Want to go back to '98SE

By Karen_80
Aug 5, 2004
  1. Hi there,
    I have a Dell Dimension 2400 that came factory installed with XP. The big problem is that I got a new pc so I could play my Ultima games with ease, but they hate XP since they're older ('99ish) and I want to go back to 98SE. Last weekend I fdisked, repartitioned and formatted Fat32, installed win98..and was dead in the water. I had checked on the net and got my chipset drivers, but my darling little Broadcom ethernet card was just sitting there, laughing at 'net access. I had to reinstall xp. (sighs). I've got the chipset driver, the ethernet driver, my sblive driver..but don't know what else I'm going to need. Does the chipset look after the USB ports and stuff? My IRQs list an 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller and the enhanced controller...are these separate drivers? Will win 98 find the USB ports or will the chipset have them? My cds (of course) only came with xp drivers and Dell says "sorry, we don't support 98 anymore". I expected problems but not the ethernet card.
    I just can't help it...I hate XP! :eek: tks in advance! Oh, and if I'm in the wrong forum..sorry. I didn't know where this fit.
  2. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Depending on what you hate about XP, there are many attributes that you can change in XP to make it look/work/feel much more like Windows 98.

    In terms of drivers, the best thing you can do is install Win 98, go into the device manager, and see what devices are showing a problem.

    Usually, you can tell a support site to only give you the relevant drivers for a certain version of Windows, and it'll give you anythign you wouldn't have on the windows CD.

    If you can get 'inet acess working, though, you can go get the drivers on the fly, as well as the windows updates (!!!).

    Updating windows after installing it may cause things to work, as well- some support was added after the fact.

    Once upon a time I heard about a program that came with all of the updates for SE to a certain date. However, I no longer remember what/where it was, only the one for XP.

    Hope this helps somehow... BTW- Welcome to Techspot!
  3. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the response! There's really nothing specific I don't like about XP, except that the games won't run properly and it seems a target for every virus/worm/trojan out there. I just can't get to like it for some reason, probably because I'm so familiar with 98 and the XP/ME/2K seem so...(clunky and fat?)
    I'm pretty sure I can find the drivers (provided I can get net access), it was just the usb things I was concerned about, wondering how much support was built into 98SE to 'run' them, or if that comes from the chipset.
  4. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Dell Dimension 2400s seem to have either Broadcom 4400 or 570x series chips, so you can download a driver for Win98 from Broadcom's page.
    Some mainboards have separate USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports, so in those cases they also have separate controllers. This "enhanced" controller is 2.0.

    82801 also reveals they are integrated into Intel chipset, so installing the right chipset driver should give you USB too.
  5. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    98SE officially supported USB. Beyond that, though, I dare not say much more. Devices are very hit and miss, and seem to work from motherboard to motherboard. I had a set of Altec Lansing ada-305's that worked fine with USB on one mobo, didn't on the next. Even with the drivers you could have a real adventure, or no problem at all, there's no real way to tell until you get in there and try, or you post every last minute detail about your system here.
  6. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks very much for the responses. I'm glad to know that the right chipset drivers *should* look after the USB controllers!
    I'm adding ram and a cd/rw next week, so chances are I'll be able to retry the whole '98 thing next weekend. I had asked Dell if they could give me 98 drivers specific to my system but they won't, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can at least get the net card working, and go from there.
    The advice is MUCH appreciated! It's so depressing when I have to reinstall xp again. <gg>
  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    Not saying I know of a way - but there's got to be a way to make those old applications run in WinXP. I can't imagine why anyone with a P4 2.6 would run Win98 instead of XP. Responsiveness of the OS shouldn't be an issue at this speed. I'm gonna research this problem from that angle and hopefully we can get you up to date. You can't avoid change forever :) You're gonna have to catch up on your OS sometime. By the way - the best way to avoid all those virii and other junk is education about safe computing practices. Hang around here and you'll be forced to pick some of that stuff up!
  8. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I know, I know. They tell me that at work, too...I just got upgraded there from '98 to 2000. I know how to use it and I'm not 'scared' of moving on, it's just these darned games. <gg> If I could figure out how to run the Origin Ultima Ascension games, right from I to IX under windows xp without it crashing on me every 20 minutes, I'd be more than happy to stay with XP...eventually I'd probably learn to like it. If you can help, that'd be awesome. :) I'd almost like to try a dual boot system but I've never done that before and I'm kinda scared to try it.
    Re viruses...I've got AVG, A2 and AdAware running, plus my provider supposedly has firewalls, spam blockers and antivirus running from the server; I also run the online scanners every so often to make sure mine are paying attention. It's weird but I only ever got one virus under 98 and the only time before that was when I ran my Wildcat bbs, so you can imagine how long ago THAT was. lol. I guess as things progress the viruses get smarter, too. But the fact that MS is always launching "security updates" for XP is kinda freaky.
  9. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Can you perhaps be more specific about the game crashes and problems? Some of those may be individual issues that we can help iron out...
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    By the way - dual booting those two OSes is super simple. Just install 98SE first (which you've already done) Then install XP in the unpartitioned space. I assume there will be unpartitioned space - HD minus 32 gig - that can be used for XP. I would also recommend going NTFS for the XP partition - although 98 won't be able to access any files on that partition if you do.

