Throwback Thursday: Windows Millennium Edition. Windows millenium edition

Windows millenium edition

Some quick rules about IMGMAKE (for more detail, see: Guide: Managing image files in DOSBox-X):

  • Diskette (floppy) images are always created as FAT12.
  • If your reported DOS version is 7.1 or higher, then harddisk images up to 512MB will use FAT16 by default.
  • Larger size harddisk images will use FAT32 by default (larger than 2GB can only be created as FAT32).

Alternatively, you can use the.fat option to instruct IMGMAKE to create a certain FAT type (assuming that is possible for the harddisk size).

First you need to start DOSBox-X from the command-line, using your newly created winme.conf. This assumes that dosbox-x is in your path and winme.conf is in your current directory.

Then in DOSBox-X you need to create a new harddisk image file with IMGMAKE.

This example uses an 8GB hard disk image with a single FAT32 formatted partition. The maximum FAT32 partition size for Windows ME should be 2TB, but this has not yet been tested in DOSBox-X.

In later Windows versions, starting with Windows 2000, Microsoft won’t let you format a volume bigger than 32GB with FAT32 using its built-in formatting tool, this was presumably to push migrations to NTFS and later exFAT.

Or if you want to create a larger disk, you can create a custom type. This is an example of a 16GB (161024=16384 MB) disk, which due to its size, will be formatted as FAT32.

IMGMAKE HDD.img.t HD.size 16384

Installation Method 1: Boot from CD-ROM image

It is possible to boot directly from the Windows ME CD-ROM, as long as you have the “OEM Full” edition, in which case no separate bootdisk is needed.


  • DOSBox-X 0.83.12 or later, these instructions will NOT work with other DOSBox forks.
  • Windows ME OEM Full edition CD-ROM image (named “WinME.iso” in the example below).

Getting this image file is outside the scope of this guide.

Starting the installation

This assumes you have already started DOSBox-X with the winme.conf config file and created your harddisk image.

First mount the harddisk image you created earlier:

Now let’s boot from the CD-ROM and start the installation.


You will first get a Startup menu, where you need to select “Boot from CD-ROM”. After which you will get the “Microsoft Windows Millennium Startup Menu” where you need to select “Start computer with CD-ROM support.”

After it finished loading the CD-ROM support, you will be at the DOS A:\ prompt. Now type the following commands:

At this point it should format the harddisk and the installation process should start.

When the Windows installer reboots, and you’re back at the DOSBox-X Z:\ prompt. Close DOSBox-X and edit your winme.conf config file, and add the following lines in the [autoexec] section at the end of the file:


Now start DOSBox-X as follows to continue the installation process:

Transfer Windows ME install files to your HDD image

This is an optional step. It is to prevent Windows from asking for the CD-ROM whenever it needs additional files.

Boot Windows ME with the CD-ROM image mounted. In Windows ME, copy the \WIN9X directory and its contents from the CD-ROM to your C: drive. You can copy it to any directory you want, but we assume here that you copied it to C:\WIN9X

Once the files are copied, start REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup and change SourcePath= to the location where you copied the files. e.g., SourcePath=C:\WIN9X

In the case of Windows ME, copying the entire directory will require roughly 195MB of diskspace. The \WIN9X\OLS sub-directory can however be skipped which will save roughly 42MB, bringing the total to roughly 153MB.

Installation Method 2

This method will start the installation from DOSBox-X and does not require a bootable CD-ROM image.


  • DOSBox-X 0.83.12 or later, these instructions will NOT work with other DOSBox forks.
  • Windows ME CD-ROM image (named “WinME.iso” in the example below).

Getting this image file is outside the scope of this guide.

Starting the installation

This assumes you have already started DOSBox-X with the winme.conf config file and created your harddisk image.

First mount the harddisk image you created earlier:

You will also need to mount the Windows ME CD-ROM. There are a few ways of doing so, but this guide assumes you have a ISO image.

If you have a copy of the Windows ME CD-ROM as an ISO (or a cue/bin pair), you can mount it as follows:

Copying the contents of the CD-ROM

While not strictly necessary, as it is possible to run SETUP.EXE directly from the CD-ROM (if you have the CD-ROM automatically mounted in your [autoexec] section of the config file). It is recommended to copy the installation files (contents of the WIN9X directory on the CD-ROM) to your HDD image, as it will prevent Windows ME from asking for the CD-ROM when it needs additional files later.

The files in the above example are copied to the C:\WIN9X directory. You may want to use C:\Windows\OPTIONS\CABS instead, as that is the directory that OEM installs normally use. But if you do, be aware that the installer will attempt to install into C:\Windows.000 as C:\Windows already exists.

If you get the above screen during SETUP, select “Other directory” to change it back to C:\Windows


Now run through the installation process. The actual steps will not be covered in this guide, but are pretty self-explanatory and detailed guides on the Windows ME install process can be found online such as YouTube.

When the installer reboots DOSBox-X, and you’re back at the DOSBox-X Z:\ prompt, type EXIT.

Now edit your winme.conf config file. At the end of the file, in the [autoexec] section, add the following two lines:

Save the config file, and at the command-prompt of your host PC you can type the below command to continue with the next phase of the installation process. This is also the command you use, after the installation is finished, to start Windows ME in DOSBox-X.

Booting Windows ME after installation

After the installation is finished, you can start Windows ME from the command-prompt of your host PC, with the following command:

You can optionally create a shortcut on your desktop to start Windows ME directly.

Steps to take after Installation

Once Windows ME is installed, here is some additional software you may want to install or update:

  • Install Microsoft.NET framework version 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0
  • Install Microsoft Visual C 2005 runtime
  • Update to Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 (rarely needed)
  • Update to Microsoft DirectX 9.0c
  • Install Microsoft Windows Installer 2.0
  • Install Microsoft WinG 1.0 (needed by just a few games, and those games typically include it)
  • Install Microsoft GDI redistributable
  • Install Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0
  • Install/Update to Adobe Flash Player
  • Install Apple QuickTime 6.5.2

Mounting CD or Diskette images

DOSBox-X supports mounting CD and diskette (floppy) images, and making those available to an OS booted in DOSBox-X. But only if the image files are specified before starting real DOS or Windows 9x. The option to load image files from the menu bar becomes unavailable the moment you boot DOS or Win9x in DOSBox-X.

