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Windows 98/ME-Friendly Security Tools

Last week, I blogged about Microsoft's plans this month to end support and security patches for Windows 98 and Windows ME. Given what I heard from a number of users who said they planned to keep using those systems indefinitely, I promised to circle back with a look at which security tools still play nice with them.

For this project, I installed Windows 98 Second Edition on a "virtual machine" using VMWare Server, which allows you to run multiple operating systems within a host OS. The fresh installation of Windows 98SE came with Internet Explorer 5.0, a woefully outdated and insecure version of the browser that initially gave me some serious problems trying to download patches from Microsoft's Web site.

As soon as I opened up IE, the browser automagically redirected to Windows Update, after which IE promptly crashed. I then restored the virtual machine to its original state (a fresh install), and opened up IE again, this time halting the auto-redirect. Then I ran a Google search for "IE 6 and" and was able to download IE 6.0 with Service Pack 1 directly from Microsoft's site (not from Windows Update).

After installing IE 6 and rebooting, I visited Windows Update and -- GAH! -- the browser crashed again. For whatever reason, the third time I visited WU did the trick with no crashes, and I was able to download two dozen critical security updates. After installing all of the updates and rebooting for the nth time, I was itching to install some security tools.

Before I go any further, I should note a few things. First, this is by no means a comprehensive list of security software that works on Windows 98 and ME. Most of the tools listed below are available for free online or through a 60- to 90-day trial period. If you know of other security tools that work well with these older systems, please either drop me a line or leave a note in the comments section below. If I receive enough of them I will put together another post like this pointing them out.

Also, while ME and 98 (and SE) are not identical operating systems, they are close enough in their genetic makeup that it is probably fair to assume that if a program plays nice or fails in Windows 98, it will probably also behave the same way in Windows ME, and vice versa.

Thirdly, I tested each of these tools for several things, including whether they installed and ran well after a reboot, and whether they uninstalled cleanly (without kicking up a big fuss, leaving behind random files or disturbing other system functions). I tested each tool by itself, with no other software installed except the operating system and any available security updates. I did not test how well the tools warded off malware installations or other online attacks, so please bear in mind that even if a piece of software installs and runs fine on a stock install of an operating system, it may not perform the same way on a system that is already infected. (In all likelihood, installing anti-virus or other security software on a compromised 98 or ME machine will result in the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death.")

That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of software titles that appeared to work well with these older systems. I have grouped together the ones I tested under categories below, along with notes about installation or runtime issues. Overall, I'd have to say my testing definitely showed that the free security tools performed better on Windows 98 than did paid or trial versions of retail software.

Free Anti-virus Software

Antivir Personal Edition Classic: Install OK; system scan fine. AntiVir's program uninstaller failed. A second uninstall attempt using Windows "Add/Remove Programs" got rid of it.

Avast 4 Home Edition: Installed, updated, scanned and uninstalled okay.

Grisoft's AVG Personal Edition: Installed, updated, scanned and uninstalled without incident.

Bitdefender 8, Free Edition: After installing this program, I could see why they were giving it away. It said I needed to reboot Windows to complete the process, so I hit "OK," but then it launched a full system scan that was abruptly curtailed by the reboot it had requested. It rebooted fine and placed a program icon on the system tray, but I had to click it to get it to start. Then I had to manually update the anti-virus software, after which it shut down again and went back to the taskbar, necessitating another three clicks to get it to scan the system. When I finally hit "Scan," it only generated a message saying "Unable to connect to scanner." Uninstalled without hesitation.

ClamWin Free: Installed and updated fine. Scan was quick and painless. Uninstalled fine.

Trial Anti-Virus (paid subscription required at end of trial period)

EZTrust Anti-Virus (one year free): I have used this anti-virus product from Microsoft and CA on other machines with pretty decent results, but when I tried to download it from CA this time I ran into quite a few problems. The free trial is supposed to last a full year, but when I registered for the download and license key, I was sent an e-mail with a link that it said would provide me with both. When I visited that link, however, I saw nothing but ads for paid versions of CA's products. When I complained to customer support, I received an e-mail about three hours later that said they were looking into it. Another e-mail followed, asking me to provide my license key, which I had told them I did not yet have. Shortly thereafter I received another e-mail from CA's general tech-support department informing me that they were happy to hear that my issue had been resolved (when of course it hadn't). A follow-up e-mail to the support rep elicited a reply that they could find no record of my registration ... funny enough, I could log in to my "account" at the CA Web site using the credentials I registered with, but after accepting my login the Web site also reported that I had no valid license keys assigned to me. I decided not to waste any more time and found an older EZTrust installer program just to see if it would work on the Win 98 test machine. It did, but only after installing the "Windows Installer 2.0" from Microsoft's Web site (required for any Microsoft installer files, those ending in ".MSI". Uninstalled without hesitation.

