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Installing Windows Applications

Most Windows 98 (and Windows 95) applications are easily installed using the setup programs that come with these applications. Installing DOS-based applications is a different matter and often not as simple. This subject is covered in a later section, "Working with MS-DOS Applications".

Installing Windows 95 and Windows 98 Applications

The basic technique for installing Windows 95 and Windows 98 applications consists of running the Setup (or Install) program for the application and following the prompts. The Setup program will then take care of all the details of installing the application. You can start the Setup program by using the Run command on the Start menu.

Another way to install an application is to use the Install Programs Wizard accessible via the Add/Remove Programs icon in the Control Panel. The Add/Remove Programs dialog box provides a common starting point for adding and removing Windows applications and Windows system components and accessories.

To use the Install Programs Wizard to install a Windows application, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and choose Settings, Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel window, use the Add/Remove Programs icon to open the Add/Remove Programs Properties sheet.
  3. Choose Install to start the Install Program Wizard.
  4. When the Install Program from Floppy Disk or CD-ROM dialog box appears, insert the first floppy disk or compact disc in the appropriate drive and choose Next.
  5. The wizard searches the disk's root directory for an installation program (usually named SETUP.EXE or INSTALL.EXE) and displays the command line in the Run Installation Program dialog box.
  6. If the wizard fails to find the setup program (perhaps because it is in a subdirectory) or you want to run a different setup program (perhaps from a network drive), you can choose Browse and select a different file in the Browse dialog box. Choose Open to insert the selected file name in the wizard.
  7. After the correct command line for the setup program appears in the Run Installation Program dialog box, choose Finish to start the setup program and begin the application installation.

Installing 16-bit Windows applications

Windows 98 features full backward-compatibility with 16-bit Windows 3.x applications, enabling you to install and use them in Windows 98 without modification.

If you encounter a compatibility problem with a legacy application — an older application designed for a previous version of DOS or Windows — running in Windows 98, check with the application's developer for a patch or workaround for the problem. In some cases, perhaps the only solution is an upgrade to a new, Windows 95 or Windows 98 version of the application.

What if there's no Setup program?

You may occasionally encounter a Windows application that does not include a setup program. Installation for small utilities, for example, usually consists of copying a couple of files to your hard disk and adding a shortcut to your Start menu to launch the application. You'll probably find instructions for installing the application in an accompanying manual or README file.

Installing 16-bit Windows applications

You install 16-bit Windows 3.x applications in Windows 98 the same way that you do in Windows 3.x. You simply insert the first disk of the program's installation disks in your floppy disk or CD-ROM drives, run the Setup program, using the Run command on the Start menu, and follow the prompts and instructions.

Save a copy of your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files before installing any new DOS or Windows 3.x application. After you install a Windows 3.x or DOS application, it is a good idea to check your AUTOEXEC.BAT files to see if any unnecessary programs or configuration lines were added. For example, some applications add a line that loads SHARE.EXE or SMARTDRV.EXE, neither of which is needed in Windows 98. Not only do these programs waste memory, you may have problems with your system if they are loaded.


Of course, the setup program for a legacy application will be tailored to Windows 3.x instead of Windows 98. For example, the installation program will probably offer to create Program Manager groups and update INI files. Windows 98 will intercept Program Manager updates and automatically convert them to Start menu shortcuts. Windows 98 also transfers WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI entries into the Registry.