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OK just making sure I got my bases covered. I have an old IBM thinkpad. It has a 512MB FAT c: partition which has only the boot sector files. The ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! fguy64's Avatar
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    Question on using sys.com to recover win98 ( yes win98) from botched Linux install.


    OK just making sure I got my bases covered.

    I have an old IBM thinkpad. It has a 512MB FAT c: partition which has only the boot sector files. The rest is empty. Win98 is on the d: drive (FAT32).

    Probably I'll try to put damn small linux on the c: drive.

    I am expecting that I will have to turn c: into two partitions, one for Linux, and one for swap. I guess. Maybe my boot sector will get altered by GRUB or LILO or something

    I am thinking that the installer for DSL will deal with it. I'm prepared to wing it, as I have a Win98 boot diskette that includes sys.com. So no matter how badly I screw up, I am thinking that I should be able to get my old boot sector back by doing sys c:.

    Anyone here remember sys.com and can confirm that it will restore my boot sector no matter what Linux does to it?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I am expecting that I will have to turn c: into two partitions, one for Linux, and one for swap. I guess. Maybe my boot sector will get altered by GRUB or LILO or something
    I am out of my league when it comes to Windows 98 and sys.com so I can't answer you there. I have installed DSL on a laptop though. Not as a dualboot with Windows but as a dedicated Operating system.
    I am expecting that I will have to turn c: into two partitions, one for Linux, and one for swap
    No, you will need 3 partitions if using swap.
    I do know you need about 55 mb for DSL image file. Swap size is up to you as far as size.
    Then the rest of 512 mb left over for main drive(saving changes in DSL.


    Now since you wanna dual boot with Windows 98 it may be easier to edit DSL boot loader file to chainload windows 98 than to try and edit a Windows init. boot file for Windows MBR. Because Linux Bootloader is gonna wipe windows bootloader out. Like I said. Never tried a dualboot with DSL. So kinda out of my depth here. If interested. Below is how I installed DSL

    Yet Another Technology Site: Damn Small Linux 4.0 install on Compaq 1540DM

    You can disregard the making of the Smart Boot manger Floppy and using CF disk to delete all partitions in instructions and also using a hardrive wiper to wipe hardrive since you are keeping windows 98. If you are Lucky. Linux bootloader in DSL(which I think is grub. Not Lilo) will include Windows 98 in boot menu list. If not you can edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to include Windows 98.

    If using cfdisk is to complicated for you. You can burn a Gparted bootable live cd and partition C drive up as my tutorial states using Gparted tools.
    GOOD LUCK with it however you decide to go about it.
    Last edited by rokytnji; 09-13-2009 at 03:20 AM.
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  3. #3
    Just Joined! fguy64's Avatar
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    fguy64>I am expecting that I will have to turn c: into two partitions, one for Linux, and one for swap

    rokytnji>you will need 3 partitions if using swap.

    It is my understanding that if you are dual booting with windows, the you need a partition for windows, and two partitions for Linux, one to be used for swap. But keep in mind that I already have two partitions, the boot sector is on the primary partition of course, but the windows directory is on the d drive. Does that change your answer?

    With regards to the rest of your post, it sounds a little more involved than I thought. I had the impression that dual boot with Windows was a straightforward thing, but editing the DSL bootloader to chainload win 98 sounds like more work than I expected. Not that I can't handle it, I just figured it would be a no-brainer. I have years of experience setting up PCs, but have only done multi boots wit Microsoft systems.

    Perhaps the dual boot thing is a lot easier when Linux goes on first?

  4. #4
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Perhaps the dual boot thing is a lot easier when Linux goes on first?
    Nope. Actually it is the other way around.

    the boot sector is on the primary partition of course
    Which I understood was on C drive, 512 mb, and that was where you were going to install DSL to.

    , but the windows directory is on the d drive
    Not being a Windows User, I am assuming Windows 98 operating system is on D drive.
    but editing the DSL bootloader to chainload win 98 sounds like more work than I expected.
    Having not installed DSL as a dual boot with Windows I can't say if Windows will be included in Grub Menu. So, what does one do when faced with such a Question? Slinky
    and two partitions for Linux, one to be used for swap
    True. But I am showing you how I set up a working Damn Small Linux install which booted up just fine and ran wired and wireless ethernet. I can only suggest on what I know worked for me. Anything else and you are on your own trail. So however you wanna try installing DSL as a Dual boot is up to you. I can only suggest on what I know. Which aint a whole heck of alot. LOL I am just a Linux using Knuckle Dragging Neanderthal Biker. No Windows experience like you have. Good Luck with it and let us know how it goes.
    Last edited by rokytnji; 09-13-2009 at 06:12 AM.

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    Just Joined! fguy64's Avatar
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    Ok Bud, thanks. I did learn some interesting stuff here, even if it had nothing to with being prepared for rescuing Windows from a botched Linux dual boot attempt. It can wait, I'm in no hurry. cheers.

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    I do forsee posible big problem. You say 98 is installed on D:, so it must remain D: as seen by Windows dos. You will need to keep a C: with 98's boot files. There is a way around the above but it does require a mass registry edit, changeing all references to D: to C:.

    To say exactly what is needed would have to know if D: is a primary partition or extended volume.

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    Just Joined! fguy64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostfarmer View Post
    I do forsee posible big problem. You say 98 is installed on D:, so it must remain D: as seen by Windows dos. You will need to keep a C: with 98's boot files. There is a way around the above but it does require a mass registry edit, changeing all references to D: to C:.

    To say exactly what is needed would have to know if D: is a primary partition or extended volume.
    OK yeah I think I see what you mean. right now the registry will identify d: as the system partition, so anything that changed that would be a serious problem. I'm not an expert on the fine points of re-partitioning, but it sounds like trying to put all of Linux on c: might turn it into two partitions? And somehow in the file system Windows would find itsellf on e ? That would probably be the end of Window 98 on that machine, regardless of what I might do with sys.com.

    I'm not sure, but I don't see how d: could be a primary partition. I always thought there was only one primary and that is c:, but I could be mistaken. In any event, I am 99.9% certain that on this box c: would be primary and d: would be secondary ( aka extended).

    I suppose I could take an unused portion of d: and turn it into e:, if that would keep Windows O/S on d:

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    I always thought there was only one primary and that is c:
    Its just that MS Fdisk would not make more then 1 primary partition but you can have upto 4 primary or 3 primary and 1 extended with 20+ extended volumes.

    I know not a thing about DSL , but you could useing a live linux cd ,
    1) delete C: partition-
    2) make a small fat16 primary for 98's boot files
    3) with the rest of space make up to 2 linux partition, if there is enough space.

    98 will not see the linux partition and will still see itself on D:.
    If 98 has enough free space on D:, you could shrink it and make more extended volumes.

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