F-Secure Antivirus 2006 (six-month free trial): Install, scan and update were all painless and quick, and the program erased itself cleanly.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 (30-day trial): Install, update and scan okay. Uninstaller was reluctant -- it took about three tries to get the anti-virus program to shut down. After the uninstall was completed, it tried to reboot the machine, but Windows kept complaining that a file (unnamed) refused to close and the system would not shut itself off. A manual restart (read: me furiously stabbing the power button) did the trick.

Panda Platinum 2006 Internet Security (90-day trial): The first time I downloaded and ran the Panda installer, it unexpectedly quit, generating the following error: "Error reading Plat06MicrosoftEng.exe. Possible cause; bad disk or file transfer error.<2>". So I re-downloaded the installer and everything went fine until it complained that to complete the install I had to have my computer screen set to 16-bit color or greater, with a resolution of at least 800x600 pixels. Once I got that straightened out, I was able to install the product without any further glitches. It updated and scanned successfully. However, several times during the scan it popped up ads for various products, including a contest advertising a free Sony Playstation. Not that I wasn't prepared for this, mind you: About nine months ago I signed up for a free online anti-virus scan from Panda and made the mistake of giving them one of my Gmail addresses. Now I get about five e-mails a week from them, including giveaway offers like this one. Uninstalled with pleasure.

McAfee Virus Scan (90-day free trial): Installed, updated, scanned and removed without fuss.

Symantec Norton Anti-virus 2006 (90-day trial): Not compatible with Windows 98/ME.

Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2006 (90-day trial): This program is advertised as compatible with Windows 98, but it hung (I had left it alone for hours) during its initial pre-install virus scan, and then the thing just vanished. After a restart there was no sign of Trend's program on the machine. Another attempt at installation produced the exact same results. No uninstall required.

Free Firewall Software

Kerio Personal Firewall.: Not compatible with Windows 98/ME.

Jetico Personal Firewall: Jetico was problem-free in installation and operation, and removed itself when instructed.

Tiny Personal Firewall: I had no problems installing, running or removing this program.

ZoneAlarm Free: Check Point Software, which owns the ZoneAlarm suite of products, recently announced that new versions (v. 6.5xx of ZoneAlarm) will not run on Windows 98/ME. If you are already using ZoneAlarm Free on a 98/SE installation, it should continue to work just fine. However, Checkpoint says it may discontinue support for those installations at any time. From their advisory:

"Pre-6.5 products will continue to run on the Windows 98/98SE/ME operating system. However, there are a few new and advanced protection features in ZoneAlarm products that will not run due to technical limitations of this operating system. Zone Labs strongly recommends upgrading to a supported and current version of the Windows operating system. Zone Labs may end services to pre-6.5 products at any time."

At any rate, if you don't already have this firewall and want to download a copy that works with Windows 98/ME, check out the 6.0 version, available from here.

It's also worth noting that hardware firewalls -- those that come pre-installed on most wireless routers these days -- are a very effective way of filtering inbound malicious Web traffic. Software firewalls work both ways, and thus provide an extra measure of filtering to ensure that you are alerted to any program on your machine trying to access the Web.


Firefox 1.5.x: Firefox worked fine in every respect on my Win 98/SE installation.

Opera 9: No problems here either.

Free Anti-spyware Tools:

AdAware Personal: Install, update, scan, and removal -- all hunky-dory.

Spybot Search and Destroy: Installed, updated, scanned and uninstalled cleanly.

Spyware Guard: Install and configuration were a breeze. Made itself scarce just fine.

HijackThis: This is a very powerful tool for diagnosing start-up problems and spyware infestations, as it lets you pick which programs should run when you boot Windows. However, it requires you to first download and install Microsoft Visual Basic Runtime 6. Once I got VB6 installed, HijackThis worked perfectly.

Microsoft Windows Defender: Not compatible with Win 98/ME (no big shocker here).

Spywareblaster: This preemptive anti-spyware tool changes certain browser/system settings to make it much harder for spyware to install on your machine. This program also requires Microsoft Visual Basic Runtime 6 to be installed before it will run. No problems with running or uninstalling this tool.

