Windows 98 se

Windows 98 se DEFAULT

Windows 98

Microsoft personal computer operating system released in 1998

Windows 98 logo.svg

Screenshot of Windows 98, displaying its desktop, taskbar, and channel bar

Source modelClosed source
Released to
May 15, 1998; 23 years ago (1998-05-15)
June 25, 1998; 23 years ago (1998-06-25)
Latest releaseSecond Edition (4.10.2222 A) / May 5, 1999; 22 years ago (1999-05-05)[1]
Kernel typeMonolithic kernel (DOS)
LicenseCommercial software
Preceded byWindows 95 (1995)
Succeeded byWindows Me (2000)
Official websiteWindows 98 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 12, 1999)
Mainstream support ended on June 30, 2002[2]
Extended support ended on July 11, 2006[2]

Windows 98 is an operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is the successor to Windows 95, and was released to manufacturing on May 15, 1998, and generally to retail on June 25, 1998. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid 16-bit and 32-bit[3] monolithic product with the boot stage based on MS-DOS.[4]

Windows 98 is a heavily web-integrated operating system that bears numerous similarities to its predecessor. It heavily relies on the HTML language. Most of the improvements are cosmetic or designed to improve the user experience, but there are a handful of features that enhance system functionality and capabilities. These include improved USB support and accessibility, as well as support for hardware advancements such as DVD players. It was the first Windows operating system to adopt the Windows Driver Model. It also introduced features that would become standard in future generations of Windows, such as Disk Cleanup, Windows Update, multi-monitor support, and Internet Connection Sharing.

Microsoft had marketed Windows 98 as a "tune-up" to Windows 95, rather than an entirely improved next generation of Windows. Upon release, it was generally well received for its web-integrated interface and ease of use, as well as for addressing issues that had been present in Windows 95, though users had pointed out that it was not significantly more stable than its predecessor. It saw one major update called Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) on May 5, 1999, and was succeeded by Windows Me in 2000. It sold an estimated 58 million licenses, and Microsoft ended mainstream support for both Windows 98 and 98 SE on June 30, 2002, and ended extended support on July 11, 2006.


Following the success of Windows 95, development of Windows 98 began, initially under the development codename "Memphis." The first test version, Windows Memphis Developer Release, was released in January 1997.[5]

Memphis first entered beta as Windows Memphis Beta 1, released on June 30, 1997.[6] It was followed by Windows 98 Beta 2, which dropped the Memphis name and was released in July.[7] Microsoft had planned a full release of Windows 98 for the first quarter of 1998, along with a Windows 98 upgrade pack for Windows 95, but it also had a similar upgrade for Windows 3.x operating systems planned for the second quarter. Stacey Breyfogle, a product manager for Microsoft, explained that the later release of the upgrade for Windows 3 was because the upgrade required more testing than that for Windows 95 due to the presence of more compatibility issues, and without user objections, Microsoft merged the two upgrade packs into one and set all of their release dates to the second quarter.[8]

On December 15, Microsoft released Windows 98 Beta 3. It was the first build to be able to upgrade from Windows 3.1x, and introduced new startup and shutdown sounds.[9]

Near its completion, Windows 98 was released as Windows 98 Release Candidate on April 3, 1998,[10] which expired on December 31. This coincided with a notable press demonstration at COMDEX that month. 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 Caposselaplugged a USB scanner in, the operating system crashed, displaying a Blue Screen of Death. Bill Gates remarked after derisive 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.[11]

Microsoft had quietly marketed the operating system as a "tune-up" to Windows 95.[12] It was compiled as Windows 98 on May 11, 1998,[13] before being fully released to manufacturing on May 15.[14] The company was facing pending legal action for allowing free downloads of, and planning to ship Windows licenses with, Internet Explorer 4.0 in an alleged effort to expand its software monopoly. Microsoft's critics believed the lawsuit would further delay Windows 98's public release;[12] it did not, and the operating system was released on June 25, 1998.[14]

A second major version of the operating system called Windows 98 Second Edition was later unveiled in March 1999.[15][16] Microsoft compiled the final build on April 23, 1999, before publicly releasing it on May 5, 1999.[13][17] Windows 98 was to be the final product in the Windows 9x line until Microsoft briefly revived the line to release Windows Me in 2000 as the final Windows 9x product.[18]

New and updated features[edit]

Web integration and shell enhancements[edit]

The first release of Windows 98 included Internet Explorer 4.01. This was updated to 5.0 in the Second Edition. Besides Internet Explorer, many other Internet companion applications are included such as Outlook Express,[19]Windows Address Book, FrontPage Express,[20]Microsoft Chat, Personal Web Server and a Web Publishing Wizard, and NetShow.[21]NetMeeting allows multiple users to hold conference calls and work with each other on a document.[22]

The Windows 98 shell is web-integrated;[23] it contains deskbands, Active Desktop, Channels,[24] ability to minimize foreground windows by clicking their button on the taskbar,[25] single-click launching, Back and Forward navigation buttons,[26] favorites, and address bar in Windows Explorer, image thumbnails,[27] folder infotips and Web view in folders, and folder customization through HTML-based templates. The taskbar supports customizable toolbars designed to speed up access to the Web or the user's desktop; these toolbars include an Address Bar and Quick Launch. With the Address Bar, the user accesses the Web by typing in a URL, and Quick Launch contains shortcuts or buttons that perform system functions such as switching between windows and the desktop with the Show Desktop button.[28] Another feature of this new shell is that dialog boxes[clarification needed] show up in the Alt-Tab sequence.