This is a known limitation that hopefully will be resolved in the near future.

For now, you can work around it, by specifying multiple image files with the IMGMOUNT command as such:

IMGMOUNT A disk1.img disk2.img disk3.img IMGMOUNT D cd1.iso cd2.iso cd3.iso

You can then swap between disk images with the swap option from the menu.

Enabling networking

To enable networking, you first need to enable NE2000 adapter emulation in your winme.conf config file and select an appropriate back-end for the NE2000 emulation.

Enabling NE2000 in your DOSBox-X config file

Starting with DOSBox-X 0.83.12 there are two different back-ends to the NE2000 adapter emulation. The default is backend=auto. which implies backend=slirp if SLIRP support is available, otherwise backend=pcap is implied if PCAP support is available.


The PCAP back-end uses something called “Promiscuous mode”. This has the advantage that DOSBox-X can support various legacy network protocols, such as IPX and NetBIOS Frames (aka NetBEUI) in addition to TCP/IP. This mode not only allows communication between DOSBox-X instances on the same network, but also with legacy PCs on the same network.

However, for this to work DOSBox-X needs to have very low-level access to your real network adapter. In some cases, this is not possible, such as:

  • Network Adapter or Driver not supporting Promiscuous mode (most wireless adapters fall into this category).
  • Your Ethernet switch not allowing multiple MAC addresses on a single port or doing any kind of MAC address whitelisting.
  • Sandboxed versions of DOSBox-X (e.g., Flatpak) not allowing the required low-level access.

To enable NE2000 emulation with the pcap back-end, add the following to your winme.conf config file:

[ne2000] ne2000=true nicirq=10 backend=pcap [ethernet, pcap] realnic=list

The list value for realnic= will need to be replaced by a value representing your actual network adapter. See Guide: Setting up networking in DOSBox-X for more information.


Unlike the PCAP back-end, the SLIRP back-end does not require Promiscuous mode. As such it will work with wireless adapters, and it will work in most sandboxed environments.

But obviously, it has its own limitations.

  • It is not supported in all platforms, such as Windows Visual Studio builds.
  • It only supports the TCP/IP protocol (other protocols must be TCP/IP encapsulated).
  • It is effectively behind a NAT (Network Address Translation) gateway, meaning that you can communicate outbound, but no systems on the LAN can instantiate a new connection to it. Which means that two DOSBox-X instances on the same LAN using backend=slirp cannot communicate with each other.

To enable NE2000 emulation with the slirp back-end, add the following to your winme.conf config file:

[ne2000] ne2000=true nicirq=10 backend=slirp

Setting up NE2000 networking in Windows ME

Windows ME does not detect the emulated NE2000 adapter during installation as it is not a ISA PnP or PCI adapter. As such you need to set it up manually afterwards, which is quite a bit more involved than in older Windows versions.

On the Windows ME desktop, click the “Start” button followed by “Settings” and “Control Panel”. In the “Control Panel” window, click on the “view all Control Panel options.” link on the left side. You should now see more options displayed. Double-click on the “Add New Hardware” icon.

Now let the Hardware Wizard detect new hardware. If it presents a question if the “Advanced Power Management support” listed is what you want to configure, select “No, the device isn’t in the list”, and click the “Next ” button.

Now Windows ME will offer to search for the hardware. This search will not work, so select the option “No, I want to select the hardware from a list.”, and click the “Next ” button.

You will now be asked for the hardware type to install, highlight “Network adapters”, and click the “Next ” button.

You will be presented with a “Select Device” dialogue where you need to select “Novell/Anthem” for the manufacturer and “NE2000 Compatible” for the Model, and click the “OK” button.

Windows ME will now present you with a resource dialogue with completely invalid resources and no way to directly edit them. Click the “Next ” button to continue.

Now click the “Finish button” to complete the process.

Windows ME will now want to shut down for the changes to take effect. However since the resources that it set for the emulated NE2000 adapter are invalid, we should fix that first. As such click the “No” button.

Now double-click on the “System” icon, and you will now get the “System Properties” window. Select the “Device Manager” tab and highlight the “NE2000 Compatible” option and click on the “Properties” button.

throwback, thursday, windows, millennium, edition, millenium

You will now get a “NE2000 Compatible Properties” window where you need to select the “Resources” tab.

Now highlight “Interrupt Request” and click on the “Change Settings” button. Change the value to 10 as set with nicirq= in your winme.conf file and click the “OK” button.

Now highlight “Input/Output Range” and click on the “Change Settings button” Change the value to “0300-031F” and click the “OK” button.

Now close the “NE2000 Compatible Properties” window by clicking the “OK” button.

Windows ME will now ask you to shut down to apply the settings, click the “Yes” button to let it perform a shutdown. After the shutdown you will have to restart DOSBox-X.

Emulated video adapter and video mode

The default video adapter that DOSBox-X emulates is the S3 Trio64, which is the best emulated video adapter that DOSBox-X offers, with the widest range of resolutions and colour depths. In addition, this video adapter is supported out-of-the-box in Windows ME, simplifying the installation process.

The available video modes with the S3 Trio64 driver are:

  • 4-bit colour (16): 640×480
  • 8-bit colour (256): 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, 1152×864, 1280×1024 and 1600×1200
  • 16-bit colour (65536): 640×480, 800×600 and 1024×768
  • 32-bit colour (16.7M): 640×480 and 800×600

A few enhancements have been made to the emulated S3 Trio64, compared to a real S3 Trio64:

  • No real S3 Trio64 was ever produced with more than 4MB video memory, under DOSBox-X you can optionally configure 8MB.
  • The real cards never supported wide-screen resolutions, wide-screen VESA modes can optionally be enabled in DOSBox-X.

