Installing Windows 98

Installing Windows 98®

Part 2

Running Windows 98 Setup

To install Windows 98 on a computer with a new or reformatted hard disk, you will need start Setup from MS-DOS. Note: If your computer permits booting from a CD Rom drive, you can insert the Windows 98 CD Rom disk and then restart your computer and choose to boot from the Windows 98 CD. If you are one of our customers, and depending upon when your computer was purchased, you will find either (A) a restore disk or (B) a Windows 98 Boot Disk and a Windows 98 CD Rom disk in your diskette packet.

Important: If you are one of our customers and previously ran Setup from MS-DOS using a network server or local CD-ROM drive, either the real-mode network or CD-ROM drivers must be loaded respectively before attempting to install Windows 98.

Procedural Step-by-Step Installation

After starting Setup from MS-DOS or the CD Rom Disk (or the restore disk) the Windows 98 installer performs a routine check on your computer. The installer will:

  • Run the real-mode version of ScanDisk and create the Scandisk.log file and check for errors in the directory structure, file allocation table, and file system. A surface scan is not performed, the disk is not checked for physical errors, and long file name errors are not fixed. These errors are fixed only when you run ScanDisk in protected-mode (from Windows). If ScanDisk finds errors, it will let you know. You can view the log file by selecting View Log from the ScanDisk screen; otherwise, select Exit.

  • Initialize your system and copy the necessary files for installing Windows 98.

  • Display the Windows 98 Setup screen which has an information bar on the left-hand side that displays the five steps that Setup will perform and a timer that shows the estimated time remaining to complete the installation. To begin the Setup process, click Continue.

Setup prepares the Windows 98 Setup Wizard. Then, Setup starts its five-step installation process:

  1. Preparing to run Windows 98 Setup.
  2. Collecting information about your computer.
  3. Copying Windows 98 files to your computer.
  4. Restarting your computer.
  5. Setting up hardware and finalizing settings.
Step One: Preparing to Run Windows 98 Setup

During this step, Setup will prepare the Windows 98 Setup Wizard, which will guide you through the installation process.


  • Displays the Windows 98 Setup dialog box.
  • Creates the Setuplog.txt file in the root directory (C:\).
  • Identifies the drive where Windows 98 is being installed and the source drive where the Windows 98 installation files are located (drive assignment).
  • Creates the C:\Wininst0.400 temporary directory and copies to it. contains the mini-Windows program files required by Setup.
  • Extracts all files in and to C:\Wininst0.400. These are the files necessary to run Setup Wizard.
Step Two: Collecting Information About Your Computer

During this step, Setup will collect information about your computer and prepare it for copying the Windows 98 files as it progresses through the following phases:

  • Presents the License Agreement (License Agreement dialog box).
  • Prompts you to enter the Product Key (Product Key dialog box).
  • Prompts you to select a directory for installing Windows 98 (Select Directory dialog box).
  • Informs you that it is preparing the directory where it will install Windows 98 and verifying that there is enough space to install it (Preparing Directory dialog box).
  • Lets you choose the type of Setup you want — Typical, Portable, Compact, or Custom (Setup Options dialog box).
  • Prompts you to enter your name and company name (User Information dialog box).
  • Lets you install the most common components or customize your selection (Windows Components dialog box).
  • Lets you add or remove components (Select Components dialog box).
  • Prompts you to identify your computer on the network (Identification dialog box).
  • Lets you select the location for getting region-specific information from the Internet (Establishing Your Location dialog box).
  • Prompts you to create the Startup Disk (Startup Disk dialog box).
  • Starts copying files (Start Copying Files dialog box).
The License Agreement

After Setup Wizard is loaded, the License Agreement is displayed. You must accept the License Agreement to continue.

Product Key

Setup prompts you to enter the Product Key.

Type the Product Key in the spaces provided. The Product Key is located either on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) or on the back liner of your Windows 98 compact disc. You will find either one or the other in your diskette packet If the number you type is not accepted, check the following:

  • Make sure the Caps Lock key is not on.

  • If you are using the keypad to the right of your keyboard, make sure the Num Lock key is on.

Note: Corporate or network customers, the Product Key dialog box might not appear if you are installing Windows 98 from your network. This will depend on the requirements at your site.

Select Directory

After you enter your Product Key, the Select Directory dialog box appears.

The default directory is C:\Windows. If you want to install Windows in a directory other than C:\Windows, follow these steps.

To install Windows 98 in a new directory

  1. In the Select Directory dialog box, click Other directory, and then click Next.

  2. Type a new directory name, and then click Next. If you specify a directory that does not exist, Setup will create one for you.

The Change Directory dialog box appears.

Preparing Directory

After you select a directory, the Preparing Directory dialog box appears.

Setup checks for installed components and then checks whether there is adequate disk space for the files. It creates the Windows 98 directory structure, including all required folders under the \Windows (or \Your_InstallDirectory) and \Program Files folders.

Note: If there is not enough disk space, Setup Wizard prompts you to free some hard-disk space and then restart Setup.

Setup Options

Once Setup finishes setting up the directory structure, it prompts you to select the type of Setup you want through the Setup Options dialog box.

