technically it can start, but a horde of errors appear prior to logging on. no mouse, no sound, and many errors. which I can boot into safe mode just fine. I try system file checker and it found corrupt files, but the problem is that it requests a cd. but the cd drive isn't present in safe mode, I uncheck "disconnected" in device manager and fuuuuuuuuuuuu, it tells me I need to reboot. I reboot directly into safe mode again, still not there. the tool won't run in restarting in msdos mode. ms has a kb that reads:
If you are still unable to start Windows 98 normally, use the System File Checker tool to check for damaged or replaced system files. To start System File Checker, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click System File Checker on the Tools menu. For information about how to use System File Checker to extract a file, please see the "System File Checker Tool" section of the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
I feel dumbfounded because how are you supposed to use this tool if you can't even boot into windows to use it?
I tried reinstalling the os, but keep getting a "error reading/writing from drive E" asks me to "retry the operation" or "fail the operation". it really doesn't matter which option I choose, it'll ask for a windows 98 disk in drive E or the CD-rom drive either way. my 98 install disc is in the drive but keep getting that error.