Windows 98 also integrates shell enhancements, themes and other features from Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 such as DriveSpace 3, Compression Agent, Dial-Up Networking Server, Dial-Up Scripting Tool and Task Scheduler. 3D Pinball Space Cadet is included on the CD-ROM, but not installed by default. Windows 98 had its own separately purchasable Plus! pack, called Plus! 98.[29]

Title bars of windows and dialog boxes support two-color gradients, a feature ported from and refined from Microsoft Office 95.[26] Windows menus and tooltips support slide animation. Windows Explorer in Windows 98, as in Windows 95, converts all-uppercase filenames to sentence case for readability purposes;[30] however, it also provides an option Allow all uppercase names to display them in their original case. Windows Explorer includes support for compressed CAB files.[31] The Quick Res and Telephony Location Manager Windows 95 PowerToys are integrated into the core operating system.

Improvements to hardware support[edit]

Windows Driver Model[edit]

Main article: Windows Driver Model

The Windows 98 architecture is set up as a tier of layers in which the higher layers depend on any component of the layers below them. The difference between the architectures of this and Windows 95 is that the Windows Driver Model can now be used to access the Windows 98 core and the registry.[32][33]

Windows 98 was the first operating system to use the Windows Driver Model (WDM). This fact was not well publicized when Windows 98 was released, and most hardware producers continued to develop drivers for the older VxD driver standard, which Windows 98 supported for compatibility's sake. The WDM standard only achieved widespread adoption years later, mostly through Windows 2000 and Windows XP, as they were not compatible with the older VxD standard.[34] With the Windows Driver Model, developers could write drivers that were compatible with other versions of Windows.[35] Device driver access in WDM is actually implemented through a VxD device driver, , which implements several Windows NT-specific kernel support functions.[36]

Support for WDM audio enables digital mixing, routing and processing of simultaneous audio streams and kernel streaming with high quality sample rate conversion on Windows 98. WDM Audio allows for software emulation of legacy hardware to support MS-DOS games, DirectSound support and MIDIwavetable synthesis. The Windows 95 11-device limitation for MIDI devices is eliminated.[37] A Microsoft GS Wavetable Synthesizer licensed from Roland shipped with Windows 98 for WDM audio drivers. Windows 98 supports digital playback of audio CDs, and the Second Edition improves WDM audio support by adding DirectSound hardware mixing and DirectSound 3D hardware abstraction, DirectMusic kernel support, KMixer sample-rate conversion for capture streams and multichannel audio support. All audio is sampled by the Kernel Mixer to a fixed sampling rate which may result in some audio getting upsampled or downsampled and having a high latency, except when using Kernel Streaming or third-party audio paths like ASIO which allow unmixed audio streams and lower latency. Windows 98 also includes a WDM streaming class driver (Stream.sys) to address real time multimedia data stream processing requirements and a WDM kernel-mode video transport for enhanced video playback and capture.

Windows Driver Model also includes Broadcast Driver Architecture, the backbone for TV technologies support in Windows. WebTV for Windows utilized BDA to allow viewing television on the computer if a compatibleTV tuner card is installed. TV listings could be updated from the Internet and WaveTop Data Broadcasting allowed extra data about broadcasts to be received via regular television signals using an antenna or cable, by embedding data streams into the vertical blanking interval portion of existing broadcast television signals.

Other device support improvements[edit]

Windows 98 had more robust USB support than Windows 95, which only had support in OEM versions OSR2.1 and later.[38] Windows 98 supports USB hubs, USB scanners and imaging class devices. Windows 98 also introduced built-in support for some USB Human Interface Device class (USB HID) and PID class devices such as USB mice, keyboards, force feedback joysticks etc. including additional keyboard functions through a certain number of Consumer Page HID controls.[39]

Windows 98 introduced ACPI 1.0 support which enabled Standby and Hibernate states. However, hibernation support was extremely limited, and vendor-specific. Hibernation was only available if compatible (PnP) hardware and BIOS are present, and the hardware manufacturer or OEM supplied compatible WDM drivers, non-VxD drivers. However, there are hibernation issues with the FAT32 file system,[40] making hibernation problematic and unreliable.

Windows 98, in general, provides improved — and a broader range of — support for IDE and SCSI drives and drive controllers, floppy drive controllers and all other classes of hardware as compared to Windows 95.[40] There is integrated Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) support (although the USB Supplement to Windows 95 OSR2 and later releases of Windows 95 did have AGP support). Windows 98 has built-in DVD support and UDF 1.02 read support. The Still imaging architecture (STI) with TWAIN support was introduced for scanners and cameras and Image Color Management 2.0 for devices to perform color space transformations.[41] Multiple monitor support allows using up to nine multiple monitors on a single PC, with the feature requiring one PCI graphics adapter per monitor.[42] Windows 98 shipped with DirectX 5.2,[43] which notably included DirectShow. Windows 98 Second Edition would later ship with DirectX 6.1.[44]

Networking enhancements[edit]

Main article: Winsock

Windows 98 networking enhancements to TCP/IP include built-in support for Winsock 2, SMB signing,[45] a new IP Helper API, Automatic Private IP Addressing (also known as link-local addressing), IP multicasting, and performance enhancements for high-speed high bandwidth networks. Multihoming support with TCP/IP is improved and includes RIP listener support.

The DHCP client has been enhanced to include address assignment conflict detection and longer timeout intervals. NetBT configuration in the WINS client has been improved to continue persistently querying multiple WINS servers if it failed to establish the initial session until all of the WINS servers specified have been queried or a connection is established.

