Have given up trying to make a joy stick work in CFS#1 in Windows 7. Purchased a quality copy of Windows 98SE but can't use it because my late model HP computer doesn't have a floppy drive installed. A computer tech advised me that he has installed 98SE many times in the past using only the CD. I have gone crazy trying to do a floppy-less installation, but no matter what I do, I am always told to insert floppy for the CDRom drivers. Hate to purchase a floppy drive and use it just once....what to do?
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I'm baffled as to the connection between your question and the title. It seems to have nothing to do with Vista. Anyway, I very much doubt that you'll get Windows 98 to run on a PC new enough to not have a floppy drive. Apart from the driver issues that you have already come up with, many modern motherboards just won't run 98.
Can you explain your issue here from he start, what are you trying to to and in what OS. Your post title states Vista Hardware and Software, then you talk about installing a joystick in Win 7, and go into something about installing Win 98. Does your laptop even have 98 drivers available? If you can't get your joystick running under Win 7 have you looked at another one that will work with it?
Yes. There's no point in buying a floppy disk if you don't have a driver disk available.
I can confirm that Windows 98 should install from CD without asking for any drivers, but only on hardware that was current when it was a supported OS. The fact that it is asking for a driver for the CD indicates that it doesn't have one built in for that CD drive (or is it a DVD drive?) because it is too new. The best of luck with finding Windows 98 drivers for that - I suspect that you'll need that luck and then a bit.