    Now to get my hands on those old versions of Ultima - I think I have some of them packed away somewhere.
  11. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The problems I have with ascension IX are, I'm assuming, typical for the amount of ram I have..only 256 mb. Video and audio degrade and get choppy after 20 or 30 minutes of game play and then it locks up the entire system, or simply shuts down and throws me back to the desktop. I ordered another 512 and will add that to see if it makes a difference, which I'm sure it will. It's the prior games that run badly (I found the whole collection at e-bay) and one or two of them won't run at all under xp. The folks who play these tell me that I'll have to boot up to a prompt and play from there, which is great if I could only figure out how to actually boot to dos instead of shelling out to it. I was getting memory dumps and then getting kicked out of the game, but those errors seem to have stopped since I reinstalled a driver or two.
  12. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Heh. Those "old versions" of ultima are selling on ebay for upwards of $75 US...
    When I did the fdisk I noticed there were two partitions - one NTFS for 39 mb and then a non-dos partition for the rest of the drive. (I might have that backwards). Does this mean that the 32 mb partition was for XP and the rest could have been formatted fat32? Could I format, say, 40 gig as Fat32 drive c and then 40 gig NTFS for drive D and keep XP on D? Or does XP even need that big a partition? There's really nothing I have that "needs" XP, tho, except I have to say the diags are a heck of a lot better if there's a problem under XP than anything I've ever's like a machine with it's own built-in doctor. I'm pretty sure if I was going to go through the fdisk/format/reinstall, I likely wouldn't even bother putting XP back on, or if I did would probably never boot to it.
  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Community patch 1.19f is said to fix this.
    In Win98, hit F8 when booting to get to boot menu.
  14. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've actually already installed the patch but it didn't seem to help.

    I'm using winxp right now, and even when I do hit F8 (or any other F key) it brings me to windows and then spawns a command prompt window. In Win98 it's easy. lol.
  15. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

  16. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    no no no..

    When the machine boots, right before you see the Windows XP "loading" screen, start tapping F8.

    Eventually you'll get a menu of boot choices. You should know what to do from there.
  17. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Yeah, but XP doesn't have a DOS mode.
  18. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just realized does spawn a c prompt window but won't start up at the command prompt.

    I had the patch for ascension 1.8 or something so I installed the 1.9f patch...still lose video and audio and get kicked out...only Avatar coughs now...alot...and I'm trying to figure out why my character has a cold all of a sudden.
  19. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Hrmm.. funny that.. I'd forgotten that in XP. Sorry....

    Perhaps try loading a Windows 98 Boot disk??
  20. Agent_J

    Agent_J TS Rookie

    Hey Karen, your not alone, I'm also still using 98SE for compatibility with older games and not having to worry about all the NT kernel security flaws

    It's the unofficial win98se service pack 1.5, download here, 10.5MB:

    # 70 hot fixes.
    # Solves >512 MB of RAM problem.
    # 256-color tray icons.
    # Better Notepad.
    # Optimized swap file usage.
    # Better WDM and USB support.
    # General "USB 1.x Mass Storage Device" support.
    # Adaptec ASPI 4.60.1021 drivers.
    # Windows Scripting Host 5.6.
    # DCOM98 1.3.
    # OLE Automation Libraries 2.40.4522.
    # Dial-Up Networking 1.4.
    # Microsoft Installer 2.0.
    # Visual Basic 6.0 SP6 runtime library.
    # Visual C++ 6.0 SP6 runtime libraries.
    # Updates JET 3.5 files to JET 3.5 SP3.
    # Supports 98lite 4.7 Chubby and Overweight.
    # Windows ME desktop icons.
    # Windows 2000 color scheme.
    # Supports custom "Program Files" directory.
    # Some performance tweaks.

    Hope this helps, this unofficial service pack has been working great for me for the past few months :D
  21. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    It's easy in XP too. Don't select Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Choose Safe Mode.

    Infact, Safe Mode supports CDROMs in Windows XP, where it did not in 98. This helps a lot! Also XP's Safe Mode can support networking so you can get online and troulbehsoot, download utilities etc... You cannot do that Windows 98.
  22. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Still, safe mode isn't real (MS-)DOS mode.
  23. Karen_80

    Karen_80 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    And the game won't run if I do safe mode, either, of course.

    I've decided I'm going to go back to '98 - I'll just have to be sure I've got all the drivers before I try the reformat/reinstall, I guess, or at least the chip set and the broadcom driver (I've got both). I don't know how much speed I'll be sacrificing on this new system, but I know that 98 will probably run like a dream with 760+ ram and lots of hard drive space. Thing is, I've used 98 for so long that any problems I have I can fix, it just might take a tad longer to identify the problem since I didn't build this one and I'm unsure of all of the components, where XP will usually point it out to you. Also, whatever I can't do to 98 *in* windows, I can do in dos. Can someone tell me (in their opinion) aside from the good diagnostics, what I'll be missing by going back to 98 as opposed to staying with XP? There's really nothing I can do with XP that I couldn't with 98.
  24. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    98SE was not designed to use much more than 384 Megs of RAM. It can become unstable if more than that is used. This is due to the design of the operating system.

    If you use the NTFS File system you can get better use of larger files and is theoretically more stable. With XP you can easily use 1 Gig of RAM. However, I usually revert back to the Win98 look and feel for the screens and the start menu. I dont care for that bubbble gum visual effect look of the standard XP start menu, so I just the Win98 start menu option. In the start menu you can go to the Classic View and choose Win98 as the type of view you want to use. It will still be XP underneath but it will look and feel more like Win98SE.
  25. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    There seem to be some misunderstandings regarding Win95/98/Me's ability to handle more than n amount of physical memory.

    In computers with more than 512 MB of physical memory, the 32-bit protected-mode cache driver (VCache) might reserve all of the virtual addresses available in the system, leaving no virtual addresses for other applications / hardware (like AGP cards) which require them.

    This is what causes problems.

    A simple fix is to limit VCache by adding


    to system.ini, section [vcache].

    The values are in kilobytes and can be something else, this was just an example.
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