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HardDriv'n

Installing Win98SE on more 'recent' PC.

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Hello.

Could someone tell me which method would be the best for 'attempting' an install of Windows 98 SE on a PC with these specs?

- 3.4 Ghz CPU (Pentium 4, HT)

- 3.5 GB RAM (Asynchronous)

- 1 TB HDD (Seagate)

- 512 MB GPU (Nvidia)

I already tried a couple different methods like the MSBATCH.INF (doesn't work at all), and the SYSTEM.INI modification (it hangs during install after system.ini re-edit, and reboot).

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Your specs are too high. Especially the 512 MB GPU. IMHO, it's a no-go. Even with RLoew's patches, it'd be a longshot. I've never seen anyone succeed. Sorry. :(

If you consider downgrading to a 256 or 128 MB GPU, and are willing to acquire RLoew's patches for >137 GB disk, for SATA and the RAM Limitation Patch, then you may succeed. Even so, it won't be your average walk in the park.

Here're some pertinent links for you:

RLoew's Software Homepage and nVidia GeForce and Win 9x/ME - Relevant Threads

The two threads pointed to in my signature are also relevant. Read them all, digest the info, and decide whether you're really willing to give it a try. If so, you know you can count on me for advice and encouragement. :)

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I already found the unofficial Nvidia drivers for the card, but I didn't realize it was only for the 256 MB revision of the card. RLoew's patches apparently aren't free. :(

Oh well, it's a niche market for people still working on legacy OS support. DOS is also a prime example of that...

- I can't get sound in DOS (why I was trying Win98 next). :(

- The PC is too slow for virtualization of DOS, or Windows 9x. :(

- I can't install Windows 98 natively. :(

Looks like I need either a newer PC for virtualization, or a slightly older PC for native.

Thanks for the info though. You probably saved me quite a bit of time, and frustration.

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RLoew's patches apparently aren't free. :(

Well, told you so... I said "acquire" as in... buy! :P

If you decide to go the way of the older hardware, take a look in the pinned thread about hardware compatible with 9x/ME.

That said, you're always welcome! :)

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Your specs are too high. Especially the 512 MB GPU. IMHO, it's a no-go. Even with RLoew's patches, it'd be a longshot. I've never seen anyone succeed. Sorry. :(

If you consider downgrading to a 256 or 128 MB GPU, and are willing to acquire RLoew's patches for >137 GB disk, for SATA and the RAM Limitation Patch, then you may succeed. Even so, it won't be your average walk in the park.

The 512MB GPU is often not the problem. I have used a 512MB Nvidia 6200 Card. Many of the 512MB GPU Cards don't work because they are not properly supported at any size. Non-Nvidia Cards may be another story.

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- The PC is too slow for virtualization of DOS, or Windows 9x.

I virtualize with a 1.4 Celeron and 2.0 Ghz AMD Athlon and am quite happy with how everything works. Both are single core CPUs. Now, I must confess that I am using the Penguin for the host and using VirtualBox. In order to run DOS and 98 you have to do some tweaking and install some additional software to slow the CPU down and keep tempuratures in line. I don't know how well VirtualBox does under Windows as I quit the treadmill at 2K. I would go to the VirtualBox forums and see what you can find out about using XP or above as your host and setting up for DOS and 98 guests.

There are other programs for virtualization, but I have no experience with them. They may allow for more functionality of DOS and 98 than VirtualBox, it was written and optimized for 2K and above, so some features are not available for the older stuff.

Hope this helps you a bit, if you decide to try the virtual route.

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Virtual PC 2004 (which is free) over XP SP3 would do nicely. But I'd still prefer running on the bare hardware. I do so with an Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton), @ 2333 MHz, and have no need to slow down the processor. I run both MS-DOS 7.1 and Win 98SE just fine.

Now, I knew RLoew has a machine working stably with an ATI GPU with512 MiB RAM, it's RLoew(1) on the > 1 GiB RAM list.

