How To Uninstall Windows 98

If you face any problems after you have upgraded your computer to the Windows 98 operating system, then you may be able to uninstall Windows 98 from your computer and restore the previous operating system (Windows 95 or Windows 3.1). Here, we are going to address some of the common user questions about when it is possible to rollback a Windows 98 upgrade and how to uninstall Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition and Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) from your PC.

When is a Windows 98 uninstall possible?

You may not be able to uninstall Windows 98, if one of the following conditions is true:

  • While performing Windows 98 setup, you failed to save the uninstall information.
  • The Winundo.dat and Winundo.ini files-containing Windows 98 uninstall information-are deleted.
  • You compressed your hard disk or converted the file system to FAT32 after Windows 98 installation. (The tools, DriveSpace and FAT32 Converter used to perform these activities, delete the Winundo.dat, Winundo.ini, and Uninstal.exe files from the system, which are required for uninstall.)
  • If the file system on the hard disk was FAT32 before you upgraded to Windows 98.
  • There is some change in the partition information of the hard disk after Windows 98 upgrade. In fact, if you have changed partition information after the upgrade, you must not even try to start a Windows 98 uninstall. When you upgrade your system to Windows 98, the partition information is saved in the Suhdlog.dat file, and this file is not updated when you change the partition information after the upgrade. Therefore, if you try uninstalling in this condition, you might end up losing a lot of data.
  • The partition information of your system has changed due to a boot sector virus.

What will happen after the uninstall?

All Windows-based applications installed and configured after a Windows 98 installation may stop working or display errors, after you remove Windows 98. Therefore, you may have to reinstall these applications after the uninstall process is complete.

How to remove Windows 98

If none of the conditions discussed above hold true for your computer, then you can remove the operating system by performing the steps listed below:

  1. Open Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Select the Uninstall Windows 98 option.
  3. Next, you select the Add/Remove option and then select Yes.
  4. Select Yes when the message “Before Windows 98 is removed from your computer, your disk(s) will be checked for errors. Do you want to continue?” is displayed to start ScanDisk and proceed with the uninstall process.
  5. Next, select Yes when the message, “Uninstall is ready to proceed. Windows 98 will shutdown and uninstall will continue automatically. Do you want to continue?” is displayed to continue with the uninstallation process.
  6. Follow the screen instructions to complete the uninstallation.

How to uninstall Windows 98 if your PC does not restart after the upgrade

In this case, you will have to restart your PC in Real mode and uninstall using the Uninstal.exe program. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Start your PC using the Windows 98 startup disk or start your PC in Command Prompt Only mode by pressing and holding the Ctrl key at system startup and then selecting the Command Prompt Only option from the Startup Options menu.
  2. On Command Prompt, type each of the following commands and press Enter:
    smartdrvdrive:
    cd\windows\command
    uninstal.exe
  3. When prompted, type Y to continue and uninstall the operating system.

Note: You may not be able to use or access the Uninstal.exe file if you previously used the DriveSpace or Drive Converter (FAT32) tools because they remove the file from the Windows\Command folder.

It is recommended that before proceeding with the uninstall process, you run an antivirus scan on your system to ensure that there is no virus infection on your system, especially in the boot sector. After the uninstall, you may opt to use a compatible and reliable registry cleaner software to remove any left over and stray Windows 98 registry entries and ensure yourself an error-free and healthy system.