Auto boot to WIN98


Old 10-15-01, 04:17 AM
Marshall Buttrey
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I asked this question last year and I think dkerr answered it. I can't find it by searching.

When I start my WIN98 PC I have to choose between DOS and WIN98. Can anyone explain what I can do to automaticaly choose WIN98?

Thanks in advance
Marshall Buttrey
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Old 10-15-01, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,019
Edit C:\MSDOS.SYS to read:

BootMulti=0 <may or may not exist! if not ignore
BootGUI=1 <<<this is a must
BootWin=1 <only if BootWin=0 exists now

Naturally this solution ignores how or why boot selection has been enabled.

If you choose cut the text below. Paste it into notepad or another plain text editor. Save as RUNONCE.BAT to c:\windows\desktop then Double Click.


@echo off
If not "%0"=="%windir%\DESKTOP\RUNONCE.BAT" Goto Nogo
attrib -r -s -h c:\msdos.sys
Choice /c:YN " save a backup copy of C:\MSDOS.SYS as C:\MSDOS.SYS.BAK "
If errorlevel 2 Goto Ignore
copy c:\msdos.sys "c:\msdos.sys.bak"
start /w notepad c:\msdos.sys
attrib +r +s +h c:\msdos.sys
For %%p in ("del %0" cls exit) do %%p


What RUNONCE.BAT does:
If not named runonce.bat and saved to c:\windows\desktop and invoked as specified = nothing useful.
Asks if you want to save a backup copy of c:\msdos.sys. Repond Y for Yes, N for No.
clears file attribute bits "r s h"
loads c:\msdos.sys into Notepad & waits for notepad to finish.
resets file attribute bits "r s h"
deletes itself and ends the WinDOS session.

It might be advisable to see if the files C:\CONFIG.SYS and C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT exist. Someone may have set up a menu via the config.sys file. If so, there may have been a good reason for doing so.

If c:\config.sys exists open it with notepad If you see something to this effect:
Menuitem=DOS, Boot Dos
Menuitem=Win98, Boot Windows 98
someone has set up a multiboot menu.

If the latter is true c:\autoexec.bat will contain a line near the beginning:
goto %config%

Editing MSDOS.SYS as specified will override the CONFIG.SYS menu. If something doesn't work afterward then further changes are necessary.

Old 10-17-01, 03:26 PM
Marshall Buttrey
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Thanks 2000

I tried, to no avail. The BootWin change didn't work. There are autoexec.bat and config.sys files, but they are only for audio. All other entries are remarks.

What ever dkerr told me last year worked, and it was simple. I just can't remember what it was.

Thanks for trying.

Old 10-17-01, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,019
That was my first guess. There are other ways to enable a boot sequence. I would have been helpful if you had stated what you see during start up.

Do you see the startup menu:
MS Windows.....
1. Normal
6. Command Prompt only.
9. .....

If yes, edit MSDOS.SYS

Do you see some other message, something like:

Start Windows [Y,N}
1. Start Windows
2. start DOS

If yes, first check the root folder for the existence of WIN.BAT. If c:\win.bat exists delete it.

A sample WIN.BAT
Choice /c:yn "Start Windows "
If errorlevel 1 c:\windows\

Message display:
Start Windows [Y,N}

Another way:
Echo 1. Start Windows
Echo 2. Start DOS
Choice /c:12 /n
If errorlevel 1 c:\windows\

Message display:
1. Start Windows
2. Start DOS

WIN.BAT runs if it exists in the root folder. It is by no means a necessary batch file. It is one way to override Windows from automatically loading.

In the same respect check the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file for similar commands. [CHOICE and IF ERRORLEVEL or ECHO, CHOICE, and IF ERRORLEVEL]

Since C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT exists you can enforce a Windows load by adding WIN as the last command (barring the existence of CHOICE, of course... REM those commands out).

@echo off

When you shut down you'll return to DOS. You can type WIN at the DOS command prompt also. Usually that will load windows. It depends on the PATH Environment variable.

Type PATH at the DOS command prompt. The Directories or Folders that DOS and Windows use in a normal command search are listed from left to right in delimited format: C:\;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND Since WIN.COM exists in C:\WINDOWS and C:\WINDOWS is listed in the PATH Variable typing WIN will load WIN.COM. If your PATH differs type

You can use WIN.BAT and use a little inverse logic also. Create c:\win.bat and place the single command c:\windows\ within it.

DOS Commands
C:\WINDOWS>copy con c:\win.bat [Enter]
Your Input:
Then press: F6 then [Enter]

If none of this applies, speak up.

Old 10-18-01, 06:34 AM
Marshall Buttrey
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Thanks again 2000.

When I start (or restart) the Windows screen appears and then I receive a message to the effect that Windows cannot determine which configuration I want to use. (PARAPHRASED)

It then gives me 3 options: Windows, DOS, or None of the above.

It is apparent that the autoexec.bat file has not been executed. (I changed the name of the autoexec and config.sys files, and I still received the above message and options.)

When I select windows I receive errors because it then tries to execute the autoexec and config files. (When I correctly name the autoexec and config files I do not receive errors.)

There is no win.bat file in the root directory.

I previously tried starting windows from the autoexec file, but nothing changed.

