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Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


Wunderbar98
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Attachment for @Wunderbar98 . Spellforce for win 98 and up. This is what it should look like.

b20 folder with .bsi files is inside of the "skinning" folder.

speech is inside sound

terrain , water inside texture.

Predefined , Starterkit inside figure_template

campaign ,Lan  inside map

All works fine . Look at the screenshot.

files.png

Edited by D.Draker
b20
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The comment to @Bruninho five posts up pertains to WineD3D compiling and old-school gaming, discussion split by administrator here:
https://msfn.org/board/topic/183296-compiling-newer-wined3d-for-98se-andor-xp/#comments

Thanks for sharing another Windows 9x experience @Mr.Scienceman2000, you're adventurous. Out of curiousity i searched Teamspeak in my GNU/Linux packages and only found reference to Hydra.

---
Hydra is a parallelized login cracker which supports numerous protocols
to attack. It is very fast and flexible, and new modules are easy to add.

This tool makes it possible for researchers and security consultants to
show how easy it would be to gain unauthorized access to a system
remotely.

It supports: Cisco AAA, Cisco auth, Cisco enable, CVS, FTP, HTTP(S)-FORM-GET,
HTTP(S)-FORM-POST, HTTP(S)-GET, HTTP(S)-HEAD, HTTP-Proxy, ICQ, IMAP, IRC,
LDAP, MS-SQL, MySQL, NNTP, Oracle Listener, Oracle SID, PC-Anywhere, PC-NFS,
POP3, PostgreSQL, RDP, Rexec, Rlogin, Rsh, SIP, SMB(NT), SMTP, SMTP Enum,
SNMP v1+v2+v3, SOCKS5, SSH (v1 and v2), SSHKEY, Subversion, Teamspeak (TS2),
Telnet, VMware-Auth, VNC and XMPP.
---

A PM was sent @D.Draker, got the game running beautifully using the v1.38 patch plus Polish patch. Thanks to @Dixel and especially @D.Draker for all the help getting SpellForce: The Order of Dawn running.
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2 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Thanks for sharing another Windows 9x experience @Mr.Scienceman2000, you're adventurous. Out of curiousity i searched Teamspeak in my GNU/Linux packages and only found reference to Hydra.

---
Hydra is a parallelized login cracker which supports numerous protocols
to attack. It is very fast and flexible, and new modules are easy to add.

This tool makes it possible for researchers and security consultants to
show how easy it would be to gain unauthorized access to a system
remotely.

It supports: Cisco AAA, Cisco auth, Cisco enable, CVS, FTP, HTTP(S)-FORM-GET,
HTTP(S)-FORM-POST, HTTP(S)-GET, HTTP(S)-HEAD, HTTP-Proxy, ICQ, IMAP, IRC,
LDAP, MS-SQL, MySQL, NNTP, Oracle Listener, Oracle SID, PC-Anywhere, PC-NFS,
POP3, PostgreSQL, RDP, Rexec, Rlogin, Rsh, SIP, SMB(NT), SMTP, SMTP Enum,
SNMP v1+v2+v3, SOCKS5, SSH (v1 and v2), SSHKEY, Subversion, Teamspeak (TS2),
Telnet, VMware-Auth, VNC and XMPP.
---

TS2 is not on package repositories as it is non free and also obsolete.

I find it interesting that list mentions XMPP. It is very popular among privacy oriented people so I wonder how vulnerable it servers actually are? Well Linux great thing is firejail that allows somewhat isolate possible vulnerable sw from being able to damage system and there is other ways to harden it trying minimize damage.

At the end only way to be 100% secure is unplug all computers from network (prevent network based attack), remove any wireless chips (prevent exploiting of wireless adapters), use wired keyboard (prevent keylogging wirelessly), unplug speakers (prevent using ultrasonic data transmission) and maybe toss whole computer away (no worry from getting hacked) :buehehe:. But that is unpractical way so you just need try harden configuration and have backups and hope for the best.

 

 

Also I found another great utility for 98. CoreFTP. It allows to reach even modern SFTP servers. Pick 2.2 lite version from link below and during install choose ansi version. That had some issues on finnish Windows 98 that I assume are related to region but it likely works no issue on english or other region 98.

http://www.coreftp.com/download.html

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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On 1/19/2022 at 7:18 PM, Wunderbar98 said:

D.Draker, got the game running beautifully using the v1.38 patch plus Polish patch. Thanks to @Dixel and especially @D.Draker for all the help getting SpellForce: The Order of Dawn running.

You're welocome ! Here's how to fix the English language . Do it exactly like here. This is only needed if you're annoyed . Well , I was really annoyed. So I found this way. If you do a mistake , it won't launch , so make a backup. 

