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Redtoast - what Windows 98 should've been...
Redtoast Alpha 3 desktop, System Properties, copying files

Redtoast is the correct way to use Windows 98. No bloated IE shell, no 100MB of extra useless components, just the meat and bones of the improved kernel and expanded Win32 API powered by yesterday's Windows 95 shell.

While Redtoast is generally usable, it is basically a one-man project that is developed on and off, and as such you may run into issues in certain places. You can see the list of known issues with Redtoast here.

Floppy disk Download the latest release of Redtoast (Alpha 3a) (via FTP) (91.9 MB)

Reminder: Please do not sell Redtoast or any other Windows remasters, and do not sell computers bundled with Redtoast to avoid jeopardizing the 9x remastering community.

What's new for Alpha 3a?

Fixes issues with Internet Explorer not opening without the new shell installed and device detection. Also adds lines in MACHINE2.INF and MSHDC.INF for Intel chipset drivers. SYSDM.CPL reverted to original Windows 98 version.

A Sound Blaster 128 PCI WDM driver is also included for the sake of convenience for VMware users. Benchmarks will have to be done later to decide whether it is more practical to use WDM or VxD.

View full changelog

Latest Developments

June 15, 2021 at 02:10 PM - confidential leaked new windows ?!!??!!!! Click On The Button !

June 05, 2021 at 07:18 AM - Rather than trying to keep knocking at the Office 2000 thing, I'm just gonna try to get this distribution back up to par with Alpha 3a (and more resilient at that). There's still something else I need to work on, so Alpha 4 may come in July. Maybe sooner, maybe later, I don't know. This whole thing is really frustrating to deal with.

07:13 AM - I think the main problem with getting Office 2000 installed on here may just be solely rooted in it attempting to install Internet Explorer for whatever reason, even though it is already on here. Not sure it's even worth bothering with covering that front now.

05:14 AM - ...aaaaand Office 2000 installer is stuck on a rock again. Might be ideal to focus more on getting the Outlook Express component properly optionalized first.

05:05 AM - As I wait for the Office 2000 setup files to copy over to the local hard drive (trying to install it differently), I've been knocking down some compiled HTML help files and replacing them with the ones from Windows 95. Hope they work as expected.

Check out the development miniblog to see more of the latest advancements in Redtoast's development, and feast on the screenshots to really get an idea of what's coming up next!

No Name Change

(UPDATE 5/20/2021) 189 users have voted on which name this project should settle on, and the majority of them have decided it's best to stick with the running codename Redtoast. So that is how it shall stay. I suppose it's for the better since it means I'll be a lot more free to brand this how I want wherever it is practical.

What should Redtoast's release name be?

Super Windows 9828
Windows 98 Chicago24
Windows LE (Legacy Edition)54
Purple Belugy10
Redtoast (leave unchanged)73

Poll completed on May 18, 2021

Many thanks for your input, and confirming that the relatively simple poll form programmed for this is stable!

What's Next?

While Redtoast is very much usable, it is far from complete. Here is a list of some things that it'll need in the future:

Newer Drivers

Windows 98 comes with a decent set of newer drivers for later hardware by default, but it's still not going to be enough for a lot of builds. You're probably going to be installing a 3dfx Voodoo3, GeForce 256, or something to that degree, and it would be great to be able to have those installed immediately alongside Redtoast. Windows 95D Lite already does this, so it's really a matter of catching up to it.

More Updates

Redtoast has a number of updates integrated already, but may still have yet more to go. Some new optional components are also desirable, including Windows Messaging from Windows 95, Remote Desktop Connection, and maybe KernelEx. There might be more, this is just all I can think of right now.

Help Documentation

As of now, most of the Help documents are gone. They were removed because they rely on the Internet Explorer help engine, so what I want to do much later on is create replacement Help documents in the legacy WinHelp format. This could be a very daunting task and I'm not willing to take it on alone, so I encourage you to experiment with the Microsoft Help Compiler I've mirrored on my site, as well as a decompiler written by several authors over the years. Contact me if you wish to make any contributions.

Internet Explorer?!

Now, this sounds like it would just compromise the whole point of Redtoast, but here's the thing: if you try to install Internet Explorer yourself on here, the components will be available, but you can't actually use the program. Unlike with installing Internet Explorer on Windows 95, the installer assumes certain things that allow it to skip certain parts of file copying that would otherwise be necessary on a Windows 95 installation without Internet Explorer... because Windows 98 ALWAYS has Internet Explorer, right?

As of Alpha 3a, the essential web browsing functions of Internet Explorer 5.5 and the new shell are available. In later builds I plan to add new versions of the other internet components back in, such as NetMeeting and Windows Media Player. Other things forcibly installed by Windows 98 before will also be componentized, such as the Task Scheduler that never really gets used these days.

Download old releases of Redtoast here