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Upgrade of Windows 98 to Windows 7 - is it possible

    Question

  • I have seen a MS document which says that upgrading from Win98 to Win7 is 'unsupported'.  Is that the same as impossible, or does it mean that MS will give no advice, or that computers running Win98 are likely to be unable to run Win7?

    The computer I wish to install Win7 on is currently running the RC1 and it more than meets the minimum spec for Win7.

    Viv
    Monday, October 05, 2009 10:11 PM

Answers

  • In this instance, 'unsupported' most definitely does mean 'impossible'.  Windows 98 belongs to an utterly different product 'family'.  Windows 7 isn't a 'later version' of it because Windows 7 belongs to a completely different product family.  Upgrading a Windows 98 installation to a Windows 7 installation cannot be done.


    Windows 98 and Windows 7 are both 'operating systems'. They share the word 'Windows' in their name.  They share some functions and features.  But that's where the similarity ends because they're built upon quite different architecture and code.  They are different and structurally unrelated products.

    What you enquire about would be kinda like trying to upgrade or update Norton Antivirus with a McAffee Antivirus update.  It won't and can't work. 





    Depending upon the hardware on the machines you may still be able to run Windows 7 on them.  But to do so you'll need a new, full Windows 7 license for them.  You can neither 'upgrade' the existing install nor use the existing Win98 install to 'qualify' a clean install with upgrade media.
    Tuesday, October 06, 2009 12:57 AM

All replies

  • In this instance, 'unsupported' most definitely does mean 'impossible'.  Windows 98 belongs to an utterly different product 'family'.  Windows 7 isn't a 'later version' of it because Windows 7 belongs to a completely different product family.  Upgrading a Windows 98 installation to a Windows 7 installation cannot be done.


    Windows 98 and Windows 7 are both 'operating systems'. They share the word 'Windows' in their name.  They share some functions and features.  But that's where the similarity ends because they're built upon quite different architecture and code.  They are different and structurally unrelated products.

    What you enquire about would be kinda like trying to upgrade or update Norton Antivirus with a McAffee Antivirus update.  It won't and can't work. 





    Depending upon the hardware on the machines you may still be able to run Windows 7 on them.  But to do so you'll need a new, full Windows 7 license for them.  You can neither 'upgrade' the existing install nor use the existing Win98 install to 'qualify' a clean install with upgrade media.
    Tuesday, October 06, 2009 12:57 AM
  • As Techwrighter mentioned, we will need to do a clean install to get Windows 7 installed.

     

    "Upgrade" here has 2 meanings. First is to get a Windows 7 upgrade disk to update Windows 98 to Windows 7, which is not supported. Second is to get Windows 7 installed on the computer instead of Windows 98, which is supported as we can get a full installation disk of Windows 7 to do a clean install.

     

    In order to confirm if the computer can be upgraded to Windows 7, please try following tool:

     

    Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

     

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009 3:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply, it answered my question precisely.  Perhaps MS should use the word impossible rather than 'unsupported', which is not the same thing.

    Viv
    Tuesday, October 06, 2009 11:27 AM
  • Thanks, I was actually trying to find out what 'unsupported' is supposed to mean as I understand it to mean 'we will give you no help', but I think that MS mean 'impossible'.

    Viv
    Tuesday, October 06, 2009 11:30 AM
  • so you are saying it is possible???

    Saturday, September 28, 2013 11:19 PM
  • Generally, it is impossible.

    However, you can upgrade your Windows 98 to XP first, then to Vista, then to Win 7.

    All the 3 upgrade processes will be in-place, retaining your apps and data.

    But isn't it better to do a migration?

    Sunday, September 29, 2013 1:47 AM
  • Yeah, I know ... answering a question posed years ago ... but, who knows how long it could be available for posting.

    To upgrade a Windows 98 system to Windows 7 very much is possible and in fact I have done so.  I doubt very much a direct upgrade is possible - it needs to be a series of upgrades.

    This is the path I took ... Windows 98 to Windows 2000 to Windows XP to Windows 7

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017 3:21 PM