How to Install Windows 98 on VMware Fusion in macOS/Mac

In this article, we will examine how to set up Windows 98 on a new virtual machine using VMware Fusion 12 Pro in macOS operating system on an Apple Mac computer.

How to Install Windows 98 on VMware Fusion in macOS/Mac

How to Run Windows 98 on Mac using VMware Fusion 12 Pro

Microsoft released the Windows 98 operating system, the predecessor of Windows 95, on June 25, 1998. Developed as a minor update to Windows 95, it has few features.

Key innovations of Windows 98 include the improved Internet Explorer web browser, the ability to create larger partitions, the system configuration tool, and disk cleaner tools.

Although it is unreasonable to install older distributions of Windows on today’s computers, you can use virtual machines to use these systems in your current operating system.

You can install and run old systems on virtual computers by using the Fusion software developed by VMware for Apple macOS systems.

How to Create a New Virtual Machine for Windows 98

After installing the Fusion virtualization software on your Apple Mac computer, you can now create a new virtual computer and install either Windows, Linux, or macOS.

   Step 1

After opening Fusion 12 Pro, you will see options with different installation methods. To install from scratch and configure its settings better, select the Create a custom virtual machine option and click the Continue button.

Choosing the Installation Method

   Step 2

To select the system to install on the virtual machine, select Windows 98 in the guest operating systems window and continue.

Choosing a Guest Operating System

   Step 3

For a clean install of Windows, choose to create a new virtual disk and continue.

Creating a New Virtual Disk

   Step 4

After clicking Customize Settings in the window showing the summary information of the virtual machine, click Save to continue without changing the default location.

Configuring the Installation Location of the Virtual Machine

   Step 5

When the virtual machine’s settings are opened, click Processors & Memory and configure the RAM size to 512 MB.

Configuring Virtual Memory Size

   Step 6

To assign an IP address to the virtual machine from the DHCP server in your local network, change the network adapter setting to Ethernet.

Configuring Network Card as Ethernet

   Step 7

Change the virtual disk size to 4 GB in the Hard Disk settings and click Apply.

Increasing Virtual Disk Size

   Step 8

To add a Windows 98 ISO file to the virtual computer, click Choose a disc or disc image from the drop-down list in the CD/DVD settings.

Adding a Windows 98 ISO File to a Virtual Machine

   Step 9

Select the Windows 98 First Edition ISO file you downloaded to your computer from the table below the article and click Open.

Choosing the Windows 98 ISO File

   Step 10

Open the advanced settings of the guest machine and disable the Side Channel Mitigations feature and also change the Troubleshooting feature to None.

Disable Side Channel Mitigations

   Step 11

After configuring the virtual computer’s settings and adding the ISO file, run your VM.

Running the Virtual Computer

How to Install Windows 98

After creating and preparing your virtual computer on your Mac, you can now begin the Windows 98 installation.

   Step 1

After starting your guest system, press Enter on the Boot from CD-ROM from the Startup Menu options.

Boot from CD-ROM

   Step 2

Since you will install the system with the ISO image, press Enter in the Start Windows 98 Setup from CD-ROM option.

Start Windows 98 Setup from CD-ROM

   Step 3

You can press Enter to continue the Microsoft Windows 98 installation, F1 to learn more about the installation, or F3 to exit the installation.

Accepting the Windows 98 License Agreement

   Step 4

Choose to configure unallocated disk space because you created a clean virtual disk.

Configuring Unallocated Disk Space

   Step 5

Since you have set the virtual disk size to 4 GB, enable large disk support.

Enabling Large Disk Support

   Step 6

Press Enter to reboot the guest machine after enabling large disk space usage.

Restarting the Virtual Computer

   Step 7

When your guest machine restarts, you will come to the disk formatting screen by following the same steps above. Please wait a bit at this stage while your virtual disk is being formatted.

Formatting Virtual Disk

   Step 8

Press Enter when the setup wizard is ready to install Windows.

Starting the System Check

   Step 9

Before continuing with the installation, the wizard will run a routine check of your virtual disk.

Microsoft ScanDisk

   Step 10

When the Windows 98 setup wizard opens, click Continue to continue the system setup.