Network Driver Interface Specification 5 support means Windows 98 can support a wide range of network media, including Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), Token Ring, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), ISDN, wide area networks, X.25, and Frame Relay. Additional features include NDIS power management, support for quality of service, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and support for a single INF file format across all Windows versions.[46]

Windows 98 Dial-Up Networking supports PPTP tunneling,[47] support for ISDN adapters, multilink support, and connection-time scripting to automate non-standard login connections. Multilink channel aggregation enables users to combine all available dial-up lines to achieve higher transfer speeds. PPP connection logs can show actual packets being passed and Windows 98 allows PPP logging per connection. The Dial-Up Networking improvements are also available in Windows 95 OSR2 and are downloadable for earlier Windows 95 releases.

For networked computers that have user profiles enabled, Windows 98 introduces Microsoft Family Logon which lists all users that have been configured for that computer, enabling users to simply select their names from a list rather than having to type them in.[48]

Windows 98 supports IrDA 3.0 that specifies both Serial Infrared Devices and Fast Infrared devices, which are capable of sending and receiving data at 4 Mbit/s. Infrared Recipient, a new application for transferring files through an infrared connection is included. The IrDA stack in Windows 98 supports networking profiles over the IrCOMM kernel-mode driver. Windows 98 also has built-in support for browsing Distributed File System trees on Server Message Block shares such as Windows NT servers.[49][50]

UPnP and NAT traversal APIs can be installed on Windows 98 by installing the Windows XP Network Setup Wizard.[51] An L2TP/IPsecVPN client can also be downloaded. By installing Active Directory Client Extensions, Windows 98 can take advantage of several Windows 2000 Active Directory features.

Improvements to the system and built-in utilities[edit]

Performance improvements[edit]

Windows 95 introduced the 32-bit, protected-mode cache driver VCACHE (replacing SMARTDrv) to cache the most recently accessed information from the hard drive in memory, divided into chunks. However, the cache parameters needed manual tuning as it degraded performance by consuming too much memory and not releasing it quickly enough, forcing paging to occur far too early. The Windows 98 VCACHE cache size management for disk and network access, CD-ROM access and paging is more dynamic compared to Windows 95, resulting in no tuning being required for cache parameters.[52] On the FAT32 file system, Windows 98 has a performance feature called MapCache that can run applications from the disk cache itself if the code pages of executable files are aligned/mapped on 4K boundaries, instead of copying them to virtual memory. This results in more memory being available to run applications, and lesser usage of the swap file.

Windows 98 registry handling is more robust than Windows 95 to avoid corruption and there are several enhancements to eliminate limitations and improve registry performance.[53] The Windows 95 registry key size limitation of 64 KB is gone. The registry uses less memory and has better caching.[54]

Disk Defragmenter has been improved to rearrange program files that are frequently used to a hard disk region optimized for program start.[55] The aggravating "Drive contents changed....restarting." message will still frequently appear in this version. If it gets stuck on the same area too many times, it will ask the user if it should keep trying or give up. However, the Disk Defragmenter from Windows Me does not have this problem and will function on Windows 98 if the user copies it over.[56]

Windows 98 also supports a Fast Shutdown feature that initiates shutdown without uninitializing device drivers. However, this can cause Windows 98 to hang instead of shutting down the computer if a buggy driver is active, so Microsoft supplied instructions for disabling the feature.[57] Windows 98 supports write-behind caching for removable disk drives. A utility for converting FAT16 partitions to FAT32 without formatting the partition is also included.[58]

Other system tools[edit]

A number of improvements are made to various other system tools and accessories in Windows 98. Microsoft Backup supports differential backup and SCSItape devices in Windows 98. Disk Cleanup, a new tool, enables users to clear their disks of unnecessary files. Cleanup locations are extensible through Disk Cleanup handlers. Disk Cleanup can be automated for regular silent cleanups.[59]

Scanreg (DOS) and ScanRegW are Registry Checker tools used to back up, restore or optimize the Windows registry. ScanRegW tests the registry's integrity and saves a backup copy each time Windows successfully boots. The maximum number of copies could be customized by the user through "scanreg.ini" file. The restoration of a registry that causes Windows to fail to boot can only be done from DOS mode using ScanReg.[33]

System Configuration Utility is a new system utility used to disable programs and services that are not required to run the computer.[60] A Maintenance Wizard is included that schedules and automates ScanDisk, Disk Defragmenter and Disk Cleanup.[61]Windows Script Host, with VBScript and JScript engines is built-in and upgradeable to version 5.6. System File Checker checks installed versions of system files to ensure they were the same version as the one installed with Windows 98 or newer. Corrupt or older versions are replaced by the correct versions.[62] This tool was introduced to resolve the DLL hell issue and was replaced in Windows Me by System File Protection.

Windows 98 Setup simplifies installation, reducing the bulk of user input required.[63] The Windows 98 Startup Disk contains generic, real-mode ATAPI and SCSI CD-ROM drivers that can be used instead in the event that the specific driver for a CD-ROM is unavailable.[64]

The system could be updated using Windows Update.[62] A utility to automatically notify the user of critical updates was later released.[65]

Windows 98 includes an improved version of the Dr. Watson utility that collects and lists comprehensive information such as running tasks, startup programs with their command line switches, system patches, kernel driver, user drivers, DOS drivers and 16-bit modules. With Dr. Watson loaded in the system tray, whenever a software fault occurs (general protection fault, hang, etc.), Dr. Watson will intercept it and indicate what software crashed and its cause.[62]

Windows Report Tool takes a snapshot of system configuration and lets users submit a manual problem report along with system information to technicians. It has e-mail confirmation for submitted reports.[60]


Windows 98 includes Microsoft Magnifier,[66] Accessibility Wizard and Microsoft Active Accessibility 1.1 API (upgradeable to MSAA 2.0.) A new HTML Help system with 15 Troubleshooting Wizards was introduced to replace WinHelp.