However, these enhancements cannot be used in Windows ME with the S3 video driver due to driver limitations. An updated S3 Trio64 video driver is not available for Windows ME. As such you will be limited to the above video modes with this driver.

VESA driver

These restrictions can be overcome by switching to the Universal VESA/VBE Video Display Driver (VBEMP).

First add the following lines to your DOSBox-X config file in the section:

allow high definition vesa modes=true allow unusual vesa modes=true allow low resolution vesa modes=false

Download and extract the latest VBEMP driver package and install the driver from the 032MB directory.

With these settings modes up to 1920×1080 in 32bit colour, or 1920×1440 in 16bit colour are possible.

Emulated sound card

The emulated sound card used in this guide is the SB16 Vibra, instead of the default SB16. This is simply because the SB16 Vibra is an ISA PnP card, and therefore automatically detected by Windows. There is no other real advantage of using the emulated SB16 Vibra over the SB16.

Windows ME includes WDM driver version 4.90.2471.1. No newer driver appears to exist.

Enabling General MIDI

If you have a working DOSBox-X General MIDI setup, either emulated or real, you can use that in Windows ME.

Go to “Start”, “Settings” and open “Control Panel”, and then double-click on “Sounds and Multimedia”. If you don’t see this option listed, click on the “view all Control Panel options” link on the left side.

Now on the “Audio” tab, change the “MIDI Music Playback” option to “Creative MPU-401”, and click OK to close the window.

For more information about setting up MIDI support, see Guide: Setting up MIDI in DOSBox-X

Enabling printing

Print to PostScript

For the best print quality, you will want to print to a PostScript printer in Windows ME.

First, set up your DOSBox-X config to print to a file as such:

[dosbox] captures=capture [parallel] parallel1=file timeout=2000

Next in Windows ME, select any PostScript printer such as the “QMS ColorScript 100 Model 30”, during printer setup connected to LPT1.

When you print, a.prt file in your captures= directory will be created, which despite the extension, is actually a PostScript file.

On Linux and macOS, PostScript files are natively supported and can be viewed and printed. On a Windows host, it is necessary to install a separate PostScript viewer such as GSview.

Epson emulation

As an alternative, you can use the integrated Epson printer emulation, but the output quality will be significantly less compared to PostScript.

First, set up your DOSBox-X config to emulate an Epson printer as such:

[parallel] parallel1=printer [printer] printer=true printoutput=ps multipage=true timeout=2000

Next in Windows ME, select any Epson dot-matrix printer, such as the “Epson LQ-860” option during printer setup connected to LPT1

When you print, a PostScript file with extension will be created in your current working directory. The emulated Epson printer settings can be adjusted as documented on the above linked wiki printing guide.

dfx Voodoo

The emulated 3dfx Voodoo PCI device is enabled by default in DOSBox-X, and Windows ME includes a driver and will automatically detect it.

Windows ME includes a driver dated 4-23-1999. There is a 3.01.00 update available. After the update it will show a date of 4-29-1999.

If for some reason you do not want 3dfx Voodoo emulation, it can be disabled by adding the following lines to your DOSBox-X config:

Glide pass-through

DOSBox-X supports glide pass-through with Windows ME. There are however a few points you need to be aware of.

  • The DOSBox-X and glide-wrapper installed on the host need to be the same architecture. So, if you’re using a 64bit DOSBox-X, you need to use a 64-bit glide-wrapper.
  • The Linux SDL2 DOSBox-X does not work with OpenGlide, this is a limitation of OpenGlide (see OpenGlide issue #20). The work-around is to use the SDL1 DOSBox-X instead.

You need to set the following DOSBox-X config option:

You will also need a specially patched GLIDE2X.DLL which you can place in either the C:\Windows\System directory of Windows ME, or in the game directory. But be aware that some games come with their own GLIDE2X.DLL, which typically gets installed in the game directory. If so, you will have to remove this DLL file for glide pass-through to work.

For more detail on 3dfx Voodoo emulation, see the Guide: Setting up 3dfx Voodoo in DOSBox-X

Hard Disk Read-ahead optimization

In “System Properties”, select the “Performance” tab, and click the “File System…​” button. A separate “File System Properties” window will open. On the “Hard Disk” tab you can specify the Read-ahead optimization.

Based on benchmark results (WinBench 96), it seems that setting this to “None” gives the best performance in combination with DOSBox-X, although the difference is marginal. This is no doubt because the host system is better at caching then the Windows ME cache function.

Host Folder mounts

Starting with DOSBox-X 2022.08.0, there is optional support to dynamically convert a host folder mount to an emulated FAT harddisk for use when you need to boot a guest OS, such as Windows ME. This can be accomplished in one of two ways. Either when you issue the boot command, you add the option.convertfat. e.g. boot c:.convertfat.

Or by setting the following option in your DOSBox-X config file:

[sdl] convertdrivefat = true

When you now boot from a real image file, it will attempt to convert ALL folder mounts at the time of booting to emulated FAT Harddisks.

One thing to note, is that there is no way to specify the FAT type to use for the conversion. The FAT type will be automatically selected based on the aggregate size of files in the folder, plus 250MiB (this can be adjusted with the convert fat free space option in the DOSBox-X config file). If the total space of files 250MiB does not exceed 2GiB, it will convert it into a FAT16 disk. Otherwise, it will become a FAT32, which in turn will require a guest OS with FAT32 support.

Alternatively, you can also make the emulated FAT drive read-only by using the.convertfatro option with the boot command. Or by setting convert fat free space=0 option in the DOSBox-X config file.

Outstanding issues

Throwback Thursday: Windows Millennium Edition

Windows Millennium Edition—or, Windows Me—is unfairly criticized for being an unexpected and unwanted extension of the Windows 9x family of products. But this innovative OS ushered in a number of technologies that we take for granted today.

