Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Clean install from .cab files?

by KellyWelch / April 12, 2005 2:24 PM PDT

Here's the deal. This old box didn't come with a windows disk, only the .cab files on the hard drive. Is it possible to do a clean install with the .cab files? If so, what are the steps involved? If not, what are my other options?

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Only cab-files.
by Kees Bakker / April 12, 2005 4:57 PM PDT

Probably not. You need at least the setup.exe that does all the work (such as extracting things from the cab-files, putting them in the right place, filling the registry, calling the new hardware wizard).

You're other options are:
- not doing a clean install; you don't give any reason for it
- find a Windows 98 disk on eBay (note: you can get the license keys from the current registry, if the versions agree, but it's a doubtful if it's an OEM version)


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Reinstall Windows without CD
by Blue_Zee / April 12, 2005 5:17 PM PDT

First get your product key, just in case...

You will need a startup floppy that you can make in a working Win98 PC in Add/Remove Programs > Startup Disk tab (you will need a freshly formatted floppy).

You can also download one from

Boot with that floppy and type this at the A:\ prompt (exactly that):

C:\Windows\Command\Find /I "ProductKey" C:\Windows\System.dat

The first line of the screen dump will look like this:


Where the X's are your actual CD Key.

Write down that key, that you may need later.

Restart WITH the startup floppy and at the A:\ prompt try these commands:




One of these should launch the Windows install process that will take you 30-45 minutes to complete,

If or when asked, install to the usual folder C:\Windows, DON'T accept any other.

Good luck,


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Reinstall Windows without CD
by jtob2 / April 13, 2005 10:20 PM PDT

Once you find the License Key for you Windows installation and the location of the OS files as suggested above, I recommend that you burn a copy of the installation files to a CD before proceeding to do the reinstallation. This way you will have a copy of the Files available in the future. Also, Make a backup copy of all your data files before proceeding to reinstall, "just in case" you have a problem.

Good luck,


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by KellyWelch / April 14, 2005 11:17 AM PDT

Thanks for all the useful info! I never would have been able to do it without you...

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