Winpatrol: A tool that hardens system/browser settings so that many system changes do not happen without your approval. Installed, ran and uninstalled without incident.

Trial Anti-Spyware Tools (paid subscription required at the end of trial period)

eTrust PestPatrol (30-day trial): Another CA product that bombed in my testing. The trial version of this software is fairly crippled. Users must purchase a licensed copy to get access to the program's full protection database, and the trial program may not remove all of the nasties it finds. Also, the trial version doesn't provide "active protection," in that it is only an on-demand anti-spyware scanner. Upon restart, the program hiccupped trying to remove some installation files, generating a black command prompt with the error "Batch file missing. File not found" that stayed on the screen until I killed it. The program scanned okay, if sluggishly. Uninstall was more problematic, generating the following message: "The following applications are using files that need to be updated by this setup. Close these applications and click Retry to continue." The only thing listed under the "applications" list was the uninstaller. Even when I right-clicked on one of the two icons installed by this program into my system tray and selected "Disable Active Protection" (never mind that active protection isn't even offered in this version), that didn't work; the program generated the same error. I closed the remaining program using the Windows Task Manager. Meanwhile a Web browser window opened, and I was asked again if I really wanted to remove the program. After clicking "yes," I was asked to take a survey, which I declined. After that brief struggle, the program finished obliterating itself.

Ewido Anti-Spyware (30-day trial): Requires Windows 2000 or higher. Not compatible with Win98/ME.

McAfee Anti-Spyware (30-day trial): Installed and updated okay, although it required a reboot after downloading updates (this was in addition to the reboot required after installing it.). Scan was almost slower than erosion -- it took about 25 minutes for McAfee to scan all of the files on the system (keep in mind this is more or less a stock install). Most other anti-spyware scanners did the same in about half that time or faster. Banishing this software required manually shutting down two different programs and then launching two different uninstallers.

Sunbelt Software's Counterspy (15-day trial). Installed and uninstalled without rebooting. Very fast with both update and scan.

Trend-Micro Antispyware 3 (30-day trial): Not supported on Win 98/ME.

By Brian Krebs  |  July 11, 2006; 10:22 AM ET
Categories:  Safety Tips  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Citibank Phish Spoofs 2-Factor Authentication
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Thanks for the info!! I have 98SE on a dial-up laptop and its nice know that there are still programs out there that will keep it clean.

Posted by: Judy Bishop | July 11, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I tried the Jetico Free Firewall for a Windows ME, and unfortunately am finding it not user-friendly for novice users; a feature I liked about Zone Pro. It is especially difficult when using Skype as well.

Posted by: VHermann | July 11, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I had to reinstall 98SE on a relative's computer that had a hit by a Trojan. (First: I know it was a Trojan because pop-ups ALWAYS used the default Browser; not necessarily the Browser in use.)

There were some data files that needed backup. (Second: If you make a zip file and email it to yourself you should get the benefit of Yahoo or Google etc. virus protection [with current or very close to current updates], as well as a reprieve from floppy disk limits).

The reformat/install went well with one exception (Third: I installed the HP printer after SpyBot S&D. Bad choice because the HP setup CD uses IE but tries to change some defaults which Spybot actively innoculates against).

Posted by: GTexas | July 11, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

why oh why

98 should not be used anymore.
stop perpetuating it.

Posted by: anonymous | July 11, 2006 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Windows ME and SKYPE....
What are you concerned about your machine is most likley compromised 80 ways to Sunday.

Posted by: UnKnown User | July 11, 2006 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Windows 98/ME machines need to be removed from the networks of the world... They are as dangerous as the Ford Pinto was on the Highway. If I had more hours in a day I would personally help all users upgrade to Linux (or Windows XP if they put up too much of a fuss). But I am only one person... Anyone else who would like to pitch in and help?????

Posted by: User Anon | July 11, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

'User Anon' is so wrong. Windows 98/98SE/ME is not a Ford Pinto. Windows 98/98SE/ME is a Volkswagon Thing if you remember that awful UGLY poor excuse for a car. Don't shame the Pinto. I used to drive a Pinto. I had my best first life experiences in a Pinto. Shame on 'User Anon' -- may your linux PC he condemned to be reformated and forever be installed to run Windows 3.1. Don't ever insult the Ford Pinto.

