Windows 98 Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that you must ensure that any file from a site referenced on this page is safe to use before you download and install it.


  1. What is the best source for assistance with Windows 98 ?
  2. How do I get my new USB Ramstick to work with Windows 98 ?
  3. I just re-installed Windows 98 and now I can't change the display resolution from 640x480!
  4. Where can I find a really good description for re-installing Windows 98 ?
  5. Why doesn't Windows Update work for Windows 98 users ?
  6. How do I stop the program menu sub-menus from flying out when I hover the mouse over an item ?
  7. Can I view WORD documents on a Windows 98 system if I don't have Office or WORD installed ?
  8. What is the best image viewer to be using with Windows 98 ?

What is the best source for assistance with Windows 98 ?

Although support for Windows 98 has now ended, Microsoft is still supporting the newsgroups where Windows 98 questions can be asked. There are many people still providing answers in these newsgroups. Microsoft refers to this support option as "Communities".

See here for a description of MS newsgroups.

The Outlook Express option is worth the small amount of extra effort involved in setting it up. The main Windows 98 newsgroup is "microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion".

The best www site for Windows 98 support is run by James A Eshelman, with the assistance of a broad group of very experienced volunteers.  Chose the version 4 option - 95, 98 and ME.

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How do I get my new USB Ramstick to work with Windows 98 ?

Windows 98 does not have in-built support for USB ramsticks.  If your device did not come with a driver for W98, and you can't find one at the manufacturer's www site (or you can't find the manufacturer!) Go here and look for the file "USB Mass Storage".

This site has also been suggested as a good source for a universal W98 driver for USB Ramsticks and other mass storage devices (eg, cameras and MP3 players).

Note that USB support in Windows 98 wasn't really usable until Second Edition - earlier versions will probably work with the equipment as originally supplied, but adding new USB devices may be difficult.

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I just re-installed Windows 98 and now I can't change the display resolution from 640x480!

Windows 98 will detect many video display adapters and install the correct drivers for them, but if you are re-installing on a newer machine then it is likely that the video display card you are using didn't even exist when W98 was released.  In that case, it probably won't be identified, and a default VGA driver will be installed - the default resolution chosen could be as low as 640x480 at 16 colours, depending on what features Windows can detect.

The solution is to find and install the correct video display adapter drivers for your card.  There may have been a CD of drivers provided with the machine (or with the card, if you bought it as an upgrade).  If not, you may be able to download the correct drivers from the video display adapter manufacturer's www site, or from the www site of the machine manufacturer (if the display adapter is part of the motherboard).

Otherwise, you may be able to get a suitable driver from any of the driver download sites, or you could use a generic driver from the www site of the video display chipset manufacturer.  Software such as Everest can detect the type of hardware you have installed.

When you get the correct drivers, follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing them.  You should then have access to all the display modes that your hardware supports.

Note that this problem is not a monitor or monitor driver problem - it is a problem with the drivers for the display adapter - the device that actually generates the video signal.

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Where can I find a really good description for re-installing Windows 98? ?

Here is a site that not only has a good description for reinstalling Windows 98, but has descriptions for many other Windows 98 and Windows 95 procedures as well: Ron's Place.

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Why doesn't Windows Update work for Windows 98 users ?

It does, or at least it should. Microsoft does not intend to prevent Windows 98 users from getting to the site, but they may not be testing changes to ensure that it works for Windows 98 users. At this stage, the only advice is to keep trying, and it should work after a couple of attempts.

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How do I stop the program menu sub-menus from flying out when I hover the mouse over an item ?

You can't turn this feature off, but you can make the delay before it happens so long that it appears to be turned off.  Get Tweakui and set the menu speed to the slowest speed.

TweakUI will do many other things besides, and is well worth having.

See here for TweakUI installation information.

UPDATE.  The MS link appears to be redirected to the Windows home page.  For downloading a Windows 98 version of TweakUI, try here.

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Can I view WORD documents on a Windows 98 system if I don't have Office or WORD installed?

There are probably a number of options, but the simplest is to get the Microsoft viewer for WORD.  MS is no longer making the Windows 98 version available for download, but you can get it at these places:

http://www.5star-shareware.com/Windows/Business/MS-OfficeAdd-Ins/word-viewer.html
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,6314-order,1-page,1-c,alldownloads/description.html
http://downloads.pcworld.com/pub/new/business/word_processing/wordview.exe
 

Note that this version of the viewer may not be able to handle WORD files created in the most recent versions of WORD.

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What is the best image viewer to use with Windows 98 ?

Irfanview.  By default, many image types are associated with Internet Explorer. This works, but it is very clunky. Irfanview is not only better for simply viewing images, but it includes many additional features such as saving images to different formats or re-sizing images.

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Copyright 2007  Jeff Richards.  All rights reserved.
Jeff Richards 05 September 2009.