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Windows 98 rescue disk lacks important component

June 12, 1998
Web posted at: 12:00 p.m EDT

by Brian McWilliams

(IDG) -- In only two weeks millions of PC owners will begin installing the final version of Windows 98 on their machines. But already some who've received advanced copies of the operating system upgrade have discovered an error that could cause downtime for the unlucky.

The problem is with the emergency start-up disk that Microsoft recommends you create when installing the new operating system. It's supposed to help you boot into safe mode from your floppy drive if Windows 98 won't start. And if you're really having problems, the emergency disk is supposed to have a utility that lets you can uninstall Windows 98 altogether.

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But as Minnesota computer writer John Stewart discovered when he tried uninstalling the final Windows 98 upgrade on his new Acer computer, Microsoft inadvertently left uninstal.exe off the floppy disk. Stewart says it's like Ford selling you a car with instructions for changing the tire, and when you open the trunk, the spare isn't there.

Microsoft today confirmed that the Win 98 emergency disk doesn't include the uninstall utility. As a work-around, the company said users can uninstall the new OS by using the utility on the Win 98 CD-ROM. It's also stored on the hard disk in the Windows\Command folder.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company will soon post an article about the work-around in the Microsoft Knowledgebase Web site. And when Win 98 officially launches on June 25, Microsoft's telephone support people will be able to walk users through the steps to get their system up and running.

Upgrading to Windows 98 should go smoothly for most people. But just to be on the safe side, if you're planning on installing Windows 98, make sure you manually copy uninstall.exe onto your emergency disk.

And just to be sure you know what you're getting into, when you first pop the new Win 98 CD-ROM into your CD-ROM, use the "Browse this CD" option to view the readme file that's stored there. It'll give you a rundown of some of the hardware and
software that's known to cause Win 98 installation problems.

Tune in to PC World News Radio to hear today's news broadcast via RealAudio.


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