How to format and prepare a harddrive which never needs the Windows CD Rom again
by Karl Davis
This faq was drafted with the aid of fellow Tiscali Pc Help Posters.
also only applies to Windows 95 and 98 -ME and XP automatically install
all the .cab files to the hard drive when they are installed, so the procedure
described is not necessary for these operating systems.
Now to create one large partion using the whole of your H/drive...
your bootdisk with cd rom support
1 and then option 1 again
When it's done you will have one large drive C drive.
Then you could follow the steps below to setup your system so that you don't have to use the Windows CD whenever you need to install any Windows components in future and install windows now.
Once you have a formatted blank drive/system use either a dos file manager like Laplink 5 which you can load from a floppy disk or use a dos command (instructions below) to copy all the cabs/setup files folder from your windows cd of your Windows operating system setup files to a folder called e.g. win98.
You could put the folder onto another partition, or if you prefer you can put it on another hard drive also connected to the system.
However below we will assume you are going to copy the folder onto the c: drive and that it is Windows 98 that you are using.
Depending on the version of Windows cd you have will determine the name of the folder location containing the cab windows setup files needed to do this succesfully. So you will have to change the paths and name of destination folder to suit your version of Windows and the location of the setup files.
If you are unsure where they all are just do a search from Start/find/Files or folders and specify your Windows cd for the search.
Dos Instructions :
First you have to create a directory call Win98 under c:\
To copy Win98 Setup files from your CD to your hard drive.
Go to the directory where you have just copied the setup files to by typing c:\Win98 press [enter]
Start Windows setup by typing setup.exe press [enter]
This will allow you to proceed and install windows without the cd in the cdrom drive, but the real beauty is that you will not need the cd again, even if you require any windows changes to effect later as the system will automatically have all of the required windows setup cabs onboard.
Alternative dos instructions:
You may wish to try the following after the HDD has been formatted and the PC has been booted up via a FDD that gives cdrom support
Remove the cd-rom from the drive
Follow the standard installation of windows 98.
If the information regarding the program fdisk has been useful you may find the option of partitioning you HDD if it is big enough useful in another faq called. How do I Partition my Hard drive using Fdisk ?
The potential benefits for this is to get the PC to perform at its best, therefore getting it to respond better.
An example of this would be :
Disclaimer - Editing the registry can render your system useless and may stop your machine booting, so always make a backup of the registry first and ensure you are familiar with the restore process before doing the following and only if Windows has already been installed on your computer :
Type Regedit in the run command and navigate to:
Look for the String Value "SourcePath" Right click on it and select modify, put in the path to the Cab file: example "D:\Win98"
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