Installing windows 98 on an external USB drive

I’m in need of windows 98 to play some older games. I’d like to avoid double booting, because my main drive is full of stuff and I’m not too keen on the idea of repartitioning the whole thing.
I could just replace it with a 20gb drive I have whenever I’d want to use Win98, but it uses a custom Toshiba connector converter that needs to be moved to the drive I want to use. The process is finicky and the drive is hard to install if not mounted into its cradle. For all these reasons, I’d like to boot from USB.

Now, my notebook supports booting from USB devices, but I can’t get win98se to install.
What I do is this:
I remove the main drive, just to make sure I don’t accidentally zap its partition in the process
I connect an old 2.5gb drive partitioned in FAT32 to USB with a USB-to-IDE cable
I boot from the win98 cd and run setup, which scans the disk, starts copying files, and then promptly gives me a “SU0013” error.
Supposedly this means my drive is partitioned in NTFS and I need a DOS boot partition, but it isn’t. I’ve formatted it to FAT32 beforehand just to be sure.
I tried copying the installation files to the hard disk, but it makes no difference.
Also, the disk is correctly identified when booting into DOS as C:, and I can access its contents. Windows just doesn’t want to install on it.

Where am I going wrong?

Windows 98 doesn’t recognise USB inherantly therefore I would suppose the install procuedure wouldn’t see them and thus it can’t install.

I know it is obvious, but you haven’t mentioned it so I will taake the chance to ask. Have you tried the games in compatability mode?

I have yet to have a problem with any of my old games playing on XP and lordy do I have a lot of them. I prefer them to the newer ones. My newest being Homeworld2, that’s how long ago I have felt the need to actually buy a game.

I’m trying to play MechWarrior 2 mercenaries, which is completely and totally incompatible with WinXP.
You can run the dos version with VDMsound and other hacks, but it takes far more effort than I’m willing to put into it, plus you don’t get as nice graphics.

Anyway, I formatted the disk using fdisk in DOS, and it actually installed, but then couldn’t configure itself.
So I used the other notebook drive in the IDE cradle, it installed, but the drivers for my notebook are only compatible with windows XP.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I’ll just get an old computer (I’m thinking a p2 or early p3) to use for old games, and that’s it.