I didn't remember it, but I think he had mentioned before having had success with a nVidia GeForce 6200 with 512 MiB RAM, but in any case, it's one of the rare mentions I've ever heard about 9x/ME running OK with any nVidia with 512 MiB RAM... there is one more on the list, Cyker has a nVidia GeForce 7950GT AGP 512 MiB working OK. I just reread the whole list looking for it (BTW, @RLoew: you forgot to report video RAM amount for RLoew(5) and RLoew(7)...), after all, that's what the list is meant for: hardware examples of known-good configurations. Now, with RLoew participating in this thread, maybe it's a good opportunity for you HardDriv'n to give it a shot, and establish whether your existing system can work with 9x/ME. You'd need the demo versions of RLoew's patches (but then there's no demo for the SATA patch...). What do you say? If you decide to give it a try, tell us so, and in the process tell us also Model and make of your mobo, and the model of the HDD and of the video card, and whether it's AGP or PCI-e.

@RLoew: In case HardDriv'n accepts, would you consider creating a demo version of the SATA patch? And, considering the complexity of the task, perhaps even a special edition of the 3 demos, with a 30 min usable span, instead of the usual 10? :angel

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Virtual PC 2004 (which is free) over XP SP3 would do nicely. But I'd still prefer running on the bare hardware. I do so with an Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton), @ 2333 MHz, and have no need to slow down the processor. I run both MS-DOS 7.1 and Win 98SE just fine.

Now, I knew RLoew has a machine working stably with an ATI GPU with512 MiB RAM, it's RLoew(1) on the > 1 GiB RAM list.

Bad example. That one is running with no driver for Windows 9x.

I didn't remember it, but I think he had mentioned before having had success with a nVidia GeForce 6200 with 512 MiB RAM, but in any case, it's one of the rare mentions I've ever heard about 9x/ME running OK with any nVidia with 512 MiB RAM... there is one more on the list, Cyker has a nVidia GeForce 7950GT AGP 512 MiB working OK. I just reread the whole list looking for it (BTW, @RLoew: you forgot to report video RAM amount for RLoew(5) and RLoew(7)...), after all, that's what the list is meant for: hardware examples of known-good configurations.

I listed them under AGP aperture. Neither is large enough to be significant.

Now, with RLoew participating in this thread, maybe it's a good opportunity for you HardDriv'n to give it a shot, and establish whether your existing system can work with 9x/ME. You'd need the demo versions of RLoew's patches (but then there's no demo for the SATA patch...). What do you say? If you decide to give it a try, tell us so, and in the process tell us also Model and make of your mobo, and the model of the HDD and of the video card, and whether it's AGP or PCI-e.

@RLoew: In case HardDriv'n accepts, would you consider creating a demo version of the SATA patch? And, considering the complexity of the task, perhaps even a special edition of the 3 demos, with a 30 min usable span, instead of the usual 10? :angel

Making a Demo Version of the SATA Patch is a problem as a significant part of it is the INF which is plain text.

Running in Compatability mode will provide reduced performance but will support SATA and drives larger than 137GB. Renaming ESDI_506.PDR in the Windows\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS folder after the first reboot during installation will insure this.

Using the MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache settings will allow him to Setup Windows and install the Video Driver.

Once this is done, he can Install the Demo RAM Limitation Patch, with the /M option, from DOS, edit out the MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache settings and boot to Windows.

10 Minutes is more than enough to verify proper operation.

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Running in Compatability mode will provide reduced performance but will support SATA and drives larger than 137GB. Renaming ESDI_506.PDR in the Windows\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS folder after the first reboot during installation will insure this.

Using the MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache settings will allow him to Setup Windows and install the Video Driver.

Once this is done, he can Install the Demo RAM Limitation Patch, with the /M option, from DOS, edit out the MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache settings and boot to Windows.

10 Minutes is more than enough to verify proper operation.

It sounds like a plan to me. :thumbup

@HardDriv'n: What do you say? Give it a go? :angel

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I was only trying to use a 45 GB FAT32 partition. Would I still be in need of the SATA patch?

As to the video drivers, I've already run FreeDOS with the VESA drivers just fine. They would probably be more than enough for what I want to do in Windows 98. As far as hard-drive compatibilty mode, I don't even know if it would be an issue. I wouldn't be trying to run current software, but older - lesser demanding - programs.