Windows 98 SE vs Windows Millennium Edition. Which is faster and better in games?

To make my case, I’ve uploaded a number of videos to YouTube today. These videos were made by Microsoft and given to the press in the summer of 2000, right before Windows Me shipped. Note below each of the innovations that debuted in this unfairly maligned Windows version.


Accessibility. Windows Me Setup included exactly the same kind of accessibility-based wizard with speech capabilities that Microsoft is now championing again in Windows 10 Creators Update. Oops! They’re doing it again.

Windows Welcome. The original Out of Box Experience (OOBE) included a number of features, like a goofy mouse tutorial, simplified user interface, and new PC maker customization capabilities.

PC Health

System File Protection. Windows Me was the first Windows version to include SFP. Before this, you could completely bork Windows by deleting a key system file, triggering a complete reinstall.

Auto Update. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to include auto updating functionality so that Windows would always be kept up-to-date. Sound familiar?

System Restore. Windows Me was the first Windows version to let you “go back in time” and restore your PC to an earlier version when everything was still working properly.

Help and Support. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to include a consolidated and easy to use Help interface.

Support for new technologies

(Then) modern hardware. Windows Me provided improved support for USB, Firewire (IEEE-1394), and Universal Plug ‘n Play (UPnP) technologies.

Fast boot. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to support fast-booting, with 20-second boots and 15-second resumes on modern hardware.

Hibernate. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to support Hibernate, an alternative to sleep and a full shut down.

Internet features

Internet Explorer. OK, Windows Me wasn’t the first version of Windows to include IE, but it did include an improved version of this browser.

Outlook Express. Ditto, not the first, but an improved experience for email and newsgroups.

MSN Messenger. Windows Me included MSN Messenger-based chat capabilties.

NetMeeting. Long before there was Skype, Windows Me provided video teleconferencing capabilities thanks to NetMeeting.

Games. The games in Windows Me were, for the first time, Internet-ready, meaning you could play against opponents online, and chat while doing so.

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player 7. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to include an all-in-one media player application that supported Internet radio, a Media Guide, portable device support, and UI customizations related to the skin of the player and visualizations. It also supported CD audio importing with album art.


Digital camera connectivity. Windows Me was the first Windows version to provide in-box drivers for digital cameras and scanners. It also provided a wizard for downloading photos from those cameras and scanners.

Rich photo views in Windows Explorer. For the first time, you could view photos as thumbnails instead of icons in Explorer.

Photo sharing. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to support photo sharing, in this case by providing a slideshow maker.

Movie Maker

Movie Maker. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to include a movie editor, called Windows Movie Maker. You could share your edited videos to the web, or via email.

Home networking

Internet connection sharing. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to support Internet connection sharing, for both dial-up networks and broadband.

Home networking support. Windows Me was the first version of Windows to provide a Home Networking Wizard to help users create their own home networks, where they could share files and printers. (It was also the first to let you connect to the Internet during Setup.)

Conversation 50 Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Windows ME only existed because Windows 2000 didn’t quite get compatible enough with legacy hardware and software to be a home OS (this continued to a lesser extent into XP. I remember dual booting Windows 98 to play certain games). In fact, a lot of the features you list actually debuted in Windows 2000 and were back-ported (sometimes poorly) into the dead-end Windows 9x code base. Honestly, it wasn’t justified as XP came out only a year later and less than three years after the previous Windows release (98 SE). Compare with a 6 year wait for Vista after XP.

The features may have been there, but it crashed more often than any other Windows version except 3.0. I had to use system rescue on my wife’s PC at least a half dozen times. In simple uptime terms, Me and 3.0 were the worst Windows versions I’ve used by far, and I’ve used all versions except 98 before SE and Vista.

I always liked Me and never had trouble with it. Then again, I used to reinstall Windows Me and 200 all the time back then for fun. Xp and the online activation process kinda ruined that one.

Thanks Paul for this blast from the past Windows ME was very much maligned and criticized heavily but it did include a lot of new tech which is continued to this day. The videos are great to look back on too.

  • MS marketing once again rode over proper engineering development and proving cycles
  • MS made a major strategic error in pushing out such a range of new stuff at a time when the market was already being spooked by extraneous FUD

In reply to mike moller: After a few months, updated it and all the problems evaporated. Just like WinXP, and even today with Windows 10, give it a few weeks if not a few months before committing to new updates/versions of the OS.

Windows ME. Spent hours setting it up. Installed all my applications and it was run really well. Turned off computer, went to bed. Next morning BSODs on boot. Went back to 98SE. Sorry Paul but it was much maligned because it was bloody aweful.

Wow! I forgot about Media Player 7! I spent hours tweaking equalizer settings, downloading skins, etc. And who can forget buying Plus! and getting the exclusive themes and skins.

It’s interesting reading all those apps that were included. Most of them – as I read I was saying “There was already a third party app for that…”. So really – it seems like Me was more about taking out competition – or should I say – catching up to competition. Maybe.I don’t know.

I just remember having not good memories of that OS for some reason….

You forgot one: Windows Me had built-in support for “Compressed Folders” (zip files). To get that functionality in Windows 98, you needed the Plus! Pack. Every version of Windows since has included it by default.

In reply to Waethorn:

You were still better off with PkZip or WinZip because those supported passwords.

In reply to hrlngrv:

I never used passwords on zips back then, and I still don’t till today.

In reply to Waethorn:

FWIW, there were other things PkZip could do which Explorer’s compressed folders couldn’t, e.g., copying in just the files and subdirectories under XYZ in C:\ABC\DEF\…\XYZ but including the full directory structure out to ABC. IIRC, it was also possible to exclude system files like thumbnail caches generally.

Explorer provides good, basic functionality, but it’s just basic functionality. Adequate for most, like Notepad.

I think, since I started with 3.1, Windows Me was the only generation I skipped. Think it was Windows 98 to XP for me!

