I have done a direct ISO install but on a linux host... never done it from a windows host
I have not successfully completed a direct install so you might want to ingnore everything that follows.
I did loadlin ide root=/dev/ram rw initrd=initrd.img.
It start without problem.
You loaded linux into RAM then
I have a message "Linux install media found" and just after pressing a key, a new message "Install media has not been mounted. Abording."
The installer which is running in RAM cannot mount the fat32 partition.
Further you can't install to the partition that the install media is being read from.
So here is a thought
1. Load one of the micro distros like DSL
or Puppy linux
. DSL is smaller Puppy is more intuitive. I think both of these can utilize your present Linux swap partiton. So your 32meg of ram should not be a problem. Depending on the size of your swap partition.
2. Save your chosen distro's .iso on hda1 and load it with loadlin. Use that to try your direct install.
I bet you could also do this with a floppy image from one of the really old Vec versions
sorry I can't seem to find a link to these
3. You probably will still have to have the Vec5.9.iso on a linux partition that you are not installing to for the installer to read from the .iso. Both of these distros can create the require extra partion.
4. You can clean up delete or merge any extra partions with parted or qparted later.
I am using an old Libretto 50CT, 4Go disk, 32Mo memory (without floppy disk, without CDROM), just Windows98se on an ide drive.
This is a good candidate for the (unfortunately for you) unfinished ,VLlight
<EDIT> check this
out. About half way down the second page a solution emerges.