Each Setup option contains a specific set of components to install. When you choose a Setup option, Setup selects by default a set of appropriate components based on your choice. Later, through the Select Components dialog box, Setup gives you the choice to either accept the default selection or select your own components. We suggest that you select Custom and then work your way through each category and install all of the components you want at this time. This will save you time later in having to add a missing item.

To choose a Setup option

  • In the Setup Options dialog box, click the Setup option you want, then click Next. The Typical Setup option is selected as the default.

Click this option If you want

The default setup of all of the components that are usually installed with Windows 98.


This installs the options generally required for portable laptop computers.


The smallest possible installation of Windows 98. If you were upgrading from Windows 3.x or Windows 95, you may want to perform a Compact installation if your hard disk does not have much free space. With this setup, no optional components are installed. Later, should you want to use an optional component, such as Games or WebTV for Windows, then you would have to install it. To install an optional component after Setup is completed, you would use Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


The Custom setup will enable you to choose just which optional components are installed. If you know you are going to need certain Windows components and not install others, you will want to select the Custom installation and ensure that those components are included during Setup.

User Information

After the Setup Options phase, Windows 98 Setup will ask you to type your name and company name, which Windows 98 uses to identify you for various operations. This information must be entered  for Setup to continue!

Windows Components

After you provide the user information, Setup displays the Windows Components dialog box.

If you select Install the most common components, Setup continues the installation. If you select Show me the list of components so I can choose, the Select Components dialog box appears.

Select Components

The Select Components dialog box will enable you to customize your installation and choose the components you want to install.

To select which components are installed

  1. In the Components list, click on a component set (for example, Communications), and then click Details. The shaded box means that only part of the component will be installed. A dialog box appears, listing the components in the category.

  2. Select or deselect the component you want to add or remove, and then click OK.

    • To add a component, make sure the component is checked.

    • To remove a component, clear its check box.

    • To prevent a component from being installed, make sure the component is not checked.

  3. Repeat this procedure for each category in the Components list in the Select Components dialog box.

  4. When you are satisfied with your selections, click Next. If you want to reset the list of components to the default, click Reset.

Note: You can install or remove any of these components after Windows 98 is installed by using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


After you have selected which components you want to install, Setup prompts you to identify how you want your computer to be identified on your network by displaying the Identification dialog box. Note: This dialogue box will present itself regardless of whether or not you are on a network.

  • The computer name must be unique on the network, and can be up to 15 characters long with no spaces (no blank characters). The name can contain only alphanumeric characters and none of the following special characters: ! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) – _ ‘ { } . ~

  • The workgroup name can be up to 15 characters long and uses the same naming convention as the computer name. The workgroup is used to associate groups of computers together for more efficient browsing. If you are a corporate customer, your network administrator can provide guidelines for workgroup selection by using Wrkgrp.ini. If you are on a small home network or small office network, make sure that the workgroup name is consistent with all other computers on the network.

  • The computer description can be up to 48 characters long, but it cannot contain any commas (,). This text appears as a comment next to the computer name when users are browsing the network, so you can use it to describe the department or location of the computer.

Establishing Your Location (Where in the world are you?)

Next, Setup prompts you to establish your location by displaying the Establishing Your Location dialog box.

Selecting your location will enable you to receive region-specific news and other information through media such as channels, and Web sites designed to deliver content from the Internet to your computer. Channels will become available on your Windows 98 desktop Channel Bar after a successful installation of Windows 98.

To establish a location for receiving region-specific Internet information

  1. From the Select your country or region from the list below list, click the country or region you want. For example, United States.
  2. Click Next.
Startup Disk

After establishing your location, Setup prompts you to create a Windows 98 Startup Disk by displaying the Startup Disk dialog box.

The Startup Disk is a bootable system disk with a collection of real-mode Windows 98 commands and utilities that you can use to restart your computer if you have trouble starting Windows 98 or to run diagnostic programs. We recommend that our customers create at least two new Startup Disks. You can create a Startup Disk during Setup and you can create extra copies by using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. To make a Startup Disk, you need one 1.44 MB floppy disk or for older machines or those equipped with a 1.2MB floppy drive, two 1.2 MB floppy disks.

To create a Startup Disk during Setup

  1. Click Next on the Startup Disk dialog box and Setup starts creating the Startup Disk.
  2. Label a floppy disk “Windows 98 Startup Disk” and insert it into drive A.

  3. Click OK to create the disk.

To create a Startup Disk using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel

  1. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Click the Startup Disk tab.
  3. Click Create Disk.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

The following files will be found on the Windows 98 Startup Disk!

