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How do I do a Repair Install in Windows 98SE

Posted on 2006-04-28
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How do I do a Repair Install in Windows 98SE? Please reply with a step by step answer until the point the install actually starts. Do not JUST provide a link to www.windowsreinstall.com . There are no repair install directions there.

You can provide a link to to that web site ONLY IF you provide a modification to the instructions there as those instructions are for a reformat install or install into a blank HD.

I had an earlier question at EE on this. Ignore that Question and the accepted (by me) responses. I did not actually use those instructions (if you read farther down in the post) and never should have accepted them.

Note: If you say to  "2. Start Computer with CD-Rom support" then you MUST provide DOS commands next as that takes you to the DOS prompt.

If you instead say "1. Start Windows 98 Set-up from CD-ROM", then provide instructions on how to NOT do a reformat (or effectively a reformat) install.

Remember Step by Step instructions until the repair install actually starts. Whether the word "repair" ever appears on the screen is irrelevant as long as the effect if achieved.

Please no links to www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_21027907.html either. The answer is not in that confusing thread.

Step by Step means: Boot from CD (changing BIOS if necessary) and then At the first screen choose THIS. At the Next screen choose THIS. And so on until the install starts. If DOS commands are needed, please specify them. In that case assume D: is the CD drive for simplicity.

Also nothing about scanreg /restore  . I know about that and will probably try that first.

Regards-Mike

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Question by:mgross333
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by:blue_zee
ID: 16565905

First get yourself a Windows 98 startup disk. Download this file do your HDD:

http://www.dehning.com/download/utilities/bootdisks/boot98.exe

Then put a freshly formatted floppy in the drive and double click the "boot98.exe" you downloaded.

This will start the creation of the startup floppy.

When finished put that floppy in the drive of the PC you want to do the repair install and restart it.

When prompted select "With CD-ROM support".

Let the system boot to an A:\ prompt and then put the Win98SE CD in the drive.

At the A:\ prompt type:

E: (and press enter)

The prompt should now read E:\, for the CD-ROM, correct?

At the E:\ prompt type:

SETUP (and press enter)

This will start the repair or "on top" reinstall of Windows that will take you 30-45 minutes to complete.

ATTENTION: If or when asked where to install, point it to C:\Windows and DO NOt accept any other suggestions like C:\Windows.000 or other. ALWAYS install to the default location: C:\Windows.

This will refresh your Windows installation and will no touch your other installed software.

After completing the repair you MUST visit Windows Update to apply all the available updates, etc.

Good luck,

Zee
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by:mgross333
ID: 16566349
Zee,

Thanks for your quick and detailed reply. Two questions:

(1) I will be using an OEM Win 98SE CD (either the one that came with the PC or an OEM one I happen to have). Other EE posts on this subject said that if I do not have a full or upgrade 98SE CD and only have an OEM CD there is one additional step. Namely I must rename win.com to win.bak before the SETUP command is executed.

(a) Do you agree?
(b) If so what directory is the win.com file in (C: or C:/Windows or some other folder)?

(2) Why can I not just skip the 98 boot floppy and just boot from CD and select "2. Start Computer with CD-Rom support"?  

 Is it that, if I did that, then the DOS commands I must enter are more complicated than the ones you gave me?
If so do you know that command sequnce on the off-chance the floppy drive is not working?

Regards-Mike
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by:blue_zee
ID: 16566404

Mike,

1) a) No.
    b) Not applicable (IMO).

2) You can, if you know the Win98SE CD you have is bootable (not all of them were...). It will be simpler, just type SETUP and press enter at the prompt (after booting with the CD).

I have one question for you: Is the PC working and booting? You will need its Product Key to enter when prompted during the install.

If you can load Windows, use Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder to find it:

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

Download, install and run it. Write down the Product Key for later use.

Good luck,

Zee
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by:mgross333
ID: 16566526
Zee,

(1) Now I am confused. I always enter the product key on the install CD case. If it is the CD that came with the PC we are done as they are the same.