 

English.png

Edited by D.Draker
fixed the pic
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Ha, ha @Mr.Scienceman2000, i'm most of the way there. My wireless is disabled. Only wired mouse, keyboard, speakers, printers and ethernet used here. My high speed is treated more like dial-up, unplugging or turning off router when no longer needed. Computers are also only turned on when needed. Nothing running 24/7 to minimize brute force exposure - need to be quick (and lucky). Firewall x 3 (two hardware, one software). And yes, partition backups where applicable. FTP is so useful, shame it's no longer used much. Page 31 and 32 of this thread also touched on numerous FTP clients including Windows 98's built-in 'FTP.EXE'.

Thanks for the information @D.Draker. The international flavour is welcome and thus far the little Polish (menu, load screen) hasn't affected English gameplay (game interface, NPC interaction).

I've now installed SpellForce: The Order of Dawn on both Windows 98 SE and XP, same hardware. Unfortunately there are graphic glitches in Windows 98. The NVIDIA drivers were upgraded from Forceware v71.84 to v81.98 and the issue persists. I've tried all manner of game and video card settings. The game will likely be played in Windows XP where it looks and runs beautiful, faster hard drive too.

A fresh Spellforce install in Windows 98 clarified the install process @D.Draker, using the alternate ISO files. It was necessary to extract all PAK files but hex editing was not needed. It took quite a few steps to get this game running from ISOs, v1.38 patch to Polish patch. If anyone's interested i'll post compiled notes otherwise move on.
Edited by Wunderbar98
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Recently discovered tools that may be useful for other Windows 9x users, especially gamers.

In Windows 98 SE and Windows XP a virtual drive (DAEMON Tools v3.47.0, free for personal use) is useful to mount digital CD/DVD files (bin/cue or ISO format) rather than burn to plastic. By default it adds the next drive letter to the system (eg. E: drive) and makes it easy to swap a digital CD/DVD from the taskbar. If running Tweak UI ensure 'My Computer' tab allows an 'E: drive' (or whatever) to be available otherwise it won't show in Windows Explorer.

Removing DAEMON Tools in Windows 98 may be problematic, similar to the issue reported in post #9 linked below. On this system Device Manager reported the virtual drive as CDROM -> Generic DVD-ROM, which re-appeared on reboot despite removal.
https://forum.daemon-tools.cc/showthread.php?t=1204

Since some report borked systems after messing around, recommend a DOS boot to manually backup the registry beforehand (use SCANREG /RESTORE if needed):
SCANREG /BACKUP /COMMENT="BeforeDriveRemoval"

On this system it was only necessary to remove the SCSI Controller, then CDROM -> Generic DVD-ROM automagically disappeared and no longer persisted on reboot.
Device Manager -> SCSI controllers -> D347PRT SCSI Controller -> Remove

Dragon UnPACKer is useful to extract data files from large PAK files, for example, sometimes used in games. Quick testing, the last version that works in vanilla Windows 98 appears to be Dragon UnPACKer v5.4.0 "Degei". As the legality of this type of software is questionable a direct link is not provided. A quick DDG search for 'dragon unpacker history' should be fruitful.

HxD Hexeditor v1.7.7.0 works well in vanilla Windows 98 to manipulate binary files, again no link intentionally provided.
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3 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

A fresh Spellforce install in Windows 98 clarified the install process @D.Draker, using the alternate ISO files. It was necessary to extract all PAK files but hex editing was not needed. It took quite a few steps to get this game running from ISOs, v1.38 patch to Polish patch. If anyone's interested i'll post compiled notes otherwise move on.

I've just fixed the screenshot in the prev. reply . You need to edit the exe file to remove that foreign language signs. It's a German game , BTW . Certainly not Polish , Polish was just a localized patch version. Unfortunately the other patches were deleted.

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4 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Unfortunately there are graphic glitches in Windows 98

Sorry for the stupid question , did you or did you not install DirectX 9.0b from the disk with the game onto your win98 ?

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Hi @D.Draker. Not installed from game as both my Windows 98 and XP already use DirectX v9.0c. As mentioned the game runs fine in Windows XP, which uses the same DirectX version. I suspect it's the graphic driver. Maybe vanilla Windows 98 SE can go higher than NVIDIA Forceware 81.98. My Windows XP has Forceware 90-something.

Artifact screenshots in Windows 98 SE linked. The shots don't do the issue justice. It's random and frequent, makes the game unplayable. It's impossible to time the screenshots, random quick flashes, take a screenshot and paste into Paint, repeat. For anyone who hasn't seen the game, these are not spell effects, rather random artifact flashing across the screen while two characters are standing and chatting.

Non-JavaScript users may need to click 'Download original image' to view.

