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WAYS TO MAKE A WINDOWS 98 STARTUP DISK
last updated: 08/02/03

crdisk.jpg (9001 bytes)CREATE DISK METHOD.  If you have access to a computer running Windows 98...

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  Put a blank floppy disk in the floppy drive.

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  Click Start, Settings, Control Panel.

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  Double click the Add/Remove Programs icon.

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  Click the Startup Disk tab.

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  Click the Create Disk button.

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  Optionally, copy the following files from the C:\windows\command directory to the floppy drive:

XCOPY.EXE
XCOPY32.EXE
XCOPY32.MOD

Note: The Windows 95/98 XCOPY command cannot be used to copy system and hidden files when used from the command prompt.   Unfortunately, it cannot be used to move Windows 95 and 98 from one hard disk to another; but it is useful...

WHY I DON'T LIKE THIS METHOD.

When Windows makes the Startup Disk it copies a cab file, EBD.CAB, to the floppy disk.  A cab file is compressed file which can contain more than one file. This one contains 15 files.  When the floppy boots it tries to find a legitimate drive letter for a RAM drive, makes the RAM drive, and extracts the files in EBD.CAB to the RAM drive (a RAM drive is a chunk of memory which is configured to look like a disk drive. It behaves like a floppy drive or hard disk, except it is faster and disappears when the computer is turned-off.)  Unfortunately, a drive letter is assigned to the RAM drive before one is assigning to the CD-ROM drive.  In a system with with one hard disk, the C: drive, and no more drives, the RAM drive will grab drive D: and the CD-ROM will be assigned drive E:  If, for example, you then use the floppy to install a Windows 98 upgrade (and you install the upgrade from the CD), the Windows 98 CD will be installed from drive E:  This value is saved in the Windows Registry during the installation.  After, the installation, whenever Windows 98 wants to load additional software from the CD it will look for the CD at E:.  To fix the problem after installation, the registry has to be changed or the CD-ROM drive letter has to be changed to E:

The RAM drive procedure is somewhat kludge and can run into other problems.  The reason for it, I guess, in the first place, a wrong one, is the floppy drive will not hold all the files deemed necessary by it's creator, so they are in a compressed file and extracted to a temporary drive.  I really don't see the need for it.  There are several files loaded into the RAM drive that are duplicated in the root directory of the floppy, and there are tools (e.g., debug, chkdsk, and restart) loaded in the RAM drive I doubt the average user or myself would use.  Setting this argument aside, the root directory has 243KB free and the EBD.CAB file takes-up another 272KB. The RAMdrive when loaded has 595K of files.  If you were to get rid of the redundant files in the RAMdrive and the EBD.CAB file in the root directory, the remaining files in RAMdrive would fit in the root directory.  I really don't like the idea, but, with the exception of assigning the wrong letter to the CD-ROM, it works most of the time.

checkbox.gif (68 bytes)  The disk will be made; but, if you stop here, it might not work!  Go to ADDING A SPECIFIC CD-ROM DRIVER for more steps.

When you install Windows 98 it will also make this Startup floppy.  If you already have one, why make another?  You can turn it off by by using the /ie flag when you first issue the setup command to install Windows 98:

setup /ie

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