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Grub4dos not booting W98 io.sys

not able to boot

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#1 mcra3005

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Posted 22 April 2023 - 02:21 PM

Hello I have just installed a few OS's on a SSD hard drive on Old PC. TO use them I use grub for dos from boot floppy.

So I wanted to boot from Hard drive with grub4dos and choose my OS.  So my first Partion (hd0,0) in Windows 98 os

my second (hd0,1) is Windows XP, my thrid  is Puppy Linux (hd0,2), they all work and load from Grub4dos via floppy.


So I used bootlace.com from floppy with command bootlace 0x80 and loaded menu.lst, grldr , and grldr.mbr on root patition on win98 filesystem.  


Now when I boot, from hard drive it prompts me weather I want to go back to old MBR and hit hot key, otherwise will

launch grub4dos. So if I hit the Hotkey spacebar within 5 seconds it boots Windows 98, if I do not it goes to grub4dos

menu.lst.   I donot want to hit a  key on boot up every time I want to boot to W98, instead I want to launch it with the other OS's from the menu.lst.


My other Os's boot find from menu.lst i.e. XP and puppy linux.


My grub for dos version is grub4dos-0.4.5c


Now if I go into the menu.lst and do the following commands for W98

hide (hd0,1)

hide (hd0,2)

unhide (hd0,0)

makeactive (hd0,0)

root (hd0,0)

chainlaoder (hd0,0)/io.sys



 It now just loads the Win98 logo splash screen and hangs their. By the way W98 filesystem is FAT32

I read some forums that you can not boot from menu.lst Win98 if you grub is on that partition, I read others

saying you can.


Basically I want help to boot to WIN98 from menu.lst 





#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 April 2023 - 09:54 AM

What you report is strange.


You seem to have all the "right" setup, the io.sys is on an active, primary partition and it is the first one on first disk.


By using the bootlace 0x80 you effectively wrote the grldr.mbr to the MBR (and following few hidden sectors), so you don't need it on the volume as file (but this is not connected to the issue).


It is possible that the specific version of grub4dos you are using is the issue at hand, 0.4.5c tells little, the build date is what is needed, if I were you I would try latest 0.4.5c:


but nowadays a 0.4.6.a should do nicely.


Since when you hit the key what happens is:

(old) MBR->PBR->io.sys


You can try (on command line, in menu.lst items the final boot statement is unneeded as the command is implied):

root (hd0,0)

chainloader +1



this effectively chainloads the PBR, i.e. the boot sequence will be:



Try this and report.





Note:  I just checked the above linked page on github and it seems to default to Year 2012 and for *some reasons* it doesn't switch (at least here) to the other years when clicked :w00t:


I think latest 0.4.5c is 18-01-2016:



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