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celtish

Can I transfer all my settings to a newer machine

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My machine (Windows98SE) is held together with string and chewing gum. My son is selling me his old machine but it has WindowsXP on it, which I don't want. I particulary want to keep my existing settings and usernames/passwords intact so my idea is to ask him to switch my hard disks to the newer machine and to reinforce it with an ALL.REG made from my existing settings. Is this feasible?

Edited by celtish

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Personally I've moved the HDD from one machine to another a few times with no major problems. I've had the CPU fried or gotten a new mobo, anyway... hardware issues that made me do the move. Thing is, apart from Windows requesting the drivers for the newer hardware (in case they dont' match the old one), I've had no problems with that.

I'd say, if possible, backup (for safety purposes) your active drive onto DVD (Windows, Program Files, My Documents), prepare the HDD for the transition by copying the drivers for the new hardware somewhere onto the HDD (unpacked, if possible, so Windows could be pointed to the respective folders when needed) and then move the HDD to the new machine. Also keep the Win98SE CD at hand or simply copy the Win98 folder from the CD to the HDD (recommended) so in case Windows requires some files from the setup kit before the CD driver is loaded, you'd be safe by pointing it to the HDD location.

The ONLY major issue would be if the HDD is larger than 137GB and there's BIOS incompatibility with 48bit LBA in any of the machines (my current situation). In that case, you may lose all data, which would be quite unpleasant, especially if you haven't backed it up previously. So please make sure both BIOSes behave identically regarding large drives (either they both support 48bit LBA, or not).

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It is possible to move the hdd to the other computer. Windows 98 will just need drivers for the new hardware. No reinstallation is necesary. It possible to copy or move the system to the new hdd, as well.

Still, such a transfer can be problematic. Some drivers or software can make it difficult. Yet, basic functions should be working quite well.

-------------

Apparently I was not the first to finish the post.

The safest routine would be to make a copy of the current system to the new HDD. If something bad happens during the transfer it will be possible to start over from the copy on the old hdd.

Edited by Sfor

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Still, such a transfer can be problematic. Some drivers or software can make it difficult. Yet, basic functions should be working quite well.

If the HDD comes from a system with Nvidia videocard and the new sytem has an Ati then Windows might not boot. To be on the save side I would uninstall drivers for chipset, soundcard and videocard first.

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That'd be an extreme situation. Driver Cleaner Pro can take care of such uninstallations, if needed.

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Still, such a transfer can be problematic. Some drivers or software can make it difficult. Yet, basic functions should be working quite well.

If the HDD comes from a system with Nvidia videocard and the new sytem has an Ati then Windows might not boot. To be on the save side I would uninstall drivers for chipset, soundcard and videocard first.

I was also thinking that it couldn't be that simple.

I also recommand uninstalling drivers (if any).

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My machine (Windows98SE) is held together with string and chewing gum. My son is selling me his old machine but it has WindowsXP on it, which I don't want. I particulary want to keep my existing settings and usernames/passwords intact so my idea is to ask him to switch my hard disks to the newer machine and to reinforce it with an ALL.REG made from my existing settings. Is this feasible?

Well if the systems are way different in Motherboard/Chipset/BIOS then it really matters what's in that all.reg. Also, make sure there are Win9x Chipset INF and Video drivers for that new motherboard. But to avoid a complete install of the OS and then all other software there are very few options. I've had success with this:

If you have an extra HDD lying around, even a tiny 2 GB will do, pop it in the new machine (by itself) and install Win98se. In this fresh install don't bother adjusting any settings at all, but do Install the INF and Video, Reboot a few times to be sure and resolve any flagged conflicts in Device Manager. I'd also setup any printers and then export the registry and offload it for future reference. This is a working registry prototype for that new motherboard and the core devices.

Now, everyone seems to have a different strategy here but most would likely agree that the minimal core keys to grab from that prototype are as follows. These branches *and* all sub-branches below them:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Hardware]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Asd]

We'll call this 3-key subset the 'punch-in' (***).

On the current working Win98se system [OLD Reg] be sure you have ample backups of the SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT and complete registry export (better to do HKLM and HKU separate).

Assumption: he is going to insert the old working Win98se HDD in the new motherboard, F8 to DOS and prep the existing OLD Reg with those new keys through REGEDIT, the script would contain the 'punch-in' (***) from that prototype but must be preceded with deleters.:

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Hardware]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Asd]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum]
;;; everything here and below
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Hardware]
;;; everything here and below
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Asd]
;;; everything here and below

Watch the DOSmode REGEDIT screen output for errors. If it fails to insert the new keys (REG is too complex, limited RAM) don't bother going fiurther. The OLD Reg will have to be prep'ed by other means (two more methods come to mind).

If successful, reboot, cross fingers and if luck prevails this will work well enough to get to Explorer. Printers might be fubar and possibly the entire USB/WDM mess that lives one branch up from ASD. First option is to again reinstall the INF drivers and then maybe the Video. Comparing those keys to the prototyped ones should produce enough insight to design REG fixers.