However, if it is a different OEM CD, then I still use the product key on the CD case. Why will this fail? With Win XP it works but after the repair install succeeds and I go to activate then a window pops up telling me to call MS. When I call them they always approve the activation (either auto or a person).

But Win 98SE does not require activation. So that will not be a problem.

So why must I use the product key that is on the PC? Is not the test that the Product Key I enter equals the one on the CD, not the one on the PC's HD???

BTW it boots about 1/2 the time and always freezes when Start/Restart or Start/Shutdown is used. So yes I can run your program to get the PCs product key. But again I thought the test was between the Product Key I enter when prompted and the Product Key on the install CD.

Please clarify.

(2) Regarding the win.com thing, please look at the 2nd post from the bottom of  www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_21027907.html . That post is 100% opposite of your answer above isn't it? Are you sure the rename is not necessary?

Mike
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by:blue_zee
ID: 16566594

Mike,

I have always reinstalled OEM versions of Windows WITHOUT renaming anything, but always used the correct Product Key.

IF... the OEM version you have doesn't install with an error similar to an "OS is already installed", or something in that sense, yes you will need renaming WIN.COM to WIN.OLD, with this simple DOS command:

REN C:\WINDOWS\WIN.COM WIN.OLD (and pressing enter).

I have failed reinstall of Windows for NOT using the correct Product Key (the one used for the original install).

And on a footnote, multiple installations of OEM versions of Windows is illegal and this has nothing to do with activation (a very recent "novelty"). This is a good enough reason to use the orginal Product Key.

Cheers,

Zee

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by:blue_zee
ID: 16566611
You can also:

1. Start Windows, and then insert the Windows 98 CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive.
2. Click Browse This CD, and then double-click Setup.exe.
3. Follow the instructions to complete the Windows Setup procedure.

Zee
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by:BillDL
ID: 16567856
Mike, the reason that Windows 98/98SE have been such a heavily pirated operating system is due to the fact that there are probably hundreds of CD's out there that will accept one key, and another batch of several hundred more that accept another key.  Armed with about a dozen CD keys downloaded from all manner of websites where idiotic people post lists of CD-Keys, the user of a copied CD will probably get one to work.

It's a bit like a brand new housing development of 100 houses where the builders fit cheap locks, and one key will be capable of opening 5 other doors elsewhere on the estate.

The actual "CD-Key" isn't held on a Win98/98SE CD (be it OEM, Upgrade, or Full Retail Version).  The installation detects the TYPE of CD from temporary setup files it unpacks early on in the setup process and then knows what format of CD key will be accepted during setup.  There is a trick that people use to modify these details by halting the setup process and modifying the relevant file(s) from DOS so that the installation proceeds in a different way.

I agree with blue_zee that it would probably be best to use the CD-Key from the current problematic installation, and use the same CD.  This would avoid any potential problems, because not all OEM CD's are the same.  Some are "branded" by the OEM Builder, or tweaked in some ways from another OEM CD.

The idea here is to do a REPAIR install by reinstalling the same files (if required by setup) and recreating the correct registry settings again if they are wrong.  Using another OEM CD that you happen to have lying around may overlook certain things that need to be rectified, and may wrongly fix things that were normal and good, but which it decided were wrong.

Bill
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by:mgross333
ID: 16568847
BillDL,

Ohhhhh Noooo. I hope what you are telling me is ONLY true for Windows 98SE OEM CDs. (The owner probably has the original CD in this case).

To get to the point can Windows Retail XP Home SP2 or Windows 2000 SP4 Full install CDs be used to do repair installs without limitation? (I kknow that even if one uses the CD that came with the PC that repair installs sometimes hang and do not complete; that is NOT my question.) My question relates to using **ANY** install CD that did not come with the PC (if OEM) or was not the CD used to install Windows from (if Retail install or upgrade was previously done on that PC).

