Windows 98 SE, still the best?

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Sobe4me

Member
Mar 12, 2003
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Just because it is not vulnerable to a worm doesn't not mean its the best. Win98 was good for it's time, but programs and hardware have advanced that Win98 cannot keep up. Just wait until Longhorn. NO MORE FILE EXTENSIONS!!!.... a word doc would be WORD... not word.doc. The graphical GUI is 3D! Just wait for this baby to hit.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
30,672
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Just wait until Longhorn. NO MORE FILE EXTENSIONS!!!.... a word doc would be WORD... not word.doc. The graphical GUI is 3D! Just wait for this baby to hit.
Longhorn catches up to what Mac users had 10 years ago, wow.
 

drag

Elite Member
Jul 4, 2002
8,708
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Yep. Funny thing, in windows a new thing usually isn't a new thing just a repackaged version of someone elses idea. But then again that's pretty much how the whole computer technology feild is, or most any other technology feild.

But I like file extensions. It's just a way to tell what sort of file you are dealing with without have to use any special commands or right clicking or whatever. I just look at something and I know as much about it as I'll usually need.

But then again I am the type of guy that when I used windows I kept everything in detail mode instead of icons and now I am a linux user I use "ls -l | less" for most everything. Hell now that I think about it I should be alias that command to lss just to make it easier on me. :)

But seriously folks. You just have to acknowledge that win9x stuff just sucked. It was ok in it's day, but now it's just outclassed by pretty much everything. When I last used win98 I never had a problem with stability or BSOD's, but now every time I touch one or try to do something of any technical importance they just fall to peices. It's because as a windows user you get trained on what you can do and what you can't do to a win9x enviroment. It's mostly subconsious, but not all. Simple stuff that you should be able to do, but can't because win9x just sucks so much.

Like uninstalling programs is a spooky thing. Or openning E-mail attachments from strangers is like playing russian roulette . Having too many windows open is just asking for it. Playing with the systems configuration files and editing stuff is something that a fool would only do without knowing EXACTLY what was going to happen. One part of the OS screwing up is very likely to corrupt and hurt any other random peice of it. A botched uninstall program can blow half the registry away, and you'd almost need a doctorit in microsoft-ese to put it back together in a reasonable manner. 6 months for a Window 98 is pretty impressive span for not reinstalling for a active tech person who likes to get the most out of his computer.

Hell for Linux/Unix it's not uncommon for production computers to go for YEARS. Someplaces it's more common to boot a computer due to hardware failure then software problems or upgrades. For example you can take a apache web service off line, uninstall it, download/compile/build a newer or different version of the software and install the new apache server with never one reboot. You don't even need to take the computer off line or distrupt any other services or users. For all they know nothing ever happened to the computer.

I am not saying that a person is stupid or backward for using win98. If it works, great, keep on using it. But at least know your tools enough to know that their are better things out there. Win95,Win98,Win98SE, and WinME are like the Corvair, Pinto, Vega, and Chevette of the computer industry. Sure they were great if all you've ever seen before was a Model-T (DOS) or a pocket calculator and they usually got you were you wanted ago (or at least within walking distance), but if they get hit in the wrong spot or you tryto turn too tight something very very bad is going to happen.
 

GonzoDaGr8

Platinum Member
Apr 29, 2001
2,183
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Win95,Win98,Win98SE, and WinME are like the Corvair, Pinto, Vega, and Chevette of the computer industry. Sure they were great if all you've ever seen before was a Model-T (DOS) or a pocket calculator and they usually got you were you wanted ago (or at least within walking distance), but if they get hit in the wrong spot or you tryto turn too tight something very very bad is going to happen.
Heh, My first three cars were Vega's..(It took three just to keep one running). LOL.
 
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batmang

Diamond Member
Jul 16, 2003
3,020
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win98...... you know how many lans i went to and sat there troubleshooting my k6-2 win98 machine. i member going to a lan where we were going to play some quake 2 capture the flag. i had just gotten a tnt video card, i didnt have a chance to install it, but later did at the lan. as soon as i took out my monster 3D (the original) and booted up with the tnt. my computer took a crap. i sat there and troubleshot my computer for almost 5 hours. reinstalled cards so many times, seperately... formatted 10 million times. all because of win98 not liking my agp video card. i had to install a new sound card and network card before my computer would take the addition of the tnt1. bleh, win98 was horrible...... oh man,.... win95 was even worse with open gl quake. holy crap.... 9x blows.
 

zapbuzz

Junior Member
Jun 18, 2021
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I, today would have to say windows Millennium with system restore and file protection removed it peaked over 98SE on my own benchmarks. Also, it supports disks over 32gb in fat32 and with openly released patches can support 4096mb ram and 2tb sata disks. As far as useability today; retrozilla can still get it to peek into modern websites but the real gain is inability to use social media so its good for health. Discord no, IRC yes. Using a good firewall and a better UPNP interface its greater with a UPNP internet router.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
29,991
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I, today would have to say windows Millennium with system restore and file protection removed it peaked over 98SE on my own benchmarks. Also, it supports disks over 32gb in fat32 and with openly released patches can support 4096mb ram and 2tb sata disks. As far as useability today; retrozilla can still get it to peek into modern websites but the real gain is inability to use social media so its good for health. Discord no, IRC yes. Using a good firewall and a better UPNP interface its greater with a UPNP internet router.
I have a win98SE retro machine I built with my spare parts last year. It runs 512mb of ram and an 80GB hdd. It supports USB sticks over 4GB. I run an older firefox that works just fine for surfing. The system is fully patched.
 