File Function
Aspi2dos.sys Adaptec SCSI Adapter driver.
Aspi4dos.sys Adaptec SCSI Adapter driver.
Aspi8dos.sys Adaptec SCSI Adapter driver.
Aspi8u2dos.sys Adaptec SCSI Adapter driver.
Aspicd.sys Real-mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver.
Autoexec.bat A batch file with a set of instructions that configure your computer when you boot it.
Btcdrom.sys Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver.
Btdosm.sys Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver. Command interpreter.
Config.sys Loads the device drivers.
Drvspace.bin Microsoft DriveSpace compression driver. Cabinet file containing extract utilities.
Ebd.sys A file that identifies the disk as a Windows 98 startup disk.
Extract.exe File to expand the file.
Fdisk.exe Disk partition tool.
Findramd.exe Utility to find the RAM drive during startup.
Flashpt.sys Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver.
Himem.sys XMS Memory Manager.
Io.sys System boot file.
Msdos.sys Boot option information (paths, multiboot, and so on). Lets you change display parameters such as number columns.
Oakcdrom.sys Generic device driver for ATAPI CD-ROM drives.
Ramdrive.sys Creates a Ramdrive during startup.
Readme.txt Readme text document with information about the Windows 98 Startup Disk.
Setramd.bat Searches for first available drive to be a Ramdrive. System transfer tool.

Important! You cannot start Windows 98 if you try to start your computer with a Windows 95 Startup Disk or other existing startup disks (of any version of Microsoft Windows other than Windows 98).

The Startup Disk includes a real-mode generic ATAPI CD-ROM driver (Oakcdrom.sys) that allows the CD-ROM to function when the protected mode of the graphical user interface is not available. This driver is a generic IDE CD-ROM driver, and it does not work with SCSI CD-ROMs. Several third-party SCSI drivers are also included on the Startup Disk. If we shipped your system with a special SCSI setup, you will find a diskette in your diskette packet marked “Windows 98 SCSI Startup Disk”. In general, most CD-ROM manufacturers include a floppy disk with the correct CD-ROM driver to use with their CD-ROM, this may be helpful if you need to use older legacy CD Rom drives. However, if for some reason the specific driver for your CD-ROM is not available, you can use the generic ATAPI/SCSI CD-ROM driver included on the Startup Disk.

Note: On some of the very early systems that we released several years ago, the CD-ROM was connected to a sound card. Therefore you will need to copy the correct drivers for your CD-ROM drive and the sound card controller to the Startup Disk, and then edit the Config.sys file on the Startup Disk so that the correct drivers are loaded. Consult the documentation for your CD-ROM drive and sound card controller to get the correct files and configuration settings. You may also obtain this information or purchase a setup disk through our Technical Support Department.

Start Copying Files

After Setup finishes creating the Startup Disk, the Start Copying Files dialog box appears. Click Next to start copying files.

Step Three: Copying Windows 98 Files to Your Computer

After Setup has collected the information it needs from your computer, it begins copying the Windows 98 files to your computer. During this phase, Windows 98 Setup does not require your input.

Important! Do not interrupt file copying. If Setup is interrupted during the file-copying phase, Windows 98 may not run when you restart your computer because Windows 98 will not have all of the necessary files to start. If you interrupt Setup during this phase, you must run Setup again.

If you started Setup over a network, from a compact disc, or removable hard drive, Setup copies the appropriate Driverx.inf files that are necessary to access the installation media (installation point on a network server, compact disc, or removable hard drive) to continue Setup after your computer is restarted. If you are running setup from a network or removable hard drive, after the installation has completed, you may need to edit the registry in order to correct the location where Windows 98 looks for the installation files.

Step Four: Restarting Your Computer

After Setup finishes copying the Windows 98 files to your computer, you are prompted to restart your computer. You can click the Restart Now button to restart your computer immediately; if you do not click the button or wait more than 15 seconds to click it, Setup restarts your computer automatically. After Setup restarts your computer, the following message appears on your screen:

"Getting ready to start Windows 98 for the first time." 

During this phase, Setup configures the following:

  • Control Panel
  • Programs on the Start menu
  • Windows Help
  • MS-DOS program settings
  • Tuning Up Application Start
  • Time zone
  • System Configuration

When Setup finishes setting up hardware and configuring settings, Setup restarts your computer and asks you to log on. If your computer is connected to the network, you may be asked for a domain name and a network password. After you log on, Setup:

  • Builds a driver information database.
  • Updates system settings.
  • Sets up personalized settings such as settings for the Internet Explorer 4 browsing software, Start menu, Online services, Volume Control, and Channels.

Then, Setup displays the Welcome to Windows 98 dialog box.

Once Windows 98 Setup is finished, you may find that your screen settings may not be exactly as you want them, but don’t try and change anything just yet. There may be a number of other settings and device issues that need to be resolved as well. We’ll cover resolving these device issues in the next step, “Clearing the Device Manager”. This next step will give the opportunity of checking to make sure that all of your devices have been loaded correctly by Windows 98 as well as enable you to add or change device drivers as necessary. Also, if you find that you need to troubleshoot some problems with the installation, you may want to refer to our basic Windows 98 Troubleshooter.

You will also need to proceed with “Registering” (or re-registering) your copy of Windows 98 with Microsoft as well as following through with the “Connect to the Internet” procedure.

Before jumping to the next step, if you are a relatively new user, take a few moments and snoop through all of the various Windows 98 menus and visit each so that you have some idea where things are located. Take the “Discover Windows 98” tour!

Would you rather go back to the beginning?   Then click  

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