Information about Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 is the upgrade to Microsoft Windows 95. While this was not as big as release as Windows 95, Windows 98 has significant updates, fixes and support for new peripherals. The following is a list of some of its new features.
Protection - Windows 98 includes
additional protection for important files on your computer such as backing up
your registry automatically.
Including the same additional features as Windows 98 however includes additional fixes and all of Year 2000 patches have been included in Windows 98 Second Edition. The following is a listing of the various new features Windows 98 SE includes.
Updates - Includes all the latest updates
for Windows 98 including Year 2000 updates, USB support and more.
The following is a listing of the new features found in Windows 98.
New Paint Brush - The new paint brush allows you now to open *.bmp, *.pcx, *.jpg, and *.gif files, allowing you now to get images from the web and modify or create your own images for the web.
Internet Explorer 4.0 - Includes Internet Explorer as the Internet browser which gives you a lot more new features such as channels, search window in the same window as your web page window, easier interface, and faster access.
New Background Properties - You can now set *.bmp, *.pcx, *.jpg, *.gif, and *.htm files as your background.
Plus - Windows 98 has Microsoft Plus! built into the operating system, which allows you to do all the features that the Microsoft plus add-on would do such as stretch your wall paper so its full screen in all resolutions, add your own desktop themes, have dialup server, and more.
Front Page Express - The "light" version of Microsoft's FrontPage 97. It comes with IE4 and Windows 98, and it is great for WYSIWYG or source editing HTML documents.
Personal Web Server - PWS supports Common Gateway Interface (CGI) and Internet Server application programming interface (ISAPI) applications. That means you can use it as a staging server to test Web apps before promoting them to your live server.
Faster Shutdown - The time it takes to shutdown the system has been dramatically reduced in Windows 98.
Windows 98 Help Desk - HelpDesk builds technical support right into the operating system, a technique that began with the extensive help files and wizards in Win95. We found HelpDesk tucked discreetly into the Start menu. The HelpDesk links to an HTML file offering three levels of support: Local Help, Web Resources and Contact a Support Engineer.
Multiple Display Support - Multiple Display Support allows you to use 8 multiple monitors and/or multiple graphics adapters on a single PC. The ability to have your work environment displayed on multiple monitors can be extremely beneficial in many areas including: desktop publishing, Web development, video editing, and gaming environments.
Ability to list fonts by similarity - You can now exclude fonts by similarity meaning you can exclude fonts with the same name but with different type face, such as Arial, Arial Italic, Arial Bold...
HSFLOP.PDR - Win98 includes a new HSFLOP.PDR floppy disk driver, which will significantly improve access speed to many diskette drives.
Ability to display Cabinet files - In Windows 98 you will have the capability of opening cabinet files and simply copy files within them without having to use the extract command.
Disk Defragmenter Optimization Wizard - The new Disk Defragmenter Optimization Wizard uses the process of disk defragmentation to increase the speed with which your most frequently used applications run. To accomplish this the wizard creates a log file which identifies your most commonly used programs. Once this log file has been created, it can be used by the disk Defragmenter to store the files associated with your most commonly run programs (the files will be stored contiguously on the hard disk). Placing all of the files associated with a given application in the same location on your hard disk will optimize the speed with which your application runs.
System File Checker Utility - System File Checker is a new utility which provides an easy way to verify that the Windows 98 System Files (*.dll, *.com, *.vxd, *.drv, *.ocx, *.inf, *.hlp, etc.) have not been modified or corrupted. The utility also provides an easy mechanism for restoring the original versions of system files which have changed. System File Checker will be extremely valuable in helping users and support personnel track changes (file corruption, application installation, application removal, accidental deleting of files, etc.) made to Windows 98 systems and restore original files in the event a change causes a conflict.
Windows Tune-Up Wizard - The Windows Tune-Up Wizard was designed to make the PC more self-maintainable. The Wizard schedules tune-up jobs to be run automatically on a regular basis. You can launch the Wizard from the Start menu, or off of the Programs, Accessories, and System Tools.
Microsoft System Information Utility - Windows 98 now contains a centralized system information utility that gathers system configuration information for technical support. This tool is comprised of a collection of ActiveX controls, each responsible for collecting and displaying a certain category of system information in the right frame of MSInfo. A Support Engineer can guide the user experiencing an issue to MSInfo to facilitate the information gathering process.
New Dr. Watson Utility - Windows 98 Includes an enhanced version of the Dr. Watson utility. With Dr. Watson enabled, when a software fault occurs (general protection fault, hang, etc.), Dr. Watson will intercept it and indicate what software faulted and why. In addition, Dr. Watson collects detailed information about the state of your system at the time the fault occurred. It logs this information to disk, and can display it on screen to assist administrative and product support personnel in determining the cause of the fault. Additional information about Dr. Watson can be found on our Dr. Watson page.
New Backup Utility- This new backup applet supports SCSI tape devices and makes backing up your data easier and faster.
New Accessibility Tools - Windows 98 includes two new accessibility tools including - the Accessibility Configuration Wizard which helps people adapt Windows' options to their needs and preferences, and a low-end screen magnifier which helps people with moderate vision impairments and those working on unfamiliar machines.
Support for New Generation of Hardware - One of the major goals is to provide complete support for users to take advantage of the array of innovations which have occurred in computer hardware over the last few years. Some of the major hardware standards supported by Windows 98 includes: Universal Serial Bus (USB), IEEE 1394, Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP), Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), and Digital Video Disc (DVD)
Display Setting Enhancements - Display Setting Enhancements provide support for dynamically changing screen resolution and color depth. Adapter refresh rate can also be set with most newer display driver chipsets. Also includes the display enhancements previously available in Microsoft Plus!. (Microsoft Plus! is an add-on pack for Windows 95 which provided several minor operating system enhancements.) The enhancements with include: full window drag, font smoothing, wallpaper stretching, large icons, and hi-color icons.
