How to Enable Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) / Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) for Remote Access under Windows 95, 98/98SE

System Requirements:

  • Windows 95
  • Windows 98
  • Windows 98 SE


The Problem:

This document outlines the steps required to connect to a Windows 98 or Windows 98 SE machine using WMI using either a Monkier (inherited session credentials) or SWbemLocator.ConnectServer (specific, stated logon credentials).

This is often difficult to achieve, especially in a domain environment or an environment where more modern versions of Windows need access to the remote WMI service.


More Info

Windows 95 and 98 First Edition (FE) do not ship with WBEM installed. Before you can access WMI in any form on these systems you must manually install the necessary services and resource files. This guide will show you how to properly install WMI in order to facilitate remote access connections over a Network. Please note that while this will enable WMI requests over a LAN, the settings will not discriminate between a LAN and an Internet connection. Consequently firewall technology should be employed when dealing with systems that expose a direct peer-to-peer Internet connection.


A Note on Windows 98 SE

While Windows 98 FE does not come with any WBEM components, Windows 98 SE does. The Windows 98 SE CD contains WBEM 1.10 components which can be installed from the Control Panel.

Windows 98 SE WBEM 1.10

It is important that you not use this version of WBEM on Windows 98 SE in order to connect remotely to the WMI service. This version of WMI is out of date (with the latest version being WBEM 1.5). Consequently if you are using Windows 98 SE, ensure that you have uninstalled ‘Web-Based Enterprise Mgmt’ from the Control Panel before following this guide.

More Info: WMI on computers running Windows 98, 98SE and Windows Millennium Edition


The Fix

The steps below will enable you to connect remotely over WMI under some circumstances (but not all). These steps must be applied to install WMI and configure it before you can change the advanced remote connection settings.

  1. Install DCOM 1.3 and do not reboot after the installation
    DCOM 1.3 Installer
  2. Install WMI 1.5 for Windows 9x
  3. When prompted, reboot the computer

Unlike the Windows NT installation of WMI, the WMI 1.5 installer does not include the rather useful DCOMCnfg.exe utility that is required for GUI configuration of WMI for remote access. Thankfully the DComConfig utility was made available separately for Windows 9x.


DCOM Config Installer

Configure DCOM

To configure DCOM run the DCOMCnfg utility found in c:\windows\system

DComCfg Utility Launch

  1. By default the “Enable Distributed COM on this computer” check box on the Default Properties tab should be ticked. Often if WMI isn’t working, this has inexplicably become unchecked, disabling DCOM completely.DcomCnfg Screen 1
  2. This will enable WMI to run on the local computer, but not from remote network connections. To enable the basic level of remote access check the “Enable remote connection” box on the Default Security tab. If this doesn’t work for you, keep reading!DcomCnfg Screen 2
  3. Restart the computer.

It is important to understand that unlike with Windows NT, Windows 9x doesn’t have the concept of a special system service. Consequently DCOM won’t start WMI when it is requested from the network. In order to enable on-demand access the WinMgmt.exe program in c:\windows\system\wbem needs to be running.


This dos prompt command will run the process for the duration of the session. You can always confirm that it is running by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del once and viewing the task manager.

WinMgmt Process in Ctrl + Alt + Del Screen

If you want to persistently run WinMgmt.exe as a ‘Service’ add the following information to the registry as shown.


Setup WinMgmt as a start service

Advanced Remote Access Settings

The above settings should work between NTLM enabled Windows 9x boxes and NT 4 systems, however you may have problems if the Active Directory extensions are installed or if you are attempting to connect from a Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 or 7 machine.

Connection difficulties seem particularly true if you are using SWbemLocator.ConnectServer or are in any way connecting via IIS.

Do appreciate that this guide isn’t covering more basic things like “synchronise your accounts and passwords” between workgroup systems, ensure that you have IE 6.0 SP1 installed or that you have Windows Scripting Host 5.6 installed and so on.

First off, re-register the WinMgmt stack using the following command in the c:\windows\system folder

RegSvr Command for WMI

WBEM ships with an additional configuration utility, the WBEM Control app, found in c:\windows\system\wbem\


On the advanced tab enable the “Enable Anonymous Connection with share level security” setting and restart the computer.

Enable Anonymous Share Access

This setting allows WMI to respond to network requests that do not carry the required account credentials registered as having access to the WMI class hierarchy.

If you are now able to connect using SWbemLocator.ConnectServer you may like to try to reconfigure WMI to use WMICntl to assign permissions to WMI. To do that simply use the Security tab and, selecting Root, press the Security button and add in the user accounts that you want to gain remote access with to the security permissions list.

WMI Control Security

All being well, you should now have a working Windows 98 machine which supports Remote WMI from modern Windows systems.

If you would like to enable all of these settings without launching their respective utilities, you can use this registry script to automatically configure workstations with the remote access settings.




"Enable for ASP"=dword:00000000



See Also

View: How to Enable Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) / Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) for Remote Access under Windows NT 4.0

View: How to Enable Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) / Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) for Remote Access under Windows Millennium Edition