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Update For Windows 98 Retail Upgrade ACPI System Enumeration:

This information was originally published when ACPI was a new feature and not all Motherboard BIOS's were ACPI compliant. We've come a long way since then! We're providing this info for historical value and in case anyone is still using Win98 - Time to Upgrade!

Windows 98 Retail Operating System Upgrades—will automatically install Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support only for those systems containing ACPI BIOS's which have been fully validated by the Microsoft Windows 98 Test Team. The Windows 98 Test Team has chosen this course in order to minimize the number of service calls from retail customers related to problems with untested ACPI BIOS implementations.

Because of the time limitations for testing upgrade components, the Windows 98 Test Team cannot completely test functionality of all OEM ACPI System Bios before the release of the Windows 98 retail package. Most OEM systems will be set up as legacy systems rather than ACPI Systems when upgraded using the standard installation program provided with Retail Windows 98.

A very small number of ACPI BIOS implementations had been validated. The Windows 98 Test Team hoped to complete testing validation for more OEM BIOS's for the final release, but Microsoft anticipated the number of ACPI BIOS's supported in the retail package would be small.

NOTE: IF you built your PC or acquired an Win98 OEM CD License when you purchase your PC  Components, you are your OWN OEM therefore you are your OWN Tech Support! Which means Retail Win98 Full Install or Upgrade Installation CD - You can call Microsoft for Tech Support. As IF? OEM - YOU are Tech Support or whoever Built your PC but DON'T call Microsoft! OK! Now, what part of that do you NOT understand? 

The Big difference in ACPI vs. APM - When you close Windows 98 with ACPI enabled (Advanced Configuration Power Interface), your ATX PC System will Shut Down automatically whereas Windows 98 with APM (Advanced Power Management) would tell you, "It's Safe To Turn Off Your PC Now". APM was introduced with AT Systems. ATX which started with APM progressed rapidly to embrace ACPI. And NO, AT style PC's cannot enable ACPI. Those PC's are stuck with APM! For what it's worth, the AT spec was introduced with the IBM 286. Before that we had XT PC's. It all about Power Management & Automatically Managed PC's. I digressed...

ACPI presents three areas of concern for OEMs:

images/bullet2.gifHow To enable ACPI for testing.

images/bullet2.gifHow To deliver validated ACPI functionality in systems with Windows 98 preinstalled.

images/bullet2.gif And How To deliver ACPI functionality for upgrade customers who have ACPI hardware.

Resolutions for each of these concerns are defined in this article.

Enabling ACPI for Testing and Development with Windows 98

The following instructions will allow any OEM to enable ACPI on its systems for testing with Windows 98:

  • Option 1Setup: Run Windows 98 Setup using setup /p j on the command line so that Setup will load ACPI by default.
  • Option 2Regedit: To enable ACPI after Windows 98 is installed, run Regedit and go to the following key in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Detect

Create a new DWORD value called "ACPIOption" and set it equal to 1.

In Control Panel, run Add New Hardware and choose hardware detection. ACPI should be detected and installed. After the system is rebooted, all ACPI-enumerated devices will be reinitialized and set up again.

Use any of these options to enable ACPI for testing and development of the ACPI BIOS for your systems. The final Hardware Compatibility Test (HCT) for ACPI BIOS validation has been available from WHQL since January 1998.

images/bullet2.gifEnabling ACPI with the OPK for Preinstallation with Windows 98

When your ACPI BIOS has completed validation testing with WHQL and when Windows 98 is released, you can use the Windows 98 OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) to enable ACPI support when you preinstall Windows 98 on new systems.

images/bullet2.gifEnabling ACPI for Upgrade Customers

To support customers who purchase systems with ACPI hardware before Windows 98 is available, OEMs can provide the following, depending on whether the system already contains a validated ACPI BIOS:

  • For ACPI hardware without a validated ACPI BIOS, provide an upgrade kit that includes (1) a flashable BIOS upgrade for your WHQL-validated ACPI BIOS.
    an INF file that makes the registry setting described earlier in this article, and
    instructions for installing the upgrade. 
  • For ACPI hardware that includes a validated ACPI BIOS, provide an upgrade kit that includes only the INF file with the enable registry setting, plus instructions for installing the upgrade. 

An easy way to create the INF File for mass use was to Export that Registry Key ONLY from a System which had this "ACPIOption" enabled as described above!

Further Reading:

ACPI - OnNow
PC Wake-Up
Trade Shows
Win98 Help
Windows Help


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Web Development, Gill Boyd & Team - Posted 05/20/2001; Updated 03/18/2003