Needless to say, those DAT backups can easily be restored to get you back where you started: on the old motherboard. No harm done.

IMHO. this is a best case scenario. Expect to be editing that prototype registry export often to grab keys to punch into the current one. This can become a career.

(***) EDIT to make clear that only the 'punch-in' gets added to the old working Win98se registry.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot

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I particulary want to keep my existing settings and usernames/passwords intact so my idea is to ask him to switch my hard disks to the newer machine and to reinforce it with an ALL.REG made from my existing settings. Is this feasible?

Well, Celtish, if I understand your ideal would be to bring your hd AS IS to the new machine. It shouldn't be difficult: I did it many times bringing the same Hd without reinstalling W98se from a Pentium 133 to a PIV 3ghz, through PII, PIII... in practice 10 years of computer history. There is an easy way with the instruments provided in W98: simply creating a new hardware profile every time (at the end I had 5 config to choose at boot!).

Just right click on My Computer > choose last option ("System" or "Properties"?)> Hardware > Hardware profiles > copy and then rename the current profile. The next time you have two or three profiles: 1)"new profile" 2) the renamed one 3)"none of the above". In the same window set "wait until a profile is chosen" for Windows startup. When you move your hd to the new system just choose at boot "none of the above" (better) or 'new profile' (actually it's the last loaded profile) and enjoy... (better keep new drivers'CD at hand or download them previously).

Well, at the end a regclean is welcome :D, and a backup first, even if I never needed.

Maybe some "options" are inaccurate because I'm now writing from Xp and in a foreign language... sorry for this but more or less the way is that. I hope I was helpful, bye.

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My son is pressing me to install WinXP in place of Win98SE. Well, actually the XP is already installed on his machine which he is proposing to sell me in place of my Win98SE machine. The idea has until now been simply to switch my hard disks into the newer machine. (see another thread about this matter)

One of the big concerns I have is to do with "true" DOS which seems to have been discontinued after Win98SE. Would it be feasible to install true DOS onto XP??? If so, how would I do it?

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My son is pressing me to install WinXP in place of Win98SE. Well, actually the XP is already installed on his machine which he is proposing to sell me in place of my Win98SE machine. The idea has until now been simply to switch my hard disks into the newer machine. (see another thread about this matter)

One of the big concerns I have is to do with "true" DOS which seems to have been discontinued after Win98SE. Would it be feasible to install true DOS onto XP??? If so, how would I do it?

(see another thread about this matter)

Somehow missed that thread. Link? Thought this was where you were working that out.

Would it be feasible to install true DOS onto XP???

Afraid not. However there are ways to make DOS and Windows 16-bit apps work just fine. Here is my checklist order of precedence ...

(1) WinXP CMD :: aka Command Prompt aka DOS Prompt. This is where you wind up when you open a Command Prompt. CMD.EXE is the actual program in use here whereas Win9x used COMMAND.COM. It is enhanced and configureable. Apps run here using the default DOS environment found in the registry (in two keys I believe). If you double-click a DOS app without a shortcut it effectively runs here.

(2) WinXP Shortcut :: for DOS apps creates a PIF file like in Win9x. If you change nothing in the properties the app runs using the default environment located in CONFIG.NT and AUTOEXEC.NT in the SYSTEM32 folder. NOTE: many of the other Win9x DOS PIF properties are still present here in WinXP. However, if you use Properties|Program|Advanced, instead of creating an MS-DOS Mode *reboot* environment like in Win9x, you get to pick custom-made AUTOEXEC.NT and CONFIG.NT which the app will see as its environment when run from that shortcut (there is no reboot). For a Windows app the LNK file offers some extra options in Properties|Compatibility such as 'Run ths program in Compatibility Mode for Windows 95' etc.

(3) 3rd party DOS Command Boxes :: best known has to be DOSBox which has a large community to draw support from including a front-end called Turbo Dos Box. Another one is eConsole. Expect this to become a growth industry since the trend in Windows has been to get away from the command line. Did I mention these are free?

One problem has carried over of course, and that is DOS/WIN16 games that expect specific IRQ and DMA channels for sound output and are too stubborn to let you change them within the program or in some INI file. I try to edit the 'DOS' environment variables for that specific app and hope it looks there for guidance. If not, I don't use that game on WinXP. However there are many Creative and other sound card command line emulation utilities that alter resources visible to a DOS program. They get installed with the drivers (but ask an expert for more details).

'True' DOS apps really are being killed by a thousand cuts independent of WinXP. The technology itself regardless of Windows version has incrementally excluded entire categories of DOS apps (those expecting direct disk access, direct video access, memory, DMA, IRQs ... ). Things started to get really risky with LFN in Win95. If you hope to fire up true DOS heavyweights like SoftICE it ain't gonna happen because you can't really load something underneath Windows anymore. Heck the older .386 dirvers for 'legitimate' programs like scanners won't load either.

