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Reformatting and Reinstall Windows 98

  To Reformat XP go Here.


I have had my Computer with Windows 98 SE running for over 2 years, Xp over 3 years and have no problems, BUT, I did a lot of maintenance on 98 to keep it running smoothly and not so much on XP, I used Norton System Works weekly to check for problems with 98 and Virus Scan all Emails in and going out of the Computer and use Malwarebytes for malware and spyware and AVG free version for my anti-virus software, if a newly installed program creates problems, I remove it right away and I am the only person that uses the Computer. I also Update Windows, Drivers and Software monthly, Virus Definitions every Saturday. It takes a lot of time after Reformatting to Install and Update everything, so I go out of my way to keep my 98 and now my XP running smoothly : )

Back up all your Stuff First

You should already be doing this, but, if you haven't here is some stuff you may want to backup. For those of you that only have the 3 1/2 floppy disks, try to back up as much as you can on those, I burn mine to a to a Cd-R, DVD, and now an 8 gig USB drive.
Look in the Add/Remove Utility ( Screen Shot ) for Software you have Installed.

Favorites, all your Internet Links ( Book Marks or Favorites ), your going to want them after you reinstall and update Internet Explorer.

Address Book, all your Email addresses.

Your Word Processor files

Banking or checking account programs.

Password Files


Pictures, Music, Cards you made, Windows Wallpaper you installed, Screen Savers.


Reformatting bye bye to all info on the Disk !!!

Start Up Disk

If you haven't done this yet, Go to Start-Control Panel-Add/Remove/Startup Tab * Screen Shot * use a new disk or a reformatted disk and create a Windows Startup Disk. You will need this to Boot up and use Fdisk to reformat and install Windows 98.
Getting close to that scary moment, it still makes me nervous, Ok, this can take you a weekend to a week, depending on how many installs and updates are involved, depends on if you have them on disks or you have to redownload them from the net, if from the net with a phone modem, every night for a week. Excited ( : it's not all that bad, actually, for me it's fun, I love downloading free stuff, to bad you couldn't download free updates for your car, stove, refrig ( :

Getting Prepared

Have all your Driver disks for cards or hardware you have installed, if you have the same system you bought and have a Restore Disk this will be a cake walk. For those of us that love to power it up a little, have the disks at hand. If you only have a Restore Disk and you have add new cards or hardware, especially the CD-ROM you may have to reinstall at least the old CD-ROM in order to use the restore disk. The Restore Disk is an Image of what was on and in the Computer at the Factory, that means if it had brand A CD-ROM in it and you installed brand B the faster one, the Restore Disk want recognize brand B, because it wasn't in there when they Imaged the drive at the factory. So in order for the Restore Disk to recognize the CD-ROM it has to be brand A. The other stuff you will probably get errors on, but you can correct them, generally, in the Device Manager later, after the install is done or just pull them out before you install and reinstall them after.If you got a Windows Disk along with the Restore Disk, I would just us the Windows Disk, it will recognize all the new stuff. But there maybe a program on the Restore Disk you like, your call. ( :

People using the Restore Disk

Check your Computer Manual before you do this, each Manufacture may have, specific instructions concerning your particular system. Generally speaking,you put the disk in the CD-ROM and the 3 1/3 floppy if required, check your manual, reboot the Computer and follow the instructions, you still have to click that scary button, are you sure, you want to delete the information on this drive, if yes, click this button and say bye bye info.

Reformatting for Windows Install

Put your Startup disk in the A drive and reboot, your Bios must be set to check the A: drive first.
You get a black Screen that says
Pick the, Without Cd-Rom support, it will go to the A: prompt.

Next Screen

Next Screen

Next Screen

Well that is a Reformat and Reinstall of Windows. To Reformat XP go Here.

Here are a couple of useful fdisk commands:
1. To transfer the System Files from the Startup Disk in the A: drive, restart with the Startup disk, at the A: prompt type sys a:\ c:
2. To overwrite the MBR using fdisk, fdisk /mbr checkout this MS doc on using this command FDISK /MBR Rewrites the Master Boot Record


If you are going to do this, read your Computer Manual and Windows Manual first, look up and find more information about doing this. Do NOT follow these instruction only, they are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a guide for Reformatting and Installing. You can lose all the data on your Harddrive by doing this, so be 100% certain, that you have all the information you need about your particular System and feel confident about doing this.
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