1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Windows 98 or 2K on PI

By lopdog · 18 replies
Jul 18, 2008
  1. I´m going to install a new OS on a Pentium I, 200 MHz computer with 64 MB RAM. Should I go for Win98, Me or 2K?
    I prefer 2K, and according to Microsoft this computer is above minimum system requirements, but will it run too slow for normal use (word processing, some games etc.) ?
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I would think Win98 will be just about bearable at 200Mhz.and 2K possibly so, but I'm less sure. 98Me would likely be a terrible pain. 64Mb ram will be fine for word processing and older games, but definitely not for newer games (i.e. last 4 years).

    Also for word processing, nothing after MS office 2000. I would try a less demanding word processer than Office anyway, maybe an earlier version of Open office or even Word Perfect and similar.
  3. tweaks_sav

    tweaks_sav TS Rookie Posts: 186

    I would defiantly recommend Win2000 for older hardware over Win98 and WinXP.
    Windows 2000 runs pretty smooth on older hardware.
    If it's to slow you can find a cheap 256mb stick at a local shop or something.

    Is there a reason you need Windows? Why not go with Ubuntu or a free OS? Then you don't have to worry about being legal and paying for an OS?
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I'm suprised at the answers here, I thought nearly everyone was anti-2k around these parts.

    I also recommend 2k. It will take FOREVER to boot, but once it boots everything should run as fast as you can expect anything to run on that. The compatibility with 2k for anything modern is much better than 98 as well.
  5. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    I'll second on sngx1275.

    I'm not one of anti-2k, but it's the best os I ever used in school and on my laptop.
  6. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 171

    why would anyone be anti-2k here. Isn't XP really W2K underneath its hood? lol
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    For those small amounts of memory and speed, the Windows 98 will work better than the W2K and there is a great deal more support, and online help. Windows 98SE cannot use more than 256 MB, but I would max out with that...
    The main problem is searching for drivers. There are plenty of sites for W98SE... no need to even try the evil WME... but more W2K sites have been disabled and closed down than you can count. If you don't have a good library of software and drivers, W98SE is a better choice by far.
    And I am a user who has six systems working W2K Professional... sold on W2K!
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  9. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Win 98 SE has very poor support.

    You can apparently get 2k to perform better on old pcs.

    Did a search once. Here's a link you might look at.

  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77


    At work, I still have 30+ PC's running Win98SE in a modern environment (main application written in Visual Foxpro, a networked setup with 2Gb + data files).

    Those PC's still on SE are somewhat more powerful then the one specified, but there are one or two at 400Mhz. Nearly all are upgraded to 256Mb memory, but a couple still at 64Mb. ALL have been updated to Unoffical SP 2.1a.

    It might be encouraging to learn that in use, the difference between the average SE machine and the lastest I have deployed - 3GHz XP Pro machines - is barely discernable, and practically all accounted for by 1Gb network connects instead of 100Mb. But then Vfp is an extraordinary language.

    P.S. (this is a dangerous claim, my nut is on the line here), the SE machines do not suffer from crashes or lock-ups for weeks at a time on average; some apparently hardly ever, the users cannot remember the last time, they tell me. The key here is regular vacuuming of dust, regular defragmenting. No connection to the internet, usually only the one application running at a time (athough there will always be at least three copies running simultaneously, and often eight). Dont let anyone tell you 98SE was not a fine operating system if you respect it's limits.
  11. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TS Guru Posts: 246

    It's more compatible with recent stuff, (ie flash drives, etc.) and less of a pain in the *** in general (usually) than 98. They'll probably run around the same speed... neither really takes up more resources than the other... least not significantly if configured right.
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I thought 2k was disliked here because I often get a poor response in the Vista arguments where people say anything you can do in Vista you can do in XP but faster. I usually argue anything you can do in XP you can do in 2k but better.

    Anyway, I disagree with raybay, I think finding 2k drivers will be MUCH easier than finding 98 drivers. The reason is 2k was used by LOTS of buisnesses, it was a very solid OS and stable. Plus it is very similar to XP in its codebase so many times XP drivers are actually 2000/XP drivers.

    I just built a low power PC as a file server (Via C7 Processor) with a ultra tiny Jetway motherboard and I found 2k drivers for everything on it. I don't believe there were any 9x drivers avaiable.
  13. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Not true. Srongly disagree. The support for W98SE is much, much better, and Windows 2000 requires much more support, and downloads, which are simply extremely difficult to locate.

    Before you push this issue, so a search of your own.

    Most businesses and governments that used Windows 2000 had service contracts, and technician services which got the full disk set from Microsoft. That disk set is no longer available and hard to find. Otherwise the sales of W2KP were minimal. But MOST BUSINESSES used Windows NT if they didn't use W98Se, which, of course, most did.

    There were 10,000 W98SE discs distributed for every copy of Windows 2000 Professional.

    Tue, it is similar to WXP, but that is WXP no Service Pack. Microsoft fixed so many configurations in Service Pack 1. 2. and 3 that there is little comparison with W2K as far as fixing problems.

    If you look, you will find that VIA drivers are very much available for W98. That was back when VIA was king.

    Go to ANY driver support site, and examine their lists of W98 drivers vs W2K drivers. Many had to drop their W2K drivers to meet contractual obligations to Microsoft.

    And most of all, Windows 2000 is susceptible to most of the viruses and infestations of Windows XP, and W98SE is susceptible to hardly any since the year 2000. The risk from Viruses, Malware, and other infestations are the most risky of all, because not many security software manufacturers offer protection for Windows 2000.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    You 'backed' that up with a lot of text but I still don't buy it.

    98SE sold a lot more because it was a consumer OS. 2k was a buisness OS. 2k also had 4 service packs, by SP4 its nearly identical to XP without a built in firewall (which took SP2 to happen in XP).

    XP and 2k are so similar that my argument makes logical sense. 98 is a completely different platform. So its obvious that 2k would have more support than 98. XP extended the life of 2k. Nothing extended 98, it died completely when XP came out, and it was never a buisness OS so corporations have no incentive to continue to provide drivers.

    I haven't looked this up, and maybe you can easily disprove it, but I would think you could find 2000 drivers for a SATA RAID card easier than 98 drivers.
  15. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 295

    Thank you all for a lot of interesting information. This computer used to run Win98SE, so I don't think drivers are a problem. I'd prefer 2K, But I need a responsive system, and more memory is not an option. Besides, I'm worried about disc space, only a 3GB hdd. How much will Win 2K grow in a few months?
    (BTW, I´ll take a look at that unofficial SP for win98.)
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    No more updates by MS set for Win 2K
  17. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Win2K installations stopped at SP4, but patches went on until quite recently. Therefore, a fully patched W2K could occupy rather a lot of HDD space. On the other hand, I remember reading a post somewhere, or might have been a magazine article, where a Win98 installation could be crammed onto and run from 1 CD (i.e. 600Mb or less).

    By the way, the unofficial SP is essential for the proper working of USB in Win98SE and has other benefits too.
  18. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I think Windows 2000 drivers will be easier to find for the simple fact they often were the same as Windows XP drivers. Windows 98 which shared its drivers with Windows ME have been discontinued by many companies (even the archives) so there are less of them available without having to go to shady driver download sites.

    In case you hadn't deduced it, I vote for Windows 2000 (but please increase the memory anyways).
  19. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    You can, I have been running Windows 98SE on virtual pc for a while now, nothing serious happens yet.

    Give it a try :p
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...