How to reinstall Windows 98


Important This article contains information that shows you how to help lower security settings or how to turn off security features on a computer. You can make these changes to work around a specific problem. Before you make these changes, we recommend that you evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing this workaround in your particular environment. If you implement this workaround, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect your system.

This article describes how to reinstall Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition.

More Information

Warning This workaround may make your computer or your network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

Note An antivirus program is designed to help protect your computer from viruses. You must not download or open files from sources that you do not trust, visit Web sites that you do not trust, or open e-mail attachments when your antivirus program is disabled. For more information about computer viruses, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

129972 Computer viruses: description, prevention, and recovery

Before you run the Windows Setup.exe program to reinstall Windows, you may need to complete the following steps:
  1. Disable programs and tools.

    Disable any programs or tools (such as screen saver programs, antivirus programs, or tools that run automatically). In addition, uninstall any programs or tools that protect or encrypt the Master Boot Record (MBR) or partition table (such as Bootlock that is included with Symantec Norton Your Eyes Only). For information about how to disable these programs or tools, contact the manufacturer.
  2. Back up the data.

    Back up all critical data on your hard disk. Although it is unlikely that you will encounter a serious problem when you reinstall Windows 98, it is always a good idea to perform a complete computer backup before you install a new operating system. When you upgrade your computer's operating system, it is possible that an error can occur (such as incompatible hardware or a power failure) that can temporarily or permanently prevent access to the data on your hard disk.

How to Reinstall Windows

To reinstall Windows:
  1. Start Windows, and then insert the Windows 98 CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Click Browse This CD, and then double-click Setup.exe.
  3. Follow the instructions to complete the Windows Setup procedure.
Note: If Windows does not start and you need to run Setup from an MS-DOS prompt, click the Installing Windows 98 From MS-DOS link on the following Microsoft Web site:

How to Troubleshoot After the Installation Procedure

After the installation procedure is finished, you may need to use the following steps:
  1. Replace updated Microsoft files.
    You may need to reinstall some of the Microsoft updated files on your computer. To update these files, click the Product Updates link on the following Microsoft Web site:
  2. Reinstall Outlook Express
    When you reinstall Windows 98, Microsoft Outlook Express 4.x may be installed on your computer. If you were previously using Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or later, you may need to reinstall the program.


For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

188881 How to install Windows 98: Helpful tips and suggestions

193902 How to install Windows 98 into a new folder

221829 How to install Windows 98 on a computer with No operating system

232681 Windows 98 Second Edition updates Setup.txt file


Article ID: 250928 - Last Review: Feb 3, 2011 - Revision: 1