Users can configure the font in Notepad. Microsoft Paint supports GIF transparency. HyperTerminal supports a TCP/IP connection method, which allows it to be used as a Telnet client. Imaging for Windows is updated. System Monitor—used to track the performance of hardware and software—supports output to a log file.[67]

Miscellaneous improvements[edit]

  • Telephony API (TAPI) 2.1
  • DCOM version 1.2
  • Ability to list fonts by similarity determined using PANOSE information.
  • Tools to automate setup, such as Batch 98 and INFInst.exe, support error-checking, gathering information automatically to create an INF file directly from a machine's registry, customizing IE4, shell and desktop settings and adding custom drivers.
  • Several other Resource Kit tools are included on the Windows 98 CD.[68]
  • Windows 98 has new system event sounds for low battery alarm and critical battery alarm. The new startup sound for Windows 98 was composed by Microsoft sound engineer Ken Kato, who considered it to be a "tough act to follow".[69]
  • Windows 98 shipped with Flash Player and Shockwave Player preinstalled.[70]

Windows 98 Second Edition [edit]

Windows 98 Second Edition (often shortened to Windows 98 SE and sometimes to Win98 SE)[71] is an updated release of Windows 98, released on May 5, 1999.[72] It includes many bug fixes,[73] improved WDM audio and modem support, improved USB support,[71] the replacement of Internet Explorer 4.0 with Internet Explorer 5.0,[73]Web Folders (WebDAV namespace extension for Windows Explorer),[74] and related shell updates. Also included is basic OHCI-compliant FireWireDV camcorder support (MSDV class driver) and SBP-2 support for mass storage class devices.[75]Wake-On-LAN reenables suspended networked computers due to network activity, and Internet Connection Sharing allows multiple networked client computers to share an Internet connection via a single host computer.[73]

Other features in the update include DirectX 6.1 which introduced major improvements to DirectSound and the introduction of DirectMusic,[73] improvements to Asynchronous Transfer Mode support (IP/ATM, PPP/ATM and WinSock 2/ATM support), Windows Media Player 6.1 replacing the older Media Player,[71] Microsoft NetMeeting 3.0,[76]MDAC 2.1 and WMI. 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).[77] 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. USB audio device class support is present from Windows 98 SE onwards. Windows 98 Second Edition improved WDM support in general for all devices, and it introduced support for WDM for modems (and therefore USB modems and virtual COM ports), Microsoft driver support for both USB printers, and for USB mass-storage device class not available for Windows 98.

Removed features[edit]

Windows 98 Second Edition did not ship with the WinG API or RealPlayer 4.0, unlike the original release of Windows 98, due to both of these having been superseded by DirectX and Windows Media Player, respectively.


Several components of both Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition can be updated to newer versions. These include:

  • Internet Explorer 6 SP1 and Outlook Express 6 SP1
  • Windows Media Format Runtime and Windows Media Player 9 Series on Windows 98 Second Edition (and Windows Media Player 7.1 on Windows 98 original release.)
  • Windows Media Encoder 7.1 and Windows Media 8 Encoding Utility
  • DirectX 9.0c (the latest compatible runtime is from October 2007.)[78]
  • MSN Messenger 7.0
  • Significant features from newer Microsoft operating systems can be installed on Windows 98. Chief among them are .NET Framework versions 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0, the Visual C++ 2005 runtime, Windows Installer 2.0, the GDI+ redistributable library, Remote Desktop Connection client 5.2 and the Text Services Framework.
  • Several other components such as MSXML 3.0 SP7, Microsoft Agent 2.0, NetMeeting 3.01, MSAA 2.0, ActiveSync 3.8, WSH 5.6, Microsoft Data Access Components 2.81 SP1, WMI 1.5 and Speech API 4.0.
  • Office XP is the last version of Microsoft Office that is compatible with Windows 98.[79]
  • Although Windows 98 does not fully support Unicode, certain Unicode applications can run if the Microsoft Layer for Unicode is installed.

System requirements[edit]

The two major versions of Windows 98 have minimum requirements needed to be run.

Field System Comments
Windows 98[80]Second Edition[81]
Processor Intel 80486 66 MHz or higher Pentium processor recommended[82]
RAM 16 MB 24 MB 24 MB recommended; it is possible to run on 8 MB machines with /nm option used during the installation process
  • Upgrading from Windows 3.1 or 95: 120–295 MB (typically 195 MB).
  • New installation (FAT16): 165–355 MB (typically 225 MB).
  • New installation (FAT32): 140–255 MB (typically 175 MB).
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.
Display VGA or higher resolution monitor (640×480)
Media drive CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive Floppy install is possible but slow
Input Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

Users can bypass processor requirement checks with the undocumented /NM setup switch. This allows installation on computers with processors as old as the Intel 80386.[83]


Windows 98 is only designed to handle up to 1 GB of RAM[84] without changes. Both Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition have problems running on hard drives of capacities larger than 32 GB in systems with certain Phoenix BIOS configurations. A software update fixed this shortcoming.[85] In addition, until Windows XP with Service Pack 1, Windows was unable to handle hard drives that are over 137 GB in size with the default drivers, because of missing 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support.[86]

Support lifecycle[edit]

Support for Windows 98 under Microsoft's consumer product life cycle policy was planned to end on June 30, 2003,[87] however, in December 2002,[88] Microsoft extended the support window to January 16, 2004.[89] This date would then be extended again on January 13, 2004[90] to a final end of support date of July 11, 2006,[91] citing support volumes in emerging markets as the reason for the extension.[88]

