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The Official Windows 9x is Dead Thread


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Of course ignorant users, ineffective AV based security setups and an OS based on a default-permit policy is the core of the problem, but this is the case with all versions of Windows. I was looking strictly at a 98 install.

IMHO the real problem (not only on 98) is/was/will be Outlook Express

Which is part of and shares components with Internet Explorer. It's the integration of these 2 with Windows that made it such a useful attack vector. I remember getting hit while using IE6 doing what would normally be considered safe behavior. The site crashed thhe security suite, then Windows. By the time I rebooted, I was infected. Just another IE exploit. Not including user caused problems such as the old Kazaa bundle and all of the junk it brought with it, most of the messes I cleaned on Windows got there via IE6.

I mean, you have a nice, brand new high tech kevlar and carbon fiber bullet proof vest. :thumbup

Are you going at 3 AM alone and on foot in one of the "hot zones" in your city/country/whatever shouting:

"I'm invulnerable shoot at me, SHOOT AT ME!"

That brings back memories of how I beta tested System Safety Monitor on 98 for about a year. That's just about how I treated it. It was quite an educational experience and a great way to build a collection of malware and exploit code. It showed me the power of a default-deny security policy, especially when its applied to parent-child settings on a per-application basis. It's so nice when you can let someone else use the PC and not have to worry about what they might do or run into.

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I have always found P4-class processors to be extremely fast and reliable, especially when running Windows 9x. Of course I should also point out that all of my P4's are 2.8GHz or faster (except a couple of 2.0 GHz ones I had stockpiled from before I broke the 95 2.1GHz barrier).

IMHO, you have not really experienced Windows 9x until you have run it on P4-equivalent hardware. You click and things are done. It's a situation where the hardware is finally fast enough to make the OS fun to use.

They make the hardware faster, and Microsoft makes the software slower. It's an endless cycle. I imagine that machines now supposedly designed for Windows 7 would be excellent for running XP.

That Dell Optiplex GX260 is the same model I built my present 98 system on. Mine is a P4-2.4GHZ, 1GB RAM. I got rid of the 40GB hard drive and replaced it with a 160GB. All of the drivers are easily available, both thru Dell support and thru Intel downloads. The Intel site has the best graphics driver for this PC. Skip the most recent one. The previous version ( works better on 98. Between the unofficial upgrades and the help I received here with the setup, I've ended up with a rock stable and dependable 98 unit that does everything I've asked of it. Whille 1Gb of RAM might not be enough to edit video, it's more than enough to run Virtual PC and a Tor relay. Yes, building a really good 98 unit does require some knowledge (which is abundant here) and it does take a little time. You only have to do it once. After that, you add to it, modify it, and enjoy seeing just how much it can do that used to be impossible on a 98 unit.

Agree fully with these comments. This timeframe, circa 2004 was when the hardware was perfect for Win9x (that is Win98se of course). Almost everything in this era came with WinXP naturally which allowed a nice comparison. You just slapped in another HDD, installed Win9x and booted from either the Win9x or WinXP drive to see the difference. The WinXP GUI would be much slower while the Win9x GUI was blazing fast (for lots of reasons but among these the fact that all the metrics controlling the GUI in WinXP were slogged into a gigantic registry). WinXP would not get fast IMHO until multi-core CPU's and DDR-2 were common. Microsoft is always selling the OS for the next generation hardware it seems.

If I was intent on using Win9x a lot these days I would be snapping up all the i865 motherboards I could before they all wind up in dumps. For Win9x, i865 was a all-in-one solution. IMHO this would be the minimum I would find acceptable ...

Pentium 4 @ 2.4 GHz


Native USB 2.0

Most i865 boards I had included onboard Video, Sound and NIC, but they of course could be added separate to the barer motherboards. The intolerable things to me were USB 1.1 and SDRAM.

P.S. when I said NT family earlier in this thread I obviously meant Win2k and above, not NT 4.0 or earlier (I had these back to OS/2)!!! I use the term WinXP more often because Win2k and earlier is very hard to come by for the average computer dabbler. WinXP was the first easily obtainable release for the average Joe!

What I was talking about concerning stability is this:

* On Win9x almost anything, hardware or software can kill the entire Operating System, that means locking it up, keyboard dead, no way out without a hard reboot from reset button. That leads to an infuriatingly long blue screen scandisk because of the dirty flag to a stale FsInfoSector.

* On WinXP almost nothing, can kill the entire Operating System. But when it very rarely does, reboot and it is done.

That is what I call stability, and was the very strength of the (albeit slower performance) NT kernel. The resource pool, memory management, IRQ juggling, NTFS, multitasking program isolation, all were well refined for server use. These are positive developments. If you run computers using both Win9x and WinXP side by side you cannot ignore these positive developments.

This is why I suggest WinXP for the internet facing computer. If you are going to throw very active CPU and disk intensive software on a computer, like a realtime antivirus and a 2-way firewall, Win9x is going to have way more problems processing the constant activity than WinXP, (even though on the same identical hardware WinXP is slower it is more stable). This is before we even discuss Internet Web Browsers, which in my opinion all suck. But once again, the experts here (not everyone else) can just use Win9x with ethernet to a NAT router on broadband with the most modern browser that works, without antivirus or firewall and be ok. The average computer user is not equipped with the skillz or patience to deal with hour long scandisks after hard lockups when they were just twittering, facebooking or emailing. Not to mention the fact that they click on anything and everything.