Posted by: 'User Anon' is so wrong!!! | July 11, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Upgrade to Ubuntu Linux. Look it up on google. You can either download it or you can get it for free on a CD. Installs easy and is great for regular consumers and for NON-GEEKS who would even know what a linux is in the first place. Just think of Ubuntu as a FREE version of windows but not made by Microsoft. Ubuntu is more secure than windows also and you get a bunch of free applications with it already installed like OpenOffice.

Posted by: Ubuntu User | July 11, 2006 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Another good column. Thanks!

An excellent antivirus program you forgot:

F-Prot Antivirus for Dos:

As for Zone Alarm's advisory, I doubt the new "features" really add anything to the function of the firewall. Anyway, I found version 6.0 slowed my 98SE machine considerably, so I went back to version 5.5. That, and earlier versions of many other programs can be found here:

Posted by: Lou | July 11, 2006 8:11 PM | Report abuse


IE 5 should work quite nice and securely in the internet, if activex is disabled. I use IE 5.01 quite long time and tested it with exploits written for IE 6 - non of them worked on IE 5.01

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2006 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Instead of using version 6.x of ZoneAlarm, go use version 4.5 of ZoneAlarm which works fine on Windows98SE. You can even test that old version on "firewall leaktests" (look that up on your favorite search engine) and you'll find that it still works as a good firewall. Anyways, if the hardware in your PC is as old as Windows98, then your PC may not be good enough to run version 6.x of ZoneAlarm. But you can still use the still good excellent older versions of ZoneAlarm if all you need is a firewall. Then newer 6.x versions of ZoneAlarm come with too many extras that you don't need -- particularly if you are already using other software like the free antivirus AVAST or AVG programs or the free antispyware Ad-aware or Spybot Search and Destroy. For all versions of ZoneAlarm including version 4.5 and older, go to:
Or you can go to sites like to find old versions of software (WHICH ARE STILL GOOD) that will run fine on Windows98.

Posted by: Old Win98 User | July 11, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

No more official support for Windows 98?!!! Gates and Ballmer probably would kill off support for old senior citizen people also. Shame on Microsoft.

Posted by: The End is Near | July 11, 2006 8:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL 'User Anon' is so wrong!!! Let me guess though, your still having your best experiences in a Pinto, but now she charges $20 a ride. ;)

Posted by: beetlejuicer | July 11, 2006 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah alive n kicking n not dead yet lol !

A lot of people may be surprised that 98se + IE can be made to work together Very safely + securely. Obviously not straight outa the box, but a little time spent disabling various things in 98se + configuring IE properly in IE Options, pays great dividends.

Along with a good bidirectional FW and a few other well chosen Apps, this combination really can stand up to the toughest tests possible. I've literally lost count of the many exploit + crack etc sites i've purposely visited to test my system, with NOT 1 infection or infiltration of any kind.

Compare that to ALL the hundreds of people who day after day get, and in some cases keep on getting, hit with all manner of nasties. The majority of these people are using the " safer " XP !!!

I saw your topic linked from here -,16481938~mode=flat - I'm going to post a selection of nice Apps in there soon for 98, many which are FREE.

Holding on to 98se might also interest people who don't want DRM/WGA etc etc. So if you have a spare PC, this could the time to fire it up + configure it correctly etc, and have it on standby.


Posted by: SpannerITWks | July 11, 2006 11:49 PM | Report abuse

>>Kerio Personal Firewall.: Not compatible with Windows 98/ME.

Version 2.1.5:

>>If you know of other security tools that work well with these older systems, please either drop me a line or leave a note in the comments section below.

A large part of computer security lies in simply not running applications which you don't need &/or which are proven security hazards. It's been said that "If you get rid of IE, OE, and WMP, 99% of Windows' security problems go away." By that criterion of "security tool", I suggest this:

Posted by: Mark Odell | July 12, 2006 12:45 AM | Report abuse

UNOFFICIAL Windows98 Second Edition Service Pack 2.1a (Freeware)

Easy to install. I've used it on several 98SE PC's with no problems. Very nice.

Posted by: Ethan | July 12, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

As of this week Windows 98 is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Posted by: Mark | July 12, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Filseclab Firewall JUST came out and is compatible with Win98. Oh yes , and it is free too :)

Posted by: Sawyer | July 12, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for your win 98 efforts, I use win 98se
with security enhancements and firewall.

Some great help is available at

Posted by: Al | July 12, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

here is a tip, goto and search for windows xp.