Windows 98 retail availability ended as planned on June 30, 2002,[89] and later became completely unavailable from Microsoft (through MSDN or otherwise) in any form due to the terms of Java-related settlements Microsoft made with Sun Microsystems.[92]

The Windows Update website continued to be available after Windows 98's end of support date, however, during 2011, Microsoft retired the Windows Update v4 website and removed the updates for Windows 98 and Windows 98SE from its servers.[93][94]


Windows 98 was released to generally favorable reviews, with praise directed to its improved graphical user interface and customizability, ease of use,[95]: 30–31 [96] and the degree to which it addressed complaints that users and critics had with Windows 95.[96] Michael Sweet of Smart Computing characterized it as heavily integrating features of the Internet browser, and found file and folder navigation easier.[95]: 30–31 Ed Bott of PC Computing lauded the bug fixes, easier troubleshooting, and support for hardware advances such as DVD players and USB. However, he also found that the operating system crashed only slightly less frequently, and criticized the high upgrade price and system requirements. He rated it four stars out of five.[96]


Windows 98 sold 530,000 licenses in its first four days of availability, overtaking Windows 95's 510,000.[97] It later sold a total of 580,000 and 350,000 licenses in the first and second months of availability, respectively.[98]

In the first year of its release, Windows 98 sold a total of 15 million licenses – 2 million more than its predecessor. However, International Data Corporation estimated that of the roughly 89 million shipped computers in the desktop market, the operating system had a market share of 17.2 percent, compared to Windows 95's 57.4 percent. Meanwhile, the two operating systems continued to observe a trend whereby Windows 98 improved in sales performance, whereas Windows 95 dwindled.[99] After a legal dispute and subsequent settlement with Sun Microsystems over the former's Java Virtual Machine, Microsoft ceased distributing the operating system on December 15, 2003,[100] and IDC estimated that a total of 58 million copies were installed worldwide by then.[101]


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  62. ^ abcPC Magazine, August 1998, p. 131
  63. ^Resource Kit 1998, p. 22
  64. ^Resource Kit 1998, p. 75
  65. ^Nott, Tim (May 1999). "The Update update". Personal Computer World. p. 234. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  66. ^Smart Computing, June 2000, p. 31
  67. ^Resource Kit 1998, p. 1221
  68. ^"Tools Included with the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on September 15, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  69. ^"Interview: 343 Industries Audio Manager – Ken Kato". SpeakHertz. February 19, 2014. Archived from the original on April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  70. ^"Macromedia Shockwave(TM) and Flash(TM) Players Incorporated Into Windows 98". Free Online Library. Archived from the original on May 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  71. ^ abcSems, Marty (September 1999). "Windows 98 Second Edition". Smart Computing. Vol. 10 no. 9. p. 14. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  72. ^Microsoft (May 5, 1999). "Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition Released to Manufacturing". News Center. Archived from the original on August 11, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  73. ^ abcdMendelson, Edward (May 25, 1999). "Windows 98 Second Edition". PC Magazine. Vol. 18 no. 10. p. 35. Archived from the original on September 29, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  74. ^"Overview of Web Folders in Internet Explorer 5". Microsoft. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  75. ^"The IEEE 1394 Driver Stack". Microsoft. Archived from the original on November 8, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  76. ^Smart Computing, June 2000, p. 38
  77. ^Miles, Stephanie. "Windows may crash after 49.7 days – CNET News". Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  78. ^"DirectX 9.0c End-User Runtime". Microsoft Download Center. October 17, 2007. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  79. ^"System Requirements". Office Support. Microsoft. May 30, 2001. Archived from the original on December 1, 2002. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
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  81. ^Smart Computing, June 2000, p. 30
  82. ^"Err Msg: Windows 98 Requires a Computer with a Math Coprocessor". Microsoft Support. January 23, 2007. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  83. ^Livingston, Brian (September 13, 1999). "Exploring the latest secrets and tips for using Windows 98". InfoWorld. Vol. 21 no. 37. p. 45. Archived from the original on September 29, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  84. ^"Computer May Reboot Continuously with More Than 1.5 GB of RAM". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on June 2, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  85. ^"Windows 98 Large IDE Update". Microsoft Windows Update. Microsoft. December 28, 1999. Archived from the original on December 5, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2006.
  86. ^"How to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows XP". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
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  93. ^"I can't access Windows Update v4 - Windows 9x/ME - MSFN". Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  94. ^"Where is Windows Update for Win98? - BetaArchive". Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  95. ^ ab"Smart Computing". Vol. 9 no. 8. Sandhills Publishing. August 1998.
  96. ^ abcBott, Ed (July 1998). "Windows 98: Worth the Wait?". PC Computing. pp. 80–81.
  97. ^Lohr, Steve (July 1, 1998). "Microsoft's Windows 98 Sells Much Better Than Expected". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  98. ^"Windows XP sales lag". CNET. January 31, 2002. Archived from the original on October 7, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  99. ^"Windows 95 remains most popular operating system". CNET. July 20, 1999. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  100. ^Evers, Joris (December 8, 2003). "Microsoft Yanks Older Products". PCWorld. Retrieved October 27, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  101. ^Evers, Joris (January 12, 2004). "Microsoft Extends Win 98 Support". PCWorld. Archived from the original on May 6, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davis, Fred; Crosby, Kip (1998). The Windows 98 Bible. Berkeley, California: Peachpit Press. ISBN .

External links[edit]


Windows 98 Second Edition ISO File

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Reviewer:Cole69420- favoritefavoritefavorite- July 22, 2021
Subject:Great But Some Problems

Its very great if you want to reinstall a broken windows 98 SE or just want a VM instead then its good! But there a problem. Its in a CD-ROM type so it makes it harder to setup due to the VM type windows 98 SE setup only reading the floppy disks. So its great but due to the problem it could do some fixing.

