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Dual-boot XP and WinMe/98?

Last response: in Windows 95/98/ME
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December 5, 2012 11:17:50 AM

Anybody know if it is possible to install and dual boot either WinME or Win98 on a LGA775 mainboard? I had a EVGA 680i SLI board that is suspect (has trouble booting up on a couple SATA drives), so I got a cheap Intel DP965 board for $35 and swapped them out. So current setup is a Q6700 running at stock 2.67GHz, 4 gigs of DDR2-800, ATI 5750 video card, Kingston SSD boot drive plus a bunch of WD storage drives, and a couple of Pioneer DVR-111D DVD burners on the PATA ribbon cable, plus a floppy drive. I successfully reinstalled XP on it so I know everything works fine. I then pulled out all the drives and plugged in a 250GB drive with a primary partition formatted with FAT32, to install ME or 98 on.

When booting up with a MSDOS 6.0 floppy, WinME DOS boot CD, Win98 boot floppy, or even the boot setup floppy for Win95, the CDROM drivers OAKCDROM.SYS and BTCDROM.SYS fail to see either of the DVD drives on the PATA cable. I swapped out the master with an old Yamaha CD burner set to master, same result. I went on Pioneer's website and found a DOS driver for a bunch of older DVD drives (105) and tried it - similar result - "cannot communicate with the CD drive".

I did a BIOS update on the Intel board, but note that the specs state it is compatible with XP, Win2K and later. Ditto with the EVGA board. So now I'm thinking there is some change to the southbridge controller that Intel made when they came out with the LGA775 specs, that prevents older drivers from seeing the CD (or DVD) drives on the parallel ATA bus.

I've read a lot of the posts here stating that Win98 doesn't like CPUs running over 1 or maybe 2 GHz (at least during setup) or more than 500MB of memory, but what about ME?

Any help greatly appreciated, TIA..

More about : dual boot winme

December 5, 2012 1:51:59 PM

The Windows 9x line is picky with it's RAM, but I've never heard accounts of how it reacts over the speed of the CPU (I've installed Windows 95 on a 2GHz CPU with no problems). Both Windows ME and 98 have problems with 512MB or more of RAM but there are patches to increase that limit to 1GB as that is the physical RAM limit.

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December 5, 2012 2:57:37 PM

Northwestern said:
The Windows 9x line is picky with it's RAM, but I've never heard accounts of how it reacts over the speed of the CPU (I've installed Windows 95 on a 2GHz CPU with no problems). Both Windows ME and 98 have problems with 512MB or more of RAM but there are patches to increase that limit to 1GB as that is the physical RAM limit.


I can get down to 1GB by pulling 3 sticks, but the Intel mainboard is really cheap - no BIOS settings to change the clock speed.

And I actually have a working Pentium 166 computer with Win98 and a Nakamichi 5-disk CD changer that works in Win98. Maybe I'll try pulling that drive out and installing it and its Win98 driver on the XP machine. The problem with continuing to use that 20+ yr old machine is just that - if it breaks down, very difficult to get replacement parts. And some of those old games like Stonekeep just don't run with XP, even in compatibility settings.
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December 6, 2012 2:38:51 PM

Would a virtual machine be able to pull it? I personally prefer to use them when I can't use a physical machine. It would save the hassle of making another partition and then finding the drivers for a device that probably won't work. You can control the RAM and speed of the CPU from within so hardware problems would be non-existent.
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December 6, 2012 9:20:39 PM

^ I've tried the VM approach with XP games in Win 7 Professional, with a mixed bag of results. First of all, AFAIK there's no video acceleration and second, some games like Dungeon Siege just refuse to install or run entirely. Not sure exactly what the issue is with them.

Anyway, I'd think that games like Stonekeep, which were pretty intensive hardware-wise for their day, would have trouble esp. using DOS extenders like DOS4/GW which run in 16-bit real mode IIRC.

I got a PCIe PATA card with a bootable BIOS onboard, so this weekend I'll plug it in and see if I can at least get WinME to recognize the CD or DVD drives. If not, I'm thinking I could try a FAT32 primary partition, and then try copying the OS installation disk as a CD image on the hard drive and run the installation from there.

But first I'll do a search on google to see if some generous soul has patched these games to run on XP. I just found out that Comcast, of all places, has a listing of shareware/freeware games that have been patched to run on XP: http://home.comcast.net/~SupportCD/XPGames.html. That's the ideal situation IMO, although I must admit one of the games I tried runs pretty slowly - must be running on an emulator I guess..
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