I know that if one uses a different CD that during activation I will probably need to call MS and get approval but that the approval is always granted (for repair installs, not upgrades or full installs). Also ignore repairs of Volume Loc PCs also for the above question, just consider repairs of OEM or Retail installed PCs.

Because I have the above XP Home CD (and need to know if it will work) and just paid $85 for the Win 2000 one and if you say it will not work, I need to ask for a refund. The seller of the Win 2000 CD swore it would work for repair installs without limitation (i,e of OEM PCs or PCs installed from or upgraded from a retail Win 2000 CD).

Regards,
  Michael Gross

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by:BillDL
ID: 16569705
Mike.
Going back briefly to the core question here "How do I do a Repair Install in Windows 98SE?", you requested specifically not to be directed to http://www.windowsreinstall.com/, because "there are no repair install directions there".
Actually, that site (in particular each of the 4 methods linked to from http://www.windowsreinstall.com/indexwin98.htm), DOES provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough.  blue_zee has also provided the steps for the exact same method that I consistently use.

What is confusing the matter here is the reference to "repair install".  Windows XP has options that specifically try to do a "repair install" and fix a damaged installation, but there is NOT a specific method for this when installing Windows 98.  The closest you will get to a "repair" is if you power off your computer half way through an installation of Windows 98 and then later try to perform the installation again.  Setup detects that the installation was terminated abnormally without completing, because all the temporary files that are unpacked from the CD to allow the installation to proceed are left on your hard drive.  In this scenario, setup tells you that the previous setup didn't complete and can usually pick up where it left off.

In essence, the reference to a "repair install" in Win98 is a bit of a misnomer.  All you are doing is REinstalling the operating system right back ON TOP of the existing one in the hope that it will fix problems.  More commonly, this is known as a "Dirty" install, and the only difference between that and a fresh install to a formatted hard drive is that you aren't formatting the hard drive first.  There are obviously a few extra things that a dirty reinstall has to cope with, and this involves the detection of existing files and folders and registry entries where setup has to figure out whether to delete them and recreate new ones, or to verify them and leave intact.

The next time you see the "Setup has detected that you are trying to install an older file than the one currently installed on your system - do you wish to keep this file?", what you are seeing is the Version Conflict Manager at work.  There are some instances with the Win98 setup where a dirty install will ALWAYS overwrite things and restore to the default, eg. DirectX components and settings will be knocked backwards to the default version 6 despite the fact that you had DirectX version 8.1 or whatever installed.  Task Schedulaer will always be reinstated as a startup, and annoyingly it will always reinstall and recreate the files and folders for the "Online Services" that offer the option to "Sign up to MSN".  These are minor niggles, but in general the principle of "leave any newer file versions intact" will be adopted during a dirty install.

The only true way to do a "repair install" of Win98 is if you choose EXACTLY the same setup options as you originally used when Win98 was installed.  As you will be aware, setup offers you the options of installing as Typical, Portable, Compact, or Custom
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image16.gif
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image18.gif

If, for example, Windows was installed using the "Custom" option where you chose to omit certain "optional components", but you later did a dirty reinstall and chose the "Typical" option, you would find that it may ADD these missing components.  Similarly, if Windows was originally installed as the "Typical" option, but you later chose the "Compact" option during a dirty installation, it should check that the required components ARE installed correctly, but (subject to the above example exceptions and more) leave any EXTRA components remaining from the previous "Typical" installation.

Observe the screenshots of the "Collecting Information About Your Computer" stage which PREcedes your choice of install option:
Preparing Windows directory and checking for installed components:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image14.gif
Checking for installed components and verifying disk space:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image15.gif

You can change these if you wish, but that's where it would no longer be a proper "repair" install.
As long as you reinstall back to the C:\WINDOWS folder, as stressed by blue_zee (and as shown here http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image13.gif), you will be performing as close to a "repair" as Windows 98 offers.

