I got asked recently to look at a computer running Windows 98. I laughed a little but I took it and fixed it up. If you’ve still got friends or relatives living in the computer stone age here is what I did to get it back up and running to good working order. Hopefully it will help you get things working too.
First, I installed Avast!4, they support operating systems all the way down to Windows 95. Avast states on their website though that Windows 95 through NT4 will only be supported until the end of 2009.
After Avast ran it cleared up most of the virus issues but there were still some spyware issues so I installed Spybot. Currently, Spybot is fully functional in Windows 98 but I imagine the support will end soon. Spybot cleared up all of the spyware issues.
The last thing left was to clear up the missing files that were trying to load on startup, all files pointing to spyware that is no longer there. Click Start -> Run and type msconfig then click go through the startup list and uncheck any items that might be related to the spyware that was on the system.
Just to make sure the system was clean I ran CCleaner. This way I know there are no little baddies hanging around in the registry and the rest of the system is cleaned up.
If you’ve got some tips for others on fixing up some of those older computers leave them in the comments.