Do you have some software that need's windows 95 or 98 to run? or maybe you just want to bring back some memories?
If so you should follow this tutorial to learn how to install Windows 98 onto a flash drive/ sdcard/ hardrive. It is actual a quite simple process. I will walk you through the steps on how to create a drive or you can visit the bottom of the page were you can just download and copy the files to your memory device. Alll the download links are at the bottom of the page.
- Change you bios settings to boot off usb. If you need help see here
- Download the w98setup.zip folder from here. If you already have the original Windows 98 SE installation disk that will also work.
- Download and Install HP Disk Utility or use the portable version
- Download the Windows 98 Boot Disk folder
- Extract the Windows 98 Boot Disk folder
- Using HP Disk Utility select your drive and select fat or fat32 as the format. Both will work. Fat will only show up if the drive is less than 2gb. Anything over will be fat32
- Browse for the extracted Windows 98 Boot disk folder
- Click Flash and wait for it to finish.
- Once done navigate to your drive. There won't be any files there unless you have view hidden files on.
- Create a new folder on the drive called wsetup
- Copy all the files from your Windows 98 SE Installation disk into the w98setup folder or just extract the w98setup.zip folder.
- Shut Down computer and remove any usb drives except for the one you installed Windows 98 onto.
- Restart computer and you should see the WIndows 98 start up screen. (Depending on your setup you may have to hit a keyboard key than select your usb device) You will get a terminal window.
- Type cd/wsetup
- Type /setup /c /it /p a:b
- Press Enter
- You should get the Windows 98 Setup Screen. Just follow the instructions and install.
- You will need a serial number/ product key see here for one
- If you get any error's such as Java just ignore them.
- Enjoy Windows 98 Portable
Windows 98 isn't designed for today's computers. It will run well but due to the advancement of hardware and it being run off of a usb port it may become laggy and unresponsive at times. If so try hitting Ctrl+Alt+Delete and working from there. If that doesn't work you will have to force shut down your computer by holding down the power button. Below are some of the most common problems I have found with this process and the solution's to fix them.
If your computer has more than 512 Gb of ram you will have a problem. Windows probably won't boot and you get error's if it does. To fix this simply boot into your normal operating system and navigate to the flash drive Windows 98 is on. Navigate to the Windows folder and open the file system.ini. (It should open in notepad or a text program). Find the heading [386Enh] and add the line MaxPhysPage=300000 anywhere under that heading. Than exit notepad and shut down your computer and boot off the WIndows 98 flashdrive. It should work.
You may be trying to run/install a program on your WIndows 98 portable but get the error not enough memory to run program or a very similar error message. To fix this boot back into your normal operating system and navigate to the flash drive Windows 98 is on and open the Windows folder. Find the file system.ini.(It should open in notepad or a text program). Find the heading [VCache] and add the line MaxFileCache= 512000. Close notepad and shutdown your computer. Boot off the Windows 98 flash drive and it should let you use your program.
You plug another flash drive into your Windows 98 Portable computer to copy some files. The flashdrive won't appear in My Computer and if there are lights on your flash drive they may not be on. This is more than likely Windows 98's fault. It doesn't natively have full USB support. Windows 98 however has more support than Windows 95 which barley has any. There are simple fixes to this problem. First off you will have to download some files or if you used the source folder they will be located in the My Documents folder. There will be two different files. One is for Windows 98 the other for Windows 98 SE. You will need to install the one for Windows SE. Just run and install the program. Your computer will need to be rebooted.
If you don't feel like following all the steps you can just cheat and download the source folder and extract it to your flash drive. This method is the easiest but however is the most risky for it may not work on your computer. I created and installed mine on a Dell Inspiron D610. It was a good choice because it has a printer and serial port and 4 usb ports along with a floppy drive that was installed later on. It is a good transaction between the new and old technology allowing the use of a faster experience and more features. Any computer should work. Its just the more ram and cpu power you have the harder it may be to configure Windows 98 to work. The prepackaged source folder I made already has all the changes made to run on new computers. It is optimized to run with more than 512mb of Ram and to run programs without not enough memory error. If your computer doesn't need these changes you can undo them by following the steps above but instead of adding lines delete them. The source folder can be found here.