For me Windows ME was the best experience I can remmember from back then. I remmember it like it was yesturday, drivinging to my Frys Electronics for a box with Windows ME. Whent home to upgrade my crazy expensive Compaq Presario from Windows 8 Second Edition to ME. Back then I did not know enough to do a clean install. It was smooth and it was a million times better and easier to use then Windows 98. Then XP came out and all those hardcore Windows 2000 followers would hate on XP. At the time my first tech job my Network Admin would not upgrade to XP and even downgraded the machines we purchased with it. Darn it Paul why you had to remind me, lol.

It was already a subpar OS for the time. Apple is such a closed system according to Paul but back than it was already supporting and taking on board heavily Open Source software and Linux. Most people from the Windows camp don’t know this page:

PS: While the code in Windows Me and Windows 2000 were really closed in the chains …

In reply to nbplopes:

Wow – so in the spirit of open source, we could legally run Macintosh on any x86 hardware?

Oh…I see.

In reply to jbuccola:

Clearly you don’t know what Open Source is. Any code referred in that page can not only be used in your own software as well as run in any device you see fit. This since 2000, a time where MS was fully, 100% closed source and its code would only run on Intel machines.

Now, Apple never released the entire their OS as open source, neither as MS by the way.

The core difference between MS and Apple are only one whose impact is great in the consumer space. MS allows other companies to build machines for their OS and brand them (the machine) anyway they want. You have the liberty to buy a Windows PC from DELL, HP, … build your own using compatible parts. Apple does not, you have to buy the machines from them to run their OS. Both systems are closed systems but in a different way that is all. For instance MS tried for years with IE by not supporting standards effectively and even deviate from standards so that sites would only run well on Windows … such effort was repudiated by the market fast …

They could embrace cross platform development by supporting open standards for instance with UWP with all heart and soul. Such support even though it seams to exist is totally half hearted. You can clearly see the same tactic being used as they have done with IE.

Now, you may say that today MS seams to be far more open in terms of software support on their OS/Cloud than it ever was, that is true. Really nice. But the reality behind it is such that simply put they have lost that battle against open source and signs were that if they did not change their approach to it, they would really, really be in trouble today.

In reply to nbplopes:

Sophisticated cross platform app development (notive) is entirely feasible today. Have a deep look at the technologies behind Visual Studio Code for instance, you would be surprised.

Have a look at: http://electron.atom.ioIn reply to nbplopes:

One more Info for educational purposes. Have you have heard about NeXT Step / Open Step from NeXT, a former company of Steve Jobs. A company he built from the ground up before returning to Apple?

Have a look this and in particular how it was linked to Open Source too. Even though the Workstations were really expensive. This before Windows Me. Than tell me what Innovation actually looks like … and explain to me some Комментарии и мнения владельцев I see Windows focused users do about Windows and anything but … well … Windows … what a bubble.

Anyone who loves tech and innovation beyond brands would appreciates this kinds of stuff. Who does not, well Mary Jo was forced out of Windows Phone by MS … what a pain it must have been.


In reply to nbplopes:

Shouldn’t feed … aahhh, why the hell not?

If you want to go into ancient history, look up Microsoft Xenix, the operating system Microsoft recommended for multiuser computing in the early 80’s.

There is, I think, a general paradigm. Open (Source) works best with a services model, Closed with a product model. When OpenSource took off, accelerated by the cost elimination provided through the internet, Microsoft was a products model company. That it has embraced opensource now that has moved to a services model is just good business practice. Just as it has always been for the services behemoths that emerged during the internet era.

Apple remains a (single) product company in essence. Its engagement with opensource is peripheral to its core mission.

In reply to Neville Bagnall:


Why did MS abandoned Xenix even though it predicted it could well be the best multitasking system once hardware matured and reached more palatable prices? … have a look at that especially when it moved to the corporate space.

Humm. I think over 60% on the Internet is built on top of an open product / platform model with far reach. We are not talking about 60% of thousands of high priced deployments as it was when Windows NT started on, but billions of low price deployments. MS ambraced because it had no choice if it wanted to compete in the Cloud Computing space.

Apple its fundamentally an highly focused end to end personal computing company, from software to hardware and services. That FOCUS is what allowed the Apple to caught MS by surprise in a turf that lead for decades in market share, personal computing.

Microsoft on the other hand not only does personal computing which fundamentally owned in the 90’s and 2000’s, also corporate computing which owned in 2000’s bringing down Unix in the corporate side (smashing on prem market share), and its trying to repeat the same thing with Cloud/internet computing as of lately Windows servers market in this space its about 30%). As businesses moved to the Cloud its on prem business is at risk, so they are following a trend that is unstoppable with MS or without, so the choose to stay not to be the next IBM. Windows Cloud is just a marketing gimmick, its fundamentally Windows capped down.

The fundamental problem I see with MS strategy with Windows is that its prediction that Unix would be the best multitasking and versetile system once hardware was ready has realized. MS has not come up with Windows tech as mature and robust to cope with this new powerful hardware as efficiently overall. It may be the case that in a few years it might, who knows. But at the moment its not really that hard to see that this is the case. The breadth of hardware unix like systems support is huge.

But as they move their core software and services the Cloud first world, dependency on Windows as the means to generate business value becomes less and less important to the company just in case.

I really like the tenacity, the way MS seams to be engaged for innovation lately. But the bottom line is not that great on my daily life.

I liked ME, but there were many things that needed to be done to keep it running smoothly. For example, if you wanted to defrag a drive you had to turn off System Restore while the procedure took place. Otherwise the constant polling of system restore would force a restart of the defrag procedure.

I found it curious that SMS 3.0 supported Windows 95, OSR2, 98 and 98SE, but the documentation for SMS 3.0 explicitly said that Windows ME was not supported. I never understood if this was because Microsoft wanted enterprises to transition to the NT based world or that there really was something screwy going on with Windows ME

Please do a Throw Back on BOB or Microsoft Works. Both those apps have features that are now considered normal. Personal assistance, F1, Help on demand, Right Click, CTRLC CTRLV….

