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98 Guy

How does win-98se install know that a previous version was (partially)

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Here's the situation:

- fdisk'd and formatted old hard drive (fat-32), made it bootable

- slaved it to another win-98 system

- copied win-98se CD (from ->MSDN<-) to the slaved drive

- moved the slave drive to it's own machine (where it is master)

- started system, boots into DOS. Start win-98 setup.

- setup already has built-in serial number which I figured out comes from file "msbatch.inf". That file is not present

on OEM version of win98se. I do a file compare and see that precopy2.cab is different between the two install CD's.

- I check the internet for the MSDN serial, and find that it's well known. (I also find a s***-load of other win-98 serials).

- I don't want to install this with a well-known serial.

- I abort the install, power down the system, and slave it back to the first machine.

- I delete the win-98se MSDN CD image, I delete all files in the root directory, I delete the win directory

(had nothing in it anyways)

- I copy the contents of a win-98se OEM cd to the slave drive.

- I restart the system in DOS, and go into the recycled directory on the slave, and remove (delete) all

contents (attrib -s -h -r *.*).

- I remove all contents (that I can see) in the recycled directory, but can't remove the directory itself.

- from C:, I perform a "sys d:" to make D (the slave) bootable again.

Basically, I try to remove all remnants of the previous install attempt, which didn't get very far anyways.

- remove the slave and put it back into it's own machine. Start it.

- system boots into DOS. Start windows install again.

- not very far into the install, I get this:

"Your computer already has an operating system installed, which

cannot be upgraded by this version of setup. You need to

obtain the windows 98 Upgrade. Message SU0168."

Internet searches for that error show that indeed it is common when trying to upgrade from, say, 98 to 98se while using a full-install cd (and not an upgrade cd). What I don't get is that I thought I did a good job of removing any trace of the previous attempt.

So what is it finding on the drive? Where?

What didn't I delete that is giving it the idea that it once had a previous install (which it really didn't) ???

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> setup already has built-in serial number which I figured out comes from file "msbatch.inf". That file is not present

> on OEM version of win98se.

That's correct, putting any valid serial in the

[setup]

ProductKey="xxxxxxxxxxx"

..portion of msbatch.inf file will auto insert the serial so you don't have to enter it in manually is all, and was the convenience sake purpose of that - but that is an after the fact tweak - and is not on any of MS's original install CD's.

> I do a file compare and see that precopy2.cab is different between the two install CD's.

Well I'm not surprised you noticed that one thing since you're a very intelligent perceptive minded person, but there can be more to it than that depending on what CD's one has.

But first off here's the scoop on the different versions of W98SE

W98SE Updates CD (updates W98FE to SE only in Windows)

W98SE OEM CD (cannot upgrade/update; only clean installs; no help feature)

W98SE Upgrade CD (requires authentication - but then is unlimited)

W98SE Full CD (is the one I call Retail - it has no limitations)

> Basically, I try to remove all remnants of the previous install attempt, which didn't get very far anyways.

> I copy the contents of a win-98se OEM cd to the slave drive

..and that was your problem since the version you used is not the Full version ..and the one you did use is designed to install only under the situations listed or it will give you the prompt you're seeing if you try to install it by the method you tried - which can be done - but only with the Full version; iow, it's not that you didn't remove the previous install good enough in your particular test, it's that you are not using the Full version to begin with and so as you posted you'll get this:

> "Your computer already has an operating system installed, which

> cannot be upgraded by this version of setup. You need to

> obtain the windows 98 Upgrade. Message SU0168."

Since you now know that you don't have it, then you will need the Full CD in order for you to fresh install it from the C:\WINDOWS\Options\Cabs folder as you are wanting to do - that was the purpose of the Full CD, and naturally MS charged more money for it of course.

Rick

..........ps,

Out of curiosity years ago I once did an indepth analysis of each of the 4 CD's and realized to find a little known fact, is that if you have access to all the CD's and knew the right files to swap out, which actually one would only need to replace up to Six files 'depending on which of the first three' of the four CD's listed above that you have - and then you could make any of them into a Full Retail version. I'd post my specific findings but I'm sure for the legalism of the matter for MDGx amd this website I should respect not to do so, but one would still need to get the Full version of these six files anyway to effect change on any of the non-full versions. The combined file size total of them is less than 2 mb though. (Guy98 if you want send me a PM with a valid email)

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Rick -

I'm not trying to perform an install on top of an existing install.

I've posted more details in the win-98 NG, but I've tried several other things and keep getting the SU0168 message.

The target install drive DOES NOT have a pre-existing windows directory.

In some cases I've formatted a drive with 2 partitions (C and D) and have put the win-98 CD image on the D drive (in a sub-directory) and have nothing on the C drive (not even the dos system files, command.com, etc) and nothing else on the D drive and still the install program throws up the SU0168 message.