If you have friends and family members all around the world, and they ask you this: which computer should I use for my internet, my Windows 98/ME computer or my new WinXP/Vista/7? You know the answer! You do not want to be answering the phone to explain the crashes and lockups, and walking them through recovery and finding their lost files. Life is too short.

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I beg to differ.

IMHO the real problem (not only on 98 ) is/was/will be Outlook Express

Yes but OE is the same as IE' date=' same symptoms, same baduser behavior.

If you are careful you can use OE safely, at least as safely as the web.

It's not dificult to make OE safe:

1/ configure it to read messages as text (disable html)

2/ don't open messages (let alone attachements) from unkown poeple.

On Win9x almost anything, hardware or software can kill the entire Operating System, that means locking it up, keyboard dead, no way out without a hard reboot from reset button.

True, but how often does that happens on a w9x PC with enough ram, a decent processor (1ghz at least) and the essential system updates?

The risk remains but not very often.

And I don't agree: the disc scan after a bad reboot is not mandatory, and doesn't happens everytime. Most of the time I skip it without problem.

More often my computer reboot in safe mode instead of scandisk. It must depends on the error encountered.

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If you have friends and family members all around the world, and they ask you this: which computer should I use for my internet, my Windows 98/ME computer or my new WinXP/Vista/7?

Any user that asks such a question does not have the knowledge or skill to be using an unsupported OS. Even XP, which by default gives these users an administrative account, is really unsuitable for the typical user. The percentage of compromised XP units shows the results of that idea, and the results of "clicking on anything and everything". For those users, I find it hard to recommend anything but a Live CD. For a reasonably skilled user, 98 is a very viable option. Most of those who post here either qualify as skilled users or are working towards that goal, or more accurately,are on that journey.

On Win9x almost anything, hardware or software can kill the entire Operating System, that means locking it up, keyboard dead, no way out without a hard reboot from reset button.

A lot of the experiments I try will crash an OS, 98 and XP alike. Once the system is built and configured, that rarely happens. I can''t remember the last BSOD I had on my 98 unit that wasn't directly the result of some experiment, but I can remember several on XP units I maintain that were the result of automatic updates to an AV. I''d much rather track down what went wrong when the BSOD is the result of one of my ideas than to get called and be told "the BSOD was there when I got up this morning".

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I must say that even Vista is not suitable to the average user, and that it also takes technical knowledge to keep it efficient.

Poeple who are not computer savvy end up with a very slow system full of bloat within one year or so.

One hardware hickup and they don't know what to do. Vista is of no help, but saying "Contact your vendor".

Typing "msconfig" in the run box is the same on Vista and w9x.

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Thanks dencorso for the heads up on Camille ... never heard of the 2007 version but I like "oddball" films. ... girl dies in accident, girl is still alive but starts to decay ... so girl really did die after all !!! Can't wait to see this one. Just saw "After Life" with Christina Ricci a few days ago and that was really oddball, maybe a little similar ... girls dies, thinks she is still alive but really is dead ... I think. She seems to be breathing on a mirror ! ... maybe the undertaker really did kill her, I'm not really sure if she was dead, open to other opinions ... like I said, a real oddball film.

Camille (2007)

On the way to Niagara Falls they crash their honeymoon bike and Camille dies in the accident. Thinking that he killed Camille, Silas runs away, breaking into a nearby house to call the police but hanging up before he reports the accident. When he returns to the scene of the accident he finds Camille up and washing in a nearby river. Over the course of the trip Silas realizes that Camille really did die in the accident as she starts to decay. While taking care of her, Silas shows a kinder side due to his guilt over having accidentally caused her death.

After Life (2009)

A young woman caught between life and death... and a funeral director who appears to have the gift of transitioning the dead, but might just be intent on burying her alive.


Edited by duffy98
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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting thread, might try disabling javascript. But if you want a operating system for pentium IV era that supports OOBE

  • >512Mb RAM
  • >2Ghz CPU
  • >64Gb+ HDD
  • Supports wifi etc.
  • Installs to RAM
  • Next to no virus attacks

then check out Puppy Linux 2 or 3 series. I did a little table here.

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so is 98 truly dead?

Of course not, although Microsoft do seem to be now doing their best to finally sweep it under the carpet.

There's still a huge amount of information on the MS site relating to Windows 98 though, even though the Windows Update service for it has been withdrawn.

Like any OS, Windows 98 will only truly die when there is no computer left in the world running it, and that's a very long way away yet! :)

I don't think any OS can truly ever die. Even if the OS were to disappear from mainstream computing, there will always be someone, somewhere, running it for any number of reasons, if it haven't already developed a cult following. Windows 98 still has much go to before it even reaches that stage. It only lost Windows Update. Judging from this thread, 98 users are hardly rattled by it. We are still using this OS as if nothing happened. [...] Thank you Microsoft for kicking 98 out of the house! Yes, Windows 98 is all grown up and fully independent now.

These two posts quoted above are from another related thread, but I think they fit well here, too.

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