The same question: « Can be Win98 installed on a VHD mapped with Grub4Dos without using “map --mem” option? », arose for me about 6 years ago. I never found an answer - on Russian-language forums there was only one statement by programmers and computer enthusiasts that this is impossible.
I am just a computer lover and understand almost nothing about programming and G4D usage (beginner's guides written by programmers are fierily bad). My answer is «yes», with Win98SE and Win-ME such installation is possible even when some, incompatible with VHD, virtual environment is used, and also it is possible on some real PCs (P5G41T-M LX3 with 2x2GB RAM) as easily as peeing on two of fingers.
A short description of the installation experiment with used hardware and software (I made that only for self education purposes).
Two old flash drives on FC8908 controllers formatted by the Mass Production Utility as hard drives (fixed type) - FC8908-HDD0 972MiB, FC8908-HDD1 2GiB.
Two formatted (3.5" 1.44MB) floppy disk images: "Empty.img" and "Start-9xME.img" created by the utility "vfd21-080206".
An empty not formatted (without MBR und PBR) virtual hard disk image "Win-9xME.vhd" created from the command line (VhdTool.exe/create Win-9xME.vhd 774144000) by the utility "VhdTool.exe".
Also I used old Windows-ME and Win98SE installation CD images (unbootable retail versions), grub4dos (0.4.6a-2020-03-04) and 7-Zip for extracting files and checking files readability (corruption) in <name>.vhd files.
An old virtual computer „VMware Workstation 6”, with flash drives connected to it, was also used to verify that Windows-ME and Win98SE could be directly installed on a VHD mapped by G4D.
The direct full installation possibility on a VHD mapped by G4D was repeatedly checked on P5G41T-M LX3 (in BIOS I disabled almost all devices, ACPI-enabled, USB configured as USB-HDD).
Finally, I replaced fixed type flash drive HDD1 (VHD on it) with 4GB Micro SDHC (4-class) memory card putted into TS-RDF5 card reader – both OS directly installs’ on a VHD without any problem (drivers for all devices can be installed later, if you found them). SDHC memory card fully wiped out (filled with 00h), a maximal size Fat16 DOS primary partition created and formatted on P5G41T-M from DOS (using Fdisk and Format from installation CDs) – in such way, checked with HxD, disk geometry from PBR reports 80h (128) heads.
Also I tried (about 25 times) VHD mapping by „image name”(map (hd1,0)/Win-9xME.vhd (hd2)), I mapped hd0 as hd1 (disk D), from what I install OS, then (map --in-situ (hd2,0)+1 (hd0)) was used - OS virtually always installs and boots fine but on VMware-6 I have file corruption problems in VHD (about 50 to 91 files becomes corrupted). Always, even after Win-ME second restart, when “--in-situ” is used, many files in VHD container becomes corrupt - instead, on P5G41T-M LX3 there is no detectable file corruption. Therefore I use VHD “sector mode” mapping – in such way OS installs without any detectable file corruption on any previously mentioned device. VHD “sector mode” mapping also is possible in two slightly different ways – as sectors from PBR and as sectors from MBR.
Conclusions (IMHO) - OS installation to any incompatible hardware (virtual or real) is not a good idea at all. Chance to install OS is higher when shortest possible way for device mapping is used.
For people who want try to install Windows-ME or Win98SE to VHD placed on a removable USB device I made screenshot mode 444KB tutorial (menu.lst included) - “Install-Win-ME-to-VHD.7z” (accessible only for 7 days, because I cannot find - how to attach file to this post).
7z archive contains (>100) screenshots (all step by step screens for operation from DOS included + Win-ME memory patching – Win98SE also can be patched in such way). For installation (thanks to G4D) there are no needs for bootable CD or bootable floppy at all – nice emergency boot floppies can be (and must be) created during installation process.
Attention - Win98 floppy version (4.10.1998 on 39 floppies 3.5") cannot be installed in such way!
Good luck to everyone!
P.S. Sorry for my bad English, my native speech is Lettish.
P.P.S. Thanks to developers for making G4D! Excellent software.