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BadGoldEagle

Win 98 PC: Restoring from old backups (*.qic)

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Hi all,

I'm new around here. I haven't used Windows 98 or DOS in ages, so I apologise in advance if I ask relatively stupid questions. 

I'm trying to resurrect my childhood PC. It's an old NEC Direction, rocking a 400MHz Pentium II and 384megs of RAM. It has all its PCI slots filled. IIRC, there are 2 network cards, a video card (although a pretty generic one), a sound card (again, generic, and since I don't have the PC on hand, I can't tell you for sure what it is... more on that later!) and a video capture card.

I dug it out of storage a couple of weeks ago, cleaned it thoroughly (I even had to take the PSU apart. It was so dirty dust bunnies clogged the fan!). But, to my surprise, it posted. The battery was dead of course, but that was to be expected. What wasn't though was the terrible racket coming from one of the hard drives. The Maxtor 10.8GB IDE HD had bitten the dust. Unfortunately, that was the C: drive...

I had a look around and found backup CDs from 2002 labeled 1 through 7. I inserted them one by one into the only modern PC I have at my disposal (It runs Vista and it's crap, but still, could be worse). All of them are fine except one. Unfortunately CD #6 has been erased (It's the only CD-RW in the bunch...). The backups were made using 98's built in backup program, so we have to deal with .qic files...
Apparently I need Windows to run this software so I'm going to do that ASAP.

Now that you have a general idea of what's going on, I have a couple of questions:
#1: Is it possible to partially restore my documents using only 6 out of the 7 CDs?  Or do I really need all 7 to do anything? That would suck...
#2: Was it possible to backup everything on the drive (including the windows folder, drivers etc...) with this piece of software? I'm mainly concerned about the system itself, as I found backups of the documents elsewhere. 
#3: If I have to stick with a clean install of Windows, then how do I put back all the personal documents from the 3 users? 
#4: What would you recommend to buy as a replacement? Hard drive? SSD? I'm open to all suggestions as long as it has a PATA connector. I don't need that much storage, 20GB tops!

THANKS!

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http://www.willsworks.net/downloads/msbkwin.lzh

This modern tool works with .qic files, see if they work in the first place.

Then it's just a matter of extracting the files you find valuable with this tool, no need for using old computers/OS/software.

SSD PATA drives are so expensive! Best bet is to find a Samsung 20GB IDE drive, I had 80GB one, very reliable.

Or grab a CompactFlash adapter.

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Thanks everybody for the quick replies. I really didn't know where to turn to, there are so many Windows PC forums out there... MSFN seems to be a very active community.

I'll try and salvage what is salvageable with the software you recommended me to use. Let's hope it won't ask me to insert disk #6! I'll try that next week end as I forgot to bring the disks with me.

But for now, I'd like to get a replacement drive. I read about Compact flash adapters some time ago. They look neat but how do they compare speed-wise with say an old HD or a "proper" SSD?
If I decide to go the CF route, should I get a Sandisk Ultra (50mb/s) or an Extreme (120mb/s)? Also, there are a lot of different adapters to choose from, is there a big difference between them? 

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Posted (edited)

Some good news and some bad news.

The good news first:

A  CF card is pin-compatible with the IDE/ATA (PATA) bus, which means that adapters are "mostly electric and mechanical" adapters, not "electronic" ones, i.e. there is no fancy "translation" which means that all adapters are good, there is no particular chip in them that may cause issues or bottlenecks.

There are usually two kinds of adapters around, a type for single CF card and a type for dual CF card.

Typically the single CF card will have a switch to make it primary or secondary device, whilst the dual type has a connector hardcoded for primary and one hardcoded for secondary, I would suggest you the latter type since they cost the same and you have the possibility of expanding the storage by adding another card.

If you get a fast enough card, it will anyway run circles around any IDE hard disk, not as fast as a SSD, but then again the whole point is being on par (or outperform) your (slowish) IDE/ATA bus.

This (even if it is MAC oriented) will give you some insights:
http://lowendmac.com/2015/the-lowdown-on-using-compactflash-to-replace-an-ide-hard-drive/

The bad news:

We don't have AFAIK  any meaningful data on the durability of these cards for several reasons, the first being that there are more CF cards (also based on different internal technology) than stars in the sky and typically they are used (besides cameras and similar, where the writes are in "bursts") in "peculiar" systems, often mostly read only.

So we don't have a real idea on how long they will last in a "normal" OS install, where there can be often "granular" writes.

And now again some good news:

Notwithstanding the above, don't worry :), a good quality card will run flawlessly for years in a "normal" DOS/9x/Me install.

To give you a single data point, I have one installed in a re-furbished terminal client that I use as a router with a Linux install that is partially read-only but that continuously writes logs to the card and the device  is in service 24/7 since more than 5 years and never had a "wear" issue on the writable filesystem portion.

jaclaz

 

Edited by jaclaz

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Thanks for all that info, jaclaz! And by the way happy new year! This old PC is turning 20 in 2018! Whoa, time just went by... I remember the early 2000s like it was yesterday.

Anyway, I think I'll just get a basic adapter and a 32 gig CF card for the time being, and once everything has been installed and restored properly (I hope!), I'll consider buying an old external HD for backup purposes. I just want to play the old games I used to play when I was a kid and not much else... The old Maxtor was a 10.8gig drive, this CF card has 3 times the storage capacity of the old drive. That'll be plenty enough for me.

I got hold of a Windows 98 SE CD iso but I probably still have the original CD the computer came with somewhere down in the basement. But I might have yet another problem... The CD-ROM drive died in the mid 2000s and we replaced it with a DVD burner. Will that work all right with 98's built in CD driver? Who knows...

I watched a couple of videos online to educate myself on Windows 98's quirks and features. I knew this wasn't a 32 bit operating system but I had forgotten how different it was compared to say, XP. For example, the "Users" folder is called "All Users" and resides inside the "Windows" folder... I remember there being 3 user "accounts" on the old install, so I'm going to create three brand new user accounts with the same names and then copy/paste the old data inside the new folders. I hope that's gonna work.

 

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39 minutes ago, BadGoldEagle said:

Thanks for all that info, jaclaz! And by the way happy new year! This old PC is turning 20 in 2018! Whoa, time just went by... I remember the early 2000s like it was yesterday.

The real problem (mine) is that I remember the early '80's like it was yesterday :w00t::ph34r:.

41 minutes ago, BadGoldEagle said:

I got hold of a Windows 98 SE CD iso but I probably still have the original CD the computer came with somewhere down in the basement. But I might have yet another problem... The CD-ROM drive died in the mid 2000s and we replaced it with a DVD burner. Will that work all right with 98's built in CD driver? Who knows...

There should be no issues with the DVD drive, it should be a drop-in replacement for a CD drive, then, reading some DVD's (not CD's) in Windows 98 might require additional installed software.

jaclaz

 

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Yeah I know the feeling. My Apple II is turning 37 this year and it still looks brand new (although not modern lol).

I guess I'm all set now. I'll report back to let you guys/gals know how it turned out. Thanks again for all the support!

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