Because of all the above, I don't believe any of the information you supplied is applicable.

Don't take that wrong, I'm just replying to your request "If none of this applies, speak up."

The bottom line: I don't understand the boot sequence for Windows 98 the way I did for versions prior to Windows 95, and can find nothing that defines the sequence. (I never tried WIN95)

Please note: It is rare, but there are times when I wish to boot to DOS. The way NT4 handles multi boot is acceptable as there is a none file in the root directory that you can edit. It also provides a count down timer that will boot the default operating system after a given time. On one PC I am set to boot DOS, WIN3.11, or WIN NT. After 15 seconds NT boots, by default, if I have not selected another option.

I guess is that the Gates crew decided this was too complex, so they hid everything in WIN 98.

Thanks again, I am still trying various ways.

Marshall Buttrey
Old 10-18-01, 03:07 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Carol Stream, IL
Posts: 338
This may be a stretch but it sounds like a third party boot manager or a linux/unix or BSD boot loader. Any chance you see the word "lilo" flash by on the screen?

Another posiblity is the NT or 2000 boot manager. You might try looking for boot.ini. (By the way all these files are hidden files and often read-only)

With what 2000 has said he has pretty well covered the bases for Win 98 booting.
Old 10-18-01, 04:09 PM
Marshall Buttrey
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Thanks mrhoadar;

The boot.ini file cannot be found. I did a search on boot, and edited all reasonable files. Nothng there. I had previously edited all reasonable files in the boot directory, and there are none that gives this choice unless it is an executably with unprintable characters.

The word that you asked about never flashes on the screen.

My PC with NT4 is in Thailand, so I have no way to get the file you mentioned.

Oh well, a challenge is good for me. What I didn't need is the hard drive crash that caused this inconvience.

Thanks again.

Old 10-18-01, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,019
I am not offended at all. Trouble shooting steps for your problem:
Disregard the title of this MS KB article. It does pertain to your startup problem.

How do I know? "Windows cannot determine which configuration" is familiar. A friend, ["Junior" we'll
say], would load his Win95 hard disk with programs from the Internet, and used his PC like a wall outlet [plug this in... pull that]. [He transitioned from MAC to Windows, and he just couldn't get it through his head to back things up before making changes]. Ferreting errors became a "hobby" for a while.

Msconfig, and other 98 programs, makes troubleshooting, [and maintenance for that matter], easier for Win98 than it was for Win95. Win95 & Win98 differ in many respects, but the problems associated with that message are nearly identical for both Windows versions.

Basic boot sequence: POST [config PnP, setup IRQ table(s)] >read Partition Tables >bootloader >IO.SYS [contains defaults formerly found in CONFIG.SYS] >IO.SYS reads MSDOS.SYS boot parms >SYSTEM.DAT loads >CONFIG.SYS is processed then AUTOEXEC.BAT >WIN.COM executes >switch to protected mode & load VDXs >Core files: Kernel32, USER.exe and GDI.exe load, then Network support >Applications listed under the RunOnce Key in the Registry. Naturally more than this happens, but I don't remember all of the steps.

MZ (the good old days)
Old 10-19-01, 07:18 PM
Marshall Buttrey
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Thanks 2000.

This one will take a while. I have tried a few things, but have many more to try.

The funny part is it was not near this difficult the first time I solved it. There is an easier way.

The good times? More simple maybe, but not very robust. I compare it to the difference in cars from the 60's and the 90s'. I could fix them then, but had to fix them a lot.

Old 10-22-01, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,019
Marshall, since you have repeatedly mentioned solving the same problem an easier way is it possible that multiple hardware profiles have been enabled (one named DOS, the other Windows) and you just forgot about them? >CtrlPanel >System [tab}Hardware Profiles.

If yes, delete the DOS profile or to save it you must create a config.sys menu with a default selection if you want to autoboot to Windows after xx seconds delay.

Otherwise it's back to the driver hunt. Files of interest: c:\bootlog.prv & .txt - examine for loadfailed (Real Mode and VxDs). c:\windows\ios.ini - real mode drivers loaded by io.sys (some are low level files). c:\detlog.txt - hardware detection.

A few step by step confirmation boots may help to isolate the error to a group. F8, step by step.

1. Respond No to Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, and Windows Drivers.
Win load: config.sys, autoexec.bat, or 32 bit driver.

1a. Respond No to Windows Drivers. win load: 32 bit driver or possibly registry, ini error. Goto step 2.
1b. Single step config.sys & autoexec.bat.

2. [win no load from step 1] No to Registry. Win load: registry error.
2a. Troubleshoot INIs.

BTW, I did not say "good times". MZ (the good old days) refereed to lessons learnt in the early days of DOS.
Old 10-23-01, 07:22 AM
Marshall Buttrey
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Well, well, well. You did it 2000. I deleted a Dos hardware profile and she took off. I don't remember if this is the same fix as last time, but it certainly worked.

I lost my hard drive about 2 weeks ago, and the one with the problem is the one that was removed in January. Thanks to you, I am now comfortable to reinstall the newer hard drive, clone the old one, and get back to rebuilding all the data I lost. (Now that I have some dasd to allocate).

Thank you very much.

Marshall Buttrey

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