Ok, so I bought an old laptop on eBay, (paid a small fortune for it) because I wanted a laptop guaranteed to be Adlib compatible.
Adlib emulation is fine (It has an ESS audio drive sound chip), I just wanted to be able to test my assembly programs in hardware to ensure they work outside of DOSBox.
Also, I wanted it to be new enough to run a nice syntax highlighted code editor like Notepad++.
It's a Fujitsu Lifebook 655tx. It has no internal CD Rom drive. The CD ROM drive is included with the dock. The dock does not exist on eBay, and therefore may as well not exist at all.
Anyway, to get to my actual problem:
I had to install Windows 98 using an IDE to USB adapter.
I used GParted to format the hard drive to FAT32, then I extracted the windows 98 ISO onto the hard drive.
After which, I booted the laptop up into DOS 7.1 using a DOS 7 startup floppy disk I found online. (DOS 7.1 is the first version of DOS to support FAT32 drives)
Then with DOS I navigated to the Windows 98 intaller. Then I executed it with the command "SETUP /c /is".
The installer worked fine, and Windows 98 was installed successfully.
But after booting back up into the system, I noticed that the Windows 98 boot process was doing all of the dumb, unnecessary things that the DOS 7.1 startup disk's boot process was doing.
It's telling me all of this unnecessary info, like whether I want to start the computer with or without CD-ROM support (that's obviously a startup disk question that it shouldn't be asking), and that it just created a 2mb RAM drive (I actually see this RAM drive in the list of attached drives after booting into Windows 98), and finally it actually forces me to FAIL a floppy disk read, because it's trying to find a copy of the startup disk before I can finally boot into Windows 98. This is all so annoying, I just want to boot directly into win98 without interruptions.
I think what's happening is that the startup disk copied it's contents to the C:\ drive, and it's running before Windows 98 is booting. To be clear, i'm not booting with the floppy drive attached.
There's obviously a bunch of junk in the AUTOEXEC.BAT, and CONFIG.SYS files that shouldn't be there. I tried just clearing them out completely, that was a bad idea. Didn't make a backup of them, and had to COMPLETELY reinstall Windows 98 to get it booting again.
It's like both the lines necessary to booting Windows 98 and the startup disk lines are melded together in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.
I have no idea which is which, this is outside my area of expertise.
What i'm gonna do here is share a video of the boot process, and post my AUTOEXEC.BAT, and CONFIG.SYS files. Hopefully someone here can figure it out.
Even I can tell that some of these lines are unecessary for booting Win98, but I really don't want to mess it up again. I've made backups of not only AUTOEXEC.BAT & CONFIG.SYS, but also of the entire partition in case I mess something up. i've spent HOURS configuring drivers and software, I do not want to have to find that extremely obscure video chip driver again.
Link to video of the boot process: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sagkz0fsolwo8ua/20171104_120201%5B1%5D.mp4?dl=0
After the video ends, Windows 98 boots up normally.
Edited by codyw1996, 04 November 2017 - 12:31 PM.