What you have to be aware of is that if setup detects the hard drive is occupied, and in particular the C:\Windows folder exists and is populated, it will always scan the registry where it will acquire details of the existing installation.  In so doing, it may well have the fields shown in this dialog already filled in:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image19.gif

DON'T confuse this registry scan with the one done right at the very start of setup as shown here:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image10.gif
That 2nd screenshot is the SCANREG.EXE registry scan which is looking for ERRORS in a pre-existing registry.
If errors were detected at this stage with the existing registry, then it would try to fix them.  The purpose of Scanreg.exe is NOT to extract all the registry settings relevant to what components are installed, because that registry interrogation and file version checking comes later.  The fact that it says "Copying files needed for Windows setup" does NOT infer that these are the files selected from your choice of installation type, because you haven't been asked for those details.  What it is doing is copying the files that it needs to display the graphic user interface, and the files that it copies to the hard drive are old Windows 3.1 files that are supported by DOS.  They are replaced with the proper Windows ones at the first reboot.

So, although you didn't really want to be directed to the http://www.windowsreinstall.com site, the following page fully describes the process of doing a "repair" install as has been detailed by blue_zee:
htp://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/install98floppy/indexfullpage.htm
You will note from that page that it does not discuss whether this is a fresh install to a formatted and empty drive, or if it is over the top of an existing installation, because it simply doesn't make much difference to the steps involved for doing either.

OK, so with that discussed, you may well wonder what the difference may be between one Windows 98SE OEM CD and another.  One of the main differences that I have found is that many OEM CD's use their own setup script to install Windows the way that the distributors intended.  In many instances, they will not provide you with a list of options or ability to modify this installation.  There are two setup executable files in the "win98" folder of a Windows 98/98SE CD that can be used to install Win98, namely SETUP.EXE and OEMSETUP.EXE.  The latter is usually used by builders to "preinstall" to a bare unpartitioned hard drive and customise the setup.

Many OEM CD's have extra .BAT files and registry files tucked away in extra folders not found on a retail version.  They will ver often have a customised *.INF file that dictates how setup runs.  For more information about this aspect, see here:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q214727
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/install/tips/win98/batchinstall.htm

The thing about OEM CD's is that you usually won't know in advance how they are going to proceed.  The "win98" folder of a Windows 98SE OEM CD may contain all the same .CAB files as a retail version, but unless you are aware of whether the installation is scripted and how the scripted install is configured to run, then you are guessing.

As far as using Windows XP and 2000 OEM CD's is concerned, I'm afraid that I haven't had as much exposure to them as to Windows 98 and I would be guessing.  In fact, it isn't really fully relevant to this question.

Bill
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by:davidis99
ID: 16594818
As BillDL noted, there is no "repair install" option when performing a Windows 98 installation.  What functions as a repair install with Windows 98 is to reinstall Windows 98 into the same folder as the existing, defective Windows 98 installation, making the repair install the same as a virgin install, with the exception of making sure you are installing into the old windows folder on the PC.   So, the steps involved are:

1) Boot the PC from floppy, with the CDROM in the CD drive of the PC.
2) from the command prompt, navigate to and launch setup from the CD.
3) direct setup to install to the same folder as your current installation, e.g. c:\windows.
4) once setup is complete, if needed, reinstall drivers, test applications.
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by:davidis99
ID: 16594858
Re-reading your original post, since you asked for very specific instructions:

1) Boot the PC from floppy, with the CDROM in the CD drive of the PC.
This should place you at the A:\ prompt - you should have noted, when the computer started, the drive letter assigned to the CD drive, e.g. D: - for the sake of this discussion, we will assume the CDROM is your D: drive.

2) from the command prompt, navigate to and launch setup from the CD.
At the A: prompt, type D:, press enter.  next, type setup, press enter.

3) direct setup to install to the same folder as your current installation, e.g. c:\windows.
At each screen within setup, click next, or yes, as needed, until the screen where you are asked what folder you want to install Windows to.  If Windows is currently in C:\windows, make sure you install to C:\windows.    Continue with the installation as if this were a virgin install after that.

