Sure you can, but the link I just posted to the full OEM version of WinXP Home is actually cheaper at this time than the upgrade CD, in most places that I searched!
You might want to take a look at this <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=3..." target="_new">page</A>, if you are in school, or a student. But if you get this version, don't waste any time getting it installed. Newegg won't honor a warranty claim that's even a single day late.
Do as Toey says. I took a class at a local Jr College - bought an Acedemic Version of XP (Upgrade Version) for less than $100. Used it in a clean install of XP - full install. It just asks, during the installation, that you insert the Win 98 CD so it can verify that you have one. I had my old Dell OEM 98 CD - used that without a problem.
I now have 98 SE and XP on a dual boot HDD.
But Officer, I wasn't speeding - I was qualifying ...
Ok, I read that how-to article and I'm a little confused. It looks to me that you only need the cd for win 98 if you're installing it onto a new hard drive only. But if you're installing it onto a hard drive with win 98 on it already all you have to do is insert the xp setup disk and follow the onscreen instructions.
Am I misinterpreting the how-to or am I right?
-Dad, you just killed zombie Flanders.
-He was a zombie?
You didn't misinterpret anything ... that's correct.
But IMHO, the best decision is to install the upgrade as if it was a full version, on a clean hard drive. Upgrading a previously installed operating system can lead to unforseen conflicts and stability issues, many of which can be difficult to troubleshoot, and just wouldn't occur with a regular, clean installation.
Some people claim to get away with it, and don't appear to have any problems. But I can tell you from experience that the only time I tried to upgrade in this manner, (Win98SE to Win2K) it was an unstable disaster. I quite literally fought that installation for three solid weeks, changing the HAL, rearranging IRQ settings manually to isolate and remove conflicts, flashing and tweaking the BIOS settings, and being confronted by a new BSOD nearly every time I cold-booted the system. Finally, it just imploded (for lack of a better word), and the system became completely unbootable.
After that, I never again had any real faith in upgrading from Win9x to Win2K, and I've never even considered attempting an upgrade from Win9x to WinXP, due to the previous, <i>educational</i> experience.
On the other hand, for comparison's sake, I did a clean installation of Win2K back in early 2001 that's still running fine, and I have another system with WinXP that was installed in November of 2001. It is also working very well. Heck, I've still got a Pentium 166MHz system with a 1999 installation of Win98SE that functions perfectly, although it's certainly no speed demon. So the problem I had with the Win9x/Win2K upgrade wasn't due to user error, because I'm fairly sure that I can keep an OS running well for years on end (I'm a stickler for system maintenance, and I back up my data religiously.) The problem was simply upgrading over a previous OS, and expecting everything to function normally.
Maybe it will ... but then again, maybe it won't, either.
It's something to consider.
But if you feel that you need the experience, and enjoy troubleshooting errors that no one has ever seen before in the history of the planet ... hey, be my guest. Have at it! It's your call. :wink:
Wow, very informative post Toejam, thanks. I really wish I could do it but I have 2 issues; 1)there's so many important files that I would need to keep on my hard drive that completely deleting everything would be out of the question and 2) when my family bought my system for me 5 years ago, there was no windows 98se cd along with the rig. It was just preloaded on and I never thought to get one
Is there any way around these issues that anyone can think of?
-Dad, you just killed zombie Flanders.
-He was a zombie?
In other words, you are using your hard drive as the primary method for storing/backing up your personal data; data that you've been collecting for five years ... but are still willing to install another operating system you've never used before on top of those important files as an upgrade, and pray everything goes well.
Hmmm ... does that really sound like a good idea to you? After all, if something goes wrong ... the best case scenario would be that you can uninstall WinXP, and everything will be intact, afterwards. Worst case ... the system becomes unbootable, you are forced to format, and you lose everything. And in your case ... that also means you lose Win98, since you don't have a Windows CD. Then you're stuck with a WinXP disk you can't install.
Do you see the flaws in this plan?
If it was me, I'd use a third-party partitioning tool such as Partition Magic to create a second partition on the hard drive, and move all my data over to this new partition. Then, if something unforseen occurs, formatting or replacing the primary DOS partition that contains the OS won't be an utter catastrophe.
Then I'd make a few phone calls to some friends who are also into computers, and borrow a Win98 CD, just long enough so that WinXP can be installed on a freshly formatted partition.
Note: Before you begin, it might be wise to make an additional investment, and get another tool called Drive Image. With it, you can image your current partition that contains Win98, and if for some reason you don't like WinXP (or WinXP has incompatibility issues with your hardware) you can use the image to put Win98 back, exactly as the system is at the moment. You can also use the utility to back up your personal data (and this would be even easier if the data was already moved off onto a second partition, as previously mentioned.)
This means, with the data moved off the primary partition, <i>and</i> with the data and Win98 image files burned on CD-R disks, you are ready to try out the upgrade, with whatever method you prefer, without any fear of losing all those important files.
I'll provide you a few links in a private message, so you can take a look at some current prices for the software.
You'll be able to move the data back to the original partition (if there is enough free space), and then add the free space in the second partition back to the primary partition. Afterwards, the partition can be deleted. This is assuming that you'll be using Partition Magic. You can't do it with FDISK without losing your data.
However, once you've read my PM to you, and learn to use the programs I've mentioned, you may discover that keeping the second partition on a permanent basis is a very smart idea. Isolating your data, and keeping it off the primary partition is a first step toward protecting your personal files.
I know from experience that when a hard drive begins to fail (and it will happen eventually ... that's a fact), the primary partition or the area that contains the paging file is usually the first to go. This means you can often boot into DOS, access the other partitions, and save your data, even if the hard drive is no longer bootable.
If your hard drive is as old as the rest of your system, doing everything possible to prepare for the time when the drive fails is crucial. Even the best hard drives only have a three-year warranty, and there's a logical reason behind it. Hey, as my old man used to say ... three guesses, and the first two don't count.
After five years, you're booting on borrowed time, IMHO. I've heard of IDE disks lasting five, seven, even ten years ... but it doesn't happen that way for everyone (or every device, for that matter.)
I always have at least two partitions on a primary hard drive, and three on a single-drive system. One small partition for the operating system, a second, larger partition for all my preferred programs, and a third with the rest of the free space for my personal files.
If I have two hard drives, I'll move the paging file to the first partition on the slaved drive, and I'll also install all my programs and games on this partition.
This is even when using NTFS. NTFS may be superior to FAT32, but it won't keep a hard drive from failing, and if the file system gets corrupted, it can sometimes be even harder to repair than FAT32. NTFS is nice, but it's not God's gift, and I'd rather take manual steps to secure my data, and part of that is arranging the partitions with imaging in mind.
The last time I installed the operating system <i>and</i> all my programs on the same partition, I had a Pentium 233 and a 1GB disk.