They are not in MSDN Subscriber Downloads so you would need to get access to old media. But I would love to grow nostalgic and remember Microsoft apps that built the company like Windows 3.11

In reply to crmguru:

I remember getting the last DOS based version of Works (2.0?) and going through the massive tutorial that came with it. I don’t think I’ve done any Office training because of what I learned back then (1990).

In reply to crmguru:

With respect to [F1], try that in Office 365 without network connection.

Two steps forward, three steps back.

It was devilishly difficult to make NetMeeting work with contacts outside of a LAN.

I had to format and reload a Windows ME computer for a client once, even with the vendor drivers it ended up taking 7 hours due to many of the drivers failing to install and needing to constantly work around BSOD and other issues. By comparison, 98SE could be installed and updated within 35 minutes.

“unfairly criticized”

I have to say yes it was. I never had once ounce of problem with Windows ME and it felt so fresh and “forward focused” than 95 and 98 and used it up to XP.

Some Комментарии и мнения владельцев. Technically, many of the features in ME debuted in Windows 2000, including hibernate support. So most of your thoughts are correct Paul, but you may want to clarify that ME was the first consumer-specific build of Windows that supported features like hibernate, improved USB support, ICS, and so on. Fondly, from a former Windows 2000 and ME tester. I even built a gaming PC with ME and named it Xbox. Got me listed on as their Windows Geek of the Week! 😀

While it is true that ME introduceda lot of features, it did not do anything good for the stability of the platform. The aging 9x platform could simply not handle these modern features. ME was certainly not stable, especially compared to XP which came soon after.

And some of these features never worked for me. I tried System Restore in ME and never once managed to actually make it work.

ME was a lot of good ideas on a platform that couldn’t handle it. But perhaps it was a useful proving ground.

So: as an experiment, can WinME be made to run on current generation Skylake/KabyLake machines?

WinXP x32 can be made to run on an Intel Haswell machine, although with several “yellow bangs” in Device Manager. BIOS must be selected for “Legacy” (non-UEFI) “IDE” (non-AHCI) mode, however.

I suppose that a modified install disc would be required, which would include some slipstreamed Intel chipset and SATA controller drivers. Then again, WinME was way too crash-prone and unreliable, often requiring a complete system re-install.

Yeah, I think you might have gone back to the WRONG TIME. Why no love for Win95 OSR2?

Windows ME ISO Free Download and Install [Have a Try!]

Do you want to try Windows Millennium Edition on your PC. Installing Windows ME on VirtualBox or VMware is a good option. This post from MiniTool Partition Wizard offers you the Windows ME ISO download and MS-DOS download for free. You can then use them to create a Win ME VM.

Introduction to Windows ME

Windows ME, short for Windows Millennium Edition, is an operating system released by Microsoft in 2000. It is the successor to Windows 98. Before the introduction of Windows XP in 2001, it was Microsoft’s main operating system for home users.

Windows Me was initially positively received, but it soon garnered a negative reception from users due to stability issues. After the introduction of Windows XP, mainstream support for Windows Me ended on December 31, 2003, followed by extended support on July 11, 2006.

In addition, on July 12, 2011, all versions of Office on Windows Me were retired.

Windows Me was developed on the basis of Windows 98, and there was no substantial progress in the kernel, but it included some related small improvements. For example:

  • Windows Me provided the same interface appearance as Windows 2000.
  • Win ME improved some hardware supports like faster startup time, USB Human Interface Device Class, Windows Image Acquisition, power management and suspend/resume operations, and USB and FireWire support.
  • Win ME offered improved digital media like Windows Media Player 7, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows DVD Player.
  • Other improvements like System Restore, System File Protection, Automatic Updates, Compressed Folders, Internet Explorer 5.5, MSN Messenger Service, etc.
throwback, thursday, windows, millennium, edition, millenium

This post shows you how to download the Windows 3.1 ISO file for free and install it on VirtualBox. You can have a try.

Windows ME System Requirements

Win ME minimum system requirements:

Win ME recommended system requirements:

This post shows you how to get a Windows 10 ISO for VirtualBox/VMware for free and import it into the VM software.

Windows ME ISO Download

How to get Windows Millennium downloads? Here is a full version for you:

Update: The download link has been removed due to the copyright issue. You need to find the Office download on other websites.

Click the above download link and you can get the Win ME full version ISO file directly.

Windows ME Install Tips

If you want to try Win ME on your PC, installing a Windows ME virtual is recommended. You can use VMware or VirtualBox.

However, to make the Win Me work fine, you need to follow the tips below or note the taboos below:

  • Windows ME is an OS based on MS-DOS. You need to install MS-DOS first.
  • When you are asked to choose the guest OS version, you should choose Windows ME.
  • Don’t allocate more than 1.5 GB of RAM to the Win ME VM. Otherwise, it will crash or won’t boot.
  • Some users have offered the Windows ME serial keys: HBTD9-6P338-XT2MV-QBTTF-WPGGB and FYG4R-3RK8M-DJGPJ-9GTRY-Q7Q49. If you have the need, you can try them.

If you want to get the detailed steps, you can refer to this video.

This post offers you links and a website to download the Windows 10 1903 ISO and Windows 10 1909 ISO files for free.

Windows 2000 vs ME

Windows 2000 and Windows ME are two different operating systems. Their differences include the following ones:

  • Windows 2000 is based on Windows NT while Windows ME is based on MS-DOS. If you wanted to transition from ME to 2000, you would either have to get a ‘full’ copy rather than the ‘upgrade’ copy.
  • Windows ME is for home users while Windows 2000 is for business users.
  • Windows 2000 is more stable than Windows ME.

This post tells you the key features and system requirements of Windows Vista and gives you the Windows Vista ISO download 32-bit 64-bit.

