Load Win98SE on top of Win98 standard

I have a computer which is running fine on windows 98 STANDARD.Now i am going over to Broadband soon so i will need to install NIC card.
I have found out from different forum that Win98SE is a better OS and it has more Windows Components installed and is overall better.So i would like to installWin98SE over my Win98Standard.Can i do it or will it cause problems??

The reason i want to do it this way is the i do not have all the drivers for all the hardware installed on the computer.

So if anybody can help and plz.

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You say that you "do not have all the drivers for all the hardware installed on the computer", but that it is running fine on Windows 98 First Edition.

I assume from this that you do not actually have a CD or floppy disks containing the driver files that you anticipate that you would need if you uninstalled Win98 and then installed Win98SE.

My advice is to always go for a clean install, as long as you have a FULL version of the Windows 98SE CD and NOT a rescue CD or Upgrade CD.  Doing it this way gives you the chance to wipe out a lot of the leftover registry entries and files from the time you have been using Win98 on that computer.

If you only have an UPGRADE CD, then there IS a workaround where you go through the motions of installing the Upgrade version of Win98SE on a freshly formatted drive and, when it looks for a "qualifying operating system" on the hard drive to upgrade, you simply swap the 98SE Cd for the 98 one, and point it at the "win98" folder on the previous version.  This allows you to replace the 98SE CD and continue as normal.

I anticipate no problems with upgrading to 98SE on top of the existing older version, but my advice would be to go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Windows Setup, and there untick as many of the optional windows components as you can, and uninstall them.  Win98SE replaces some of these components, like Dial-Up networking and the Internet Explorer-related components with newer versions.

When you then install Win98SE on top of the older version, instead of cluttering up the system with backed up files as it replaces them, it will install new ones.

The best way is to create a Win98 boot floppy right now from Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Startup Disk.  Booting to the Windows 98 boot floppy "with CD-Rom Support" then allows you to install Win98SE from the CD without any problems.

As I said, I prefer the clean install, and would urge you to consider locating and downloading all the necessary driver files in readiness.

A good utility for identifying hardware is Everest Home Edition:

http://www.lavalys.hu/downloads/everesthome110.exe (installer file)

Install it now, configure it as you want, and make a comprehensive report about the hardware and driver files/versions.  It might also provide a good link to the manufacturer's support page for each piece of hardware.

If the computer has all the hardware components as originally purchased, then if you can provide me with the Make, Model, and "family" (if applicable), then we could help you locate the drivers for the hardware.  It would also help to know where the computer was bought, because some of the specifications change for different countries.


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You mentioned "going over to Broadband".  Most usually, the ISP will provide a DSL external USB Modem as part of the sign-up package.  You are usually tied to that contract for a year, and they rarely want their modem back if you leave after a year.

I was just wondering why you specified a NIC card.
In addition to drivers for the standard hardware components like Modem, sound card, graphics card, etc, you would probably also need the drivers for the motherboard's "chipset".  In other words, the drivers that allow all the on-board processor chips to work with Windows.  Things like the usb controller, the Input/Output controller, the AGP graphics port, IDE controllers that connect the drives to the board, etc, all need drivers.

The good news is that they are usually all in one package that can be downloaded from the motherboard manufacturer's website.  Motherboards are usually based on either Intel, or AMD models, and often a universal file will be provided for a full range of chipsets.

Let us know if a fresh installation sounds like something you would prefer, and we will see if we can get all the files in advance.
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paraghsDy General ManagerCommented:

Your comments are ALWAYS very elaborative. But, I find it hard to read all the contents. I agree that a person asking that question will be happy reading all the input he can get, but for others, it becomes a bit heavy. Anyway, you really work hard.


You can "backup" your drivers using this programme :


I have used it, and it is pretty good. Drivers working in 98 First Edition will work in 98SE too.
Bill's suggestion of clean install is right.
A am also curious why you are nt going to in stall a LAN card. For me it is the best route. Personal opinion only.

If you have a burner and want to save all your drivers etc, do the following:

Make a temp folder
Open Windows Explorer
copy all files, not folders, from C:\ Windows\system to Temp file
Copy from windows\iosubsys to Temp file
Copy from C:\windows\system32\Drivers to Temp
Copy from C:Windows\system\vmm32

Burn the data to a cd rom. This should save all the present drivers, etc

If you are going to do a fdisk and format then take time out to insure you save everrything that you need, such as:
e-mail addresses
config.sys and autoexec.bat

One way to get a cleaner look with a good page width and clear text when viewing a long comment is to change the url in the address bar to an old look as EE used to be presented, eg.  


Just click the Go button, and it's immediately more "scrollable"  :-)
shantigohilAuthor Commented:
Well,I will have to hand the points to BillDl.

Althought i have decided not to go over to Win98 Se.Firstly its an old PC with older cards and i dont have any drivers.
Secondly i have also a USB 1.1 pci card in it which took me a long time to install after a lot of hassle so i could possibly
have probs. with this too.
Thirdly its running fine so why mess around with it.
I thought it i could do it changeover without much hassle.

Bill, thanks for that Everest Home Edition,its very good.

So thanks for all the comments from all above

Windows 98SE has a lot more support for drivers than Windows 98 First Edition and, although it doesn't always do a perfect job of making ALL usb devices work, I've never had usb problems.

I have 2 Pentium III's here that don't even need to ask for any driver files for their hardware during or after installation.  It finds them all on the Win98 CD.  Neither of them are genuine Intel boards, but are based on Intel models.

Win98SE was just being introduced around the same time as those boards, so if you had a computer that was older than them, then there is a fairly good chance that all the required drivers would be right there on the CD.  The only problem is if the computer is quite a bit older than that, or the manufacturer is out of business or no longer has "legacy" downloads on their website.
Thank you, shantigohil
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