98SE Upgrade using FULL CD?

Volibrawl used Ask the Experts™
I can't recall, it seems that there was a way to use the FULL version CD to perform an upgrade  .. like deleting win.com in Windows/System directory or something  .. anyone else know how to do this?
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Yep, that's it.  Instaed of deleting it though, rename it to win.old.

I also cames across these directions.  I've never tried them but it's interesting:

"This installation method is preferable over many I have tried. It will allow you to use an OEM disk to perform your upgrade without the "Operating System Already Exists" error.

1) Start your Windows 98 setup as normal, from within Windows95 (START, RUN, D:\SETUP.EXE).

2) When you are presented with the License Agreement dialog box, stop. Don't click anything yet. Do NOT click "NEXT." Just WAIT!!! Proceed to the next step.

3) Press CTRL + ESC to open the Start Menu and click "RUN." Type "NOTEPAD" and click "OK".

4) Open the file "SETUPPPP.INF" in the directory WININST0.400. This directory was created by the setup program.

5) Find the line in the file with the text "[data]". Add the following line after it: "OEMUP=1". The text should read as follows:


6) Save the file and exit Notepad.

7) Press ALT + TAB to return to setup and continue with your installation.

Note: In step 4, you can just go to C:\WININST0.400\SETUPPPP.INF file in EXPLORER and double click on it. NOTEPAD will automatically open the file to edit.

This method should allow you to perform your upgrade from your OEM disk with no problems. Good luck with your installation."


"Yep, that's it.  Instaed of deleting it though, rename it to win.old."

I had already done exactly that before posting, and I still got some kind of error re: existing operating system and possible disk compression (there is none adn NO overlay software).  The second part of your post looks interesting.

This is a Blank system and I can play around with several ways of doing this (including formatting the HD and using the full install) so it is not a critical isssue, merely an  information exercise.

Thanks .. you will get points .. anybody else caring to comment or offer worthwhile tidbits could get points, too.

start ur system with a win98 startup disk (to be able to access the cd later), rename win.com to any other name, access ur cd, and start the installation .
the important thing is to choose te same directary that windwos is installed in (typically c:\windows) and to note that u won't be able to uninstall windows this way if u encounter a problem after the installation
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Well, as I said, it is NOT WORKING that way on this machine.  I have done it twice now.

The machine has 98 on it, I am trying to Up it to 98 SE from a 98SE Full Version CD.  The CD is OK, I can/did install successfully using it on a blank hard drive.

I booted to a floppy 98, renamed win.com to win.old
Ran setup from the CD , it tells me there is already an operating system on C:
I say OK to overwrite it, it goes to the next screen, says there is an operating system and must exit..

As I said, this is not a "problem" right now, as there is nothing that can't easily be re-created,  I was just trying to make it work like I "thought" I could.

Quick question, after you rename the file "win.com" to win.old, can you still boot up into windows?
If so then you did not rename the file at all, with that file missing or renamed then Windows will not boot again. Instead of yelling at suggestions I would suggest you try to figure out what you did wrong.
For starters, how did you rename that file? did you first change the attributes from read only so you could in fact edit it?


Well gee guys, sorry if you took the emphasis as yelling at suggestions. It was not intended that way.  In fact, if I were yelling at the suggestion, I would have to be yelling at my own suggestion since it was in the original question.

Rayt, thank you for pointing out some of the possibilities where this could have gone wrong. Can you think of any others, as I think those were all OK?

1. I did not confirm that I could not boot to the hard drive.  I did not try.  As indicated, I booted from a Win 98 floppy.
2. I did confirm that win.com did not exist in the Windows directory by using the DOS command "dir win.*".  IIRC, there were 2 win.somethings; Win.ini and Win.old.
3. I did not change the attributes to rename the file.  On my machine, Win.com is not "read only".  Perhaps it is on others.
4. IIRC, to rename the file I used the DOS Ren command.

I am not in any way disputing the suggestions .. they are an exact confirmation of what I thought I already knew and have done in the past.  I am merely saying that the result is not the same in this case.  Perhaps someone has had some other experience.

If it is not clear from my post, there WAS (emphasis) a definite DIFFERENCE between trying to upgrade with win.com on the drive and win.com NOT on the drive.  In the first case, the message tells you that you need the upgrade version.  In the second case it tells you that you will overwrite the existing operating system .. when you confirm OK to do this, it proceeds AS IF it will install but then at the next screen, insists that you "exit setup".

I have since re-formatted and installed 98SE "fresh" and loaded all the drivers, etc. so I am now beyond the point of testing methods for "knowledge" sake, but I have another machine that I will play with tomorrow.

I will try to do the same thing and see if I can figure out where it went wrong.  

This is strange indeed, you have followed the correct steps and it quit, very strange. I have done those exact steps many times without any problems. It may be the disk itself but if it installed OK cleanly then you would think it was OK. I have no other suggestions, you already knew the correct steps to take and for some reason it just failed on you.
Makes you really love computers huh?


The "trick" worked on the next machine, an ECS K7SEM mainboard with a different CPU, but still won't work on the original machine (also an ECS K7SEM).  I reformatted the HD, loaded Win98, renamed win.com and tried to use the Full SE CD and got the same errors. Oh well ...

The whole issue and exercise raised the opposite point, however.  IIRC, it seems I used to be able to use a 98 UPGRADE CD without having any operating system on the HD.  I think that required having some Win.xxx file on a bootable floppy which you directed Setup to when doing the upgrade check?

You have three ways to get around that "upgrade check"
1. Open Notepad, or type "EDIT" in DOS, type some random characters, save it as "Win.cn_". Put this file on your boot floppy.

2. Open Notepad, or type "EDIT" in DOS, type some random characters, save it as "win386.exe". Put this file in the root folder of C: drive after you format.

3. insert a Win 3.1 install disk when it asks for upgrade proof

You only need to use one of the above, not all three.

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