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    Guide to Installing Windows98\ME





This is a step-by-step guide to installing Windows98, any version, on a blank hard drive.  To proceed from this point your hard drive will need to be partitioned and formatted. 

Boot Disk and Install CD
The CD-ROM drive should already be installed in the computer and working.   Place the Windows98 Boot disk in the floppy drive and the Install CD in the CD Rom drive.  Now, start the computer and it should boot from the floppy drive.  When prompted, choose the item Boot with CD-Rom Support.

Now, at the DOS A: prompt enter the drive letter of your CD Rom drive, typically if you have one hard drive, this letter will be E:, (the Windows98 boot disk builds a Virtual Ram drive in memory for some of it's tools).  So, Type E: and [press enter].  Now, type “Setup” at the command prompt to start the process.

It will warn you that setup is going to do a routine check on your system. This is normal and required for Windows98 to proceed. [Press Enter]

When its done, you’ll be presented with the Windows 98 setup screen, with the Welcome box.  Here it says this could take from 30-60 minutes. Click [Continue]

License Agreement
The first of many install wizards will appear and present the license agreement. It is best to read
through it.  Then,  click on  [I accept this Agreement.]  Then click on [NEXT]

Product Key
The install Wizard will then ask for the product key. You can find this on the CD-slip that came with the Windows CD when you bought it. Type it into the blank boxes. The key is letters and numbers, so you need to be careful that you are hitting the right keys.   Go slow here and carefully enter all the information.

UpGrade Installation
If you are using an Upgrade CD,  then you will be shown the Upgrade Compliance Check window. Find your disks or CD that contains a previous copy of Microsoft Windows.  It could be that you have Windows3.x or 95 on your hard drive already. In that case, choose the drive that contains the current version of Windows. Follow the prompts. It will ask for several disks, if you are using floppies. Once it is determines that you qualify for the upgrade, it will move on.

Choose Install Directory
You will be prompted to select the directory to which you want to install Windows98. For most people,
the default of C:\WINDOWS will do just fine. Click [Next]    Setup will “prepare the directory”.  Just wait.

Setup Options
You will be offered four options for a setup routine:

  • Typical
  • Portable
  • Compact
  • Custom

Pick the option you prefer.  If this is the first time installing Windows95, I recommend choosing Typical. If you are fairly knowledgeable  and wish to control the options installed, then choose Custom.  Portable and compact are best not used on a desktop machine.

User Identity
Type in your name and company name in the provided spaces.

If you chose custom above, you will be given a window to select those components you want installed.  I recommend choosing at least the following:

  • Accessories
  • Communications
  • Multimedia
  • Disk Tools

You will be asked for your network identification.  These boxes each have special meanings and must have something typed into each one, as follows:

Computer Name: This box is used to Identify your computer and should be your ISP "User Name."  It is also used as the identify on your network.

Workgroup: This is the name of your network, if your computer is not connected to other computers by a  network card and only has a modem, anything here will do.

Computer Description: It really does not matter what is typed in this box.  To date I have found no reason for this box to exist.  Typically I just leave what ever exists in this box.

Computer Settings
Generally, these are right. If not, hit Change and change them to the suitable settings.

Choose your location from the Scroll Box and click [Next]

StartUp Disk
This window informs you that setup will make a startup disk for you. If this is your first install and you do not already have a Win98 system disk, I recommend you do this. Just follow the prompts. If you don’t want to make
one, Microsoft doesn’t really give you an easy out. Just click [Next]   It will start compiling the data. When it pops up with a window saying to put a floppy in drive A:,  just hit [cancel] and you will get away with not making a startup disk.

Copying Files
The next window just says that Windows is ready to start copying files. Click [Next]

Now the install process begins.  Depending on your computer speed, this can take from 12 to 60 minutes.  Now would be a good time to mow the lawn or have a cold one.   If you are like many computer geeks, you will probably sit there and watch the time tick down on the install page.  Okay, so I have done this a few times.  

When it finishes this phase, the system needs to re-start and  Windows will do it automatically for you.  If you cannot wait the fifteen seconds of the delay, Click on the [Restart Now] button.  The computer will reboot and begin the final phases of setup.

Detecting Hardware
When the blue screen comes back, you will see a window saying "Setting up Hardware."   This is where setup is detecting your plug-n-play hardware and other components and installing the drivers for it. Just be patient. When its done, it will re-start again.  Same as before, if you cannot wait the fifteen seconds of the delay, Click on the [Restart Now] button.   The computer will reboot and begin the final phases of setup.

Time Zone
After it has finalized the settings, it will first give you a window to set your time zone and date. Go ahead and do this.

Final Restart
Windows98 will continue a few setup routines for a few minutes. Then it will restart "one more time."

Check Settings
Upon reboot, you should see basic Windows98. It will play music and run a little video.   At this point, you can check a few things to just to make sure setup did its job and that there are no problems. Right-click on "My Computer" and choose "Properties".  Then, just double-check everything. Is the correct CPU detected? Right amount of memory? Now, you can click on the "Device Manager" tab. Do you see any balloons with questions marks? If so you will need to check for IRQ conflicts and insure that the proper driver is installed. Is all of your hardware devices listed?  So modems need the drivers installed before Windows95 will detect them. At this point, if you have specific problems with devices, you can ask how to solve them on PCBUILD mailing list.

Install Additional Device Drivers
If you're like most, you have additional hardware that is not yet set up. This probably includes your video card, sound card, modem, etc. Install these drivers now. Follow the procedures outlined in their documentation. You may have to reboot a few times.

Finishing the Setup
At this point, reboot your computer and make sure everything works. Then, change your desktop, screensaver, and any other display properties as you wish. 

You have now successfully installed Windows98.







Setup Switches for Win98

[ Click Here ]

You have heard of special switches to use when installing Win98.  We have tracked down a complete list.


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