Windows 98 Setup Wizard

   Step 11

Wait while the installation wizard prepares.

Windows 98 Setup

   Step 12

After choosing to install Windows 98 to the default C:\WINDOWS directory, click Next.


   Step 13

Wait while the Windows directory is being prepared and checking disk space.

Preparing Windows Directory

   Step 14

Select the commonly used Typical installation type in the Windows installation options and click Next.

Selecting the Installation Type

   Step 15

Check the Install most common Windows components option and click Next again.

Selecting Windows Components

   Step 16

Type a new computer name that will be different from other computers on your network and continue.

Typing a Computer Name

   Step 17

Select the country or region you live in to receive more relevant news and information based on your location.

Choosing the Location

   Step 18

Click Next when the wizard is ready to copy the system files.

Starting Copying System Files

   Step 19

Wait while the Microsoft Windows 98 system is installed on your guest machine.

Copying Windows Files

   Step 20

Restart your virtual computer after Windows 98 is installed.

System Reboot

   Step 21

When your virtual system boots up, type a new username and continue.

Typing a Username

   Step 22

Accept the license agreement of the Windows 98 operating system and click Next.

Accepting the License Agreement

   Step 23

Type the product key of the Microsoft Windows 98 system and click Next.

Typing the Product Key

   Step 24

After the installation wizard collects all the information, click Finish to start the system.

Starting Windows 98

   Step 25

Wait while the setup wizard scans for plug and play hardware in your virtual system.

Windows Detects for Plug and Play Devices

   Step 26

Wait while the wizard reboots your virtual system after detecting for hardware.

Microsoft Windows 98

   Step 27

Configure the time and date information according to the country you live in and close the window.

Time and Date Settings

   Step 28

Wait while the wizard updates your system settings.

Updating System Settings

   Step 29

When your guest machine restarts, type your username and click OK.

System Login

   Step 30

The first desktop view of Windows 98 will be as follows when you log on to your Guest operating system.

Microsoft Windows 98 Desktop Display

How to Install VMware Tools

After installing Windows 98 with VMware Fusion on macOS, you need to install VMware Tools in order to use your virtual machine with more performance and stability. After installing the VM tools, you can drag and drop files between your Mac and guest system or fit the screen resolution to full screen.

   Step 1

While your guest machine is running, click Virtual Machine / Install VMware Tools from the Fusion tool menu. Click Install in the warning window that opens and continues.

VMware Tools Installation

   Step 2

Click Next to continue the installation in the VMware Tools wizard.

VMware Tools Installation Wizard

   Step 3

If you plan to use your virtual system with other products of VMware, select Complete from the installation options and click Next.

Selecting the Installation Type

   Step 4

Click Install to continue installing the virtual machine’s drivers.

Starting Installation

   Step 5

If you receive the Microsoft HTML Help Engine warning during installation, click Yes.

Installing the Microsoft HTML Help Engine

   Step 6

After installing VM Tools on Windows 98, restart your guest system.

Rebooting the Guest Machine

   Step 7

When your guest machine is turned on, check that file transfer can be done by dragging and dropping a file or folder from your Mac’s desktop location to your VM.

Drag and Drop File Transfer Between Host and VM

   Step 8

Also, you can click View / Full Screen from the tool menu to use your guest machine in full-screen resolution.

Fit Virtual Machine to Full Screen

How to Check Internet Connection

After installing the drivers for your Guest operating system, you may need to check your Internet connection.

   Step 1

Open MS-DOS Prompt via the start menu and test your connection by pinging Google servers by executing the ping command.

Testing Network Connection by Pinging Google Servers

   Step 2

After clicking Internet Explorer, select “My Computer is Already Set Up for the Internet” in the Internet Connection Wizard and click Next.

Selecting My Computer is Set to Internet

   Step 3

When you visit the Google homepage via Internet Explorer, you can now see that you can access the Internet without any problems.

Viewing the Google Homepage via Internet Explorer

How to Install Audio Driver

You may find that the audio device drivers for Windows 98 on Fusion are not automatically installed. So you have to manually install the driver for the audio device.

