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win 98 direct X 6.0 Path

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When I start my computer (DELL Optiplex) I get a message "direct X flie path not found". I click browse, got to Program Files, Direct X, and onto Setup. The folder is empty I guess because there is nothing there. The window in which it appears at first start up is "cd rom not detected". When I cancel this operation my computer does nothing at this piont and will go no further to start. I am not very smart when it comes things of this nature. When I shut down the computer about a year ago, everything was fine. I am trying to get this running for a Chritmas present to my brother. I hope you can help. Thanks. What is Direct X, and just if my cd rom program was lost, why will it not boot up? Should I download the WIN 98 boot disk from bootdisk.com? If I have the floppy to install the CD Rom (BENQ), can I put it in the floppy drive at start up?
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Silly question - are you booting up with a cd in the drive?
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