Jump to content

Windows 98 on Floppy Disks?


Recommended Posts


The original poster never stated whether or not the 4 drives he purchased were new or second-hand. It is very possible to buy used drives off ebay (or any computer store that sells re-used parts) that are listed in "working" condition, only to have them arrive at your house, and after installing them find out they dont' work. Because it happened to me numerous times, not just with CD-Roms, but with modems as well. I don't think the odds are anywhere remotely close to "microscopic." If you factor in the following variables: damage from the post office, not marked as "fragile", the person selling the item didn't test the drive, it was dropped by the mail workers, it was too cold outside, too much moisture/humidity in the mailbox, etc etc etc.

It's not a microscopic possibility of getting 4 consecutive broken CD-Roms....if.... they are used, that is.

Until we have ALL the facts, especially concerning the "newness" of his CD-Roms, and how much human error it takes to become "Radical," we don't know how microscopic the odds are. Period. Anything can happen. Maybe he DID get 4 broken drives in a row.

Not trying to be a jerk about this, just trying to be methodical.

I like methodical. If I stuck four new or used optical drives in a row into a computer and they do not get recognized I will then give my full attention to everything other than the drives. Cables can be defective. Ports ( interfaces in this case ) can be blown. A myriad of BIOS settings can be FUBAR. But most common, and the first place to go at this juncture is making sure the jumper matches the cable position ( but also remember what Jaclaz mentioned about Cable Select ).

One drive bad can easily happen. Two, I can also accept. Three is Clark. W. Griswold bad luck. Four is getting close to lightning strike chances. Again, this is regardless of new or used since it happens either way in my own experience.

Radical human error might be jamming the IDE cable in upside down and having a pin smashed by a keyed filled hole or something else.

Of course we both know that the solution is to take these so-called bad drives and drop them in a machine that is working. Also, I didn't mean to imply that there is zero probability of four bad ones in a row, it is definitely non-zero, but I'll stand by Microscopic probability on this one.

@coolman, sorry if I missed it, but did you mention the motherboard model and BIOS? Is there any chance of a screenshot of the first BIOS page, the one that shows the hard drive and other IDE positions.

P.S. the setting "Silent Boot" mentioned by LoneCrusader can also by worded differently. "Fast Boot". "Intel Logo" ( or Compaq, eMachines etc ) or other phrasing. He is talking about the setting that bypasses the DOS information messages and instead shows nothing or an Intel logo or OEM branding. That DOS screen should show you if it is being detected or if there is some delay as it tries to enumerate it. Anyway, I am not clear on what you tried. I would first try master on secondary channel ( end of 2nd cable ), then slave on secondary channel ( middle connector on 2nd cable ), then slave on primary meaning the same cable as the boot drive ( middle connector again ) if it is physically possible to do this ( tight spaces, etc ). Trying these three possible positions means moving the jumper to match.

There is a less probable case that the motherboard is a real fast booter and tries to enumerate the drives before they have a chance to spin up. This can be fixed by setting the memory test to NOT "quick" and while it rolls through all your RAM the hard drives have a chance to complete power-on. If you get my meaning, then you will also understand that you can optionally just warm boot immediately after a bad startup ( optical not recognized ) by immediately doing ALT-F4 and RESTART in Windows.

EDIT: wording, typos

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might be able to copy the files through a share from a PC with a working cdrom. You could use cross-over network cables, or even something like 'interlink' cables, which are cross-over patch cables.

The alternate is to extract the hard disk, and load the files onto it through an external hard drive. This is how i usually install OS/2 2.x on vm machines (where the cdrom is not seen by the install).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probabilities is a tricky field.

If you assign a very high percentage to the probability of a CD drive to NOT work, when you try first one you have 50% possibilities.

So if first one fails, when you try the second, you are doing that because you fell in the 50% of the first one failing.

Then when you try the third, you are doing that because you fell in the 50% of the second failing, thus in the 50% of the intial 50%. i.e. 25%

Then when you try the fourth, you are doing that because you fell in the 50% of the third failing thus 50% of the 25%, i.e. 12.5%.

With a fifth you are at 6.25%

With a sixth at 3.125%.

With a seventh at 1.5625%.

With an eigth at 0.78125%.

Hence you need to try 8 CD drives :w00t: to have probabilities less than 1%, assuming that there is a 50% probability that a CD drive got for a few bucks on e-bay or similar actually works.

BUT, if you assume that the probability of a CD drive not working is lower than that (i.e. you trust in the good faith and honesty of the sellers, let's say that they are 80% like that) like 20%, you have:

second 20% of 20%= 4%

third 20% of 4% = 0.8%

fourth 20%of 0.8%= 0.16%


Edited by jaclaz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took out the HDD and put it in another computer and it totally messed up. I tried to put it back in the other computer and now it can't even READ the drive. Also who said this was a laptop?

:blink: What exactly did you do after you attached it to the other computer? Just copying some files in would never mess anything up. You didn't try and reformat it did you?

It should be FDISKed and formatted on the original computer with the Win9x utilities. Once in a while sometimes newer partition utilities can do things Windows 9x doesn't like. Also, it must be formatted FAT or FAT32, not NTFS or EXT.

If your computer's bios setup isn't seeing the drive at all, then double check your cable and jumper setting.

If we are talking about a normal desktop PC then that also opens up the possibility of attaching other standard IDE drives to get the files in there. Such as attaching a second hard drive, or a CD drive borrowed from another machine. You can even use SATA to IDE converters like the Vantec CB-SP200 (just avoid the Kingwin garbage) to attach SATA drives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the OP apparently has access to another computer:


I took out the HDD and put it in another computer and it totally messed up.


he should be able to put the 4 "broken" CD-ROM drives into the other computer to verify that they truly are broken. We are assuming that he will be careful that they will be plugged into an appropriate cable and that the jumpers on the HDDs and the CD-ROM drives will be set to not conflict in any way.

Cheers and Regards

I put the 4 CD-ROM drives in the other computer and they worked perfectly. It must be a problem with the other computer.

Edited by coolman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is another way to skin this cat.

Google external portable cd-rom drive parallel port

or backpack cdrom drive parallel port



There were a number of vendors with creative ways to add a CD ROM.


I have a Sun Moon Star 31-144 that uses a Matsus***a CR583J CD ROM drive. (forum software deleted what it sees as a dirty word from middle of brand name.) The date on the DOS install disk files is 17 Sep 1996. Drivers for DOS/ Win 3.1/ Win95.

This drive was used to install software on laptops that lacked both CD ROM and USB, when programs got big, and were no longer sold on floppy disks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put the 4 CD-ROM drives in the other computer and they worked perfectly. It must be a problem with the other computer.

Looks like it is time to strip the broken computer down to bare metal, clean everything, check all wires and connectors, reset the BIOS, and start over from scratch to get it back together.

Cheers and Regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Might I point out that the OP never mentioned whether it was a BIOS-recognize problem or an OS-recognize problem.

Also, moving an HDD Compaq<->not-Compaq may screw up data IF accessed. HP/Compaq sometimes have "strange" HDD Translations. All depends on the computers involved.

(noting that the OP has not ONCE said what computers are involved)

Edit (is this one?)

We will NOT provide a "download location" of Win98-Floppy, so if you REALLY want that, go buy it somewhere. ;)

Edited by submix8c
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...