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,477
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I, today would have to say windows Millennium with system restore and file protection removed it peaked over 98SE on my own benchmarks. Also, it supports disks over 32gb in fat32 and with openly released patches can support 4096mb ram and 2tb sata disks. As far as useability today; retrozilla can still get it to peek into modern websites but the real gain is inability to use social media so its good for health. Discord no, IRC yes. Using a good firewall and a better UPNP interface its greater with a UPNP internet router.
I’ve just built a WinME machine for retro gaming (awe64 plus voodoo5) hooked up to a modern 16:10 panel (1920x1200). While it’s totally adequate for intended uses, every once in a while I get a blue screen with some kind of error (usually when I try to multi task too fast on it); one, two tasks at a time, seem alright though.

Interesting facts, I’ve set up disk shares on my LAN so I could avoid using slow USB 1.1 on a range of OSes, Win 7, 8.1 and 10. And with 10 I get blue screens sometimes as well whilst accessing a shared folder on it, no such prob on earlier oses though. All the necessary registry/policy tweaks applied.

Otherwise, I have fond memories of it, it used to be my main os in 00 and I had better luck with it than 98, I totally hated 9x family though (I used to reinstall them all the time, WinME held up for 6 months though, the longest). After Windows XP SP0 I switched to FreeBSD and set up Win2K in VMWare.

Powertoys TweakUI is a must have.
 
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AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,804
194
106
Holy thread necro, Batman!

The dedication of building a retro Win 9x/Me machine nowadays is commendable.

But I do have to ask: aren't virtual machines powerful enough for this kind of task, instead of physically building a computer?

I mean... we're talking about hardware that's less powerful than a modern smartphone: sub-GHz CPUs, less than 4 GB RAM (and probably PC133!) and storage under the 100 GB threshold...
 

Magic Carpet

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2011
3,477
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Well, after having messed around with my Win9x retro gaming box, I will say this. I do enjoy how SB AWE64 sounds in certain games (NFSIISE, Blood, DN3D) that exact sound I can't emulate outside of the original hardware. There are also games that don't run perfect with Glide Wrappers, so running everything natively was a logical choice for me.

Luckily, I have had the hardware for a long time, so for me it was simply putting everything back together. Zero investment.
 
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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
81,542
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I kinda want to make an old computer for some of my games that refuse to work under Windows 10.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,675
487
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I kinda want to make an old computer for some of my games that refuse to work under Windows 10.
I was disappointed this thread was a necro and not about precisely that. I've been experimenting with some VMs but the virtual 3D available just seems too new to be a good match for 98 era games.

This thread is amusing though to see all the old arguments. I generally hate new things on principle but I remember I ponied up for extra RAM and tossed 9x so I could switch to Win2K almost immediately. Its not that 9x was horrible, it actually had a logical nice UI and what it could do with compatibility was great. But it just wasn't stable and installs tended to eat themselves (probably through DLL hell) every 6 months or so for me.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
29,991
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for anyone contemplating running win98SE in a VM, don't try it on a Ryzen system. It will fail due to microcode issues. The only work around disables all 32 bit support. This includes video drivers.

an Intel system will work just fine.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,675
487
126
for anyone contemplating running win98SE in a VM, don't try it on a Ryzen system. It will fail due to microcode issues. The only work around disables all 32 bit support. This includes video drivers.

an Intel system will work just fine.
Some people seem to be able to get it to work with older versions of vmware player. Its unclear to me from reading what exactly the problems are. There seemed to be some issue with 16-bit applications which apparently is fixed with a microcode update, but I don't think that is the only issue.

I've only played at all with XP VMs recently though so have no personal experience.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
29,991
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Some people seem to be able to get it to work with older versions of vmware player. Its unclear to me from reading what exactly the problems are. There seemed to be some issue with 16-bit applications which apparently is fixed with a microcode update, but I don't think that is the only issue.

I've only played at all with XP VMs recently though so have no personal experience.
I have tried it in WMware and VirtualBox. Fails on both. If you can get into win98SE, you can disable 32 bit apps. It seems to work better but it messes up drivers and other apps.

Until it is properly addressed by AMD, things won't change.
 
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hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
20,000
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Stumbled across this thread. I loved 98SE, it would connect to anything. No network admin required. Of course knowing what I know now, I would never have that system connected to the internet, or any system that wasn't completely scanned for viruses.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,429
126
Honestly, Windows 98 SE was already obsolete when this thread was posted in 2003. By then, Windows XP was out for over 18 months. That said, Windows 2000 was probably the "best" OS of that era. It's the first one where had plug and play hardware detection that really worked reliably, and was super stable. It also didn't have the UI bloat of XP, and ran faster on comparable hardware.

I find the posts of people thinking that Longhorn (Vista) were going to be awesome to be super amusing... boy, did they get that wrong :)
 
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DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
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if i was *this* obsessed with speed and efficiency i would use a Linux system and probably would have fewer aggravation than a pre-XP OS.
 
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