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HOW TO INSTALL WINDOWS ME 
Last updated: 10/10/00

Minimum System Requirements - suggestions in parenthesis.

  • 150 Mhz Pentium or equivalent (300 Mhz or higher).

  • 32 MBytes of memory (64 MBytes, 128 Mbytes is even better)

  • Free Disk Space (now is the time to buy that 7,200 RPM drive)

    • Compact install 200 MBytes

    • Typical 350 MBytes

    • Full 400 MBytes

    • If saving system files from prior version of Windows, to allow for uninstalling Win Me, add 150 Mbytes

    • On an average system with Office, graphics, etc. I would allow a four Gig (GigaByte) partition for the C: drive;  Two Gigs is almost too small for this hog.

  • VGA or higher monitor

  • CD-ROM or DVD drive

  • Mouse

To Upgrade or Not?  I did the initial install as an upgrade to my computer and a second one as a clean install (installation on a new hard disk or one that has been taken-down to "bare metal" by removing the primary partition).  As soon as that 7,200 RPM drive arrives I will do a clean install (see below) on my computer.  Whenever one installs a new version of Windows it is usually much better to do a clean install.  That gets rid of any problems that have developed in the old version through use and eliminates any lingering driver problems, etc.

Installing Directly from the CD.   No can do.  The various versions of the Windows Me CDs are not bootable like Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition.

Copying cab files and Installing from a Hard DiskUnless there are severe problems in prior installation attempts, there is no need to copy the Windows cab files (cabinet or compressed files containing the Windows files) from the CD to the hard disk and installing from the hard disk (which is done just like it is for Windows 98).  Unlike Windows 98 and 98 SE and like Windows 95 OSR2, the Windows Me Setup copies the cab files to the hard disk drive (C:\windows\options\install) and installs Windows from there.   Windows will no longer be asking for the Windows CD when you are on the road with your laptop while the CD remains behind in a desk drawer in your office (most annoying).

Before Installing (Upgrades and Clean Installs)...  Back-up your critical data.   This is advisable for upgrades as well as clean installs.  I use Microsoft Backup to back-up critical data to a file server or another computer on a network or to a second drive connected to the computer as a slave.  One could also use a Zip, tape, or CD-RW drive as a backup device with this software.  My critical data consists of: C:\My Documents, C:\Windows\Cookies, C:\Windows\Favorites, C:\Windows\lbyard.pwl (password file), and few other directories and files specific to me.  Of course, you will have to reinstall all of applications if you do a clean install and restore your critical data.

If you are installing a new hard disk, your old hard disk becomes a backup.  Be sure it is not connected to the new drive when partitioning, formatting or installing Windows on it.

I always try to have two backups before cleaning a drive.  I have seen backup programs fail to make a good backup (especially if tape is used), old disk drives dropped, data on old disk drives wiped-out by human error, and still other disk drives that  decided to die at the very moment they were evicted from their beloved homes.

Try to obtain the latest drivers for the motherboard and and expansion boards in your computer.

Flash the motherboard with the latest BIOS, if you feel competent to do so, and test the flash with you existing version of Windows.

If you are installing Windows Me on a newly constructed computer, I recommend installing Windows after the video board is installed and before the rest of the expansion boards are installed.

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.