Are you aware of the fact that on or about July 11, 2006 Microsoft will be dropping support on Windows 98? If you are still using Windows 98 or Windows 98 SE, make sure you have all the updates that you want or think you need.
Speaking from personal experience, on March 31, 2006, something got messed up on my computer and after spending some time trying to resolve the problem, it was decided that it would just be easier to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows. No big deal. Been there, done that a few times. The hard drive was reformatted and Windows was re-installed from a emergency restorable cd that came with the computer. Everything was proceeding so smoothly, until it was time to use the Windows update feature and apply whatever upgrades that were important to me.
When trying to get Windows Update to download Internet Explorer 6, the process would not work and after uttering some choice words, it required calling Microsoft and paying $ 35.00 for a tech support call. It took almost 5 hours of time spread over two days with tech support to resolve the problem. It seems as though Microsoft decided earlier in the year to officially stop anyone from upgrading Windows 98 and dropping the online support, but not thinking it was important to somehow notify users of this.
The ultimate solution, provided by the second level of tech support was to download all of the individual files (38 files, 19.8 MB) to my hard drive and then run from there or copy them to a cd for a second backup.
After the files were finally downloaded, the upgrade was run and all necessary components of Windows 98 SE we upgraded, specifically Internet Explorer 5 to version 6.
This might not really be such a big deal, but in certain cases newer versions of other software requires IE6 and will not run on IE 5. The first program that required IE 6 was Adobe Acrobat Reader, version 6.
This was the first program that I tried to install after Windows 98 SE was re-installed and it would not install without IE 6.
Now after all of this, once Internet Explorer 6 is installed, you can go back to the Windows Update and it will work just fine. But don't forget that sometime around July 11,2006, anyone still using Windows 98 or Windows 98 SE, will really be out of luck.
If you need any assistance with this problem, feel free to email and I will try to help you anyway possible.
Mickey Lieberman is a Computer Consultant with over 30 years of experience working with both IBM mainframes and PC's.