you. Limit the Partition Size to 120gb, exit FDISK, Reboot, then "Format /S" ((the /S copies System Files, just like the SYS command does), then (however you did it) copy the WIN98 Folder and MSBATCH, then Boot to DOS and run SETUP again.

If you get past that we'll talk about that "MSDOS.SYS" setting you will have for "Boot to Previous DOS" (or whatever...).

edit - forgot to mention - DON'T have any other Bootable Devices attached.

... and this is where all of this began... and I'm suspecting you already have LINUX on the SATA drive? (the 80GB PATA is not too big for 98SE). Did you REALLY format the PATA/IDE with LINUX???? NONONO!!!

Edited by submix8c
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Hello,

I succeeded in installing Windows 98 SE, at last. The hard drive could not boot as I partitioned it by means of GParted Live CD (a Linux application).

So, I deleted that partition and created another one by means of Fdisk and then formatted c: (I used the Win 98 boot floppy).

My Win 98 SE system, however, lacks several functionalities: not even the optical drives are usable (DVD/CD ROM and CD Writer), so, I'll have to find out the way to give it complete functionality.

Everything started when I bought an used MBO by Ebay (Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0) and asked a technician I know to install it on the old my daughter's PC: Soyo 6BA+III-2BA6 MBO, Pentium III 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM, two hard drives: 13 and 20 GB, DVD/CD ROM and CD Writer, 350 W PSU, Win 98SE and Ubuntu Linux in dual boot.

Its present configuration, instead is: Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 MBO, Pentium D dual core 2.80 GHz (CPU, heatsink and fan were inclusive with the MBO, two hard drives: an IDE 80 GB and a SATA2 500 GB, two DDR2 PC533 1 GB CL4 RAM elements, a 580 W PSU, IDE DVD/CD ROM and CD Writer.

That technician installed on it Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux, in dual boot (but I did not want Win XP, just Win 98SE, that's why I deleted the Win XP partition and started the (problematic) installation of Win 98SE. In the meantime, from the VIA Site, I downloaded the necessary drivers for Win 98SE, for the above mentioned MBO (Hyperion 4 in 1 Driver, VIA VT6420VT8237 SERIALATA V220e, VIA_USB2_V2.70p1-L-M). I have, also, the MBO CD (Asrock Intel-VIA series, IV880-10 ver. 1.0). If I test the present configuration with a Knoppix Live DVD, everything seems to be all right.

Best Regards

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I have no experience with VIA Boards; or with systems using a combination of IDE & SATA drives (at least not yet :angel ) so I don't know how much more help I can give you.

You should check the settings for the IDE & SATA controllers in the BIOS. I would think that if you can use your optical drives in Linux, then this should not be a problem, but the Secondary IDE channel may be disabled, or otherwise set to something that Win98SE sees as a "non-standard" setting. :unsure:

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Install the Hyperion 4in1 - that's probably why the CD/DVD Drives aren't being found on the IDE Channel.

Not sure about the following -

VIA VT6420VT8237 SERIALATA V220e

VIA_USB2_V2.70p1-L-M

But would venture to say that the USB Drivers will be OK to install.

MAYBE the SATA Drivers work (I THINK I seen something about SATA support on VIA chipsets for 98SE - don't quote me).

Worth trying to install them - the 4in1 FIRST!

After you get that going, look into the other "fixes" and start a new topic IF you need help on it/them (browse around first - go back to the instructions given by dencorso in the link I gave to your other topic).

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