Microsoft develops hotfixes for Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition, as needed, to resolve critical customer situations:
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfix Version Information
The version numbers of the original release of Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition are in the following list. In general, the files that are included with the indicated release of Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition have the indicated version stamp.
Release Version File dates -------------------------------------------------- Windows 98 4.10.1998 05/11/1998 Windows 98 Second Edition 4.10.2222 04/23/1999
You can view the version information of a file by using the right mouse button to click a file in Windows Explorer, click Properties
on the menu that is displayed, and then click the Version
tab. If the dialog box for the file does not display a Version
tab, there is no version information available for that file.
With few exceptions, Windows 98 hotfixes are stamped with a version number of 4.10.1999 or greater, which indicates that the file is a newer version than the file that had been originally included with Windows 98. Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes are generally stamped with a version number of 4.10.2223 or greater.
Multiple fixes can be applied to the same component. With a few rare exceptions, these fixes are always cumulative. A change implemented in a given version of a particular component is also included in later versions of that component, along with any additional change implemented in the later versions. (For example, version 4.10.2224 is going to contain the change implemented in version 4.10.2223, as well as the new change.)
The cumulative nature of these changes, combined with the incremented version numbers, means that, with very few exceptions, there is always one current version of a given component that contains all fixes made to that component to date.
Identifying Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes
Nearly all Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix files can be positively identified by the following two characteristics, which can be viewed on the Version
tab of the dialog box for the file:
- A version number greater than the product release version.
- An additional string resource named "Special Build Description" that is set to the value "QFE."
To view the value of the "Special Build Description" resource:
- Right-click the file in Windows Explorer.
- Click Properties on the menu that is displayed.
- Click the Version tab.
- Under the Item name:, click Special Build Description.
Some Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition files do not contain version information to identify the file. In such situations, the modified date and size of the file can be examined and compared to the original release version of the file. These are not conclusive indicators, however, because the modified date can be affected by various conditions, and changes in a file may not result in a change in the size of the file.
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfix Package Naming
Each Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix has a numeric identifier which corresponds to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that documents the problem that the hotfix resolves. For example, a hotfix that resolves a problem documented in Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q123456 is identified as hotfix number 123456.
Each Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix also has a language identifier which corresponds to the localized language of the fix or package. The language identifiers used for Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes are:
- EAR Arabic – Enabled
- LAR Arabic – Localized
- CHS Chinese - Simplified
- CHT Chinese - Traditional
- CZE Czech
- DAN Danish
- DUT Dutch - Netherlands
- USA English
- FIN Finnish
- FRN French
- GER German
- GRK Greek
- GR7 Greek - codepage 737
- GR8 Greek - codepage 869
- EHE Hebrew – Enabled
- LHE Hebrew – Localized
- HUN Hungarian
- ITN Italian
- JPN Japanese
- KOR Korean
- NOR Norwegian
- POL Polish
- POR Portuguese
- BRZ Portuguese – Brazilian
- RUS Russian
- SVK Slovak
- SLO Slovenian
- SPA Spanish
- SWE Swedish
- THA Thai
- TRK Turkish
Each Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix package name consists of three parts:
- A six-character numeric identifier
- A three-character language identifier (shown in the preceding list)
- A one-character platform identifier ("5" for Windows 95, "8" for Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition, and "M" for Windows Millennium Edition [Me])
For example, the package to install the US English Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition version of a hotfix documented in Q123456 has the name of 123456usa8.exe. If there had been a Windows Me hotfix for the same problem, the Japanese package has a name of 123456jpnm.exe.
The Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfix Information Tool (Qfecheck.exe)
The Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfix Information tool (Qfecheck.exe) is installed with each Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix. This tool uses information stored in the registry, as well as version and special build information in the files themselves, to identify installed Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes. This tool can be used to identify which Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes have been installed on a given computer.
To run the Qfecheck tool, run the Qfecheck.exe file in the Windows folder. The tool contains online Help.
Installing Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes
To install a Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix on a single computer, run the self-extracting installer. This installer performs the following actions:
- Unpacks the files that are needed for installation into a temporary folder. Typically, these files include:
- The updated Component files.
- The Qfecheck tool (Qfecheck.exe and Qfecheck.hlp).
- An .inf file used to remove the hotfix.
- One or more .inf files used to run the installation.
- A digital signature file (.cat) used to digitally sign the hotfix binary files (in most situations).
- Other helper files for the self-extracting installer, for example, Advpack.dll, W95inf16.dll, and W95inf32.dll.
- Uses the Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition built-in Setup library (Advpack.dll) to install the specified hotfix according to the directives in the provided .inf file. This .inf file contains directives to copy files to their appropriate locations, and add the appropriate registry settings. Some installer packages may use multiple .inf files to enable a single package to install either the Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition version of an updated file, depending on the version of Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition that is installed.
If a newer version of the updated component has already been installed, the earlier version is not installed. This process occurs silently.
- In most cases, registers the digital signature for the updated hotfix files.
- Informs you when the update is complete and prompts you to restart the computer. When you click OK, the temporary files from step 1 are removed and the installation program terminates.
Removing Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes
In most situations, Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes can be safely and easily removed and replaced with the original versions of the updated components. Typically, this process is facilitated by an .inf file copied to a subfolder in the Windows\Inf\Qfe folder during the installation of the hotfix. Typically, this file has a name whose form resembles xxxxx
_UN.INF, where xxxxx
is the numeric portion of the Microsoft Knowledge Base article documenting the fix. This .inf file can be used to remove the Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix if you right-click the file in Windows Explorer, and then click Install
When a Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfix is removed, you are prompted for the original Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition installation disks or CD-ROMs. The original version of the files are copied and overwrite the updated versions. You can also specify an alternate file location at this time. Typically, when the removal process is complete, you need to restart the computer for the change to take effect.
Some Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes do not provide the ability to be removed. Hotfixes that correct security vulnerability or data loss/corruption problems, or similarly significant problems, cannot be removed by the preceding method. If you encounter a problem with such a hotfix, you should contact Microsoft Product Support Services for assistance at the following Microsoft Web site:
Obtaining Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes are classified into two primary categories: those that are available publicly from online sources, and those that are not available publicly, but which can be obtained by contacting Microsoft Technical Support.Publicly-distributed Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes are available to be downloaded by means of hypertext links in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that documents the problem which the hotfix resolves. These hotfix files may, in some situations, also be available for download from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update sites.
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes that are not publicly distributed can be obtained by contacting Microsoft Product Support Services, by means of the direct support offerings, including telephone and Web-based responses.
Knowledge Base Query Tips
Information about specific Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes and problems resolved by these hotfixes can be located in the Microsoft Knowledge Base by querying on the symptoms of the problem.
Knowledge Base articles that document Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition updates can be located by querying on the appropriate product (Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition), and then type the following keyword, type: hotfix
To find all articles about a particular updated component, also include the component file name in your query (for example, type: foo.vxd