Windows 98: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Windows 98
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Windows 98 logo.svg
Screenshot of Windows 98
Release date RTM: 15 May 1998
Retail: 25 June 1998 (info)
Current version 4.10.1998 ("Gold"), 4.10.2222A ("SE") (25 June 1998; 11 year(s) ago (1998-06-25) ("Gold"), 5 May 1999; 10 year(s) ago (1999-05-05) ("SE")) (info)
Source model Closed source
License Microsoft EULA
Kernel type Monolithic kernel
Support status
Unsupported as of 11 July 2006[1]
Further reading
Development of Windows 98

Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on 15 May 1998 and to retail on 25 June 1998. Windows 98 is the successor to Windows 95. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit monolithic product with an MS-DOS based boot loader. Windows 98 was succeeded by Windows Me on 14 September 2000. Microsoft support for Windows 98 ended on 11 July 2006.


New driver standards

Windows 98 was the first operating system to use the Windows Driver Model (WDM). This fact was not well published when Windows 98 was released and most hardware producers continued to develop drivers for the older driver standard, VxD. The WDM standard spread years after its release, mostly through Windows 2000 and Windows XP, because these systems are not compatible with the older VxD standard.[2] Today, even if hardware producers are not developing drivers optimized for Windows 98, the drivers written to WDM standards are compatible with Windows 98 based systems.

System requirements

  • 486DX-2/66 MHz or higher processor (Pentium processor recommended)
  • 16 MB of RAM (24 MB recommended, it's possible to run on 8 MB machines with /im option used during the installation process)
  • At least 500 MB of space available on HDD. The amount of space required depends on the installation method and the components selected, but virtual memory and system utilities as well as drivers should be taken into consideration.
  • Upgrading from Windows 95 (FAT16) or 3.1 (FAT): 140-400 MB (typically 205 MB).
  • New installation (FAT32): 190-305 MB (typically 210 MB).
  • Note 1: Both Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE can have significant problems associated with hard drives that are over 32 Gigabytes (GB) in size. This issue only occurs with certain Phoenix BIOS settings. A software update has been made available to fix this shortcoming.[3]
  • Note 2: Also, both Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE are unable to handle hard drives that are over 137 Gigabytes (GB) in size with the default drivers, because of missing 48 Bit LBA support. Data corruption is possible. An experimental third party software update is available to fix this shortcoming.[4]
  • VGA or higher resolution monitor
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device (optional).[5]

Like its predecessor, Windows 95, and its successor, Windows Millennium Edition (Me), users can bypass hardware requirement checks with the undocumented /im setup switch. This allows installation on computers with processors as old as the 80386.

Press demonstration

A Critical Update Notification in Windows 98

The release of Windows 98 was preceded by a notable press demonstration at Comdex in April 1998. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates was highlighting the operating system's ease of use and enhanced support for Plug and Play (PnP). However, when presentation assistant Chris Capossela plugged a scanner in and attempted to install it, the operating system crashed, displaying a Blue Screen of Death. Gates remarked after applause and cheering from the audience, "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet." Video footage of this event became a popular Internet phenomenon. [1]

Windows 98 System tools

  • ScanDisk - System utility used to maintain the file system. It offers a DOS and a GUI version. Used to check the integrity of the file system and files stored within.[6]
  • Disk Defragmenter - Used to counter the negative effects of filesystem fragmentation. It collects fragmented file parts, reconnects them and rearranges all files in optimal order, thus speeding up file access and allowing faster boot times.[6][7]
  • Scanreg - Used to restore the System registry. It tests the registry's integrity and saves a backup copy each time. The maximum amount of copies could be customized by the user through "scanreg.ini" file. Due to a bug the oldest registry copy available cannot be restored (before restoration, the current configuration is backed up and it erases the oldest registry backup listed). The restoration of a faulty registry can only be done in DOS mode. Important DOS commands: scanreg/opt - optimizes the registry by deleting dead entries; scanreg/fix - repairs registry settings.[6]
  • Msconfig - A system utility used to disable programs and services which are not required to run the computer. It is a very powerful tool that can greatly enhance the system's stability and speed, but is also capable of rendering the system non-functional if used incorrectly.
  • Regedit - Allows manual editing of the registry.[6]


Windows 98 Upgrade cover.
Release Version Release Date Internet Explorer
Windows 98 4.10.1998 25 June 1998[8] 4.01
Windows 98 Second Edition 4.10.2222A 5 May 1999 5.0