For some home PC users in late 2001, Windows ME was probably better value for money than Windows XP. There, I’ve said it.

Windows ME looking classy with the custom theme Serendipity, and the oldest surviving page on the Internet loaded into Firefox. Does that really look like the worst PC operating system of all time?

Flick back through a PC magazine from early autumn 2001, and you’ll see something which, today, looks quite bizarre. You’ll find new PCs being advertised by retailers with this proud boast headlining the software spec…

Latter 2001? Windows 98? Doesn’t sound right, does it.

Although Windows XP did not fully launch until late October 2001, it’s still quite a doubletake seeing 98SE presented as the cutting edge of consumer PC operation in the immediate run up to that. And it was plain to see in certain magazines that most of the home-user-targeted turtorials were still being run in Windows 98SE too. Indeed, a new PC I bought on 26 March 2001 came with Windows 98SE pre-installed.

If you weren’t around back then, Windows 98SE was the Second Edition of Windows 98 – released as an emergency measure in 1999. Its release was necessary because the original Windows 98 had been a horrific mine of crashes, blue error screens and, sometimes, partial boot failures that most home users could only resolve by reinstalling Windows. Windows 98SE was much more stable than the original Windows 98, but it wasn’t perfect by any means.

So why were OEMs still championing 98SE in summer 2001, long after the release of its successor, Windows Millennium Edition? What had happened to Windows ME? Looking at some magazines from 2001 you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just a hoax that never really happened. Was Windows ME really so bad that even the people whose responsibility it was to stay right on the crest of the technological wave, decided to airbrush it out of the picture?

According to some of the most influential reviewers, yes, it was that bad. Worst operating system ever, some have said. But I’m going to offer a vehement contradiction to the high and mighty slatings of Windows ME, and assert that it was easily the best operating system Microsoft released without NTFS compatibility.

Firstly, I know this is rude, but it’s nevertheless a fact and I need to get it out of my system… Anyone who used both Windows 98 (First Edition) and Windows ME, and somehow managed to conclude that Windows ME was worse than 1998’s eternal conveyor belt of bugs, crashes, hangs, more hangs, more crashes and catastrophic boot meltdowns, is certifiably a couple of cheese rolls short of the full picnic basket.

A little more seriously, a lot of the people slamming Windows ME in its day were out of touch with the typical home consumer at whom it was aimed. The influential writers back then were almost invariably tech obsessives who worshipped Windows 2000 Professional, talked about IRQ conflicts and the minutiae of 802.11b in the pub, and quoted product without the VAT. The fact alone that computer magazines quoted exclusive of VAT showed their contempt for the typical consumer.

They were in a different world from people in your average private residence, who just wanted to switch on a computer and have it make everything as simple and non-technical as possible for them.

And that’s exactly what Windows ME did. It made everything easier, more reliable, more foolproof. A lot less could go wrong in Windows ME than in Windows 98SE, Windows 98 or Windows 95.

Prior to ME, there had been two distinct disciplines of Windows system. The early ‘90s Windows 3.x series had actually been very stable, but not at all intuitive. Then the Windows 9x series had come along with spectacular intuitive properties, but poor (and in the case of 98 First Edition, dire) stability. Windows ME was the first home consumer operating system for the PC to fuse the intuitive user interface of Windows 9x with the stability and confidence-inspiring feel of Windows 3.x.


The first singular positive factor about Windows ME was the price. Those upgrading from Windows 98 could get it for less than forty quid, and that was way under half what the upgrades to Windows XP would subsequently cost. The full Windows ME product, for purchasers with no existing Windows installation, cost £137. An upgrade from Windows 95 to ME cost £70. Still significantly less than the upgrade from ME to XP – whose introductions were only a year apart.

Windows ME vs Windows XP

Windows XP was a much more expensive operating system than ME, and as someone who worked for a retailer who stocked XP when it was launched, I can confirm that it did not immediately fly off the shelves. At £176 for XP Home and £255 for XP Pro (£85 and £188 respectively for the upgrade versions) that was no great surprise.

To the average home user, the only immediately obvious advantage that the original version of XP Home had over ME was its account management, which let families compartmentalise each member’s personal computer space, with permission control, and instantly switch spaces, so that one PC could serve everyone. As long as they didn’t all want to use it at the same time, obviously.

Other than that, especially when the original XP was set to the Windows Classic visual theme (which looked like ME in default mode), most home consumers would probably not notice a great deal of difference between XP and ME in late 2001.

Sure, security on the NTFS-anchored Windows XP was vastly better than that on a FAT-anchored setup like ME. But most home consumers didn’t really get how the NTFS permissions system gave them extra protection. They were always told “Security!”, but the retailers were not explaining how or why NTFS was more secure. Indeed many upgraders to Windows XP, initially, ran it on an unconverted FAT32 drive, and so didn’t get the NT security benefits at all.

Remember also that it took a while for Windows XP to gain a compatibility advantage over ME and the 9x series. When XP launched, existing home user installations routinely supported Windows ME, but not necessarily XP. So Windows XP had a compatibility handicap to begin with. That’s never attractive.

The Space desktop theme, cradling one of Windows ME’s bundled games. 3D Space Cadet Pinball for Windows. ME had a much bigger selection of bundled games than Windows 98.

XP’s handicap fairly quickly turned to an advantage as software vendors – not least Microsoft themselves – focused solely on NTFS products and dropped support for 95/98/ME. Especially post Service Pack 1, XP’s compatibility advantage really began to boom, since the.NET Framework had not been part of the original XP release. After Service Pack 1 added.NET, a wide range of programs gained native support. Subsequent.NET updates (plus dependents like Visual Basic.NET and the programs it created) did not support the Windows 4 series.

But in 2001, a very large number of home users would see no major urgency to upgrade from Windows ME to Windows XP. At that time it was nothing like as big an upgrade as it seems today.