4) once setup is complete, if needed, reinstall drivers, test applications.
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by:davidis99
ID: 16594892
finally, though you specified not to refer to http://www.windowsreinstall.com, sinc I stand by my earlier statement that what functions as a repair install with Windows 98 is to reinstall Windows 98 into the same folder as the existing, defective Windows 98 installation, the steps in doing a windows 98 reinstall as laid out on that site are quite complete, with the only step that may require modification being to select the folder into which to install Windows, if Windows is not installed into C:\windows.
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by:blue_zee
ID: 16594924
davidis99,

Isn't that exactly what I explained in my first post?

Zee
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by:davidis99
ID: 16596024
Didn't read your first post, Zee - this was such a long thread, I read the original Q. and some of the most recent stuff.   I don't think you emphasized the point as strongly as needed about reinstall being a repair, though.
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by:FriarTuk
ID: 16603755
Check out these instructions from the horse's mouth:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=195568    This is an overview of the setup steps
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=221829    This is how to do it
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willcomp earned 2000 total points
ID: 16609614
May have missed this somewhere, if so I apologize.

Actually a repair install of 98 or 98SE is rather simple.  

Windows 98, 98SE, and Me Repair Installation

Boot from CD
Select Start PC with CD ROM Support
Change to Optical Drive A:\>D: [Enter] where D: is optical drive
Change to Win98 directory (win9x for ME) D:\>CD\WIN98 [Enter]
Run Setup D:\WIN98>setup [Enter]

Windows setup will perform a repair install.

Settings, files, programs, drivers, etc. will be retained.  May need to reinstall Win 98/Me updates.

Note: Do not allow Windows to automatically install, it won't work.

Note to mgross333 in reference to an earlier question.  Thought you might be interested in this.

Microsoft Files Lawsuit Against Billings Company Alleging Distribution of Infringing Software

As part of Microsoft Corp.'s commitment to honest and legitimate resellers in the channel, the company filed a lawsuit against eDirectSoftware of Billings, Montana and Sherwood Park, Alberta. It alleges violations of copyright and trademark laws, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Anti-Counterfeiting Amendments Act. These alleged violations are based on eDirectSoftware's repeated distribution of counterfeit software, tampered software and components, and illegal product keys paired with unlicensed software not intended for resale. Volume license keys or other keys that allow activation or bypass activation are for the sole use of the company licensed under a volume licensing agreement and cannot be sold or passed on to other parties that are not covered by those agreements. Keys generated by a "key gen" tool are illegal under any circumstances and should not be used or distributed.


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by:willcomp
ID: 16609814
Some other notes.  

98, 98SE, and Me will automatically insert the existing product key during repair installation.

You must use exact version that was originally installed.  Cannot mix OEM and retail or install 98SE instead of 98.
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by:BillDL
ID: 16612020
willcomp when booting to a Windows 98SE CD there seems to me to be no need to boot with CD-Rom support, or to enter any other DOS commands.  It offers, as option No. 1 in the second screen of the boot menu, to "Start Windows 98 Setup From CD-Rom".

http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/install98cd/indexfullpage.htm
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image4.gif
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win98/images/Image5.gif

Is there some difference in results using your method, for instance an obligatory format?
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by:BillDL
ID: 16612027
Mike, you may also be interested in the following OEM-specific links:
http://www.oem.windowsreinstall.com
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by:willcomp
ID: 16615340
To BillDL:  If you try an auto install (Start Windows Setup from CD ROM) it will abort telling you that Windows is already installed or something similar (don't remember exact wording).  The only way to do a repair install from boot CD is method I described.  You can try for yourself if you like or take it on faith from someone who has done many 98 and Me repair installs.  Incidentally, I originally found out how to do it by trial and error.
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by:gonzal13
ID: 16617707
You did not mention that you cannot get into windows when booting. The following method is good for correcting corrupted files.

