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Windows 98 > Getting Started With Windows 98 > Upgrading to Windows 98 - a Guide

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Disk Space Requirements

The amount of disk space required to install Windows 98 (obviously) varies with your type of hardware and the components you choose to install. Some rough approximations:

Installation method Disk space
Typical disk
space used
Windows 95 upgrade 120 - 295MB 195MB
Windows/WfW 3.1x upgrade 120 - 295MB 195MB
New installation (FAT16 file system) 165 - 355MB 225MB
New installation (FAT32 file system) 140 - 255MB 175MB
Network installation

On the server

On the client

165 - 355MB


175 - 225MB




Read more information on the FAT32 file system.

Hardware Requirements

Windows 98 is designed for computers that use Intel x86-based processors and compatibles. It cannot be installed on any other processor.

Windows 98 does not have symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support and, therefore, cannot take advantage of multiple processors. This means that if you install Windows 98 on a system with multiple processors, only 1 processor will be used. Multiple processors are supported by Windows NT.

Component Minimum requirement
Disk space See above
Processor 486DX/66MHz 1)
Memory 16MB 2)
Monitor VGA (16 color)

1) We don't recommend running Windows 98 on anything less then a Pentium Processor.

2) We don't recommend running Windows 98 with less then 32MB of memory.

More Information on specific hardware can be found on the Microsoft Hardware Compatibility List

Software Requirements

You can install Windows 98 on systems running the following software:

  • MS-DOS v 5.0 (or later)
  • Windows/Windows for Wourkgroups 3.1x
  • Dual boot OS/2 (with MS-DOS)
  • Dual boot Windows NT (with MS-DOS)

More Information on specific software can be found on the Microsoft Software Compatibility List

If you want to set up Windows 98 to dual boot with another (Microsoft) operating system, your C drive must be FAT16

You cannot install Windows 98 on a computer which uses the HPFS (High Performance File System) or Windows NT's NTFS file systems. Even if you install Windows 98 in a FAT partition (on the C drive), Windows 98 cannot access partitions formatted with these file systems. Windows NT cannot access partitions formatted with FAT32 (note: FAT32 will apparently be supported in Windows NT 5.0).

If you believe Microsoft, you can't dual boot Windows 98 with Windows 95. However you can read dual boot Windows 98 & Windows 95 to see how it can be done.

Make sure that your network software is running correctly before you start Windows 98 Setup. Windows 98 Setup uses the settings from the existing network configuration to set up the new configuration. Check the Windows 98 Readme file for additional networking software information.

If you are running Setup from a Windows/Windows for Workgroups 3.1x-based computer that has Novell Client for Windows 95/98 or real-mode Artisoft LANtastic, Setup will fail. You must remove these components before running Setup.

If your computer has Windows 95 installed, make sure you have the Windows 95 boot disk available during Setup, in case of a Windows 98 Setup failure.