View Full Version : Win 98 Install w/o CD-ROM

03-04-2004, 10:06 PM
Travelmate 5300 notebook (BIG upgrade for me!) has Win 95 on, works fine. Want to go to Win 98 but to get CD-ROM I need a docking station and external CD ROM drive -- that's a few bucks and more than desired delay to gratification.

There seem to be two conceivable routes:

1. Move files from Win 98 CD ROM (I have) to 39 floppies. Yes, I would actually do that, if I thought it would work. I did find a purported list of the files on each disk, the install process starts but after copying a bunch of files from the first handmade disk it says "Insert Disk 1 and click OK." Evidently it doesn't recognize my disk ... maybe it has to have a certain label? Or (like Win 3x) a file that named disk1, data 'disk1'? Or something like that?

Also I note that some .cab files are 1.7 meg -- how exactly do you get those on a floppy?

2. Stick the hard drive on a machine with a CD-ROM. That would likely be a Travelmate 4000M so I don't know about HD size compatibilty. Would there be other problems?

Yes, this is kind of a dumb project -- buying the hardware is the best approach, assuming I can get it working ... hummm ... that 'a' word.
Any help appreciated!

Lowest form of geek ...

03-04-2004, 10:21 PM
Here os how you do it cheap:

1) Go to the store and buy
A) If your really cheap buy a lap link serial cable and set the machines to talk to each other that way.

B) You are willing to spring for a few bucks. Buy a copy of laplink.

2) Copy the contents of the Win98 CD on the lap-top with a CD.

3) Lap link the files to the Win95 computer and run the setup of of the hard drive.

03-04-2004, 10:43 PM
Ahh ... I didn't give complete data. I have an OEM Win 98 CD-ROM disk which requires that I install to a clean HD -- and in any case, I prefer that installation. So there would be no place for Laplink to reside on the target machine.

Am I missing something?

There's a feature in Win 95/8 that's Laplink-like, but I don't remember the name of it. It's one of those options you can select.


03-04-2004, 11:36 PM
Copying files via floppy disks is probably your last choice of the possible options, but you can format a 1.44M floppy as a 1.72M. I have used FDFORMAT, available here:http://www.patten1.freeserve.co.uk/utils/

The documentation in the zipped files gives the command line options. I have used fdformat a: /f172 /x:1 /y:2 /r/k although I don't remember why I set it up that way :)

You will need to run FDREAD (included in the zip) in order for a computer to read the higher format size.

A Direct Cable Connection seems like a good way to go, but I never have tried it.

Might be some useful information here:

03-05-2004, 12:20 AM
Lap link for DOS is your answer.....

03-05-2004, 03:48 AM
If you have a CD drive that is handy, you can get an external drive enclosure to put it in and make your own CD drive. However, if you check the sales, you may be able to find an external CDRW drive for less than you thought; the prices have been dropping for a while now....

03-06-2004, 04:18 PM
Well, Win 98 is up and running on my TM 5300 without no stinking CD-ROM drive for it. Here's how I did it:

Various geeks pointed out that it was easier to put the 'build' files on the new hard drive than to try to do the installation from floppies. LapLink was suggested but the price was steep -- $50-100, depending on the flavor. LL does seem to be a DOS program (tho it will do the modern file system) so it would potentially be runnable from a bootable disk, that is with no OS on the target machine.

However, my '5300 had Win 95 so -- one time basis -- I could use that system to get the files. I Googled for laplink and found three or four competitors and of those I picked LinkMaven. It promised a fairly basic package, and sure enough, I didn't need to be able to do timed transfers or use it to hook my PC to the coffeemaker -- or whatever.

I used a direct connect cable between parallel ports. LinkMaven source file (it's a .EXE) can be loaded from a single floppy and it's the world's easiest install -- just take all the defaults except 'YES' on the EULA question. It came right up when I clicked the icons and is sufficiently intuitive that I had *no* problems getting transfer going. If you've ever tried to use MS Direct Cable Connect, you'll appreciate that statement.

I made my TM 4000M with docking station the 'local PC' and put the Win 98 SE CD on the drive. The LM local screen is split with one side showing the local structure and the other the remote. A few obvious clicks and the transfer started. No kidding -- I got it all right the first time. Highly recommend that software and will pay for it.

Once I got the files transferred, I deleted Win 95 and all other files on the target machine. Time consuming because so many are hidden, read only, etc. I left just a few in the windows directory where I knew they'd be overwritten -- I did have to tell the install that yes, I want my new system to overwrite the old one.

Then I started trying to figure out how to install the system on the 5300. I won't go through the details, but basically OEMSETUP doesn't seem either to seach for the files it wants or provide a way to tell it where to look. In the end, I built the first three floppies of the set and used them to get the process to the point where the wizzard told me to install the second CD; at that point I was able to tell it the path to the files and it took off and ran from there on, with no problems.

You use a total of four floppies: One is the usual installation boot disk; on the OEM one you can say "Don't install temporary ROM support" and it will keep on going so you can do a floppy install; the other one is different and I don't know what would work there.

The remaining three floppies have the following files:

Disk 1: (12 files)

Disk 2 (1 file)

Disk 3 (2 files)

The first two disks must be in conventional (non MS DMF) format I believe. The third one needs MS DMF format (1.68 or so megs on a floppy) if both files are to fit. It might work to put one on each of two floppies if you don't have a utility that will write DMF -- I downloaded WinImage to do that job. It's a good piece of software but not 100% intuitive -- I had to bumble around for a while to get it working.

Those four disks will get you to the "Give me the CD ROM" instruction and from there on it's a normal install.

One thing I would do differently another time is I'd put the windows build files in a directory. Dumping them in the root directory forces you to do a tweezers operation to take them off once the installation is complete, instead of just deleting a directory.

Thanks for the help!

Walt Hutchens

Fruss Tray Ted
03-06-2004, 06:31 PM
Was this an upgrade only 98 CD? It is general practice in these parts to do complete clean installs whenever possible. Also one should never 'delete' programs but 'uninstall' them.

If you needed a working OS to have on the 5300, you may have been able to use a boot floppy to assist in the transfer of files and/or install 98 onto the laptop's harddrive. Even pulling the original HDD and temporarily putting into another laptop could have sufficed, just not letting it install motherboard and video drivers etc. until it was returned to the desired case.

Hopefully no problems arise for you, but if they do, you'll know a better route to pursue.