Upgrading Windows 98 [Archive] - Glock Talk


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12-14-2005, 13:37
I have Windows 98 on an old computer that I'd like to start using at my office. Can I just upgrade to Windows XP, or do I need to wipe my hard drive and install it?


12-14-2005, 13:54
If it's Windows 98 you can use a Windows XP upgrade CD but do a clean install that will wipe everything.As long as you have the original Windows 98 CD.I know that works with Windows 98 SE but I'm not certain about plain Windows 98.Copy the things you want to keep on CD.Use the NTFS file system with Windows XP it's much better than old FAT 32.How much memory does the PC have?I upgraded one of mine but stayed with Windows XP SP1 as SP2 requires more memory.How fast a system is it?

12-14-2005, 14:05
try to install XP.

it will almost certainly not install properly.

while XP has been known to run on less, it is NOT safe to attempt it.

YMMV, but if i had a 98 machine that was say 5 years old..

i'd leave it alone & buy a new one.

a new tower is maybe 400? that is not only faster, & more reliable, but isn't on its last fraction of life.

upgrading the 98 box is only sensible if it's under 3 years old, has 256 or greater ram, and is oh, maybe 600mghz processor? something like that..

and i'm telling you real world, not what 'can' be done, but what you won't feel dumb for attempting.

12-14-2005, 14:54
My Windows 98 PC was new in March,2000.It's a 733Mhz Pentium III.It came with 128Mb of memory.At the time 800Mhz was the fastest and much more expensive.Memory was expensive at the time.I have upgraded the memory to 256Mb and put Windows XP on a new hard drive in it.I keep Windows XP in SP1.It runs fastest than Windows 98.I was careful with software choices so as not to drag down the system too much.If I had bought that PC with Windows 2000 I doubt I would have put XP on it.I did have to change the sound card and didn't try installing MS Office.

12-14-2005, 15:06
I upgraded it last year to an 80 gig hard drive, and it has 512 mb of memory. Do I still need a new tower?

12-14-2005, 15:14
How fast is the processor?

12-14-2005, 17:12
Originally posted by pyblood
How fast is the processor?

I can't recall. I'm pretty sure it's a pentium 3. I know it's under 1.0 , maybe 733. Does that sound right?


12-14-2005, 17:14
That should work alright.Mine runs faster with XP than 98 but I'm not sure if it's the software or the hard drive but it does alright.If you have to buy the full version of XP it may be better to buy a new PC though.

12-14-2005, 17:37
If you're buying an XP upgrade, make sure it'll upgrade 98... I think XP Pro will only upgrade from NT or 2000, and I know that XP Home won't upgrade 2000.

I'd just scare up an OEM fresh install copy of XP Pro, blank the HDD and install from scratch. The OEM copy tends to be only slightly more expensive than the retail Upgrade. OEM XP Home is under $100.

I know someone running XP Pro on an ancient Dell PII 366, 128MB of RAM and a 5GB HDD. Against my advice of course. But it seems to work, for sufficiently small values of work. It boots, browses and does email, albeit slowly, so she's happy. I hate working on that thing...

12-14-2005, 17:46
Oh yeah,certain BIOS are needed sometimes for Windows XP.Some require an "XP2" BIOS and some required the Windows 2000 BIOS or the latest BIOS available.In my case I had to go two BIOS versions back due to some power issues that caused the on-off button to work backwards.

12-14-2005, 17:47

there are caveats. since you have a slow machine, by recent standard, you should have someone who is a dedicated geekly tweaker

TURN OFF a bunch of default XP settings.

mostly the 'eye candy' (fancy graphic features) ..

as they reaaaaalllly slow the machine down. and they're new anyway, so you'll not miss them.

I also recommend you use XP pro, rather than home, if you can find a lower than retail deal. I've seen locally a 20$ price difference, and if you find similar the extra convenience of Pro is worth it.

the main issue between the two is administrative (tweaking) rights.

with home, you can only do administrator changes in safe mode. very slowly, and a PITA. if you NEVER want to change anything, XP Home is nearly identical to Pro, but if you want to network multiple machines, or fine tune your setup (very often), you'll feel silly for not having spent the difference.

SHOP on that XP thing. legit copies are findable for 1/3 below advertised minimums.

12-14-2005, 17:55
I think there is a "minimal install" option on the XP install CD.I know there is with Windows 98.It installs the fewest features.Other,newer software may be required to match XP.Such as CD/DVD burning software,office software.You will likely need to download video drivers,network/modem drivers,audio drivers can be difficult without a proper install CD from the card maker.An old one won't have XP drivers.Older printers,scanners may not work.

12-14-2005, 19:35
I have a windows XP install disk from one of my newer computers.

12-14-2005, 19:48
Originally posted by Weezer
I have a windows XP install disk from one of my newer computers.

If it's a disk from Dell or one of the big PC companies it might only install on their brand of PC's.Also MS normally only gives each disk two installs total before you need a new activation number.With the new SP2 activations you might onlt be able to get auto updates on one PC.The latest SP2 updates are more difficult to download and install on more than PC per CD.

12-14-2005, 20:29
With a P3 733 and 512MB or Ram, you should be OK. IF that 80GB HD is a 7,200RPM, you’ll be even better off. I have installed XP on slower PC with less RAM and HD space, and they work OK.

If you are using an OEM XP CD, you may have to call MSFT in order to activate. They are going to ask you questions like if you are installing XP on a new machine or not. They don’t like you installing an OEM on any other PC than the original PC that it came installed on. OEM copies of XP are supposed to be “married” to the hardware that they are purchased with. Like Washington, D.C. said, some OEM CDs won’t install on another PC. You may run into that possibility.

If that XP CD doesn’t have SP2 included on it, I would recommend slipstreaming a XP SP2 CD. I think that it takes longer to download and install than to just slipstream a CD with SP2.

I would recommend backing everything up and doing a clean install. Most XP upgrades especially if it’s from 98 or ME aren’t very good. Do the clean install; you’ll be glad that you did.

12-14-2005, 21:20
On my Pentium III I only upgraded my Windows XP to SP1 because SP2 uses more resources and memory.I was worried more about losing too much speed with SP2.The other thing,if you are going to use a product key/CD key that's already in use on another PC you may have problems with updates with SP2.SP1 has fewer problems in this reguard.I have all the security updates for SP1 and leave it at that.I have a Pentuim 4 PC with XP SP2 and it is a bit better system but has a bunch sysstem monitoring utilities that check for firwall,anti-virus programs,etc.Things I already know are installed.XP SP! is already more secure than Windows 98 so to compare it's still a huge step up and more stable.Can run the latest software that doesn't require too much PC.

12-15-2005, 12:07
Originally posted by Washington,D.C.
Oh yeah,certain BIOS are needed sometimes for Windows XP.Some require an "XP2" BIOS and some required the Windows 2000 BIOS or the latest BIOS available.In my case I had to go two BIOS versions back due to some power issues that caused the on-off button to work backwards.

ACPI also causes problems many times causing you to have to upgrade your BIOS.

i had ME and installed XP about a year ago and had to upgrade the BIOS w/ACPI compliance to do so.