What I do with all of my Windows 9x installations like this is to make TWO partitions on my hard drive. But I need to know how big the HDD is first. I'll give you an example from my 1999 Gaming machine.
Step 1: Install HDD.
Step 2: Boot to Windows 98 installation media (CD-ROM)
Step 3: Use installation program to format first ?GB of your hard drive, leaving around 1GB of the drive unformatted.
- In my case, for my 40GB hard drive, I made a 32GB FAT32 partition and left the remaining 8 GB empty/blank.
Step 4: Install Windows 98 to that partition like normal. Windows will set itself up so that the CD-ROM will be letter D: and the HDD partition is C:.
Step 5: Change the drive letter of your CD-ROM to something else, like R:.
Step 6: Use Disk Management tools to create a new HDD partition with the remaining hard drive space (in my case, 8GB, but a minimum of 1GB for this).
Step 7: Make sure that partition gets the letter D:.
Step 8: Copy the \Win98 folder from the CD-ROM to the D:
Step 9: Never have to swap discs ever again, as Windows will automatically look for D:\Win98 and it'll just be there every time and is always available.
So why did I make my D: 8GB? For one thing, I had the space. But two, I wanted to copy all the FMV files from Final Fantasy 7 to that drive area and set up the registry entry to point to it so that when I play the game, I don't have to deal with the game pausing every time it wants to load a full motion video because it has to wait for the CD-ROM drive to spin back up - because it keeps spinning down in order to "save power", even though I'm playing a damned game and the graphics cards are using more power than it's saving by doing that...
Also, why do I use a separate partition? Because this system is running a 600MHz Pentium III and only 256MB of memory and I really don't want the overhead of the CPU having to essentially "decode" a mounted ISO file and all the software overhead that would entail. Sure, it might only be a few MB of RAM, but that's space I could be using for something else. Why is it ok to penny-pinch your memory management when it comes to DOS but people want to be sloppy when it comes to Windows?