Install win98SE over USB

Maybe you want to play some old games on a not so old computer without floppy and CD drive? I figured out a relatively easy way to install Windows 98 SE on a old Netbook with just a USB thumb drive.

  • Create a bootable Live Linux System, I used BionicPup32 using Balena Etcher on a USB drive.
  • Once booted into Linux use Gparted to format the harddrive to FAT32. Copy all the files from the Windows 98 SE.iso disk image onto the “windows” folder of the harddrive.
  • Create a bootable MS-DOS Bootdisk on a USB drive, I used this Windows98_SE.img.
Balena Etcher will give you a warning that it might not work, fortunately it did for me on macos big sur. Just click “Continue” here.
  • Boot from USB, select boot without CD support. Type
    dir windows
    setup /c /it /p a;b
    (Not exactly sure what those setup options do I copied them from here, and they worked for me)
  • Now that windows is installed you can install Puppy Linux and Grub to Multiboot Linux and Windows 98

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