All you do after win98 boots up is to install the cd rom.
Next open Windows Explorer
Go to the cd rom holding the disk
Change to win98
Type setup
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by:BillDL
ID: 16620108
willcomp.  Thanks for that.  I was curious why you had deliberately avoided what seemed to be the easiest way.  It's been a while since I installed Win98se from CD, and I haven't had a bootable Win98se CD for years since I accidentally stomped on my original and then found that my copy wasn't bootable as the original had been.  I always copy the win98 folder's contents onto a 2nd partition and install by booting to a win98se boot floppy, so my memory about bootable Win98se CD installs has faded somewhat over the years.
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by:FriarTuk
ID: 16688955
hey mgross, what's the status?
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by:mgross333
ID: 16790153
Thanks for all the replies. I was not paying attention to this thread as my customer who potentially needed a Win 98SE Repair install, either hired someone else or found another solution or I found another solution. At the moment I cannot remember which.

(A) However as of this morning I NOW have ANOTHER PC in my shop for which a 98SE repair install MIGHT be useful. Or it might not if the repair install hangs part way thru (as sometimes happens) or if the HD is mechanically bad. Symptom of NEW PC is we get Starting Windows 98 after BIOS finishes and then nothing happens for about 5 minutes and then I get
Data Error reading C: Abort, Retry, Fail?

I do not know what this error means and am not convinced it means the HD or its IDE interface is mechanicaly bad. Note: This is not the same as getting a HD I/O error IMMEDIATELY after BIOS finishes which WOULD mean HD is bad.

So my plan is to
(1) Try Repair install per Willcomp's instructions (with clarification provided by following interaction between willcomp and BillDL)

(2) If it fails (but no CLEAR evidence that the HD is bad appears in the process), copy a working HD with same app and OS to bad HD with a DOS level copy program on floppy (which I KNOW from previous experience works IF the target HD is mechanically sound and the source HD is from PC with same EXACT motherboard and peripeherals and config and everthing the same.)

(3) If (2) fails that means the HD or its IDE interface MUST BE mechanically bad and I will buy a new HD and do the copy to it as in (2) which will work as I have done this before many times.

Note: I am dealing with single app PCs (security camera PCs) which all have the same app and SW. And all data (recorded security videos) is of no great value. However sometime the motherboards ARE different. Even in this case, I once got copied HD to work by downloading missing/wrong chipset drivers from mobo manufacturer's web site and installing them from floppy. But I may have been lucky; the missing drivers did NOT prevent PC from booting which may not always be the case. And once it boots it is easy to replace bad drivers. If it does not boot, the result would have been different.

In this case I have a HD from a PC with the EXACT SAME mobo and same config also.

(B) I am quite concerned about an essentially unrelated (to Win98 repair installs) comment by willcomp at the end of his post here of 05/04/2006 01:40PM PDT. The one about eDirect Software. In another thread at EE I was warned about using a Windows XP Pro Volume License CD obtained from eDirect SW. I chose to ignore the warnings. But willcomps post here is a bit much. I have received an email from the head guy at eDirect saying am I happy with my pruchase. I will NOW reply that I am not happy and I could be sued by Microsoft and please send me an OEM XP Pro CD, in exchange for the Volume License one already sent. And see what the head guy says.

Thanks to willcomp for pointing this out to me.

I will assign points after trying willcomp's repair install instructions.

Mike

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by:mgross333
ID: 16790274
Willcomp,

I am using a 98SE OEM CD to do the repair install. I got it from the PC owner and it is UNLIKLEY to be the one used to install 98SE on this PC. If it works, that is fine; if it fails I will copy the HD per my post above. It is the only 98SE CD available to me and it is worth a try. It has a Product Code on it which I will enter if prompted.

Regarding in your repair install instructions:
> Note: Do not allow Windows to automatically install, it won't work.

