Question

Disk I/O Error On Vintage laptop

So I got a vintage laptop that needed a 98 reinstall. The cd-rom didnt work so I took the HDD out and put it in another laptop from that era. I reinstalled 98 successfully then put it back in, when I power on it starts boot process then ends with a screen that says 'Disk I/O Error'? What could be causing this? The hard drive was tested multiple times and still works fine.

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That's what I remember as well.

When you moved Windows 9x from machine to machine such can happen. Install it on this machine. USE THE OLD FASHIONED INSTALL ROUTINE. You must be this tall to board this ride. I'm paraphrasing here. You must be adept at formatting the HDD so it boots to DOS 6.22 or later then copying the Win98 folder to the HDD so when you put it into the other computer you can run setup there so it sets up correctly.

I no longer write a step by step for this. Some are offended but to run this old an OS you have to be somewhat adept and adaptive.

-> My real advice is to run Linux on this since that's going to let the old gear get on the web with a current Chrome and more.

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PC details cab matter.

W9x has issues with too much RAM and so many other things. You omitted details so I can't call out much other than how we would install back then and how moving Windows like this would fail most of the time.

You can google the too much ram issue but adding machine details is best.

PS. The old bug of too much RAM is when there is more than 256MB RAM. I won't go into all the detail or fix. You have to be able to work around such things.

Post was last edited on May 25, 2019 4:16 PM PDT

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linux

If you go that route on such older computer, I'd try DSL or Puppy Linux on it first.

Disk error could be as simple as checking the BIOS to be sure it's pointing to the drive. Is there a newer disc placed in the computer than when it ran 98 previously? There were also disc size limits for 98 use. The reason the CD drive wasn't working is because you probably needed to define it in the autoexec.bat and config.sys files. The CD driver then used was oakcdrom.sys and the program to run that was MSCDEX.EXE with appropriate entries in both autoexec and config files. Already noted by Rob is limit on RAM. Try first with only 512MB. Once it's up and running, there are some later updates that can be added giving it capability to use at least 1GB of RAM.

Post was last edited on May 25, 2019 4:53 PM PDT

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Answer
Full strip down required, with different versions of W98

Test on a different motherboard of the same type, could be an interconnect issue.

Also depends on the version of Windows 98 and the drivers.

Not all Windows 98 installed data drives will load the same from computer to computer. Keep going down the variable list.

Windows 98-SE is pretty much free, like it's .1 US cent if it does cost anything. Just order another one.
Nice thing about running an actual Win98 computer, is that not all hardware processing can be easily replaced by software emulation - and the Win-GUI speeds are actually pretty nice on good Win98 hardware.

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