ARCHIVED: What are the Windows 98 and Windows 98SE system and hard disk requirements?

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

Note: UITS recommends that you use a current version of Windows on computers connected to the Indiana University network; see Recommended Windows operating systems at IU.

System requirements

According to Microsoft, the minimum system requirements for Windows 98 and 98SE are:

  • 66MHz 486DX computer, with 16MB of memory
  • VGA monitor
  • Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • Keyboard
  • Floppy disk drive or CD-ROM drive

UITS recommends, however, that you start with a Pentium or Pentium-class processor and motherboard running at 200MHz or higher, with at least 32MB of RAM as a minimum configuration.

Keep in mind that running Windows 98 or 98SE with less than 32MB of RAM will cause a lot of disk swapping, and the more applications you want to run at one time, the more memory you'll need. Windows 98 and 98SE both use 8 to 16MB of RAM, while one typical 32-bit application needs several MB to run properly.

Hard disk requirements

The typical Windows 98 or 98SE installation requires about 195MB of hard disk space. Installation can take as little as 120MB of disk space or up to 295MB, depending on your system and the options you choose to install.

If you use the FAT32 file system, you will gain about 10 to 15% more efficient use of disk space on a larger hard disk (above 512MB).


Although Windows 98 and 98SE are versatile operating systems, both were designed to run on Intel x86-based processors. They also do not support multiple processors; although both will run properly on multiprocessor computers, they will access only one of the processors.

Note: You cannot install Windows on a computer using a 386-based B-step processor. To find out if you have this type of processor, you can either check your system documentation or use a utility such as Microsoft System Diagnostics to check the ID of your processor (B-step processors have an ID of 0303). To do so, at the DOS command line, enter MSD, and then check the CPU settings to get this information.

This is document afqp in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:12:29.