Diskless Windows 98

This reports about several steps I've taken in order to be able to obtain a stable and usable configuration for Windows 98 in a diskless PC. I hope this can be of any use to others.

Based on:

This is a local setup for Windows 98 with at least 128 Mb RAMDRIVE
For "high-performance" new machines (minimum Pentium 200 MHz with 256 Mb), because we use high compression the CPU must be fast. Depending on how much of the file-system you are able to move to network servers the RAM required may be much less.

This configuration, intended for high performance, doesn't require any special changes to a "standard" installation. The motivation for this type of configuration is that RAM cost tends to decrease much faster than HDD cost. Currently you can buy 128 Mb RAM for a lower price than an HDD.

How to setup and manage

You must use a local disk for instalation and administration, say at least 250 Mb.

  1. Install Windows 98 on the local disk.
  2. Compress the local disk using maximum compression.
  3. Copy drvspace.000 hidden file from the root of your uncompressed drive to a network file server.
  4. ....

(*) - yes we´ve tried to mount a compressed volume on a network drive unfortunatly scandisk doesn´t allow this. However this would be very interesting because network trafic would be compressed.

Departamento de Engenharia Informática (DEI)
Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP)
Instituto Politécnico do Porto (IPP)

Rua de S. Tomé, 4000 - Porto, Portugal