How to reinstall Win 98 from Startup Disk, Dell laptop??

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Jean S. Barto, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Hi folks--

    I did something really stupid with my Dell Inspiron 3700 earlier today, and
    I hope someone here can help.

    I used a program called KillDisk to erase the hard drive on my laptop,
    thinking I could use that program to *clean* the hard drive, so I could
    reinstall Win 98 or Me on the hard drive--I was having problems and thought
    I was fixing the problem, but I made things much worse.

    Right now, after working on this issue for 5 hours or more, I can't seem to
    reinstall Windows 98, even after I found a Windows 98 emergency boot disk (a
    floppy, not a CD or DVD) that I made a long time age.

    The emergency boot disk runs, but after it does its thing and I get to the
    command prompt (A:, I think), I don't know what else to type in, so I can
    get the computer to work enough to swap out the floppy drive and put in the
    CD/DVD drive. I have tried typing setup.exe, for example, and I get an
    error message, such as *illegal command* for example, In any case, I just
    get another A: and I still don't know what to do.

    The Inspiron laptops have only *one* modular bay--so it's necessary to swap
    out the drives--you *can't* have the floppy and the DVD/CD drives in at the
    same time.

    The only CD that will open up when the CD drive is installed is a Dell
    Inspiron diagnostics CD that came with the computer--however, it simply
    *tests* the components--and when I ran it, the tests came out OK. The
    Windows 98 or Windows Me CD's *will not* run--at least, I haven't been able
    to get them to run.

    I'm sure there's some way for me to reinstall the system software (if I
    haven't totally ruined the HD by running that Kill Disk program)--but I
    can't figure it out yet.

    My *second* computer (what I'm on now) is an iMac--and so I don't have a
    backup PC at home here to work on, for example, to download PC programs to
    in order to install them on my ailing laptop. However, I *can* access the
    internet, my e-mail, and this newsgroup, with the iMac, so I hope that
    someone here can tell me how to fix my problem!

    I'm not very PC literate, and that's not helping things much.

    Hopefully there's a fix for this short of having Geeks On Call come by on
    Monday, or buying a new HD for the laptop!

    Thanks in advance,

    Jean in VA (Lots of egg on my face tonite!!)
    Jean S. Barto, Aug 7, 2004
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  2. Hello,

    We would suggest trying the following:

    1. Get a Windows 98 startup floppy disk. If you do not have one, anyone
    with a Windows 98 machine can make one in seconds.

    2. Insert the floppy into your drive and be sure your laptop is set to boot
    from the floppy drive 1st in the BIOS

    3. After the Floppy boots select option 2 for no cd rom support

    4. When you get to the A: - type in fdisk

    5. Select option 4 to see the existing partitions

    6. Delete all existing partitions in the following order - logical
    drives -extended - non dos - primary

    7. Create a new primary partition

    8 Reboot the computer and boot again from the floppy

    9 When at the a: type in format c:

    10 After it is formatted - type in sys c:

    11. After this is complete, you should be able to use your bootable Windows
    98 CD to install a fresh copy or at least get to a prompt and then type in
    your directory for the CD drive and run the setup.exe.

    If your system does not support CD booting due to lack of drivers, you might
    have to locate DOS CD rom drivers prior to running the Windows 98 setup.

    Hope this helps

    Technical Support Team

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  3. If you don't have a boot-disk, go to & get one!!


    John J. Burness, Aug 7, 2004
  4. I also just finished installing Win Me and IE/OE 6--so, except for MS Ofice
    and a couple other things, I'm *much* better off than I was Friday

    I'll keep lurking on the newsgroups for some good tips, etc.

    Jean in VA
    Jean S. Barto, Aug 7, 2004
  5. Jean S. Barto

    MLD Guest

    The bootdisk from ** gives you the option to boot to the CD
    drive. That way you don't have to worry about the A prompt but ginstead go
    right to inputting your CD.
    MLD, Aug 7, 2004
  6. Jean S. Barto

    Notan Guest

    Uh, Jean?

    How 'bout setting your system clock to the correct date?

    Notan, Aug 8, 2004
  7. Jean S. Barto

    Paul Knudsen Guest


    Most computers built in the last 8 years will boot a CD directly.
    That is why many computers no longer come with floppy drives.

    Install your CD module and boot the machine. When it starts go
    immediately into the BIOS. You do this by pressing F8 (usually) or
    DELETE. Check your manual if you have it. You must hit the key
    fairly quickly.

    Find the "boot sequence" and set it to boot from CD first. It's
    pretty intuitive.

    Put the Win98 CD in the drive and exit, saving settings.

    Your machine should start from the CD and you can do your install.
    Paul Knudsen, Aug 14, 2004
  8. Jean S. Barto

    Paul Knudsen Guest

    I replied before I saw this, so glad you got it working. But like I
    said, you shouldn't need a boot floppy for a reasonably modern
    Paul Knudsen, Aug 14, 2004
  9. Jean S. Barto

    RnR Guest

    Don't forget to change your system clock for the correct date.
    RnR, Jan 22, 2007
  10. thanks for the suggestions, I basically figured out how to do this in the
    meantime, and right now the computer is running Win 98 OK--and I even was
    able to install my Farallon Wireless Card--so I'm on the internet with the

    The rest of it will be relatively easy from here--and I've also bookmarked for the future!

    Jean in VA
    Jean S. Barto, Aug 7, 2007
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