Attention, geeks: Take my advice. Don’t try to put Windows 98 on a Mac.

I blame Mark. We were having a nice, nostalgic conversation about operating systems, and Windows 98 came up. Suddenly, visions of Windows 98 SE running smoothly and brilliantly flashed into my head. Yeah, those were the days. When real OSes were real OSes. When you could customize your desktop themes and change the backgrounds of your folders. When it didn’t ask you to update every other day. Also, back when you could screw around with system files and all Windows would give you was a stern suggestion not to do so.

Several minutes of stupidity later, I decided to attempt an install of Windows 98 on my Mac. My computer proceeded to tell me that, upon booting from the install disc, it wasn’t entirely sure if I had a disc drive. “Well, where’d you get the disc you booted from then?” I asked it, and it slunk back into the shadows of DOS in embarrassment. Several screens of text later, it clammed up, with only a single, mysterious line visible:

A:\>_

I flashed back to my early childhood. My parents maintain that I could operate DOS when I was three, but I attribute that to the whole “monkeys at typewriters” theory. The only command I could get it to recognize was “exit”, but even then it just returned to the same damn line. I eventually surrendered and rebooted.

This time, I chose the “boot from hard disc” option assuming that my problems would be solved if I avoided the CD. Alas, I was wrong: My computer decided, this time, that I didn’t have anything on my hard drive. Eventually I wrested the install disc from the clutches of my laptop, only to find that the problem still wasn’t solved. I was trapped with a Mac that simply wouldn’t boot.

Eventually I found the magical key combination to make this problem go away: Ctrl-Option-P-R. It makes your computer forget what the hell it’s supposed to be doing and defaults to booting up like a normal Mac should. Well, learned my lesson about that one: Apparently, Windows 98 is kind of outdated.

In my defense, I was kind of tired. Something about eating Taco Bell at one in the morning, parked in New Brunswick. At least I got tacos out of the deal.

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