Reviewer:joelrrr2002- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- June 16, 2021
Subject:Works for Virtual Machine

Yep, this works perfect for a Virtual Machine or just for install in old Hardware.

Reviewer:joeyjoey1046- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- May 25, 2021

I downloaded the iso from somewhere else but the code works. thanks

Reviewer:EricGabi- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- May 2, 2021

It's very good i like it

Reviewer:MrOof- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- April 25, 2021

Nice, totally recommend this.

Reviewer:Younes Barn- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- April 1, 2021


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Windows 98 Second Edition


Release notes

Windows 98 Second Edition is an update to the original Windows 98 that includes improved modem and sound/audio card support through the Windows Driver Model, improved USB support, Wake on LAN support, FireWire DV camcorder support, and SBP-2 Mass Storage device support. Internet Explorer 4.0 was also upgraded to 5.0 and Internet Connection Sharing made its debut. DirectX 6.1 was also included with DirectSound improvements. Windows Media Player 6.2 was also shipped replacing the old classic Windows 3.x/95 "Media Player" that originated with the Windows 3.0 MMC Extensions.

Windows 98 Second Edition can be updated with the Microsoft .NET framework version 1.0, 1,1 and 2.0. The Visual C++ 2005 runtime is the last to carry Windows 98 support. The last version of Internet Explorer that can be installed on 98 SE is 6.0. Other available upgradeable components include DirectX 9.0c, Windows Installer 2.0, GDI+ redistributable, Remote Desktop Connection (XP 5.1), and Text Services Framework. The last version of Microsoft Office capable of running on Windows 98 is Office XP.

Installation instructions

Hardware requirements can be bypassed in the setup with the undocumented /nm setup switch. This will allow systems as old as the 80386 with 8MB of RAM to run Windows 98 (although this will be far from optimal)

Important: Only the OEM Full version is bootable. All others require an appropriate Windows 98 Boot Floppy.

Note: VMWare and VirtualBox can be problematic with Windows 9x. You may need to disable various acceleration features first, or consider emulators like x86Box or PCem.

To speed up installation, and to avoid numerous problems, copy the win98 folder to a folder on the hard drive (such as c:\win98) and then run setup from there.

Wanted: Floppy version


Windows 98 was a GUI based operating system that was released by Microsoft in 1998. It was released as a part of the 9x series of the windows operating system which included its predecessor, Windows 95. Windows 98 was released in both 32 and 16-bit versions just like the older windows 95 and it was based on the Disk Operating System (DOS) which was a Command-Line operating system developed by Microsoft. Windows 98 was released on the 15th of May in the year 1998 and was put on sale worldwide on the 25th of June in the same year.

After Windows 98, came the Windows 98 SE. Here, SE stands for Second edition and was released on the 5th of May in the year 1999. Both Windows 98, as well as the Windows 98 SE operating systems, were supported by Microsoft till the 30th of June 2002. Buyers could, however, get extended support till the 11th of July 2006. You can download Windows 98 ISO from our website.

Windows 98 ISO: Windows 98 SE free download 1

License / Product Key
Free Trial

File Size
625MB / 623MB


Microsoft Inc.

Features of Windows 98 ISO

Download window 98 with latest Features

Taskbar and Start Menu

The taskbar, one of Windows 95’s smarter innovations, is even better in Internet Explorer 4.0 and Win98. Microsoft has hewn the new improved version closely to the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” school of thought. There’s been no mind-bending, radical overhaul, but rather the addition of significant and useful enhancements.

People found the new Web-savvy features helpful (though new users thought that they might complicate matters). With Windows 98, the Favorites folder was found on the Start menu. Under the Find folder, a “Find… On the Internet” choice took you to Microsoft’s search site.

The Start menu additions were notable, but the taskbar itself was where the action is. Microsoft finally heeded the cries of Windows 95 users who craved the ability to drag-and-drop document, application and folder shortcuts directly onto the taskbar, the way they could with the Office97 Software.

Web View

Windows 98’s Web View mainly did three things: It performed single-click navigation; it provided a way to view and customize the appearance of folders; and it added a fifth icon view to the original four views which were large icons, small icons, list, as well as details.

Web View shouldn’t be confused with Win98’s many hooks into the Internet. With Windows 98, you could get to the Web anytime from anywhere in Win98, even with Web View turned off. Likewise, you could enjoy Web View without an Internet connection. As such, Web View was a misnomer. A better name would be Browser View because it really enabled you to navigate and view the files on your computer with a browser-like interface.

Multimedia Support

MMX (Multimedia Extensions) was a set of 57 new instructions that Intel had added to certain x 86 processors to speed multimedia tasks. Each instruction greatly sped up processing by abbreviating the multiple instructions previous processors require to accomplish a given task. MMX-enhanced processors included Intel’s P55C Pentium and Pentium II, AMD’s K6 and Cyrix’s 6x86MX. Windows 98 was the first operating system to support MMX, which meant improved performance for image processing, video, audio, video conferencing and similar functions.

Window 98 with all multimedia Function latest Viersion

Scripting and Automation

The Windows Scripting Host (WSH) was the successor to the venerable DOS batch file format. WSH was a standard feature of all versions of the Windows 98 operating system. WSH incorporated both the JavaScript and VBScript engines that first appeared in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Internet Information Server (IIS), allowing batch files to be written in either language. WSH supported all the standard features of both languages, including subroutines and functions, variables and arrays, true if/else statements, other flow-control statements that allow sophisticated looping and much more.

