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
Boot Disk and
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
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]
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]
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
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.
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
You will be offered four options for a setup routine:
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.
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:
- 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:
This box is used to Identify your computer and should be your ISP
"User Name." It is also used as the identify on
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.
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
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]
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.
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
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.
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.
Windows98 will continue a few setup routines
for a few minutes. Then it will restart "one more time."
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
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.
At this point, reboot your computer and make sure everything
works. Then, change your desktop, screensaver, and any other
display properties as you wish.
now successfully installed Windows98.