FAT32 Conversion Utility - For added flexibility, Windows 98 includes a graphical FAT32 conversion utility, which can quickly and safely convert a hard drive from the original version of FAT to FAT32.
The following is a listing of some of Windows 98 new programs as well as screen shots for each of the applicable applications. This will help the user take full advantage of all the new capabilities of Windows 98.
Disk Cleanup: (Found in Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools). This program was designed to clean your hard drive. When ran will clean Temporary Internet Files for Internet Explorer, Downloaded program files, Recycle bin files, and Temporary files. Under settings currently this will take you into add / remove programs and allow you to uninstall programs you no longer use. This is a very nice feature for new users and even advanced users to easily delete files that are not needed and take up disk space. What we found interesting is that as you notice with the picture on the left it says Disk Cleanup for Windows 95 although we don't recall this program being in Windows 95 and we are running it from Windows 98, however it still works fine and is a good application.
Disk Defragmenter: (Found in Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools). While the appearance has not change that must the new Disk Defragmenter has the capability of seeing which programs you run the most and put that at the first portion of your hard drive which allows faster access to programs you run most often. Keep in mind some programs may not have this capability so they cannot be optimized.
Drive Converter (FAT 32): (Found in Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools). With the release of Windows 95 OSR2 that was first to bring out FAT32 a lot of new Windows 95 users have wanted a program such as this. With Windows 98 you will now have the availability of during the installation or after the installation of after to convert any of your hard drives to FAT32, to allow more available disk space with smaller cluster sizes. Note: If you are running Windows NT 4.x and Below if any of your drives are converted to FAT32 Windows NT will not have the availability to read from them. For more information on FAT32 please see our FAT32 PAGE.
Maintenance Wizard: (Found in Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools). This program is allows you to setup daily, monthly, yearly tasks to keep your computer Maintained such as running scandisk every week, Defrag every week, and other useful tasks to help your computer keep its performance up during use. Similar to an oil change/tune up on your car.
System Information: (Found in Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools). System information is an excellent place to get information and begin trouble shooting your computer. First System Information has listing of all hardware and software information on your computer such as the available IRQ's, currently installed hardware, drivers, and much more.
From Tools you can get access to the following:
Windows Report Tool: Tool
used by Technicians and Engineers to take a snap shot of your computer to help
better trouble shoot and diagnose your computer.
The taskbar which is the image below is the item that displays all open windows as well as allows you to open other programs. Usually this bar is located at the bottom of your screen however can be moved to the top, left, and right as well.
TIP: Organizing the Start Shortcuts: Windows 98 has added the capability of customizing your taskbar using the right mouse button. You can now cut, copy, and past items in your taskbar. For example if you wanted to move a shortcut in a folder to another folder you can click on the shortcut with your right mouse button and choose the cut option (Note when clicking on cut the icon will not disappear until you paste into another location). Once you have chosen the option to cut find a folder that you wish to move the shortcut to and choose paste and your shortcut should now be in the folder that you have pasted it too. You can also do this with other shortcuts that are elsewhere on the computer such as your desktop, as well as moving them from your taskbar to your desktop.
TIP: Categorizing the Start Shortcuts: You can arrange your shortcuts in the Taskbar by clicking with your right mouse button and continuing to hold the button and when moving your mouse up or down you should get a small bar indicating where the icon is going to be moved too, when you have found an appropriate spot you can let go of your mouse in turn moving the icon to its location.
TIP: Customizing Quick Launch tool bar: The quick launch which you can see in the above picture which are all the shortcuts by the Start button can be easily added and removed. First however you must have the quick launch toolbar enabled, if you do not see any icons like the icons in the above picture click on an un occupied section of the toolbar with your right mouse button and choose the option Toolbars, ensure that there is a check next to Quick Launch, if there is not click on quick launch which should place it on your tool bar. Once the Quick launch is enabled to remove an icon click the icon with your right mouse button and choose the option to delete. To create new shortcut first create a shortcut on your desktop or if you have the shortcut in another folder drag it to the quick launch section, unfortunately there is not an option to paste.
TIP: Creating new Taskbars: To add additional taskbars to the taskbar right click on an un used section of the toolbar and select toolbars from this window selection you can add:
WINDOWS DEVICE MANAGER
First introduced in Microsoft Windows 95. Microsoft Windows device manager is a program that allows users to view hardware devices detected in Windows and manage those hardware devices easily. Device manager is available in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
Within device manager the user can locate three types of problems an exclamation mark, a red X, or an Other device.
Exclamation Mark - When a device has an explanation mark this is an indication that the device is conflicting with another hardware device.
Red X - Indication that the device has been disabled, removed or that Windows is unable to locate the device.
Other Devices - Windows was unable to locate the drivers for the device and cannot determine the type of device being installed.
To get into the device manager click Start / Settings / Control Panel / double click the System icon and within System Properties click the Device Manager tab or the Hardware tab depending upon which version of Windows you are running.
Users can also open the System Properties by right clicking on the My computer icon on the desktop and click properties.
Finally, you can also access the System Properties if you have a Windows Keyboard by pressing the windows key on the left hand side of the keyboard and the pause key at the same time.
The following is an example of what the device manager may or may not look like when opening. To see the image in full size simply click the image.
The following is a listing of device manager error codes and possible resolutions to resolve the errors generated by device manager.
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