Install Win98 on /dev/sda4

Reinhold Rumberger rrumberger at
Sun Feb 27 01:52:59 UTC 2011

On Samstag 26 Februar 2011, 23:32:27, Jerry Lapham wrote:
> On Sunday, February 20, 2011 08:28:44 pm Reinhold Rumberger wrote:
> > On Montag 21 Februar 2011, 01:27:24, Jerry Lapham wrote:
> > > On Wednesday, February 16, 2011 08:55:09 am Reinhold Rumberger wrote:
> > > > > > When I booted from the Win98 install disk it said DriveC wasn't
> > > > > > the right format and wouldn't let me install without formatting
> > > > > > it. How can I point it to /dev/sda4?
> > > > 
> > > > I'm pretty sure it can't be done easily. Win9x wants to be installed
> > > > to sda1.  You can try to use grub to swap sda1 and sda4 (basically
> > > > so that Win98 sees sda4 as sda1). However, that needs to be done for
> > > > the install CD, too, and I don't know how to do that.
> > > 
> > > Does the Win98 install CD use the existing partition table in the
> > > master boot record?  Would it use the first entry there as Drive C?
> > 
> > Yes.
> > 
> > > If so,
> > > swappng the bytes from the fourth entry and those from the first entry
> > > ought to do it, correct?
> > 
> > That seems pretty much like what I wrote. Or at least what I was trying
> > to write... ;-)
> Well, the swap worked -- that is, Linux still boots and GParted now shows
> swap as sda4 and my new FAT32 partition as sda1.

I think it may be more relevant what fdisk says, but I assume that either 
gparted uses fdisk or the both access the same table in the kernel, so this 
may be a moot point.

> Unfortunately, the Windows installer still says DriveC isn't the right
> format. I decided to take a chance and let it format DriveC assuming
> DriveC = sda1 and it wouldn't touch my other partitions.
> The installer says  there's a disk error and can't format DriveC.  I'm
> guessing it doesn't like the fact that sda1 is sectors 411521040 thru
> 488392064.

I'm not sure, but what is the max sector Win98 can address? Since I'm not sure 
what you need Win98 for, but would installing it in a VM be an option? That 
might save you some trouble and you wouldn't have to reboot all the time...

> Assuming this is correct, I'm thinking about swapping the partition table
> back and then sacrificing my Mandriva 2008.1 partition on sda2 by
> combining it with sda1 and creating a new swap.  I assume this wouldn't
> cause a problem with the other Linux partition numbers since they are all
> logical.
> Sound like it would work?

Logical partition numbers shouldn't be affected by any changes to the primary 
partitions apart from - perhaps - the changes to the primary that houses them, 
so this sounds like it may work.
Anyway I so wouldn't trust the Win98 installer, so you should definitely do a 
backup first, including (at least) a copy of "sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda", so that 
you can manually restore everything, should the installer break it.


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