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Incompatible MS-DOS version?

by Doug / November 26, 2003 3:37 AM PST

Windows 98SE - Athlon XP 1700 - 128 RAM

I just installed a new ASUS A7N8X MB. I setup my old MB with a new HDD in another case as a server and deleted the Windows OS on this hard drive so I could set it up as a slave in the server long enough to get some files off of it. Now I want to reinstall the system on this drive to get back to work as usual. My original Windows in 3.1 on diskette, so I have to start the install from there (which I have done many times in the past) then install the Windows 98 upgrade and then the Windows 98SE upgrade. Everything seemed to go as usual until I rebooted after loading the ATI video card drivers and it restarted to finish the driver install. When it tried to reload Windows I got this message "You started your computer with a version of MS-DOS incompatible with this version of Windows. Insert a startup diskette matching this version of Windows and then restart." I can put in my Windows 98SE Startup Disk and boot to Windows in the Safe Mode, but it will not start in normal mode. I've never had this happen on a reinstall. What went wrong? What do I do now?

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MS-DOS version for Windows 3.1 is MS-DOS 6.2
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 26, 2003 4:21 AM PST

The Windows 98 dos is beyond this.

Prior to Windows 95, you had to purchase DOS and your Windows.


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Skip all that work.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 26, 2003 4:33 AM PST and the section titled "Windows 98 Installation:" this item noted:

" 6. If you are using an Upgrade CD, then you will be shown the Upgrade Compliance Check window. Find your disks or CD that contains a previous Microsoft OS. It could be that you have Windows 95 on your hard disk already. In my case, I used my old Windows for Workgroup diskettes. Choose the drive that contains the old OS. Follow the prompts. It will ask for several disks, if you are using floppies. Once it is happy that you are indeed upgrading, it will move on."

You would be working far too hard to go back 10 years and move up.

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Skip even more in the future.
by Kees Bakker / November 26, 2003 6:09 AM PST

I'm sorry I can't help you with your question, but I see no need to delete Windows from a hard disk to use it as a a slave. It works perfectly fine with the full Windows on it.
And why not use a network or direct cable connection to transfer 'some files'. Even transferring 'a lot of files' would take less time then what you try to do now.

I suggest you sys a: c: from the Windows 98 boot diskette to put DOS 7 on the machine, although it should be present by now (I suppose you got as far as the Windows 98 SE upgrade CD).
I think that's the right command, but sys c:[/] might work also. Make the diskette read-only to be safe.
It might be possible also to start all over the way Bob suggested without formatting (and losing your data that you didn't copy to the new machine): delete everything from the Windows folder and some hidden files in the root folder, which should make the system look 'empty' enough maybe.


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by qwertyitis / June 18, 2009 4:59 AM PDT

(Replying to old message in case someone has this problem)

Windows 3.1 is giving you this message because it won't work on FAT32. There is a patch for IO.SYS that will give the ability to run WIN31 under FAT32; google "3XSTART" and you'll find it.

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FAT32 hard disk
by otr_man / June 19, 2009 3:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Fix

In point of fact, the O/P's mistake was in trying to use a FAT16 operating system - which, moreover, has a 2GB partition limit - on a FAT32 disk that was already partitioned as (presumably) 32GB or more.

Not only the 16-bit Windows 3.1, but also the original release of Windows 95, used FAT16. The main drawback was the 2GB size limit on the size of the partitions.

It was not until the second edition of Windows 95 (Win 95 OSR2) that the operating system was revised to use FAT32. So the O/P was trying to use a 16-bit O/S to address a 32-bit filesystem.

The version of DOS for those 16-bit Windows systems was also 16-bit. So it's no wonder the computer complained of an incompatible DOS version, if the HDD had been partitioned as 32-bit.

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