Where can my friend buy a Windows 98 CD?

Ebay. :slight_smile:

Also, thanks for the Peachtree flashbacks, lol.

One more for eBay, I have bought lots of old CDs there, what is wrong with eBay?

I’m surprised nobody has suggested another option - find a site where you can download a copy for free; Microsoft shouldn’t care if you do if they aren’t selling it anymore, except maybe that it deprives them of selling another copy of Windows 7 (and I doubt Windows 98 does online registration since not everybody had Internet back then; I myself downloaded Visual Basic 6 (from the same era) for my own use and the only activation used is a numerical product code, provided with the download; this was to upgrade a “demo” version to the full version and I have done this a couple times, the first possibly when they were still selling it).

Also, it is possible to run older programs on Windows 7, although you might see a message warning of compatibility problems when you are installing it, but then you might not have any problem running it. Even then, there is a compatibility wizard that allows you to emulate an older version of Windows; right-clink on the exe file and select properties, then click the compatibility tab and you can select anything back to Windows 95, as well as other options like display settings (remember when there were only 256 colors, or 640x480 resolution? Yes, you can make the program think those are the display settings).

Some PC savvy people in the OPs scenario would head to any one of a number of download sites to DL an image of Win 98 and burn it to a CD assuming it came with valid key. The problem with this is that it’s highly illegal and SD mods have warned bannings for people encouraging this behavior. Also if the worksite is corporate the risk of having an illegal OS in an onsite PC is not legally trivial if discovered, and can lead to employees being fired for having these in work PCs.

Risk reward is not in the favor of someone needing Win 98 for corporate use getting a hacked copy online. Just pay $15-$30 for a old Win 98 OS ebay CD with a valid key.

The OP has a legal key, it’s a reinstall.

The OP said “needs to reinstall”, not that he has a reinstall CD or the key.

But taking your example -

So if your installed software is audited by the IT or whatever department for license compliance and Win 98 using an illegal hacked key is detected, you tell them it’s OK because you bought a valid copy of 98 which has a legal key, but you could not find the CD so you had to get a cracked OS copy. So no harm, no foul right?

I’m not sure it would work that way.

No, I’m not suggesting using a hacked key. Download the windows 98 OEM image, burn, install using the legal key they already have. Just because you lost the cd doesn’t mean the key is gone. Almost every machine that came with windows 98 preinstall has a cd-key sticker. Failing that they can still recover the cd key from the machine before reinstalling.

And this existing 98 key will work with any valid Win 98 OS CD of the same generation? I did not know that.

Windows keys are never tied to disks.

Think about an IT department managing a few thousand computers. It’s going to get pretty annoying digging through a pile of disks every reinstall.

My understanding was that there were corporate versions intended for mass install and unified support by IT that operated like this with one master key and more or less unlimited installs ,and as such these were favorites for online copying, but that non-corporate versions had the keys tightly tied to specific CD disks.

I think those volume license keys started with Windows XP. The purpose for having them isn’t because keys are tied to the disc, it’s that Windows XP and up requires activation via phone or internet and a unique key. Volume license keys need a special XP Corporate CD, but they are all the same from company to company.

Geeze, I never thought it was that bad to suggest downloading it; after all, here is a recent thread where people openly talking about illegally downloading stuff (and mostly stuff that is currently being sold, as opposed to abandonware). Even a mod admits he did it once (post 10).

Also, since I mentioned it, I fully think that abandonware (anything that isn’t being currently sold or supported) is an entirely different category from currently sold works. Not to mention that copyright terms are totally unreasonable (so much that this is worth a Pit thread); by the time it expires, none of the software will likely exist in any form, much less be usable on any computer, outside of museums, probably even with an emulator (what will computers be like a century from now, when Windows 98 loses its copyright, much less software like 1980s DOS-based programs?).

Of course, I realize that doing this to a work PC could get you into trouble. Also, you have to be careful about buying from eBay because I have heard that cracked copies have been sold, especially when it is sold for far less that it would normally cost, as mentioned here. I’d still try the program compatibility options first before doing this. Also, what about lifting a thrown-out computer off the street? Surely that can’t be illegal to do (I have a Windows 98 computer that I use for hobby use that somebody threw out without wiping, including installed software).

Not to individual disks, no, but they are tied to releases. There’s more than one Windows 98 cd image out there, and there are almost certainly keys that work with some image and not with others.

From the FAQ:

Discussing piracy or copyright infringement isn’t verboten on this board, nor is admitting to having done it. We draw the line at explaining how.

We still recommend anyone who participates in copyright infringement or piracy to be careful about discussing it on the boards, as we will not remove it later. Anything posted here that does not violate our rules, stays here.

On to the OP:
Sunspace, Microsoft no longer distributes Windows 98 as that was one of the terms in Sun Microsystems’ lawsuit settlement back in 2001. (Sun Vs. Microsoft, 1997-2001) Those systems were phased out over a few years; in December 2003, Microsoft officially retired Windows 98 and cut all distribution through any channels. So your friend is basically restricted to the second-hand market, finding someone running a VM they could borrow access to or the Windows 7 W98 compatibility mode.

Why is the IT department not involved? Isn’t it their job to reinstall software? If it’s a small firm without an IT department, then who is in charge of fixing PC problems, and why can’t she go to that person or department? Did your friend somehow cause the problem doing something she shouldn’t have been doing?

Why would her employer require her to use an OS that’s been obsolete for nine years? Why would software that critical run only on such an outdated OS? Why is there not an updated version available for XP or later? Was it custom written software?

This doesn’t smell right.

Small business computer support guy checking in.

I agree, this is an odd thing. If my customer came to me with this problem I would probably be looking into just building a Win98 VM and looking into how to migrate this data to a newer platform.

If this issue involves reloading a win98 era machine (I just replaced a 12 year old win2k server at a business so I know it happens) they are betting business functionality on hardware at triple its service lifetime. This is begging for a catastrophic failure and loss of time and or data.

I don’t know what places you’ve worked, but I’ve been at a couple where they were in a situation like this. They had some LOB programs that were written in-house by a guy whose programming skills were questionable at best. The code was nearly incomprehensible so updating it would have been a massive undertaking, and replacing it would have been fairly costly. And yes, there were a couple of modules that didn’t work on NT and therefore had to be run on a Windows 98 VM.

I have a few new in the wrapper 98-se
and many versions of AOHell new5 and up new?
AOHell 3 on floppies? I’m your huckleberry… :wink:

If you have - or know someone with - a Technet or MSDN license you can download it from Microsoft. You’ll still need a valid license key.

Belay that, at least for downloading from Technet, as I’ve double-checked and it’s gone.