Extreme How-to: Network Windows 7 and Windows 98

Yesterday the Windows Team Blog introduced a new member to its family of Windows related blogs called the Windows Extreme Blog. With the launch of this new innovative blog, I would like to publish one of my first Extreme Windows Blog post to coincide with this theme since the aim is to share experiences that are outside of the traditional types of activities.

Yes, you read right, Windows 98. Now, some persons might be wondering if I have ran out of ideas or experiences to write about regarding Windows 7. Which is understandable, considering the wealth of information and resources that exist across the web about Microsoft’s latest operating system. In a previous article I talked about the on-going progress for many persons  who are still running older versions of Windows migrating to Windows 7. Although Windows XP is a larger bulk of that ongoing migration, there is still a small batch of Windows 9x (98 and ME users) out there.

One particular story I came across on a forum is a user running Windows 98 with GB’s of files he said he would like to bring over to his Windows 7 machine. I found the challenge an exciting one and decided to find out if it was possible to network a modern version of Windows with a 12 year old version way past its expiry date. The answer is, its very much possible, but involves some hands on configuration than what you would require between two Windows 7 PC’s. It’s a testament to how far we have come. Networking PC’s today in Windows 7 is so much easier, HomeGroups make it a cinch to share files and resources such as a printer.

Lets get started:

I tried this with Windows 98 SE and Windows 7 64 bit and it worked just as a I describe. Hurdles you might encounter:

– Setting File sharing
– Ethernet Adapter if you don’t have one installed in the Windows 98 machine, this will make it a challenge.
– You might need to have your Windows 98 disk on hand especially for installing and configuring TCP/IP

In Windows 98

On the desktop, right click ‘Network Neighborhood’
Click Properties
Go to the ‘Identification’ tab
Enter a WORKGROUP name

Enter a ‘Computer name’:

Click Apply and OK

Changing Workgroup settings in Windows 7

You should use this workgroup name also on Windows 7 machine.
In Windows 7, click Start, right click Computer
Click Properties
Under ‘Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings’
Click ‘Change settings’
Select the ‘Computer Name’ tab
Next to ‘To rename this computer or change its domain or workgroup, click Change.

Enter the WORKGROUP name we created in Windows 98

Make sure the workgroup name is the same as the one on the Windows 98 machine, you might be required to restart the machine for settings to be applied. Do so.

Once Windows 7 has restarted, you are gonna apply an IP address

Click Start, click Network
Click Network and Sharing Center
Under Control Panel Home
Click ‘Change Adapter Settings’
Right click your Network adapter
Click Properties
Select TCI/IP 4
Click Properties
select ‘Use the following IP address’:


Click OK

Click Apply and OK
Back to the Windows 98 machine

On the desktop, right click ‘Network Neighborhood’
Click Properties

Select the ‘Configuration’ tab
Select TCP/IP
(again, if its not listed, click Add and follow to wizard to install one, you should make sure you already have an Ethernet adapter installed or this will be futile experience).

Click Properties
Select IP Address tab
Select ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’
Click OK

In the Primary Network Logon: box, select:
Clients for Microsoft Networks

Click File and Print Sharing

Check ‘I want to be able to give others access to my files"

You might be prompted to insert your Windows 98 CD and restart your computer (good luck with that).

Still in Windows 98,
Open My Computer

Right click the C:\ drive or wherever Windows 98 is installed
Click ‘Sharing’
Select ‘Shared As’
Share Name, for example: ‘WIN98BKUP’

If you don’t want to share the drive, you can individually share the folder if you want instead.

Access Type: Full

Give it a password just to be safe: call it: win98
Confirm the password
Click OK
Click Apply and OK

Restart the machine.


You should now see both machines appear on each others Network:

My Windows 7 machine even shows up in Windows 98

In Windows 7, click Start,
Click Network
you should see the Windows 98 machine show up
The C:\ drive that was shared appear as a folder
Double click it, enter the password we created: win98
Browse it and copy and paste over whatever files you need


Filed under 7 Journal

8 responses to “Extreme How-to: Network Windows 7 and Windows 98

  1. Derek

    I could not quite get this to work. I can see the other computer’s share file, but when it prompts me to enter the password, it never accepts it. I am sure I am inputting the password correctly? Any suggestions?

    Also, I’m a little unclear as to why the windows 7 machine has to have that specific static IP address that you listed. Likewise, why does the win98 machine have to automatically acquire it?

    • Remember, you need to specifically setup the location in Windows 98 to be shared. In my case, I wanted to copy data from the My Documents folder, so I had to share the My Documents folder.

      For example, right click the My Documents folder:
      Click ‘Sharing’
      Select ‘Shared As’
      Share Name ‘WIN98BKUP’

      Access Type: Full

      Click Apply OK

      Give it a password just to be safe: call it: win98
      Confirm the password
      Click OK
      Click Apply and OK

      Restart the machine.

  2. fernan

    on win98, simply manually find the directory of win7 using the find command on win98, now you can connect to win7


  3. James

    Will your method allow me to re install video driver on Win98 if video driver is on Win7 laptop
    Win98SE laptop isTwinhead PT88te -no display except in safe mode and does not have internet access, cdrom or usb
    I have cross over cable
    Thanks James

  4. beast

    this didn’t work at all. neither computer detects the other.

  5. Fernando

    I was able to access Win98 form Win7, but not the contrary. Win98 network can see Win7 is there, but can’t access anything. Any clues?

    • Paulo

      Same here, but i use windows 10 instead.
      Can´t access windows 10 computers with windows 98 but can access windows 98 with windows 10 computers.

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