Product life cycle

Microsoft planned to discontinue its support for Windows 98 on 16 January 2004. However, due to the continued popularity of the operating system (27% of Google's pageviews were on Windows 98 systems during October-November, 2003),[9] Microsoft decided to maintain support until 11 July 2006. Support for Windows Me also ended on this date.[10] By that time, Windows 98 market share had diminished to 2.7%.[11] Windows 98 is no longer available from Microsoft in any form due to the terms of Java-related settlements Microsoft made with Sun Microsystems.[12]

When performing a new Windows 98 installation on a machine today (February 2010), the user runs into problems with the Windows Update service because the IE 5 provided with Windows 98 is unable to run the current version of Windows Update. The solution is to install Internet Explorer 6 first (for example using this link), and then try to perform the Windows Update operation instead.

Windows 98 Second Edition

Cover of the Windows 98 Second Edition Upgrade (From Windows 95/3.11) Box

Windows 98 Second Edition (often shortened to SE) is an updated release of Windows 98, released on 5 May 1999. It includes fixes for many minor issues, improved USB support, and the replacement of Internet Explorer 4.0 with Internet Explorer 5.0. Also included is Internet Connection Sharing, which allows multiple computers on a LAN to share a single Internet connection through Network Address Translation. Other features in the update include Microsoft NetMeeting 3.0 and integrated support for DVD-ROM drives. A memory overflow issue was resolved which in the older version of Windows 98 would crash most systems if left running for 49.7 days (equal to 232 milliseconds).[13] Windows 98 SE could be obtained as retail upgrade and full version packages, as well as OEM and a Second Edition Updates Disc for existing Windows 98 users.

See also


  1. ^ "Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, and Windows Me Support ends on 11 July 2006". Microsoft. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  2. ^ "You cannot use virtual device driver (.vxd) files common to Windows 98 or Windows 95 drivers with Windows 2000."
  3. ^ Staff (28 December 1999). "Windows 98 Large IDE Update". Microsoft Windows Update. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  4. ^ Staff (12 July 2006). "Enable48BitLBA-Break-the-137Gb-barrier". MSFN. MSFN. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  5. ^ System requirements from the Microsoft Windows 98 SE manual
  6. ^ a b c d Davis; Crosby (1998) 
  7. ^ Introducing Windows 98, Second edition. 
  8. ^ Paul Thurrott (March 11, 1998). "Windows 98 release date set: June 25". WinInfo. Retrieved February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Zeitgeist". Google Press Center. Google. October-November 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2006.  Note: A graphic depicting the decline in use of Windows 98 from June 2001 to June 2004 as an operating system to access Google is available on Wikimedia Commons; IMAGE.
  10. ^ Ward, Mark (2006-07-11). "Technology | Microsoft shuts down Windows 98". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  11. ^ "July 2006 market share by Hitslink". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  12. ^ MSDN Subscriptions Subscriber Download Help
  13. ^ Miles, Stephanie. "Windows may crash after 49.7 days - CNET News". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 


External links

Simple English

Windows -98
(Part of the Microsoft Windows family)
Web site:
Release information
Release date: June 25, 1998 [ info]
Current version: 4.10.2222A (May 5, 1999) [ info]
Source model: Closed source
License: Microsoft EULA
Kernel type: Monolithic kernel
Support status
Unsupported as of July 11, 2006[1]

Windows 98 is an operating system for computers. Released on June 25 1998 by Microsoft, it is an updated version of Windows 95.

Windows 98 was seen by many as an upgrade to Windows 95, rather than a rebuilt version of Windows. The biggest changes were:

  • Larger disk partitions (separations) were allowed
  • Internet Explorer (a web browser) was made part of the GUI (what the user sees) and file manager. This had already happened in the last versions of Windows 95 that were released.

Because Microsoft made Internet Explorer such an important part of Windows 98, the company was taken to court by the United States Government. This was because they felt it was unfair to other companies who made web browsers.

It is not supported anymore, but many people still use it on older computers that will not run Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Windows 98 Second Edition

Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) was released in 1999. This was an official upgrade to Windows 98 which allowed people to use more types of computer hardware, like monitors and printers, and also let more than one machine on a network use the same Internet connection.


Other websites

Preceded by
Windows 95
Windows Versions
Succeeded by
Windows 2000 / Windows ME

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address