I have no idea what you mean by that. Please clairfy.

Mike
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by:willcomp
ID: 16790539
When you boot from a Win98, 98SE, or Me CD there are 3 options to select from.  The first and default is Start Windows Setup From CD ROM, that is the automated install.  Second and appropriate option for a repair install is Start Computer With CD ROM Support.  Third option is Start Computer Without CD ROM Support.

Any 98SE OEM CD will do a repair install on a 98SE OEM installation.
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by:willcomp
ID: 16790615
Further info:  There are 2 setup programs on CD.  One is in the root directory and the other is in Win98 directory.  You MUST use the one in Win98 directory for a repair install.  One in root directory performs an automated install and will not work.
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by:willcomp
ID: 16790707
Newest problem may be a failing HDD (could just be a bad track or corrupt file).  I recommend a raw image of HDD or copying data files using another PC as quickly as possible if data retrieval is needed.
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by:FriarTuk
ID: 16790877
A) boot from your boot floppy & run "chkdsk /f" & "scandisk c: /autofix /nosave /surface" to check for hard disk problems

1) a repair install is just a regular install on top of the existing o/s by installing into the same folder, thus retaining the current configurations

2) you can't do a dos level copy on an o/s, i think you're referring to a disk to disk image

3) - A) will tell you if it's the drive & you can swap ide cables to rule that out

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by:FriarTuk
ID: 16885787
hey mgross, what's your status? plz provide feedback for further assistance.
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by:FriarTuk
ID: 17054598
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by:FriarTuk
ID: 17254729
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 17255437
FriarTuk,

Points assigned. Question closed.

Mike
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by:blue_zee
ID: 17255797
Mike,

I am sorry but I fail to see the difference between your accepted answer and previous posts...

But, of course, that is your privilege.

Zee
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by:BillDL
ID: 17256636
blue_zee.
I agree with your comment in principle as it relates to the ORIGINAL question "How do I do a Repair Install in Windows 98SE" and the actual question contents.  In my opinion, you (blue_zee) ANSWERED the question as originally asked, but there were some specific issues that I believe led Mike to accept willcomp's comment..

From what I can see (but stand to be corrected by Mike), is that AFTER blue_zee's first comment it THEN additionally came to light that there were some issues about not having the SAME OEM Win98se CD to do this "repair" install.
>>>
"I will be using an OEM Win 98SE CD (either the one that came with the PC or an OEM one I happen to have)".
<<<

This then raised the issue about the requirement to use the SAME CD-Key, and the potential problems of not having that available.  My comment was aligned to what blue_zee had stated in this regard:
>>>
"I agree with blue_zee that it would probably be best to use the CD-Key from the current problematic installation, and use the same CD.  This would avoid any potential problems, because not all OEM CD's are the same.  Some are "branded" by the OEM Builder, or tweaked in some ways from another OEM CD".
<<<

MY crucial point there was that NOT ALL OEM CD's are the same.  I went on to provide a technically sound and detailed explanation of whether a "repair" install is actually possible in Win98se, and referred to screenshots and steps performed by the setup process to explain this.  During that explanation, I also highlighted additional potential issues with using another OEM CD to try and do a "repair" install:
>>>
"Many OEM CD's have extra .BAT files and registry files tucked away in extra folders not found on a retail version.  They will very often have a customised *.INF file that dictates how setup runs.  For more information about this aspect, see here:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q214727
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/install/tips/win98/batchinstall.htm
The thing about OEM CD's is that you usually won't know in advance how they are going to proceed.  The "win98" folder of a Windows 98SE OEM CD may contain all the same .CAB files as a retail version, but unless you are aware of whether the installation is scripted and how the scripted install is configured to run, then you are guessing".
<<<

