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Windows Me

Installing Windows Me


Windows Millennium Edition Microsoft insists that this is the last version of the Windows 9x code. The next version (currently in beta testing, and listening to the code name "Whistler") should merge the Windows 9x code with the Windows NT (now Windows 2000) code, and "kill" the underlying MS-DOS once and for all.


Microsoft decided to make Windows Me available for users as an upgrade to their Windows 9x systems. My personal opinion is that Microsoft decided to make Windows Me available as an upgrade, because of the flack they received when they didn't make the OSR upgrades available to existing Windows 95 users in the past.

Does this mean that you might want to upgrade?

Again, my personal advice would be not to upgrade, unless your PC is less than 6 months old. If you upgrade an older machine, you will notice a considerable slowdown of your computing experience.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft decided to make a special offer for Windows 98 and 98 Second Edition users, whereby you can upgrade to Windows Me for a discounted price of $59.95. This offer will be available till 15 January 2001.

If you are getting a new computer, I advise you to make sure it ships with Windows Me, or that your hardware vendor will give you a free upgrade once Me is out.

Like always, Microsoft published some hardware requirements they say are needed to run Me. As I explained previously, Microsoft's recommendations are the minimums needed to install Me. You'll be much happier if you have at least: a Pentium II 300, 128MB RAM, a multi GB hard drive, and a good video card (8MB or more RAM).

Pre Installation

To be able to complete the Windows Me installation successfully, you have to follow some steps prior to running the setup. The most important step here is to ensure that your hardware is compatible with Windows Me. If you have older hardware which requires a DOS driver, you could be in for a surprise, since Windows Me does away with real mode DOS. This also has similar repercussions for a number of software titles.

Here is a checklist you should follow when installing Windows Me:

  • Check the Microsoft Windows Me Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), and compare the devices you have installed with this list. To see the devices you have installed, open the System applet in Control Panel, and select the Device Manager tab.
  • Scan your computer for viruses to make sure it is not infected. Make sure your anti-virus program has the latest virus signatures.
  • After you complete the virus scan, disable all software-based and hardware-based (the Boot Virus Detection option found in most system BIOS) anti-virus applications before running Windows Setup.
  • If you have personal firewall software installed (BlackIce, Norton Personal Firewall, ZoneAlarm, etc.) disable or uninstall these.
  • Make sure you have enough free hard-disk space. A typical installation requires 480MB to 535MB of hard-disk space, but may take up to 635MB, depending on your system configuration and the options you choose to install.
  • Get the latest driver software for any scanners, modems, or peripheral devices attached to your computer. To get this information, consult the hardware documentation or visit the manufacturer's Web site.
  • Back up all critical data on your hard disk by using a third-party backup utility or by manually saving important files to floppy disks or other media.
  • Run ScanDisk, and then defragment your hard disk.

Windows Me version

Make sure you have the proper version of Windows Me. If you have Windows 3.x or no previous version of Windows, you will need the Full version. Windows 95, 98 and 98 SE users can purchase the Upgrade version.

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