Windows 98 Networking

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 22 Aug. 1998 / Last Updated on 22 Aug. 1998]

At the same time, a first "Windows98 Service Pack" has become available, which can be downloaded via the "Windows Update", the Windows98 Corporate Download or ordered on CD-ROM.

If you like to upgrade your "old" version of Windows98 with the new features introduced on Windows98-SE (like: ICS: Internet Connection Sharing), Microsoft is offering a low-cost upgrade(you will have to order the upgrade directly from Microsoft, this upgrade is NOT available in the shops ). Note: Starting with Windows98-SE (?), the Setup-procedure copies all setup-file (121 Mbytes) to the local disk( avoiding to prompt for the CD-ROM when making later a change to the configuration ).

I got now a copy of Windows98, both at work and at home. At work, I upgraded a partition with an existing Windows95 installation to Windows98, while at home, I installed Windows98 "fresh" on an empty partition, getting the first time the display of the "channels" :

Except for the (optional) Webpage look (the "Active Desktop"), the Control-Panel has very much the same options, including the Network, but there are a few differences:

1) Installation The installation procedure of Windows98 is much more stable than the installation procedure of Windows95 (it did not "hang" on the detection of my NE2000-compatible network card, as Windows95 did). But: Windows98 did NOT get it completely correct: When it prompted during the installation for the parameters of the NE2000 network card, I had to adjust/define manually the IRQ to be used:

In the Network Properties, I selected the "NE2000 Compatible" network adapter, then clicked on the button "Properties". In the window for the "NE2000 Compatible Properties", I selected the tab: Resources, where I changed the values to match the hardware settings of my installed NE2000.

When upgrading from Windows95 to Windows98, you could also become a victim of the Windows98 Version Conflict Manager (VCM), which may have replaced a working Windows95 driver with a buggy Windows98 driver.

2) Default Network protocolsMicrosoft changed here completely its position:

While Windows95 installs by default the protocols NetBEUI and IPX/SPX (which allows an inexperienced user to get a network working, as long as the workgroup name is identical and something is shared, see :Which protocol to use ?), Windows98 is installing by default ONLY TCP/IP protocol (configured for DHCP-usage, which will NOT work on simple PC-to-PC networks, because both Windows95 and Windows98 and even WindowsNT4 Workstation CANNOT act as a DHCP server).
This can cause problems on networks with a mixture of Windows95 and Windows98 systems, in case the Default Protocol is not checked properly.

3) IP-AutoConfiguration
BUT: Windows98 includes now an IP-AutoConfiguration, assigning automatically an IP-address without any DHCP-server, but that causes a substancial delay in booting.

My advise: unless you have a good reason to use TCP/IP, loaded the NetBEUI protocol (which is very easy: NOTHING needs to be configured) and delete the TCP/IP protocol.
If you need TCP/IP, assign yourself an IP-address (to speed up booting).

Sharing of Disk-resources is identical to the Windows95 procedure:
Right-click on the disk or folder to be share to get the Context/Pop-up menu
and select "Sharing...":

The Network Neighborhood is the same (except for the Web-Page/Active Desktop look) including the same error-messages as under Windows95 : "Unable to browse the network", if you are
too quick (while waiting for the systems to elect a Browse-Master):

So, when it comes to Networking, I expect the new Windows98 to be the same as Windows95.

4) Interrupt Sharing on PCI-devices
So easy the shortage of Interrupts, Windows98 (like Windows95 OSR2.x) supports the sharing of Interrupts between PCI-devices, but that can also cause sometimes problems with network drivers, which do NOT properly support such an Interrupt sharing.

5) Dialup Networking
Dialup Networking is very similar to the DUN 1.2 upgrade, as included in Windows95B (OSR2) or downloadable from Microsoft.
And like in the DUN 1.2 upgrade, Dialup Networking Server is INCLUDED in Windows98 (and not an extra in the Plus!- package, as on the first Windows95 releases):

In the Control-Panel, select "Add/Remove Programs",
in the Window "Add/Remove Program Properties", select the tab: "Windows Setup",
select the item "Communications", click on the button "Details" and you can
select the "Dial-up Server" (if not yet already installed)

Update to Dial-up networking 1.4:
nothing new in the DUN 1.4 upgrade; just all the features of DUN,
1.3 plus vpn & security updates and enables 128-bit pptp encryption)

6 ) Win98SE only:( for Win98 First Edition: non-Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing)
Sharing a Dial-Up Networking connection to the Internet
Internet Connection Sharing


7) PowerToys/TweakUI are included
Windows 98: PowerToys / TweakUI

Note for Windows98 SE: Windows98 SE does NOT anymore include the PowereToys, but available again as a download from the Microsoft website as TweakUI for Win95/98/ME/NT/2000


8) Workgroup eMail is included as oldwin95 software
Installation of the Exchange postoffice


9) Personal Webserver is included as Addon
Installation and Configuration of Personal WebServer(created June 24,2000)


10) Enhanced Backup software included


11) Full support for USB devices

- USB Networking Indroduction(created Jan. 7, 2001 )
- Windows9x USB Networking Installation(created Jan. 7, 2001 )



12) Windows98 passwords are transmitted encrypted
Windows98 is not able to connect to SAMBA


13) often reported Problems:
(installation of the "Windows98 System Update" should fix some of these problems):
cannot get the Windows98 Network to run
Windows95 and Windows98 systems do NOT see each other
Windows98 Realtek8029 driver (created Jan.30,2000)
Windows98 does NOT shutdown
ADSL via Network Card : Problems with ADSL Connection: connection hanging/stopping after a few minutes

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