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How to re-install WinME

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This assumes that you have a good working boot disk.  And that you wish to start with a freshly formatted hard drive.

Click here to go to the boot disk page.  Click here to learn more about Partitions and FDISK.  Click here to find out more about FAT32.   Want to download a bootdisk image with generic CD-ROM support?
This assumes that you only have one hard drive and that you plan to use only one partition i.e. drive "C".  There are two methods that I like to use.  Both assume a good working boot disk.  This includes being able to see/read a CD-ROM with it.  Also that you want to format your hard drive and there is no (NONE) info on this drive that you need/want to save.  Please note, when you format a hard drive you will lose all data on that drive!  If you are using the WinME "upgrade" CD you will need to have your Windows 98, or Windows 95 CD available. (You may wish to verify that you can read from this CD before starting)

A couple of other possible concerns:
  1. If you have an older computer and you've added/replaced your existing hard drive with a newer/larger one then ask yourself/find out if you're using a "drive overlay" program.  If you are then there are different steps you must follow!  Contact the maker of you drive overlay software for more info.

  2. If you have either a SCSI CD-ROM or a SCSI hard drive then you may need to do things differently.  My SCSI knowledge is very weak so please be careful if you wish to use my methods.

  3. I highly suggest using a Win95B boot disk while doing your re-install.  A WinME startup disk or boot disk can NOT SYS a drive!  This means that if you use a WinME startup disk and method one below, you will fail!  You can blame Microsoft for this issue, if you want a Win95B bootdisk please go to my downloads page.


Method one

***This is my prefered method.***

With your computer turned off, insert the boot disk.

  1. Turn on the computer.
    When the computer's booted up do the following...

  2. type FDISK /MBR hit enter
    (this destroys the master boot record and re-creates it.  You should not see anything on the screen.)

  3. type FORMAT C: /U /S hit enter
    (this will format your hard drive and "SYS" it.  This means install the system files needed to boot up.  When it's done you may enter a name for this drive if you wish.)

  4. Reboot the computer with the boot disk.

  5. Type C: hit enter

  6. Type MD CABS hit enter

  7. Type X: hit enter
    (where "X" is the drive letter for your CD-ROM make sure your WinME CD is in the CD-ROM drive!)

  8. Type CD WIN9x hit enter

  9. Type COPY *.* C:\CABS hit enter
    (what you've done is, you've made a folder called "cabs" on your hard drive, then copied all the files needed from your WinME CD-ROM to that folder.  This way you will install from your hard drive.  Then, after the install, you can delete the CABS folder.  During the install, WinME makes a sub-directory in the Windows folder called "/options/install" which has all the files that WinME will need during updates.  Also I've found that some people have a problem getting their CD-ROM to be recognized by WinME.  If that were to happen during the WinME installation, you wouldn't be  able to finish the install.  This method avoids this problem.)

  10. Reboot the computer without the boot disk.  NOTE: If you're using an upgrade CD to do the install, skip step 10, and start the install while you're booted off the bootdisk, this way you will have CD-ROM support when Windows wants proof.  At that point simply put your Win98, or Win95 CD in, point to it in the browser (only point to the drive the CD is on, DO NOT drill into a sub-folder!), then put your install CD back in.  Remember to remove the boot disk before the next reboot!

  11. Type CD CABS hit enter

  12. Type SETUP hit enter
    (here you go! just follow the on-screen instructions and (hopefully *grin*) you will successfully install Win98!)


Method two

With your computer turned off, insert the boot disk.

  1. Turn on the computer.
    When the computer's booted up do the following...

  2. Type FDISK /MBR hit enter
    (this destroys the master boot record and re-creates it. You should not see anything on the screen.)

  3. Type FORMAT C: /U hit enter
    (this will format your hard drive when it's done you may enter a name for this drive if you wish.)

  4. Reboot the computer with the boot disk.

  5. Type X: hit enter
    (where "X" is the drive letter for your CD-ROM)

  6. Type CD WIN9x hit enter

  7. Type SETUP hit enter
    (and away you go. follow the on-screen instructions and good luck.) 


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Last Revised: 12/30/2000
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