I had slightly different results with trying a clean default install, or with 98lite. On a common note, they both ended up hanging during install at some point. I did some reading around, and all I found were some discussions of a <warez> project where people with much higher specs had gotten Win98 in compatibilty modes (without sound). At that point, I had given up, and I didn't realize this thread had kept going. Sorry.

If there's something someone wants me to test, I'll give it a shot, but I'll need detailed instructions/documentation to accomplish it.

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If you attach a zipped copy of your system.ini and system.cb files, I'll put the correct MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache settings in the right places for you. Then, you install the system until it crashes, then boot to true DOS with a floppy disk, go to the WINDOWS folder, rename SYSTEM.INI to SYSTEM.OLD and SYSTEM.CB to SYSTEM.CLD, and then copy the edited files I'll have provided to the WINDOWS folder. Then go to the WINDOWS\SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS folder and rename ESDI_506.PDR to ESDI_506.OLD. Then reboot and you should be able to fully boot this time, although it may be slow. Does it sound like a plan?

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Here you go!

This *should* get your system booting (provided you also rename ESDI_506.PDR).

Hello. I see that the changes you made to the MaxPhysPage and MaxFileCache settings are the same ones I tried initially. Unless of course something else was modified, renaming the above mentioned file finally allowed me to boot into Windows 98. Cool.

Now I need to see if I can reclaim some of my RAM by using a ramdrive for swap. Can you recommend the most up to date method, as I'm seeing all sorts of conflicting stuff in the forums here?

I was able to install the last unofficial SP, and the VESA drivers. But... a consistent problem I've been having is that 'shutdown' doesn't work, and on every other boot, I get a fatal error.

IE - I boot up Win98, it crashes with error, I press CTL+ALT+DEL, I reselect Win98 'normal' mode, the scandisk starts, and it finally loads to desktop.

The unofficial Nvidia driver installer didn't recognize my chip-set despite that it's only a variation of the 256MB card, and directories took forever to load until I installed the VBEMP x86 driver.

---

This was posted from Windows 98, using Firefox 2.0.20.

---

Edited by HardDriv'n

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Now I need to see if I can reclaim some of my RAM by using a ramdrive for swap. Can you recommend the most up to date method, as I'm seeing all sorts of conflicting stuff in the forums here?

I was able to install the last unofficial SP, and the VESA drivers. But... a consistent problem I've been having is that 'shutdown' doesn't work, and on every other boot, I get a fatal error.

All the free ramdrives are XMS ramdrives. Adding a XMS ramdrive will fill your System Arena at the drop of a hat, and it'll crash. That's a sure way to crash your system seven ways to sunday. You seem not to realize that what I led you to do is a horrible kludge. But I never said or implied it wasn't. With 512 MiB of Video RAM, 3.5 GiB of RAM, running a SATA disk in compatibility mode and having no mobo drivers, your system is in a *very* unstable state, on the very brink of crashing all the time. The best XMS ramdrive is Frank Uberto's XMSDSK v 1.9I, for which there's a link in the 1st post of the > 1 GiB RAM thread. But rest assured it'll crash your system horribly. If you don't believe me, just install it and run a scandisk surface test on the ramdisk from inside Win 98SE. Do it using Win ME SCANDSKW.EXE and DSKMAINT.DLL (available in BHDD31, for which there's a link in the > 137 GB HDD thread), to be sure you're using the best version of them and be sure to set the /NUMHANDLES=64 switch to the HIMEM.SYS entry in config.sys and don't load EMM386.EXE. That's the very best you can do. In your system I doubt you'll be able to run a 256 MiB ramdisk, without crashing... and there's no way you'll be able to run a ramdisk of 1 GiB or more, which would be what you'd need to put the swapfile in it. Without RLoew's patches (and non-XMS ramdisk) you've got no chance of attaining a stable configuration. But you don't need to believe me: do it yourself and see it crash. And don't get me wrong: I'm not, in any way, set on getting you to buy anything, I'm just telling you what the facts are. My own experience is this: with all the needed drivers and a 32 MiB Video Card, plus up to 1.5 GiB RAM, I managed to run stably without any paches, but to go beyond that, only with RLoew's patches I was able to attain a stable configuration. Since both configurations are stable I've kept both in the > 1 GiB RAM list, so you can go there and compare them.

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