Windows 98 and Windows XP. In a way, they have more in common with each other
than any other Windows operating system. Both are arguably Microsoft's biggest
successes, not necessarily in sales volume but in achieving what they were
intended to do as operating systems.
Windows 98 finally delivered on the promise of Windows 3.1 and 95 as a fairly
stable and compatible operating system with integrated network support, USB and
all the other mod cons of the time. It was equally useful as a home and small
business operating system and after it's 'Second Edition' release, became hugely
popular because of this (as well as rampant software piracy). With its modest
system requirements, Windows 98 is quite possibly still the most widely used
Microsoft operating system.
Windows XP is the best all-around operating system that Microsoft has yet
produced. It built on Windows 2000's idea of integrating Microsoft's stable NT
operating system with some of the user-friendly features of the Windows 9x
operating systems. The resulting product is an extremely stable and mostly
user-friendly hybrid combining ease of use with advanced features for
businesses. Its only major drawback is its steep system requirements.
Today's computers really don't get the best out of Windows 98. Games and
software have started the transition to being 2000/XP compatible only, and it's
only a matter of time before the operating system loses its viability
completely. If you have a newer computer with Windows 98 installed, it's high
time you considered updating your operating system to Windows XP.
In this article, we will explore the procedure of upgrading a Windows 98/ME
system to Windows XP. We will cover your upgrading options, what you will need
to do in order to prepare for the upgrade, changes you can make to ensure the
upgrade goes smoothly and how to troubleshoot any problems that might occur.
Upgrading your older version of Windows to Windows XP is actually more
complicated than installing a fresh version of the operating system. So why
The most compelling reason is convenience. You keep your existing drive
configuration, most of your programs and a lot of your settings if you upgrade,
minimizing the impact of learning to use WinXP for the first time. Plus, in a
year or two it will be difficult to find software that will work on older
Microsoft operating systems, so it might be wise to make the jump now.
Your upgrade options
If you want to upgrade your system to Windows XP, the first thing you need to
do is verify that it meets the system requirements for the newer operating
You will need:
- Windows 98 or later version of Microsoft Windows operating system. You can't
upgrade from Windows 95 or earlier versions.
- At least a 233Mhz processor. Any manufacturer (AMD, Intel, IBM, VIA, etc.)
- At least 128MB of system memory.
- 1.5 Gigabytes of free hard drive space (note that you
should have at least 3 gigabytes if you want to do any meaningful work with your
system after the upgrade).
- A CD-Rom or CD/RW drive.
- Mouse and keyboard (either USB or PS/2).
- A video adaptor and monitor capable of displaying
800x600 resolution. If you are not sure about this, change the resolution
within Windows 98 by right clicking on an empty area of the desktop and
selecting 'properties' then going to the 'settings' tab. The resolution slider
is at the bottom left. Set it to '800x600' and click 'apply.' If your screen
is still legible, you are fine. If the 800x600 option is unavailable, you may
need to upgrade your video adaptor before upgrading Windows.
Note that if the screen becomes scrambled, blank or
unreadable, you will probably need a new monitor as your current one cannot
handle the required resolution. If your system meets the minimum requirements for Windows XP, it's time to
find out which version of the operating system you can upgrade to.