Guildsoft – UpgradeAID 98 review

gentle upgrade from Windows 95 to 98
Photo of Guildsoft – UpgradeAID 98
£17 + VAT

Not everyone in the world made the immediate upgrade from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95, and similarly, not everyone has upgraded from Windows 95 to Windows 98. If you’re thinking of making the latter move, then it might be an idea to consider this piece of software before you start. No operating system upgrade should be undertaken without a great deal of thought and preparation, since there are plenty of potential pitfalls. Making a backup first will safeguard your valuable data, but is not too convenient if you want to return to your original configuration.

UpgradeAID 98 allows you to upgrade your system to Windows 98 while still keeping your existing Windows 95 installation. It does this, not by duplicating the Windows 95 hard drive partition, which would consume double the disk space of a single installation, but by arranging for the two installations of Windows to share application and data files. This, it has to be said, is a pretty clever trick, because you don’t have to worry about managing two sets of files; simply choose which operating system you want to boot into when you switch your PC on, and the software does the rest. If you eventually decide to remove Windows 95, you can do so without losing any of your applications or data.

At its heart, this piece of software is an operating system cloner with boot manager (called SmartBoot). Similar features can be found in other partition or boot management packages, but UpgradeAID 98 is more user-friendly than most, doing its job with little fuss or worry. One word of warning, though. If you already have System Commander or some other boot manager installed, UpgradeAID 98 will quietly remove it. You do get a warning message to that effect during installation, but we missed that and had to spend a bit of time retrieving our hidden partitions. Try not to repeat our mistake.

Company: Guildsoft

Contact: 0800 289041


Verdict
If you're planning to upgrade your PC from Windows 95 to Windows 98 and you're a bit anxious (as you should be), then this package may be what you need. It's certainly better than crossing your fingers and relying on pot luck, only to find that half your applications don't work under the newer operating system. You have been warned...