Microsoft even provides two complete versions of Windows Scripting Host. One (CSCRIPT.EXE) is a command-line utility that can run in a DOS box under either Memphis or Windows NT 5.0. The other (WSCRIPT.EXE) is a standard 32-bit Windows application. Either can be chosen as your default scripting host (the one that runs automatically when a user double-clicks or runs a script file). Both versions support all JavaScript, VBScript and WSH features.


Microsoft figured out a good way to make Windows 98 faster. The Disk Defragmenter Optimization Wizard tracked the programs you ran most often, then clustered those programs on the fastest part of your hard disk. To use it, close down all applications and launch the wizard. It lets you choose programs you run frequently, launches them and notes which files are accessed from the hard disk for each.

One of the key pieces to Win98’s performance puzzle was WinAlign, a utility that aligns the contents of program files so they load faster-20% faster (or more). With speedier access to your applications and the data they use, you were able to trim unproductive wait times. 

Load times are slower with unaligned code because Win98 must copy it from the disk-cache page to a brand new memory page aligned on a 4KB boundary. Aligned programs would start faster because Win98 runs the code directly from the disk-cache pages where they were loaded. 

File System

With Windows 98, Microsoft introduced the new and improved FAT32 (File Allocation Utility) file system. FAT32 frees up hard-disk space by allocating the space much more efficiently than previous versions of FAT did. With FAT32, you can get an average of 28 percent more disk space without buying any new hardware. Launch software programs faster when you combine FAT32 with Microsoft Windows 98 Disk Defragmenter. With FAT32 you can work with a very large hard disk which can be over two terabytes it’s easier with FAT32 because you can represent the disk with a single drive letter, rather than splitting it in two.

Minimum System Requirements for Windows 98 ISO

Here are the minimum requirements your computer hardware must meet in order to run Windows 98:

  1. Computer/processor: 486DX/66 MHz or higher processor.
  2. Memory: 16 megabytes (MB) of memory; more memory improves performance. 
  3. Hard disk: Typical installation requires approximately 195 MB of free hard-disk space, but may range between 120 MB to 295 MB, depending on your system configuration and the options you choose to install. 
  4. Drive: CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive (3.5″ high-density disks available for an additional charge). 
  5. Display: VGA or higher-resolution monitor. 
  6. Peripheral/miscellaneous: Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.

How to get Windows 98 ISO Download for Free

Now that you know about the features of Windows 98 and would like to try it for yourself, you can download Windows 98 ISO from our website. 

To download and install Windows 98 ISO for free, follow these steps:-

  1. First, download the Windows 98 ISO file.
  2. You can now use a pen drive or burn the ISO file to a disk using software like Power ISO.
  3. Boot into the USB drive or the CD/DVD and follow the installation instructions to install Windows 98 ISO on your computer.

Alternatively, you can also install the Windows 98 ISO on a Virtual Machine using Virtualbox or similar software. Just make sure that your computer supports virtualization and boot up the virtual machine with the Windows 98 ISO as the virtual disk and follow the installation instructions to install Windows 98 ISO on a virtual machine.


Se windows 98

Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) ISO Download [Updated 2021]

“An improved version of the primary windows98 ISO with extra new features is known as windows 98 SE ISO”

Windows 98 Second Edition ISO, or W98SE, was updated in 1999 and improves massively on windows 98 se. this can be a minor design, not a genuine new release (without a doubt, the version number is up to now 4.10 as it was in Windows 98 se iso download, however, the model number has dilated from 1998 to 2222.

Microsoft never released an administration pack for Windows 98 SE, this is a pack of patches accessible through the online Windows Update website and included with more features.

windows 98 se iso version free desktop mode

The application is an updated form of release for the Windows 98 Second Edition with more stability and compatible performance than before.

Overview of Windows 98 SE ISO Edition Free ISO Complete Version:

Bug fixes and completely different Features incorporated into the bundle

Unofficial Windows 98 Second Edition Service Pack may be an immense addition of updates and hotfixes, resolving some bug problems with Windows 98, for instance, the 512 MB RAM prime limit, creating a lot of problems whereas attempting to open a disk operating system session or booting up.

windows 98 se setup running

A part of the available changes within the pack allows you to expand your 16-bit direct access channel cradle to its most extreme size of 64-bites or to impair the screensaver once the Disk Defragmenter is active. 

Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE have problems running on hard drives bigger than 32 Gigabytes (GB) and bound Phoenix BIOS settings. A product update settled this flaw. Also, Windows till XP while not Service Pack cannot deal with hard drives that are over 137 GB in size with the default drivers, in light-weight of missing 48-bit LBA support disk data corruption is probably going. Third party applications are easy to resolve this deficiency in Windows 9x.

Some of Windows 98 ISO SE Edition Unique Features:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
  • DirectX Version 6.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player Version 6.2
  • Improved startup time for Programs
  • Improved USB support
  • Microsoft Year 2000 (Y2K) Updates
  • A perfect part of Auto-Patcher for Windows 98SE is that the built-in search function that empowers you to test the system and obtain a report which includes all the missing updates that the OS would require according to work cleanly.
  • With Auto-Patcher for Windows 98SE, you’ll integrate Internet Explorer 6 SP1, Windows Media Player, DirectX 9.0c or the second form of Windows Installer that may doubtlessly improve the system. The security updates advised changes, Visual Basic runtimes or computer specific hotfixes are  among the friendly modules
  • Auto-Patcher for Windows 98SE is often a better facilitate, especially once re-installing the operating system.

Particularly supposed to bring all the essential updates and changes that may build everything work simply and while not glitches or crashes.

