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How to get rid of needing the Windows 98 CD
Author: Craig "hachiroku" Mercer
Date Created:2001-07-24
Operating System(s):Windows Logo imageWindows 9X

Are you tired of having to put the Windows 9X CD in the CD-ROM drive every time to make a network change or install a new piece of hardware? Well you can copy the needed files off your CD to the hard drive and put the CD on the shelf.

What you will need:

  • A Windows 9X CD (Windows 95/98/ME)
  • CD-ROM Drive in your computer
  • At least 170mb of free disk space on your Hard Drive.

Step 1
Create the directory to copy the files to on your hard drive:
For example: C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS (this is the default location for the cab files to be copied to, most tech people will look for the cabs here first)

Step 2
Put your Windows 9X in the CD-ROM drive and explore to the following location:
X(Where X is your CD-ROM drive letter):\win9X
Copy the entire contents of the win9X directory to your hard drive to the C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS

Step 3
Now here is the tricky part. You have to EDIT a KEY in the REGISTRY. You should never mess with the registry unless you know exactly what you are doing, because making changes in the registry may render your operatins system (OS) inoperable.

Go to the START button, open the RUN windows and type in REGEDIT and hit OK.

Next, drill down to the following directory:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion\Setup
Left click on the SETUP folder, on the right hand side a whole list of registry keys will appear. Scroll down until you see the SOURCEPATH key. Right hand mouseclick on the SOURCEPATH key and select MODIFY. Next in the VALUE DATA field type in the directory where your win9X files are stored:
For example: c:\windows\options\cabs

Step 4
When you have finished entering the path, select OK. Then close down the Registry Editor and REBOOT your computer.

Step 5
Now whenever the Windows 9X CD is needed, Windows will automatically use the files in that new directory you have made and save you the hassel of having to put the CD in the CD-ROM drive!


The Usual Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Use the information provided at your own risk.