Posted by: Robert | July 12, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I use rocks and buckets to compute most mathematical calculations. Much more economical than MS, but I do need to upgrade to larger buckets as I could barely balance my checking account last month. Maybe a longer lever arm would help, or some kind of pulley system - - need to talk to those Egyptians... I've heard of a newfangled OS called "abacus" that I need to check out.

Posted by: Grob | July 12, 2006 8:26 PM | Report abuse

... XP Bah Humbug !
I've been using computers for 20 plus years.
I had more download bandwidth avilable from a computer running Win 3.11 For Work Groups [on a 540Mb HDD, with only 8Mb ram and a Pentium 60MHz cpu] -10 years back , than I can get today from my Centrino powered Win XP.
I still use several computers with Win98SE, including my primary internet use PC.
I very rarely see any form of hack or virus attack on this unit. Yet my XP machine, in a period of a couple of weeks I had to use it [its a notebook] when I was travelling last year, even with all the protection available to it, I encountered so many trojans , hijackers and virii [ not to mention the scam entries which come through windows messenger ! [ ARRRGGHH ] . And you also find too many programmes designed for XP and NOT XP compatible ... I'll stick with trusty ol' Win98SE for as long as is possible, [ besides, I have 1000's of apps, tools, games and other progs etc that XP wont attempt to run ]

Posted by: trog | July 13, 2006 4:47 AM | Report abuse

Must... Let... Go....

Posted by: Bubba | July 13, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

You can try Google toolbar 3.0 and McAfee SiteAdvisor.

Posted by: Anon | July 13, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Just for the FUN of it, I setup 95 on a pentium III machine that was lying around..

That sucker is FAST.......

Most of this security software STILL works on 95 too..

Billy Boy has always had a HABIT of nuking the trail behind him in order to FORCE you to use newer software.

That has been the policy ever since he had that TEMPER TANTRUM over MBASIC...That was even BEFORE there was an IBM PC..

When somebody uses FORCE, I tend to push BACK..

I am NO lover of the LATEST M$ products.

NT3.5, NT4, 95 and 98se work just fine, thank you..

Posted by: Old Fart | July 13, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Two tools I can recommend : SySinternals Process XP (view and kill hidden processes, great for tracking down adware etc) and "Adware-Away" (not to be confused with Ad-Aware LOL) a very deep scanner/remover which tackles the hardest to remove adwares that other scanners can't get out.

I can also heartily recommend the exuberant software Service Pack for Win98SEmentioned above, have used it many times no problems.

Typing this on my 98SE machine where the system was installed over 3 years ago (and on the third hard drive now, went from 30GB Seagate to 40GB Seagate to 80 GB WD with Ghost). This system is used to surf the internet and download files with Firefox, runs about 12 hours a day every day on average. Have not had a virus or really any major problem since I can remember - I have AVG Free, AD-Aware, SpyBot S&D, Adware Away. A properly built 98SE system is quite reliable, easy to fix and rarely crashes. I have seen many more blue screens on my new XP PRO gaming system. Firefox locks up once a while after opening many windows and tabs, I just close it and re-open it and back to work. This system has honestly caused me far less problems than any XP system I have ever had or worked on, and I have 4 XP PRO and support about a dozen others PRO and HOME. Sure, I could get Linux (I have many ISO's kicking around, never seem to find the time to install them and play around) but I'd rather play BF2

Posted by: Got A Watch | July 14, 2006 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't think us '98 users care; Support?! We had support?!

As long as we can get all the current patches, we're fine - On a network, '98 and '95 and even ME are a LOT more resistant to attack unsolicited. An unpatched '9x system is completely immune to things like Sasser or Blaster penetrating it from the outside.
Hell, I'm willing to be my '98 system is a LOT more secure and stable than a lot of the XPs of people reading this!

Its only weakness is IE, but if you use something like Opera there are no worries.

I still use '98 because there are too many classic programs that just won't work in NT-based systems (Like my beloved MechWarrior 2 Titanium! *sniff*), and also because it's a *damned* lot faster than NT-systems.
My 2GB RAM AMD64 3000+ takes several minutes to boot 2k/XP, but both '98 and Linux boot in seconds, and when I click on something, it DOES something, none of this "Wait a few seconds while it thinks about it" crap.

Liveliness is the no.1 important thing to me in a desktop OS.

I just wish WINE worked well enough to emulate a full '98 system, then I could just dual-boot 2k and Gentoo64 instead of tri-booting! ;)

Posted by: Autonymous Cowherd | July 14, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey Cowherd -- You wrote:

"As long as we can get all the current patches, we're fine -"

maybe you missed the whole point of this exercise, but Microsoft IS NOT going to be shipping security patches any more for windows 98/ME.

