Happy 20th Birthday to Windows Millennium Edition!

edited September 2020 in Software

Today is the 20th birthday of everyone's favorite operating system, Windows Me. So, how many of you have used it, and what was your experience with it?

In my experience with the few machines that I used to service, whether it ran properly was very dependent on your hardware configuration. With the right hardware and properly-updated drivers, it ran pretty well (unless you needed real-mode DOS support) and was actually faster than Windows 98. With many older or cheaper systems, it bombed.

I think today I will install it on something and use it for a while, to re-live the memories of when it was new.


  • I only ever used it in a virtual machine. Most of the PCs I encountered at the time were still running 98se and with XP around the corner, when it came time to upgrade, most people I knew just went straight to XP. I also saw it on some computers at flea markets for a brief time. It seemed ok in the virtual machine. But like you said, I think it depended on the hardware. Some systems just didn't run well with it.
  • Happy birthday to you... Windows Merde Edition.
  • Some of the problems with the new features of Windows Me are unlikely to show up in a VM. Not exactly much call for System Restore or for using Movie Maker. About the only working advantage of Windows Me over Windows 98 was generic mass storage but with USB sticks priced at $100 at the time, I doubt many had multiple USB flash drives before Windows Me got taken off the market.

    One other issue for Windows Me was not the fault of Microsoft. 2000 - 2001 was the peak of Intel's misguided focus on Rambus with badly designed motherboards paired with unstable chipsets being common for systems aimed at the gamer market which shipped with Me.
  • edited September 2020
    I've used ME on VMware... it didn't work well. First of all, 9x does not like AMD-V or something. I don't know how, but somehow I got it working.

    Oh, sometimes the sound player or movie player would crash. I think it will perform better on VPC2007, but first of all, I'm on Windows 10, and VPC2007 does not like Windows 10. Or rather, Windows 10 does not VPC2007.
  • I don't hate or love ME, it's OK but one time it was slow for some reason, even thought the RAM was at 256MB (it was a VM).
  • Hm... This seems like a overkill ME/98se setup.. << Dont ask me if i have it

    5SSDs or spinning HDDs << who even uses spinning HDDs nowadays? (1 me, 2 98se, 3, 95, rest storage, each 512gb)

    1 2.2ghz processor
    2 56k modem (8000/8000 baud) << there is no purpose for this nowadays
    Ethernet << For connecting to Modern
    Wi-Fi << If even possible, I don't think a 9x driver exists for wifi
  • edited September 2020
    My god, already?

    Back then (96-04, I think?) for the longest time I ran NT 3.51 on a 486 with 16 MEGABYTES of RAM :)

    I was laughing at everyone still running 9x as my 1995 NT install ran circles around their 2002 98/Me installs, on far inferior hardware.

    I happily ran the Line Mode Browser on it.

    I never really used Me (although I used 95 and 3.11 and NT 4 at DEC, then 98 and 2000 at Compaq, then XP, Server 2003 and 7 and Server 2008 at HP, now I use 10 and Server 2016 at my work).
  • Happy belated birthday Windows ME. It's a shame your driver support sucked.
  • My IBM ThinkPad i Series 1200 speaks for itself using this OS: "What a boring operating system with no-hackless real mode DOS support."

    Still, it runs quite stable and it is quite quick to boot.
  • I had the pleasure of using a MeMe system when I went to a friend's place a couple of times. However, I never really owned a pc myself that had it- I had a 98SE then a 2000 system.
    I mean it had a bunch of great features, and was very akin to 2000 albeit without real security. I didn't really see GPF city as much when I did use it, but granted I didn't use it much.
    But it was shelved awfully quick thanks to Xp, which nobody seems to remember how problematic and hated it was back then. Hmm yes little tikes and fisher price UI. And I bandwagoned on the XP hate train and my D600 is evidence of that (ordered with 2000 instead of XP).

    Meh, happy birthday belated birthday.

    NT351, yes please. How well did that 16mb work for you?
  • I had never heard of Windows Me until I started looking up Windows versions online in 2007 or so. 98, 2000 and (obviously) XP I recognized, but not this misfit OS.

    My 80 GB IDE HDD (pulled from some IBM NetVista with a PIII) had Me on it, but I only used the HDD in a different machine where it showed the boot screen for a second and nothing else happened, though anything more would be shocking under the circumstances.

    But on my ThinkPad T41, where Windows 98 was a big failure that froze frequently, Me is a dream. Add the Windows 2000 SP4 USB stack and USB 2.0 performance is great.

    But it's nothing really more than an updated 98SE with ported/repackaged Windows 2000 components as well as being a testbed for XP components (UPnP, System Restore, Windows Movie Maker, and stretching it, test MIDIs).

    Though I think I'll just put NT 4 on my T41 (or buy a cd/dvd-r so I can redo the NT 3.51 slipstreaming thing). Only problem is that the USB drivers are very unstable and freeze the system a lot (though I found newer EHCI-compatible versions than what WinWorld has). If I'm crazy enough, maybe WDM support can be worked in so I can use the tried-and-true W2K driver stack.

    Ah well, turns it doesn't like the NTFS 3.1 partitions on the HDD, so it will be a Me and NT 4 dual boot! Then adding 2000 once I get a WLAN stick that likes it.
  • @yourepicfailure Fairly well. :-P

    I mostly used text-based applications on it.
  • Is it possible to Add the Windows 2000 SP4 USB stack and USB 2.0 to a windows nt 4.9 that have sp6 but no usb support?
  • edited December 2020
    What in the name of

    #1 there is no NT49. There is ME, which is 4.9. Is this what you mean?
    #2 Nusb I believe works with this. However, if you have VIA usb2, you will need a special usbhub20.sys. But you've got to ask @win32 because directly mentions 2k SP4.
  • "Is it possible to Add the Windows 2000 SP4 USB stack and USB 2.0 to a windows nt 4.9 that have sp6 but no usb support?"

    Yes on Windows ME, with the USB 2.0 stack installer (the stack in it is the Windows 2000 SP4) bundled with 98SE USP 3. I have found them stabler than other USB drivers from other sources, including Intel in the case of my T41. Files are copied smoothly with no significant drop in system responsiveness unlike the Intel/MS drivers.

    Windows NT 4.0 is a different story. I haven't thoroughly tested USB drivers, and at that have only tried 1.1 drivers. They worked well on a PIII-500 with a VIA Apollo Lake motherboard, but were unstable on my ThinkPad T41.
  • WindowsME wasn't that bad once you cleaned it up. I'd usually install it using 98Lite which would remove all the unwanted cruft while still taking advantage of newer libraries. I was working at a multimedia software company from when Win95 was in late beta up to about when WinME came out, so I got to experiment with different configurations.

    Even these days, when I'm setting up MSWin10 for anybody, I still have to run cruft removal tools. Not much has changed (except that now my work is in Linux).
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