Starting in "DOS" modeBy: Arie Slob
To bypass starting Windows 98 at start up without pressing F8 or the Ctrl-key, modify the line in the hidden file C:\Msdos.sys. (see Show all files to see how to show hidden files in explorer).
Before you make changes to Msdos.sys, first right-click the Msdos.sys file (in Explorer) and choose Properties. Remove the check-mark from the Read-only attribute.
You can Edit the Msdos.sys file by right-clicking on it, select Open with... and from the menu choose Notepad.
Find the line BootGUI=1 and change it to read BootGUI=0
After saving, right-click the file again, choose Properties and place a check-mark in the Read-only attribute box.
For an explanation of the Msdos.sys file, and it's contents, see Microsoft's Knowledge base Article No. 118579