  • DVD-ROM support: With a DVD drive, you’ll see data from an optical disk and play movies on your computer. A DVD can hold preferably more data over a normal ROM.
  • Internet Connection Sharing: this allows 2 PCs, each running 98SE, to share a single connection with the internet.

Improvements for Windows 98 SE ISO:

These upgrades incorporate faster startup time for running applications, higher USB support, and increased power management features.

System Requirements for Win 98 SE ISO Download:

  • Intel 80486DX2/66 megacycle per second or a suitable C.P.U. with a mathematics coprocessor (Pentium processor recommended)
  • 16 MB of RAM (24 MB recommended, it’s conceivable to stay running on 8MB machines with/nm choice utilized during the institution procedure)
  • At slightest 500 MB of the space available on HDD. The amount of space needed depends upon the installation procedure and therefore the components selected, but memory board and system utilities, as well as drivers, should be considered of.
  • Upgrading from Windows 95 (FAT16) or 3.1 (FAT): 140– 400 MB (generally 205 MB).
  • New installation (FAT32): 140– 255 MB (usually a 175 MB).
  • VGA or higher resolution screen (640×480)
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive (floppy install is credible but cheap)
  • Microsoft Mouse or good pointing device (optional)

Windows98 VCACHE is not supposed to handle to over 1.0 GB of RAM without little changes.

It is recommended, in any case, that you just start with a Pentium or Pentium-class processor and motherboard running at 200MHz or higher, with at least 32MB of RAM as a base form.

Remember that running Windows 98 or 98SE with below 32MB of RAM can cause a lot of disk swapping, and therefore the additional applications you wish to stay running at just the once, the additional memory you will need. Windows 98 and 98SE each use 8 to 16MB of RAM, whereas one common 32-bit application wants some MB to run correctly.

Hard Disk conditions:

The ordinary Windows 98 or 98SE installation require regarding 195MB of hard disk space. The installation will take as little as 120MB of disk space or up to 295MB, depending upon your system and therefore the options you install. Also check Latest Windows 10 Version

If you just use the FAT32 file system, you may increase around 10 to 15 % increasingly proficient use of disk space on a much bigger hard disk (above 512MB).


Despite the fact that Windows 98 and 98 SE ISO are versatile operating systems, each was designed to stay running on Intel x86-based processors. Moreover, they do not support different processors; however each can run perfectly on digital computer PCs, they’ll get to merely one of the processors. Get the working windows xp edition for free now

Note: you cannot install Windows on a computer using a 386-based B-step processor. to work out whether or not you have got this type of processor, you’ll either check your system documentation or utilize a utility, for instance, Microsoft System diagnostics to test the ID of your processor (B-step processors have AN ID of 0303) to try and do intrinsically, at the DOS explanation, enter MSD, and then check the C.P.U. settings to get this knowledge.


Windows98 is never a major edition, like Windows 2000, but, it’s an essential accomplishment within the Windows family. Though the majority of the media attention has been focused around Windows 2000 recently, the fact of truth is that Windows 98 is here nowadays and it works very well. As compared to Windows 2000, Windows98 can work with every little bit of hardware and software you maintain. Customers, game players, home users, then forward cannot prove wrong with Windows 98 Second Edition.

Download Windows 98 SE ISO Updated Version For Free Now:

Download Here

Building a Better Windows 98 PC! The Megaluminum Monster

Windows 98 SE

plus-circle Add Review



Reviewer:kashifer- favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- July 21, 2021

Awesome download, also downloaded win95 besides this one. Definitely going to donate, you have my words!

please keep uploading and let us download the good old stuff.

Reviewer:themoHO4X- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- May 25, 2021
Subject:Works Like a Charm

Flawlessly installed in VirtualBox 6.1 with the key provided.

Reviewer:Xxx_BillGatez6969_Xxx- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- May 18, 2021
Subject:It works

Thank you to the OP the iso works flawlessly on VMWare

Reviewer:TheOkBookGuy- - December 27, 2020
Subject:Update on review!

I installed 95 OSR 2.5 on VMware and I then installed VMWare Tools on 95. Then I upgrade to 98 SE with this ISO and I got VMWare Tools!!

Reviewer:knightrider1210- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- December 17, 2020
Subject:awesome IOS

I needed to install windows 98 on an older computer of mine and it works very good with the items that are installed.

Reviewer:Things_Happened- - July 1, 2020
Subject:Thanks for all the reviews!

To be honest, I wasn't expecting all of the downloads this post got (over 70k!), and I just want to say thanks!

Reviewer:junkbox666- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- May 11, 2020
Subject:Great thanks OP!

My Kid's mother and I used to play Diablo I to death (then later DII). I wanted to send her a text telling her I defeated Diablo OG in her honor for Mother's Day.
I didn't want to tweak all the compatability settings and jump through hoops, so a VM of 98se did the trick. again for the win.

Reviewer:Koop_the_Koopa- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- March 20, 2020
Subject:This is the best Windows 98 SE ISO

It is not a virus and it is totally free! It is very good and, that's all I can say!

Reviewer:Cassio Luis Riboli- favoritefavoritefavorite- January 21, 2020
Subject:work in virtual machine

run the Win98, WinMe, Win95, disable intel VT-X

Reviewer:m000- favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- July 19, 2019
Subject:Not 100% original

Works but .ISO is editted in 2005

The disk .ico (CDSAMPLE/AUTORUN/WIN98CD.ICO) is replaced by a pig, cd title shows a pig and the folder /useful/ contains .txt file with keys

Reviewer:ZapbuzZ- favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite- December 15, 2018

The disc seems legit got it to work on virtualbox without VT-x AMD-v


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It's already half past three. I might be late. I hope they will at least feed me there. Lor. - Kolya shouted.

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