Well on Boxing Day I decided to throw caution to the winds and attempt the upgrade.
It wasn't long before things started turning bad and after drifting back and forth trying various things I decided to document the steps as I was doing them. So here goes.
I started with
c: 80Gb Western Digital
d: Syquest 270M removable cartridge
E&F: partitions on Samsung 300Gb drive
BTW these are not the same as I reported before.
The drives I reported previously were quoted from memory and turned out to be the configuration before my last upgrade.
1. I set the new drive (ND) to slave, then replaced the samsung with ND
2. Fdisk ND for single FAT32 partition.
3. format /s ND
4. Disconnect c: (80G) and after seting ND jumper to master connect it in it's place.
5. Reconnect E&F
6. Attempt to boot. This is where I came to a grinding halt as the post went Ok & recognised the drives but then reported: BOOT ERROR BOOT FROM CD: DISK BOOT FAILURE INSERT SYSTEM DISK & PRESS ENTER.
7. I removed ND, reconnected C: & booted into Windows all was OK but drive letter assignments had changed. (D: was now F:, E: was now D: & F: was now E:)
8. Reconnected ND as slave as before and xcopy C:\*.* d:\*.* /c /h /e /k as in my previous post. All appeared Ok
9. Returned ND c: master & e&f as before.
10. Booted - Same error
11. Reverted to original config as before and rebooted into windows same results as previously
At this time I thought that maybe the BIOS wasn't happy with the larger drive so I checked and my BIOS version was FF and there was an FK version available so I saved my BIOS and flashed to the later version.
This didn't makke any difference though.
I have now noticed that apart from not being able to find the applications at start up because of the changed drive assignments, explorer (not IE) keeps coming up with an illegal operation error and shuts down.
I seem to have backed myself into a corner. If anyone can help I would appreciate it.
One thing I did partially try was when it wanted to boot from the CD which BTW doesn't make sense as the boot sequence set in the BIOS is Drive 0 with all others disabled. Anyway I tried putting the XP installation CD in and allowed it to do it's thing. It ground away happily and eventually asked me if I wanted to continue with the install. At this point I backed off because the info I was given before was that W98 had to be installed before XP, but I wonder what would happen is I let it continue?
What else can I try?