Anything that is OpenGL or Direct-X based of course runs and that seems to be enough to satisfy 99% of the planet. But in reality most old DOS apps by thoughtful authors who allowed for hardware changes can be managed in their native form on WinXP: Wolf3D, Doom etc. More importantly, many people are busy porting old classics into Win32 apps: Doom95 (an early example by MS), Shadow Warrior, Duke/Blood/Redneck (Build Engine) Rise Of The Triad ( I just recently heard about ROTT and will definitely be grabbing that! For a while I thought I was the only one that bought that game). Also there is a slew of emulators and ports of those really ancient ROM cartridge games from Commodore, Atari, Amiga.

...pressing me to install WinXP in place of Win98SE

There is something to be said for WinXP as an end-user operating system. If you think life is too darn short to be micro-managing OS details you should be on WinXP. If your head is always under the hood of your car you're probably suited to stay on Win9x. If you'd rather just drive the car, definitely get WinXP.

Is there some reason you cannot keep two computers, Win9x and WinXP? It's simple enough to shuffle files between them on a flashdrive. I find redundancy to be a good thing especially when there is a problem on one system. If the WinXP system got a virus you'd be wishing the Win9x was there as a backup! I'd suggest buying his computer and keeping the Win9x system also. If the Win9x system collects dust in the corner then WinXP was the right choice. If you find yourself constantly firing up the old beast, ah well it's ok. Just make sure the XP system is set up right, with 1 GB RAM and some of the basic tweaks (Disk Indexing off) you can find all over this forum.

Let us know how it turns out!

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(1) WinXP CMD :: aka Command Prompt aka DOS Prompt. This is where you wind up when you open a Command Prompt. CMD.EXE is the actual program in use here whereas Win9x used COMMAND.COM. It is enhanced and configureable. Apps run here using the default DOS environment found in the registry (in two keys I believe). If you double-click a DOS app without a shortcut it effectively runs here.

Win98 loads winoa386.mod to run a dos-prompt, a win32 app. This is just as much true dos as XP's command. Celtish, why is true dos so important, do you really need it? With XP/NTFS filesystem is not very usefull anyway.

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1. If you want safe internet browsing, forget XP

2. If you want true DOS - for whatever purpose - forget XP

3. If you want quick startup/shutdown, forget XP

4. If you want efficient resorces usage (RAM, HDD space - considering compulsory A/V & firewall on XP), forget XP

At most, if your old HDD can take it, you may stuff a dual-boot on it, installing XP on a secondary partition, for extreme situations (no drivers for certain hardware, incorrect behavior of certain apps under 98SE, etc). Otherwise, stay with 98SE and keep the XP HDD in a safe place as the last resource.

Just my ¢2.

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CharlotteTheHarlot, what a long name! And what long posts you wrote! It takes me long time to read and understand them all. However, I'm only interested in this paragraph:

There is something to be said for WinXP as an end-user operating system. If you think life is too darn short to be micro-managing OS details you should be on WinXP. If your head is always under the hood of your car you're probably suited to stay on Win9x. If you'd rather just drive the car, definitely get WinXP.
Very interesting! And I absolutely agree with you. I am not an advanced user, and surely won't be one. So, I decided not to use 98SE any more. But I don't think I will remove it from my computer. It will be helpful in case I have serious problems with XP and while waiting for it to be repaired. Such problems hardly happen however; I've just got one and have to reinstall Windows after 3 years of using XP!
Well, actually the XP is already installed on his machine which he is proposing to sell me in place of my Win98SE machine.
Then why don't you try using XP for some time, Celtish? If you don't like its modern look, you can use the classic style. As for DOS issue, CharlotteTheHarlot had a suggestion for you. And if after a few days, or weeks, or even months of using XP and you still can't stand it, you can happily return to your favourite 98SE. It's not late at all. Edited by Aloha

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I'm with keeping both machines separate, and transfer by USB disk, at least for a while until you decide that XP isn't the nightmare you've read it is. My wife's laptop came with Vista- turn thrice and spit on a frog. At first, I hated its controlling, fascist, Dalek approach to user-unfriendly. I'm getting used to it now, though, and it's all just about experience. Familiarity brings comfort and understanding. I've only recently given up 98 and gone wholly to XP, and that's what I did for long time. (I only made the change because some of the programs I needed to use, wouldn't work with 98. I've still got the CD, though - just in case. Security blanket. See Linus in Charlie Brown.)

This thing about truDOS, though. I used, and still use, DOS's utilities for many things including alphabetisation of text files as Word's was/is simply wrong - for the UK, anyway. Surely booting into DOS from a floppy is truDOS - it loads that DOS version's COMMAND.COM. Only when XP has actually booted does DOS become pretend.

If this wasn't the case, then one could not reformat, fdisk, and install Windows.

XP is fine. But if you, like me, want to use proper man's DOS occasionally - rather than a nagging, girly Graphical User Interface, create a boot floppy, and shove it in the slot before you hit the ON button. That's how I do it. As the floppy is disappearing, at least from laptops, you'll have to figure out how to make the machine boot from CD or USB stick. Makes me shudder.

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Let's address what you need DOS for.

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