XP circa 2001 predated any updates, bug fixes or service packs, and the difference between XP circa 2001, and XP circa 2008 (post the final service pack), is monumental. Windows ME didn’t receive those years of progressive refinement, and thus it should always be compared with the original Windows XP – not the version we think of today.

Windows ME vs Windows 98

So that’s a little about the early comparison between ME and XP, but what about the comparison between ME and its predecessors? How did ME improve on 98SE?

The first really important way in which Windows ME subordinated 98SE and all else before it, was its integration of Universal Plug and Play. On an old Pentium II I would install ME over and above 98SE because of that feature alone.

If you had something like an external hard drive, you’d need to install a driver in order to use it with Windows 98, and that to an extent defeated the object of the portable drive. Drive portability was supposed to be about convenience. But if you had to install a driver everywhere you took your portable drive, you’d be facing some impractical situations and potentially a lot of wasted time. Also, some people understandably would not want someone else’s driver software installed on their PCs.

That hassle ended when Windows ME arrived. With Universal Plug and Play, simply plugging a drive into the USB port would make the external disk recognisable to the system, with no need for any driver installation. And today, it’s even more critical to have that feature for a Pentium II. Pentium IIs can’t meaningfully get around the web anymore (certainly not as regards script-dependent sites), so often the most convenient way to get a download onto those old PCs is via an external hard drive transfer. As long as your external drive is formatted FAT-compatible it still works perfectly.

Next, there was Windows ME’s huge increase not only in system stability, but in system intelligence. It had features like SFP (System File Protection), which real-time monitored the integrity of all system files, and instantly re-established their integrity if it was ever compromised.

This had been a key problem with Windows 95 and Windows 98, which would so frequently see system files overwritten with incompatible versions when hardware or software was installed. It was a major cause of crashes, blue error screens and general buggy behaviour. Win ME’s solution was one of the reasons its users saw far fewer of those untimely interruptions and crashes. The tale that Windows ME crashed all the time was just not true. It was very comfortably more surefooted than 98SE.

ME’s System Restore gave it another dramatic advantage over Windows 98. It’s one of those things you don’t see much point in having if you understand the computer inside out. But if you’re not very tech-minded, the ability to roll back the state of the PC to a time before something went wrong is not just a rescue button – it’s a confidence builder…

Выживание под Windows ME в 2019 году

In this retail ad we see the strong FOCUS on ME’s management of user content. A big part of that would be the folder view thumbnailing, which had only existed as a hidden feature in Windows 98.

Perhaps one of the most instantly visible improvements that struck upgraders from Windows 98 to Windows ME, was ME’s default option to display images as thumbnails when browsing folders. This had been available in Windows 98, but users needed to pre-enable it per folder by right clicking the folder icon and changing a setting in Properties. A lot of users didn’t realise the feature was available, and some third parties did well out of that ignorance, successfully marketing image management routines which only really did what Win 98 itself could do, but had for some reason hidden away.

One of Windows ME’s main promotional themes was its improved image management, so the hidden thumbnail feature was evidently something a lot of 98 users had remained unaware of, even as late as summer 2000.

throwback, thursday, windows, millennium, edition, millenium

ME’s inclusion of the new Windows Movie Maker was widely welcomed too.

And there were lots of small but incredibly useful and timesaving additions, like “Open With. ” in the context menus. allowing the user to individually choose a program for opening a given file, rather than having to globally reset its association.

Much of what ME was about went over the heads of the real techies, because techies could mod Windows 98 to perform more like Windows ME, and they didn’t rely on help centres or wizards the way so many home users did. But for those who did need the computer to hold their hand a little, Windows ME was markedly better than Windows 98.


Although ME was categorically a better operating system than any home consumer-targeted Windows OS that had gone before it, there were some circumstances surrounding it that did detract from its glory.

Anyone with old non-Windows games was going to have a much greater challenge running them, because Windows ME dispensed with Real Mode MS-DOS entirely and there was no simple workaround.

Travel. Another of Windows ME’s desktop themes. Open on the desktop: the Control Panel, the Calculator, and the bundled Minesweeper game.

But perhaps a greater dampener at the launch of ME was merely the perception of a severe slowdown in progress.

Between mid 1995 when Windows 3.11 was still the current product, and mid 1999 when Windows 98SE finally stabilised Windows 98, there had been a phenomenal level of advancement in the Windows user experience. So expectations among consumers were now very high when it came to new releases. Both Windows 95 and Windows 98 had carried an “OMG!” factor, as compared with the previous Windows version.

Anyone expecting another “OMG!” moment with Windows ME was going to be disappointed. Apart from the inclusion of Windows Movie Maker, and the activation of image thumbnails for people who hadn’t discovered the feature in 98, Windows ME’s improvements were largely “behind the scenes”. And the most quickly-discovered change of all – Personalised Menus (which hid various items you’d put in the Start Menu) – was something I just found intensely annoying. Switched it off on day one if I remember rightly.

So it’s easy to see how people were underwhelmed. But being underwhelmed by progress, and concluding that Windows ME was the worst operating system ever, are two very different things.

The critics who attacked Windows ME were wrong. And if they were professionals, they should have known better. Their reputations were saved by the Rapid arrival of Windows XP. Because the only reason people today still cite those scathing criticisms as valid is that they never got the chance to actually use Windows ME.

Had XP not come along until 2003, a lot more real users would have naturally migrated from 98 to ME, and would, as I did, have appreciated the ways in which ME was incontrovertibly better. It’s also inevitable that had ME lasted longer it would have received updates that made it even better. It was the only one of the Windows 4 incarnations that did not receive any official service packs or revised editions. It didn’t need them, and that should be considered another point in its favour.

Windows ME was obviously not the best operating system Microsoft ever made. But it was certainly nowhere near the worst.

Post author Bob Leggitt is a print-published writer and digital imager, multi-instrumentalist and twice Guitarist of the Year finalist, web page designer and software developer. | [Contact Details]

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