Can I uninstall Windows 98 after upgrading to Windows XP?

by on March 1, 2009

Q: I recently upgraded to Windows XP Pro over Windows 98. What will happen if I unistall windows 98?

3 Responses to “Can I uninstall Windows 98 after upgrading to Windows XP?”

    When you turn on your computer, are you given a choice of which version of Windows to run? Your answer to this question will help me to better assist you. Thanks.


    I did not do a dual boot. When the computer boots up, the operating system is XP Pro.


    Hi JCP,

    I must admit that it’s been a long time since I’ve dealt with upgrading Windows 98; most computers that came with Windows 98 died years ago. But in general, there are two ways to upgrade windows… “upgrade” and “clean install”.

    The main benefits of the upgrade method are that you can keep your old programs/files and you can uninstall the newer operating system if you decide that your older operating system is better (in today’s world, Windows XP is definitely superior to Windows 98). But allowing Windows 98 system files to coexist with Windows XP system files can cause significant malfunctions in your computer. Even if there is a folder called WIN98 on your computer’s hard drive, deleting that folder may not remove all traces of Windows 98 from your computer. As I recall, Windows 98 is not listed in your computer’s Add/Remove Programs.

    In most cases, it is possible to do a clean install of Windows XP using a Windows XP upgrade disc. A clean install will erase Windows 98 before installing Windows XP. This is preferable because only Windows XP files will exist on your computer after the upgrade. The downside is that you will have to reinstall your programs and transfer backups of your important files back to your computer’s hard drive after the clean install. Obviously, copy important files from your computer BEFORE starting the clean install process. To do a clean install of Windows XP, place your Windows XP upgrade disc into your computer’s CD drive. Then restart your computer. If your computer is properly configured, the Windows XP installer should appear automatically. If this does not happen, go into your computer’s boot menu and/or BIOS and select the CD drive as your computer’s primary boot device. I recommend that you use the installer to delete all partitions and then format your entire hard drive as NTFS. Do NOT use the quick formatting method!

    PS: In my decade of experience as a computer consultant, I have learned that the average lifespan of desktop computers is usually 4-6 years. Therefore, as your financial situation allows, I encourage you to replace your current computer with a new one. You can always minimize your impact on the environment by recycling your old computer. Whenever you decide to get rid of your current computer, I advise that you use a program such as to “write zeros” to that computer’s hard drive.

    Does this help?