And even when trying to install from the CD I'm getting that message.

Does anyone really know what the installer is looking for, or seeing, when it claims that the system already has an installed operating system?

Are there any known issues regarding installing Win98se OEM and:

1) target is a drive prepared with the "newer" version of fdisk vs the older version?

2) target is a large drive - greater than 64 gb?

3) target has been partitioned with lots of un-allocated space?

4) target contains existing non-system directories with win-98 files in them?

5) target drive was "contaminated" by being slaved to win-98 system?

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So what is it finding on the drive? Where?

What didn't I delete that is giving it the idea that it once had a previous install (which it really didn't) ???

I don't know if it pertains to your case, but in the old times windows determined if previous installation existed by searching all drives for "win.com" (regardless of its size, location or version number). You could try doing so yourself and deleting/renaming that file if it exists. I have done so in the past and fooled windows into thinking no previous version is installed, while the whole directory structure of C:\ remained intact.

GL

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> I really don't believe that I'm getting this message because the

> installer is detecting a pre-existing installation of windows. I

> think there's something else going on.

The installer routine you're using prompts as it was designed to do when you don't have the Full version. If you have the crippled OEM, Updates, or Upgrade then they have limitations the Full version doesn't have and they will give you their error prompts if you are trying to do something in a way it was not designed to do. Many people have devised various ways to get around specific personal instances of what they were doing and it worked for them, ymmv in each case as it applies to you.

Here are some important points to consider for standard fresh installs that will always work though, but what you do uniquely extra from that you can take it from there.

Your OEM CD specifies you need to have a clean clear C:\ partition to install it to - and sometimes depending, if you have any you'll need to even set Hidden all other partitions - or you will get that error unless you have the Full version. (although if by rarity the true Full version ever prompts that particular error (I've never seen it) then here also to isolate whatever your other file specifics present which are causing a problem, you'll need to set hidden all your other partitions and/or install it on a clean clear C:\ partition.

The way to fresh install an original OEM version and always better to use the Full version, is besides from the actual CD itself onto a clean clear FAT32 primary partition, is to better yet having had created only this folder on it already: C:\WINDOWS\Options\Cabs (normally done from the 9x floppy dos (or any of the other alternate ways)) Then (from 9x floppy dos or other alternate ways depending) ..copy just the CD's 'install' folder to this C:\WINDOWS\Options\Cabs folder you made, and now there from dos again type to navigate to that folder - and there type setup.exe to have it start. This is a common known proven way to do it so that going forward you have all the original install files already there so you would never be prompted to insert the CD again when in situations it wants to access its original file store. ..you see an install from the CD itself creates that same directory but just copies 'some' of its install files there and then runs the setup.exe from there anyway, and so the point is why not put that folder there in its entirety to begin with complete with all source files from the start, and have the advantage.

> For some reason now I keep getting this SU0168 message in this

> situation and it's driving me crazy.

I offered to save you time, but maybe you just want to see it out for yourself.

> Does anyone really know what the installer is looking for, or seeing,

> when it claims that the system already has an installed operating

> system?

Yes, but I've sent you a PM to explain so as to stay clear of any... ...whatever.

Rick

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You typed "sys d:",... "to make it bootable", the drive has win98 on it, --> you can't upgrade to 98se.

You needed to boot from a floppy like the first time, is it that simple ?

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I don't know if it pertains to your case, but in the old times windows determined if previous installation existed by searching all drives for "win.com" (regardless of its size, location or version number). You could try doing so yourself and deleting/renaming that file if it exists. I have done so in the past and fooled windows into thinking no previous version is installed, while the whole directory structure of C:\ remained intact.

Yes, that was the problem.

On the D drive, in addition to the directory where I have the Win98 CD image, I had another directory where I had a copy of all win98 files (inf's, exe, com, inf, ocx, drv, dll, etc). Including all cab's expanded. I have this directory when-ever windows asks for this or that file and I want to point it to a place where it will find it. In that directory, yes, there is a win.com file, and as you say, any file re-named to win.com will result in the SU0168 install message. That is the only file that the setup program seems to look for specifically, since I have all other files there with it. It doesn't even check to see if it's a "real" win.com file.

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I've read that all you need is C:\Windows\win.com from Win 3.x or Win 95, but I've never tested this myself.

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I've read that all you need is C:\Windows\win.com from Win 3.x or Win 95, but I've never tested this myself.

My own testing has showed me that a file called "win.com" located ANYWHERE, on ANY partition of a hard drive attached to the system, is enough for the installer to conclude that a previous installation is present and will stop the install.

What's worse, the file WIN.COM is not checked for content, for size, checksum, or even if it's really a COM file.

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