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Error: Extraction of athena.inf failed.

by LitePC

If the "Take Control" option of 98lite aborts with the error:

Extraction of athena.inf failed.
You probably ran out of memory.
Reboot using a Windows boot disk and try again.

Athena.inf is only used in Windows98 "first edition". The only time it shows up during the installation as you described is when either (1) 98lite miss detects your OS as the first edition instead of the Second edition or ME, or (2) the Microsoft "Extract.exe" program runs out of DOS memory trying to pull setup files from the windows CABs.

Case (1) is easily identifiable as 98lite prints the windows version under the graphic logo on the screen. ie it will say "Second Edition" or "Windows Millennium" or just "Windows 98" for the first release version. One reason for a failure is if you do not have an original Microsoft CDROM. Sometimes a third party OEM replaces the setup.exe with their own setup file and when 98lite detects the version it is consistent only with the first edition Windows98 setup.exe. The best approach is to get the win98se setup.exe.

For WIN98SE there is an additional file in the setup folder that 98lite looks for. If 98lite finds sucatreg.exe then it should automatically switch to Second Edition Mode regardless of the setup.exe version.

Case (2) is not related to physical ram or disk space. The Microsoft Extract utility is a pig of a utility that seems only to use the lower 640K DOS memory. the best way to ensure you have lots of free memory is to boot with a windows boot disk that does not load any drivers (incl CDROM drivers). In 99/100 cases booting with the default 98(SE) boot disk without any sound or network drivers being loaded in DOS fixes the problem. The ideal is a boot disk that only loads himem.sys (required for smartdrv without which causes the installation to take hours). Sometimes a third party DOS boot disk downloaded from the internet will fail where the standard MS supplied disk succeeds.


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