Installing win98 over a network

I need to install w98 on a computer with no CDrom drive. It does, however, have a network card. I could, I suppose, remove a cd drive from another machine, but the other machines are Not Mine and I don’t feel right yanking a CD Rom out of one of those, even temporarily. Is it possible, given a legit copy of w98 with codes, to install it over the network?


I think it must be possible, because when you install it on a machine with a PCMCIA interface, it asks you whether it’s OK to disable real mode drivers, or whether you’re installing from a network drive.

Making a clean network install will, I think, entail booting from a floppy that includes some sort of networking functionality. I’m not sure how to do this, but it will require low-level drivers for your network card, or maybe you could use some sort of DOS laplink-type utility (it was originally a DOS app).

Whatever happens, install it this way (unless you absolutely can’t spare the HD space):

Create a directory structure called C:\Windows\Options\Cabs and copy the contents of the install CD’s \win98 folder to it, then run setup from the Cabs directory. it might seem wasteful to keep all the Windows install files on your hard drive, but it completely eliminates that annoying ‘insert the Windows 98 install CD’ prompting every time you install a bit of hardware or change the network configuration.

There looks to be a lot of useful info on DOS networking here:

thanks, Mangetout

I had known that “install whole cd” thing once but had forgotten about it.

Now to track down DOS network drivers…

Just an afterthought; DOS networking will be an interesting adventure for you, so don’t let me put you off, but it might be easier, on the whole, to simply remove the hard drive from this machine and temporarily install it as a slave (or on the second channel) in another machine that has a CD drive, then copy the \win98 files to it and put it back in the original PC to perform the install.