I get A fatal exception 0E has occurred at 0028:FF02847B after trying to install windows 98 se on an hp pavilion zt3000. It does this right after is says searching for plug and play hardware.
I would try to install from HDD or from USB Key (if your BIOS allows it) because CD-ROMs are often buggy on older laptops after few years and Win 9x is really sensitive to such things.
So you need a MS-DOS bootable drive with FAT32 or FAT16 with all the Win9x installation files on it (~115MByte for W98SE).
So Boot to MS-DOS and run setup....
To install MS-DOS on a HDD you just:
fdiskor any partition manager
to create drive with FAT32 or FAT16 (FAT32 is better for Win98). Beware you can lose data on the HDD drive if you repartition already partitioned drive... For USB key use HP USB Disk Storage FormatTool. If you already have FAT drive than this step is not needed. To make your drive boot-able its partition must be active or some boot-manager must be used instead (like lilo boot or BIOS boot menu)
Format your drive (probably
FORMAT C: /S
that will format drive C with FAT32 or FAT16 depending on which MS-DOS version you got. And also it will copy system files so it will be boot-able with MS-DOS. The USB utility do this on its own... In case you just want to install MS-DOS on existing FAT drive then use SYS command instead of FORMAT.
transfer w98 files
COPYcommand or some file manager like
So now just boot to MS-DOS from your drive and run w9x setup using
CD c:\w98_install_path setup.exe
For more info see:
btw If this does not help try to install with disabled CPU caches and or limited CPUID in BIOS ...
In case your HDD is SCSI,SATA,AHCI you need specific drivers from the manufactor on a FDD drive !!!
Between then and now, quite a bit of new extensions have been built into standard PC technology that Windows 98 wasn't even been thinking of. Depending on your possible BIOS setup, your mileage for success might vary:
The first thing I would try is disable ACPI completely - This has always been a problem with Win98.
You might also need to disable APM (Advanced Power Management)
Then disable all "enhanced parallel port" support and make that plain and dumb, do the same for all other devices.
Upgrade the BIOS to the newest version
Try running memtest86. Also upgrade your BIOS if there's one available for your motherboard. And disconnect/remove anything you don't need to install Windows 98.