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Cannot boot a Windows 98 Compaq Presario

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#1 henobi

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:20 PM

I have a Windows 98 system that crashed and advances only to the Safe Mode menu. Clicking on any of the options, just restarts the computer to the same point. A Windows boot floppy or MODBOOT cannot advance to a recovery CD because the CD drive is not recognized by the BIOS and the driver is corrupted or missing. Can someone please give this newbie some suggestions?

#2 Moon Goon

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:46 PM

The real answer is to back up any important data at this point and install a fresh copy of 98. If you have applications you need to export data from in the current install you can try to "overinstall" - install 98 to the same folder as the old Windows.

Hopefully your laptop came with an Options folder with a CABs folder. It may be WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS or something. You may be able to boot off of a DOS floppy and go into the WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS folder and start the WIndows 98 install via SETUP.EXE

I usually use these magical switches when installing 98:

Sometimes the install does not like having a previous version of Windows present - so you may need to rename the old win.com to bin.bom or something.

#3 ispy


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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:18 PM

Hi Henobi Greetings, :)

If you cannot find with \Windows\options\cabs here is an alternative possible solution but 1st:

1) Get hold of a Dos Bootdisk for 98 (or is it 98SE maybe) preferably with CD-Rom Drivers on. You will need a little spare capacity on the disk to load some additional programs but first have you tried to Boot to dos & run Scandisk & check the boot drive, reboot & see if system loads, if not
2) Reboot the floppy to Dos navigate to scanreg.exe & run Scanreg/Restore try to replace the registry with an alternative registry, the current 1 could be busted and thus not let you boot.

(The Bios non-recognition may cause below to fail in respect of the vide_cd.sys driver)
If the CD-Rom is a TEAC model I have heard that sometimes the Dos Driver vide_cd.sys will work with it.
So if you can get hold of a Bootable Floppy with the Vide_cd.sys it might prove advantageous for later on.

The next option is a bit theoretical but might work if none of the above work:
You will be Required to purchase of a "null modem LPT cable" (also sometimes called a "Laplink cable") however to connect to the printer ports, specifically wired printer port cable that is for the use of transferring files.

A. Still using the 98SE Dos floppy disk create enough space on it for 2No additional programs the 1st is called (Dos) Laplink, google search for "LL3.EXE" & the 2nd is Diagplus it can be found here:
http://62nds.com/pg/e23.php (This will grab your Product key from the Dead 98(SE) system, if cannot find LL3.EXE "E" Me & I will forward to you.
Unpack & place diagplus on the floppy along with LL3.EXE (91Kb's) you will need x2 floppies or at least 1 floppy with LL3.EXE loaded on the Good Laptop.
B. Boot the floppy with diagplus thereon without switches & write down the Product CD ID key Number displayed, not the oem number. You will now know the CD key No for re-installation later.
C. Next you will need another good laptop with a printer port gizmo & it will need an A:\ drive also or at least the capability of being able to work in Dos with a copy of LL3.EXE (Laplink 3 does not recognise LFN's so you will need to work with SFN's or short file names).
D. Next connect the 2No laptops together with the Lpt2 cable through the printer port cables, powered down.
E. Boot Both Laptops To DOS, Load LL3.EXE on both laptop PC's & tell Laplink to access remote... etc.
F. Create \WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS on the Duff Laptop then from the good laptop copy All the cab files into it \WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS along with SETUP.EXE to the duff laptop then you should have all the required to either perform an overwriting install or fresh install. If it is an oem installation you will need to rename "win.com" as Moon Goon suggests.
G. Finally disconnect the laptop tops, power down etc. Reboot again to Dos on the Duff Laptop & run Setup.exe from Dos then do the remaining instructs as Moon Goon States.
H. You will have recorded the Product ID No from Diagplus.EXE exercise earlier.

I would advise that you leave the cab files on the machine for any further future installs that might be required. GOOD LUCK you have a tricky problem there! Please Let Me know if you have success I will be interested to know? All courtsey of Mr Roamer_1 OK Guy!

Mucho Regards,

ispy :(

P.S. Edit here,

Another more costly option but easier for the Newbie to undertake!

You will still need to use (Dos) Diagplus.exe to obtian the CD key as shown in the first example if you do not have it to hand!

Buy yourself a 2.5" External HDD Enclosure for a laptop Hard drive usually USB2 connection.
Carefully Remove the Duff Laptop Hard drive from the laptop (Watch out for Static, earth yourself 1st, before going into the inner workings of the laptop.
Next insert the duff Laptop HDD into the Usb2 case.
Now go to a good PC/Laptop & Boot up, connect the USB2 Laptop HDD with the external case, run Virus check spam check Diagnostics on drive from the good PC.
Next create C:\Windows\options\cabs folder on duff drive from good PC & then copy all the required cabs, Setup.exe as above in the 1st example.
Next remove the USB2 ext HDD Remove & re-insert the HDD into the duff Laptop.
Boot with a Dos floppy Boot disk, navigate to C:\Windows\Options\Cabs\Setup.exe & run with Moon Goons switches as stated in the previous post.

This is more costly to do but easier for a "newbie" & you have the external case which you could use later on to house another laptop HDD for storage or backup etc + you have virus checked etc the drive.


ispy (Again Thanks again Roamer_1 you are now a double kewl guy!)

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