Is This possible

Posted on 2005-03-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Is it possible to place windows 98 OS onto a new hard disc prior to placing the disc onto the computer via a IDE – USB interface. My current hard disc has been outgrown and it would be much easier if I could set the new one up with 98 prior to installation. I can access the hard disc from my laptop which is running Xp pro via the IDE – USB interface.

Any Ideas
Question by:JoeBo747
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Expert Comment

ID: 13549610
You will need to have the hard drive connected to the computer in someway in order to get Windows 98 installed.  Windows 98 cannot be installed without the hard drive being connected to a computer somehow.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13550745
On the existing desktop, you could just plug in both drives and use something like Ghost to copy the disk to the new disk.
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Accepted Solution

_ earned 1500 total points
ID: 13552489
Your best bet is what leew said.
1. Xp has a bad habit of getting messed up when loading an eariler Windows version. Usually not real bad, but a pain all the same.

2. You will still need to load the correct drivers when you put it back in the system you are going to run it in.

I use this one:



Slave new HD to old HD, then run Xclone from a  DOS  prompt in windows, or START>RUN .

xclone c: d: (or whichever letters you are using)  
It will copy everything but the swapfile ( which windows will recreate later ), then make the new drive master and you are done. This is a freeware program and I use it to clone my HD before I do something new and/or stupid with my computer ( about every 2 or 3 weeks )      ; )    Don't forget to Fdisk and Format the new HD first.

Not free, but good:

download a shareware version of Acronis here:

To read more about each program, just click on the prog icon at said page:
Casper XP v. 2.0 (Win NT-XP, $44.95)
Drive-2-Drive v. 2.0 (Win 9x-ME, $24.95)
Trial Download page: http://www.fssdev.com/products/free/
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Expert Comment

ID: 13552603
Do you want to copy your existing OS to a new drive?

In windows explorer, once the new drive is partitioned (which you wont be able to do if it is on USB), you can format it then copy everything across. The only file that wont be copied is your swap file which is usually win386.swp in the windows directory.
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Expert Comment

ID: 13569596

If the current installation of 98 is ok, use an imaging program (I prefer Drive Image, but Ghost and Acronis will also work) to move the installed system -- all of it, Windows, data, programs, everything -- to the new hard drive.

If the current installtion is not ok, and you need to do a new installation, no, you can't do that without having the hard drive in the target computer (well, you can't do it "properly", anyway).  Windows 98 has to be running on the target computer during installation for that installation to properly detect and install the right components.

However, what you CAN do is copy the \Win98 folder from the Windows 98 CD to a folder called \Win98 on the target hard drive.  You can also make that hard drive bootable to a C:\ prompt.  This will both speed the installation of 98 on the target computer, and also make it in some ways a "better" installation, as the install files will be present on the hard drive and registered as the installation source.
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Expert Comment

ID: 13588538
I agree with Watzman's last paragraph.  Your current Windows 98 registry will be riddled with vestiges of redundant settings from long-since uninstalled programs, and a lot of room will be taken up in backup folders by versions of files that have been replaced and old setup files.  A fresh installation will be like a breath of fresh air.

There IS something else you can do to speed up and ALMOST automate the new installation from the copied "win98" folder on the spare partition created, and that is by using a utility known as MSBATCH that can easily be installed right now from your Windows 98 CD.

Find it in the folder \tools\reskit\batch  and just run setup.exe from that folder to install it.

Have a read at the help file batch98.chm for details of how to use it.  Basically, all you do is click "Gather Now", choose a few options, and generate an .INF file that you then later run as a setup.exe parameter when installing Win98.  It acts as an instruction file, and can also be used to call an "optional.ini" file.

Tutorials here:



An alternative method is to use MSBACKUP to create a full system backup, and then use the batch utility on the Windows 98 CD to perform a restore onto the new drive:


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Expert Comment

ID: 13882873
Split:leew, coral47, Watzman, and BillDL
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Expert Comment

ID: 13882885
On second thought, never mind. There are a ton of these in the database.

Delete - no points refunded

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Expert Comment

ID: 13902929
Thank you much.    : )

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