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Windows 9X Special Interest Group

  Windows 9X SIG Report

John S. Krill

Books About Windows 98

Going through PC Magazine I came upon a two-page ad for Windows 98 books. There were 14 books shown in the ad. This edition of PC Magazine was on my desk before Windows 98 was released. I always thought that the Operating System should be the software that works in the background and makes life easy for software application. If 14 books were already in print and Windows 98 wasn’t out the door yet what does that say about an Operating System?

Some of the words used in the book titles are: Complete, Easy, Secrets, Quick, and my all-time favorite - Dummies. There were titles for experts: Windows 98 Black Book, Running Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows 98 Secrets. There are titles for learning Windows 98: Teach Yourself Windows 98 In 21 Days and Quick Course In Windows 98. Which is it: 21 days or quick? There is even one for upgrading to windows 98: Microsoft Windows 98 Upgrade Training Kit. You need to be trained just to do the upgrade? There is even one book for oxy-morons: Easy Windows 98. For everyone that likes to go one step at a time there is: Microsoft Windows 98 Step By Step. Do I have to bring up the dummies? I think not! There were other books listed and there will be many more in the future. So go to your nearest bookstore ( and get your favorite.

Windows 98 System Information

The Microsoft System Information utility is now delivered with Windows. In the past it came with Microsoft Office Suite Applications. The information provided has been expanded and you can launch other OS utilities from the Tools menu item. Utilities that can be launched are: Windows Report Tool, Update Wizard Uninstall, System File Checker, Signature Verification Tool, Registry Checker, Automatic Skip Drive Agent, Dr Watson, System Configuration Utility, ScanDisk, and Version Conflict Manager.

The System Information utility shortcut is located at: Start >> Programs >> Accessories >> System >> System Information. Get familiar with it. It provides a wealth of information.

Dr Watson - Improved

This is not the old DOS Dr Watson of the past. The new Dr Watson is a windows utility. Start Dr Watson and it will reside in the background and record a snapshot whenever there is a system error. If you are having problems with Windows 98, even if it is an application failing, start Dr Watson and it will record a detailed description of the problem when it occurs.

The description of Dr Watson from the Windows 98 Help file:

Dr. Watson is a diagnostic tool that takes a snapshot of your system whenever a system fault occurs. It intercepts software faults, identifies the software that faulted, and offers a detailed description of the cause. Dr. Watson can often diagnose the issue and offer a suggested course of action. When you contact Microsoft Technical Support for assistance, Dr. Watson is the tool used to help evaluate the problem.

Windows 98 Maintenance Wizard

Use the Maintenance Wizard to schedule tasks such as Scandisk, and Disk Defrag. You can also add tasks of your own such as an anti-virus program.

One of the scheduled tasks is Maintenance Disk-Cleanup. With disk-cleanup you can remove unwanted files. Run the Maintenance Wizard and select the file types you want removed and how often you want to Disk-Cleanup.

Run the Maintenance Wizard at least once so you can get familiar with its capabilities. There is little documentation on many of the utilities provided with Windows 98 and what help there is scant. That means running the programs and learn by doing.


Have you checked your computer hardware for compliance with Year 2000? If you haven’t then get on the Web and go to:

and download test2000.exe. This utility will check that your hardware is in compliance with the Year2000 problem. And it’s free.