Although the accepted answer DID reiterate (but condense) the specific and accurate instructions first provided in full by blue_zee, willcomp drew attention again to running setup from the setup.exe file in the "win98" folder of the CD rather than the one in the root of the CD as suggested in the DOS commands given by blue_zee in his first comment:
>>>
willcomp:
"Note: Do not allow Windows to automatically install, it won't work"
<<<
It is THIS issue that Mike has latched onto, having revealed AFTER the initial question that the original OEM CD was not available, and has obviously prompted the acceptance of that comment by willcomp.
willcomp then went on to say:
>>>
"98, 98SE, and Me will automatically insert the existing product key during repair installation".
<<<

Personally speaking, I HAVE been asked for the CD-Key on many occasions during a dirty reinstall, so I'm not absolutely convinced that this is a hard and fast rule for ALL "repair" installs.  I did not raise that doubt in any subsequent comment, but was curious to  confirm why willcomp avoided suggesting the "Run Setup from CD" menu option after booting to the Win98se CD.  Once again, willcomp's response has attracted Mike's attention, and parallels his previous comments about running the CD:\win98\setup.exe to avoid an "auto-install".

Mike came back to this question with a status update that he no longer had the originally affected PC, but had another Win98se system on which he intended to use the comments.  Specifically, as I have discussed above, he has been interested in the explanation by willcomp to the query I raised above:
>>>
"So my plan is to
(1) Try Repair install per Willcomp's instructions (with clarification provided by following interaction between willcomp and BillDL)".....
I will assign points after trying willcomp's repair install instructions.
<<<

Once again, going back to the CD:\setup.exe vs CD:\win98\setup.exe differences, Mike asked:
>>>
Regarding in your repair install instructions:
"Note: Do not allow Windows to automatically install, it won't work".
I have no idea what you mean by that. Please clairfy.
<<<

to this, willcomp explained once again:
>>>
"The first and default is Start Windows Setup From CD ROM, that is the automated install.  Second and appropriate option for a repair install is Start Computer With CD ROM Support.  Third option is Start Computer Without CD ROM Support. Any 98SE OEM CD will do a repair install on a 98SE OEM installation......
There are 2 setup programs on CD.  One is in the root directory and the other is in Win98 directory.  You MUST use the one in Win98 directory for a repair install.  One in root directory performs an automated install and will not work".
<<<

I have to point out that, although I disagree with the statement "Any 98SE OEM CD will do a repair install on a 98SE OEM installation", and qualified my reasons much earlier when referring to OEM custom *.bat, *.reg, etc files, in general willcomp's advice PROBABLY is true of MANY OEM CD's.

In actual fact (and this is not intended as an argumentative point or one to discredit willcomp), I am not totally convinced that there IS any significant difference between running CD:\setup.exe and CD:\win98\setup.exe from DOS either.  I would be VERY INTERESTED to receive some qualified information to correct me, but from what I can see of the internal resources for both files running setup.exe from the root of the CD just passes control to the setup.exe in the win98 folder, and the file "w98setup.bin" is immediately loaded.  I cannot determine any other differences in the way setup is launched.

I am just about to do two formats and installs using the different setup.exe's to see what happens.

In summary, as blue_zee has stated, Mike reserves the priviledge to award the question to whoever's comment has been the most useful to him.  Perhaps it would have been fairer to split points, but that's life ;-)

Bill
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 17256723

Bill,

I wasn't even referring my commet that should be, let me say it bluntly, common knowledge.

The point is as you explain in the usual argumentative way, is that the accepted answer will not work on its own, and not rewarding the collaboration of other people, and again I am excluding myself, is to say the least unfair.

Anyway, Mike has decided...

Zee
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 17275669
I've been out of town and away from Internet access.  For those who wish to differ, my only advice is to try and see what works.  I know my method does from many repair installs of 98 and Me.  I also have yet to encounter any PC with an OEM installation where a standard OEM CD failed to work.  There are cases where the existing key is not picked up during a repair install, but they are rare.

Although running setup from the root directory may appear to be the same as running setup from the Win98 folder, it is not.  I know from experience.

Mike, thanks and you're welcome.
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