Posted by: Bk | July 14, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

NOD32 anti virus also works fine on Win 98 and ME. Available for a small sum from

Posted by: Anne | July 22, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Plz set up Bad secyer delet Software send me'

Posted by: Tahir | July 26, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It's good to read I'm not the only one who is not willing to part with her beloved '98se. I read that it is the most stable (crash-wise)OS from Microsoft...I have learned much since innocently installing Win95 and expecting it to know consistently...just click the pretty pictures...right? Anyway, I have learned DOS (anybody know about the secret DOS commands?!?)and tell my 'Net support guys a thing or two. So, thank you for posting info we can use...long been a secret revolutionary - go Mozilla, Open Office...I will try the Ubuntu Linux with Firefox. Is it true with Me that "The Corporation" can access my PC without my knowledge as long as I am connected to the 'Net? Thanks again.

Posted by: Jane B. | August 4, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

An excellent antivirus program you forgot:

F-Prot Antivirus for Dos:

Home Security

Posted by: Home Security | August 5, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

^Die spammer scum!^

I have a couple of PC's that run WinMe and these free programs are essential:
Avast Free anti-virus
Zone Alarm 4.5
Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE
SuperAntiSpyware Free Edition

I always download the .exe updates and save to disc.

If you use IE6 this is a must read:

Posted by: Spamhater Shawn | August 12, 2006 4:47 AM | Report abuse

away and no new traffic should be forwarded sm-bondage hould generate a removal query. [url=]sm-bondage[/url]

Posted by: Dimitr | August 16, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Have Win 98Se P3 computer with 768MB ram. Run AVG Free AntiVirus and Zonealarm as well as SpyBot & Adaware. System has been running for 5 years without problem. Bought new omputer with XP had nothing but trouble. Had to do fresh install 3 times. Got rid off XP and now my new computer runs on Win98SE no problems.Plus my new computer is much faster now that it is running Win98SE. With all the problems with XP that needed a release of SP2 I think I will stick with Win98SE. Also run FireFox. Thanks for your article. Regards form OZ.

Posted by: Pat | August 16, 2006 9:49 PM | Report abuse

to protect our privacy, we should own our security software!

Posted by: security tool | August 25, 2006 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Thank you so much for taking the time to help those of us out that just can't afford to upgrade our computers to handle xp.

Zone Alarm worked well for me but I think it rather snotty of both Mircosoft and Zone Alarm to flip off hard working middle class and senior citizens just because they can!

Posted by: Arrow | August 25, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the info on security for older OS's.
What everyone who says to update fails to realize is that, updating to XP means virtually NONE of your existing older programs will be compatible with it. (I did. They're not) For someone like me, that means huge cost in money and time, for buying, installing, and then configuring new versions of all THOSE programs.
I've tweaked ME so it's as stable as my XP, and actually prefer using it.
Thanks again for helping with the security info.

Posted by: Peter Johnson | August 28, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hello Every one,

I have been using Skype v2, on my P-III 733 mhz computer. It was working fine earlier now, I am facing BIG TIME Problems. I can hear the person on the other end but he can not. Some times it seems that the rate of speach of the person sitting at other end is very slow .
For example; the sentence hello comes like:

What should i do ?


Posted by: David Cartnor | September 22, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I've spent about 8 hours in the past week reading the latest articles on securing Windows 98SE: My summary is very similar to most which have been presented, which is that, Win98SE can be quite secure. Like others - do so within your own terms. Still I believe that Win XP is built on a more stable platform but it may not be right for older systems and it should be secured in almost every way that Win98SE should be. There is solid evidence that XP has more stable features as detailed in O.S. comparison charts posted by - these charts point out things such as "protected memory" among other important features. Here are the security measures I would take regardless of which Win OS you're using.
- Install the latest OS security updates & patches. In the case of non-supported OS 98SE - go to
- Install Anti-Virus software.
- Install Firewall software and hardware.
- Install Anti-spyware Anti-malware Anti-adware applications.
- Avoid using IE - instead use software like Mozilla Firefox - If you choose to use IE - then tweak it's settings to be more secure.
- Avoid using OE - instead use ?
- Avoid using WMP - instead use ?
- Use complex passwords and encryption when possible.
- Only visit web sites which are operated by companies or people you trust.
- Don't open or preview suspicous email.

Posted by: C_Wit | September 26, 2006 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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