How can I do a frugal Puppy install from Windows 98 without booting from the Live CD?

Nimbu Paani August 27, 2011
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I need to dual boot Windows 98 SE and Puppy Linux 4.3.1 on a Pentium-MMX 233 with 128MB SDRAM.

I tried the Lin’N’Win method ( I followed each step as carefully as possible, revising every now and then, but when i try to boot into Puppy Linux, i boot into Windows instead. No go.

I do not wish to write a Linux bootloader into the MBR. I don’t like Grub4Dos. The Lin’N’Win technique appeals to me the most, but it did not work for me.

Can anybody help me in running Puppy (frugal mode) with Windows 98, without creating any Linux partition or making changes to the MBR?

  1. Thandanimbupaani
    September 2, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Add: The boot menu wouldn't boot into Puppy, so I had to manually start Grub.exe from DOS. Now i can start Puppy from a Windows partition without the Live CD!

  2. Nimbu Paani
    September 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

    The other day, I read about a technique similar to Lin'N'Win on a Linux forum that enabled booting DSL from DOS.
    I tried doing that for my "Poor Man's Puppy" and it worked!!

    Thanks for your efforts, people! Highly appreciated! :)

  3. Sonny Bass
    August 29, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Once you get one you like you can boot from floppy. I have one computer that I install & uninstall a lot of Puppy derivatives on trying them out. Using floppies to boot works great. I don't disturb my Windows bootloader,and at yardsales I have bought boxes of floppies for almost nothing.   

  4. Jeffery Fabish
    August 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Using Win32 installers to hook a Linux distribution is slow even on viable hardware.

  5. Anonymous
    August 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm


    dual boot Windows and Linux' Grub4DosConfig



  6. Jeffery Fabish
    August 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Nimbu,

    Sorry my "solution" didn't fix your issue! Does your computer recognize any CD or DVD's? If so, we can chose another distribution if you'd like.

    These are some of the lightweight distributions that seem right for your system as well:
    Slitaz (16 MB RAM and 0 disk space, it runs completely in ram)
    Slitaz (16 MB RAM and 0 disk space, can run from ram as well)
    CrunchBang (No window manager)
    Basic (12MB RAM and 4MB's of disk space, very large hardware support)
    Timy Core or Micro Core Linux (Minimal hardware support)

    I can help you configure and or compile your drivers if you  need it, however DSL specifically targeted a few hardware platforms and Pentium-MMX 233 was one of them.

  7. Tina
    August 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm


    did Jeffery's advice solve your problem? Please let us know. Thank you!

    • Nimbu Paani
      August 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Sorry to say this, Tina, but No. A hard-Puppy still under-performs on this computer. Can you *please* suggest me a *fast* distro that requires about 64 MB RAM, is low on system resources, uses suitable kernel that makes Pentium I feel at home, runs the latest Opera bearably quick, and allows using soft-modems pretty easily to connect to the internet?
      No flashy window managers required, just something that can allow for an ALT+TAB and ALT+F4.

      I tried DSL, but configuring the modem was the trickiest thing i've ever done! :D
      And i failed at that. :(

      • Tina
        August 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm


        thanks for the feedback! If you want to try another distro and want suggestions, I recommend that you ask a new question.

  8. Jeffery Fabish
    August 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Nimbu,

    The guide fails to state that you'll need to change your BIOS boot priorities to chose the disk instead. When you restart your computer and you're at the BIOS image, press the key (it usually says in the bottom left or right) to edit the BIOS configuration.

    Once your in the configuration find the "Boot Priority" section and make the #1 choice CD/DVD, save your settings and restart. It should now boot from the CD. Be sure to change this back once you're done!

    Honestly, with your system specs I would just install on top of Windows. (You chose a perfect distribution for your specs though, I must say)

    • Nimbu Paani
      August 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Hey Jeffery,

      I mainly use this PC as my secondary computer for some light usage. I hate to see things lying around as if useless. Puppy is definitely one of the smarter choices on this ancient machine (i can't take anything heavier anyway!).

      Windows 98 armed with K-Lite Codec pack and VLC takes care of movies just fine. I cannot go online on Windows 98, as i cannot find Nokia phone-modem drivers that work with Windows 98. Puppy probes and configures the suitable 'soft-modem' in a few clicks. But Puppy crawls while browsing the web (the default SeaMonkey takes *45 seconds* to launch, PuppyWebBrowser takes *18*) and the mouse movement is somewhat jerky at all times.

      I don't know why Lin'N'Win did not work for me. Coming back to your comment, setting the CD drive as the primary boot location didn't fix the issue. Also, I don't need to use the CDROM at any stage in Lin'N'Win as all changes are made from Windows itself. This would (in theory) enable for a 'frugal' Puppy install in a FAT partition without the need for any separate Linux partition or modifying the MBR. I have had no problems in booting from CD drives earlier, because i generally boot from CDs to either use fdisk, install Windows or run Puppy in live mode (the latter's a real PAIN as it takes almost *7 MINUTES* to go into X on Puppy).

      Yesterday, i made a 256 MB Linux Swap partition (that's twice the RAM size) & a 1 GB ext3 partition and hard-installed Puppy 4.3.1 on it. Dual booting is managed by Grub - which comes along with the distro. Now Puppy loads X in under 90 seconds.

      All things said and done, Seamonkey still takes almost a minute to launch. :(

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