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Is it possible to install Windows 98 in a modern computer and run modern software? If not, why?

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closed as not constructive by Tom Wijsman, Diogo, Nifle, random Apr 6 '12 at 16:03

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Have you considered using a virtual machine, like the free VirtualBox? Windows 98 will not run modern applications. Even the lowest common denominator apps are based on Windows NT APIs, and Windows 98 is not based on NT. –  Cody Gray Apr 5 '12 at 22:00
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The big problem with missing drivers is that one of the major use cases for such a system at home is classic gaming. Your GTX 7790 isn't much good if Win 98 can't use any of its features. –  afrazier Apr 6 '12 at 0:23

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It is still possible to install Windows 98 on most x86 architecture PCs, although you will likely have to use generic drivers for some devices (graphics card), and won't be able to use some others.

However, you will not be able to run most modern applications, as they often require modern Windows functionality (e.g. Unicode support, various shell or graphics APIs) only existing in Windows NT series.

Take a look at VirtualBox and Microsoft Virtual PC, which allow installing Windows 98 as a "virtual machine" on top of your current operating system.

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And will I be able to play such classics like '' The dig '' , '' Descent '' , '' Full throtle '' ? ? –  trololo Apr 5 '12 at 22:07
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@trololo if you want to play those games, look at DOSBox or maybe ScummVM (at least for Full Throttle and The Dig). –  Renan Apr 5 '12 at 22:09

As for installing Windows 98 on a modern PC: you will not be able to find device drivers, also Windows 98 may have problems with large amounts of RAM.

For applications, most current applications are designed to use Windows XP/Vista/7-exclusive features which don't exists in Windows 98. There are kludges, such as KernelEx, to implement those features in Windows 98, however it's not very complete (but some applications do work).

If you really need Windows 98 (e.g. for old devices or software that doesn't work on newer versions of Windows), you are better off with virtualization. Note that VirtualBox doesn't run Windows 98 correctly, since it has no device drivers for that OS.

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@trololo For a regular win98 ram installed on the system over 1Gig causes the system to fail, I have used a "EatMem" driver that loads early to hide the memory from the os, it worked. beats pulling sticks of ram out, especially if the rams are 2G per stick. I still agree that it is best used on systems that were from back then. Not as much modern software as complex software, very simple things are not modern :-) –  Psycogeek Apr 7 '12 at 0:00

The most likely snag you'll run into is finding drivers for things like the video and sound cards. Manufacturers don't generally provide support for old operating systems when they release new hardware (there's a cost associated with each OS/version that you have to test against, so they drop support for older OS's as soon as they think they can get away with it).

...so, you may be stuck with 800x600 video, and no sound.

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I had the joy of finding a computer that was able to support Windows 98, which was a pain to begin with, as many devices just flat out aren't supported. The most difficult part for me was finding a printer that would work with it. All because some company that had sold us a >$10k spectrophotomoter or some such was too lazy to develop a driver for anything newer...

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+1 for comment on equipment manufacturers who don't care about users with modern computers! –  thursdaysgeek Apr 6 '12 at 3:51

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