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Doing a Windows 9X Upgrade with the Full Version
Last updated: 1/10/02

Q.  Is there a way to upgrade Windows 9X with the Full Version of Windows 9X/Me?

A.  If it were me I would back-up everything and/or everything of value on the hard disk (My Documents, Favorites, mail, Cookies, etc.), take the drive down to bare metal with fdisk, install Win 98, restore from backup, and reinstall all applications. I do this on my own machine about every 6-months to get rid of accumulated garbage. Be sure to think this out before attempting it.  See How to Build Your Own Athlon Computer - Parts 7 & 8 for tips.

I have heard of two other ways to upgrade Windows with the full version:

1.  Run Setup from the DOS prompt (see our How to's for making Windows Startup floppies to boot to DOS from a floppy, if needed) with the NTLDR flag as follows.

D:\win98>startup /NTLDR

Where D: is your CD-ROM drive

Setup /NTLDR tells setup not to detect an installed operating system. OEM versions and full retail releases of Windows can only be installed on computers that do not have an installed operating system. This switch supposedly circumvents that restriction.

2.  Use the Windows Explorer to search for and rename all copies of win.com.   Then run setup from the DOS prompt.

Do a custom install for both of these procedures.  Windows may attempt to install in the C:\windows.000 directory, edit the box and tell it to install in the c:\windows directory.

I would backup everything that is of value before trying either of these steps.  You may still have reinstall all of your applications.

Windows FAQ Index

Also, see Windows Tips and Tricks.

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