   Step 1

Right-click on My Computer and open System Properties. Click the Device Manager tab in the System Properties window and double-click the PCI Multimedia Audio Device and click the Reinstall Driver button.

Updating PCI Multimedia Audio Device Driver

   Step 2

Proceed with the recommended option for manual installation in the driver update wizard.

Updating Device Driver

   Step 3

Check the Specify a Location option in the driver update wizard, and specify the location of the audio driver you downloaded to your computer from the table at the bottom of the article, and continue.

Selecting Driver Location

   Step 4

After specifying the driver location, click Next and complete the installation.

Checking Driver Location

   Step 5

Click OK when you get an Insert Disk error while installing the audio driver.

Specifying the Location of Driver Files

   Step 6

Specify the location of the driver file again and click OK.

Specifying the Wdmdrv Folder

   Step 7

After successfully installing the driver for the audio device, click Finish.


   Step 8

When you check Device Manager, this time you can see that the drivers for the audio device are installed.

Audio Driver Installed Successfully

How to Install USB Driver

After installing the driver for the audio device in Windows 98, you must also install the USB drivers manually so that you can use USB 2.0 devices on your system.

   Step 1

Download the USB 2.0 Driver to your computer from the table at the bottom of the article and double-click the USB Mass Storage Controller Driver in the USB Driver folder.

Installing the USB Driver

   Step 2

Extract the archived USB 2.0 drivers to the folder.

Extracting an Archived Drive to a Folder

   Step 3

Open Device Manager again and double click the PCI Universal Serial Bus device and click the update driver button. In the next window, specify the location of the USB drivers you downloaded to your computer and click OK.

Specifying the Location of the USB Drive

   Step 4

After installing the USB 2.0 driver, check the Device Manager and restart your system.

Universal Serial Bus Driver Installed Successfully

How to Use USB Flash Memory

After installing the USB drivers in the Windows 98 virtual machine, you can use your flash memory or portable storage device.

   Step 1

Insert a flash drive into your Mac’s USB port and when the Fusion program asks where you want to connect your device, first connect it to your Mac.

Connecting USB Flash Drive to Mac

   Step 2

Before you can use a USB flash drive with NTFS file format on your macOS system, you need to change the file format to accommodate Windows 98 as well. So open Disk Utility and change the file format of your flash drive to MS-DOS (FAT).

Converting USB Disk's File Format to FAT

   Step 3

Click Virtual Machine / USB & Bluetooth / Connect (Name of Your USB) from the tool menu to connect your USB stick to your guest machine.

Connecting Flash Memory to Virtual Machine

   Step 4

When the add hardware wizard opens, specify the location of the USB drive folder again to be able to use your USB disk.

Installing a USB Mass Storage Device

   Step 5

Check that the driver for your USB storage device has been updated.

USB Driver Installed Successfully

   Step 6

After updating the USB Mass Storage Controller driver, restart your virtual system.

Restarting the Virtual Machine

   Step 7

Create a new folder called Backup on your USB drive on your Mac.

Creating a New Folder on USB Disk

   Step 8

After connecting your USB flash memory to your guest machine again, check the contents of your USB disk.

Checking Contents of USB Drive in Virtual Machine

How to Install System Drivers

After you have successfully installed the audio and USB drivers for your Windows 98 virtual computer, you need to downgrade the hardware before you can install the other drivers of your system.

   Step 1

When you check the drivers for other devices in your guest operating system, you can see that PCI System Peripheral is not installed.

PCI System Peripheral

   Step 2

Turn off your virtual computer and click on Compatibility after opening its settings. Change the hardware version from 18 to 6 and click Apply.

Changing the Hardware Compatibility of the Guest Machine

   Step 3

When you turn on your Guest virtual system again, you can see that this time the drivers that are not installed have been successfully installed.

Checking Drivers of Windows 98 System

   Video 1

   Video 2

Download Windows 98 FE and Driver

Windows 98 FE (First Edition) ISO
Windows 98 FE Audio Driver
Windows 98 FE USB 2.0 Driver


Download Windows 98 SE and Driver

Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) ISO
Windows 98 SE All Drivers
Windows 98 SE USB 2.0 Driver
Windows 98 SE Sound Driver


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