I tried to load Windows 98 Second Edition on an 80-GB SATA (Samsung 7200 rpm) hard drive. All my six partitions are FAT32 partitions and the drive C: is selected to load Windows 98 SE with all other drives blank but formatted. I tried to load the OS from a bootable CD. While loading, it displayed error messages in child devices and also VNETBIOS.VXD files. I continued to load the OS ignoring the messages. But on completion, my CD drive and CD writer drives were not displayed in My Computer.

My motherboard is Intel 915 GAV and the processor is 3 Ghz HT with 1-MB cache. The motherboard has got only one Parallel IDE connector and it is used for my CD drive as well as CD writer. When I tried to load Windows XP 2000 Professional on the D drive (by retaining the Windows 98 SE on C: drive), I was able to load Windows XP on drive D. But I am unable to use Windows 98 to copy anything from the CD drive and am unable to use the CD writer drive as well, because these devices are not shown in the Device Manager tab or in My Computer.

When I tried connecting my HDD to my friend's ASUS P4P800 Deluxe motherboard, with Intel 865 PE chipset, I encountered the same problem. But the CD provided by the ASUS motherboard contains separate drivers for configuring RAID Arrays in Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. That suggests that loading Windows 98 is possible on a SATA hard drive. Is there any solution for this? Is it true that loading Windows 98 is not possible on SATA? I am in need of the OS Windows 98 SE since it supports DOS and other-based applications. Is there any Controller/DeviceDriver for this problem?

Sivakumar B.

You can install Windows 98 on the SATA, but you will need to install the INF updates and driver updates for the motherboard, you should find it in the motherboard CD-ROM which came with the MB. I am afraid that there is no driver support for Windows 98 for this board; the Intel site only lists some BIOS updates and nothing for Windows 98 D915GAV.

Anyway, you can try loading Windows 98 OS with the default set of drivers. To do this, first copy the Windows 98 set-up files to the hard disk and re-run the installation. I am suggesting this as your present Windows 98 installation will be only half-way through as it would not have been able to copy the files required since the CD-ROM drive went undetected during the first re-boot. This will overwrite the Windows XP boot information and you will not have an option to boot into Windows XP to rectify this (Look at the following eWorld article at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ew/2004/11/08/stories/2004110800290400.htm). Once you have completed the Windows 98 installation successfully from the set-up files on the drive, install any driver given in the motherboard CD, and see if your ROM drives get recognised.

There is one more point to note with SATA, they automatically allocate themselves as a master on the Secondary IDE channel when the CD-ROM is Primary, and vice-versa, so I would suggest you just connect one ROM Drive as `Slave' and see if it solves your issue. You can always install additional IO add-on card if you want more IDE interfaces.

Please e-mail us at eworld@thehindu.co.in

if you have queries on computer usage or if you find an interesting way of using a computer.

Solution by G. Rajah

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 24, 2005)
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