Streak:
https://i.postimg.cc/L5LfMmj9/01-streak-artifact.png

Strange rectangle:
https://i.postimg.cc/tRW2bbqn/02-strange-rectangle.png

Floating triangular block:
https://i.postimg.cc/FsGbFs2z/03-triangular-block.png

My Windows 98 otherwise works fine for other software and games. I'm okay playing in Windows XP, really it's not a problem. Others with better hardware will likely have more success, free low-end hardware here.
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Out of curiosity, is there something like Coolsoft VirtualMIDISynth for Win9x? Maybe WildMIDI? Doesn't say on which Windows it works, but there's also a DOS binary.

Oh, this works with Gravis Ultrasound patch files, so not exactly like SoundFonts like VirtualMIDISynth.

Edited by UCyborg
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Thanks for helping @MrMateczko. Phil's Computer Lab appears to confirm last Windows 98 driver for NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 (64 MB) is v81.98 (2005). In Windows 98 SpellForce (2003) is glitchy with all drivers tested and the oldest release (v8.05) caused the game to freeze. BIOS settings, advanced driver settings and in-game video settings no help.
- v 8.05 2001
- v53.04 2003
- v71.84 2005
- v81.98 2005

Madden 2000 was installed for comparison. Earlier NVIDIA drivers appear to provide more Direct3D settings. In Direct3D mode the players and graphics look good yet the same graphic glitches as SpellForce.

As before, SpellForce works great in Windows XP, the game supports and installs fine in Windows 98, so likely graphic driver. That's okay, my Madden 2000 release is documented as a Windows 95/98 game and doesn't even launch in Windows XP. So for me Madden 2000 in Windows 98, SpellForce in Windows XP.

Hi @UCyborg, WildMidi v0.4.4 (wildmidi-0.4.4-win32.zip) was briefly tested in Windows 98 SE graphic mode (not DOS release). From a COMMAND.COM window it 'played' a MIDI file but there was no sound. The progress indicator and keyboard volume settings worked. I don't have the 'Gravis Ultrasound patch files', suspect reason for no sound. Seems hardcoded without fallback to system's own MIDI Synth (here Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth featuring Roland Sound Canvas digital samples).

Finished the first 285 (of 32,000) unique FreeCell games over the last months. Going back to random games for the odd coffeebreak treat, not enough lifespan to finish them all.
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54 minutes ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Hi @UCyborg, WildMidi v0.4.4 (wildmidi-0.4.4-win32.zip) was briefly tested in Windows 98 SE graphic mode (not DOS release). From a COMMAND.COM window it 'played' a MIDI file but there was no sound. The progress indicator and keyboard volume settings worked. I don't have the 'Gravis Ultrasound patch files', suspect reason for no sound. Seems hardcoded without fallback to system's own MIDI Synth (here Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth featuring Roland Sound Canvas digital samples).

When I was still in the mood for games, I was looking for ways to get better MIDI on VMware or VirtualBox virtual machines with Win98. While both could be configured with a sound card with MIDI support, I missed being able to use WeedsGM3 sound fonts. Wouldn't be an issue if they could be set to passthrough MIDI commands to host like DOSBox.

There's a Win98 driver for VirtualBox's Realtek AC97 and VMware's Ensoniq <I forgot the exact model>, don't have to be stuck with Sound Blaster 16, there's no MIDI in Windows DOS box with that I think.

But DOSBox is too slow on my PC for Terminator: SkyNET's SVGA mode. If I remember correctly, I only got it to work in SVGA in VirtualBox with VBEMP generic graphics driver.

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I don't know what to say , I never used Spellforce with win 98 (even though it was officially supported) . I wrote I ran it on Win ME and had no glitches , unfortunately I don't remember the driver numbers , but the card was NVIDIA FX 5700 Ultra. Of course , Spellforce is the game that was developed with much newer hardware in mind . As far as I know , GTX680 is the point where it gained much better picture and performance . I only write about ver. 1.38 , because later ones broke the quality , it's like another game with millions of bugs and reduced visiual quality. Perhaps they changed the devs team , I dunno. Also , this game prefers higher clocked processors to make directdraw calls faster. May want to OC your CPU.

https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/geforce-fx-5700.c69

Don't forget , you can play with the game video settings ! Turn on AA to unload your CPU , for example.

Edited by D.Draker
Wrong link
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On 1/21/2022 at 12:33 AM, Wunderbar98 said:

And yes, partition backups where applicable. FTP is so useful, shame it's no longer used much. Page 31 and 32 of this thread also touched on numerous FTP clients including Windows 98's built-in 'FTP.EXE'.

actually that client is interesting as it is only that can connect to sftp server running on latest openssh client under unix based operating systems. All other vanilla supported clients fails for lack of algorithm support and openssh killed ability allow older ciphers with config :realmad:.

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