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Windows XP Pro & Pentium(r) lll

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January 31, 2009 5:11:38 PM

I have a Compaq Pentium(r)III computer runnig under Windows 98 Ver 2, 4.10. I'm not sure where I can get a reliable reading on the processor speed. When the machine boots up, I see 450 mz, but in the Device Manager, there are appear to be 2 co-processors. I am not very technical.

I would like to reformat, install Windows XP SP2 and then reinstall the software. The machine is to be used primarily for the internet, and Microsfot Office (mostly Outlook email, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint - in that order).

I am expecting (assuming?) that XP will be better than 98, but specifically why or hnow, I really don't know.

Is replacing Win 98 with Windows XP possible? If so, is this wise? If am obliged to stay with Win 98 (or it makes sense to stick with 98), what are the major considerations?

Thanks for your help.
January 31, 2009 9:57:12 PM

This should work fine for what you use the computer for. Xp will make the use of USB devices a little easier for you.

If you are coming from 98 you might benefit from going into control panel > System > Advanced > Perfomance > settings > visual effects - select best performance.


Then go to Display properties and select Classic theme - this will give you a familiar look on your desktop.

There are all sorts of performance tweaks for getting an older machine to run in a satisfactory manner for what you want.

You didn't mention how much ram you have - try to have at least 512mb or you will be thrashing the harddrive.

I recently ran a minimal install of TinyXP on a Pentium II with just 128mb of ram, and it was surprisingly responsive - remember if you are not happy you can always reinstall 98 or dual boot until you decide for sure.
February 1, 2009 12:21:39 PM

Thanks for the quick and helpful response SamB.

I completely overlooked the RAM consideration. System Info shows only 256, although I was certain there was 512. I guess I will stick with Win 98, unless I can somehow determine if the the other 256 isn't active. Any thoughts?

Would you happen to have a convenient link or steps on how to reformat this machine under Win 98? It needs to be cleaned-up?

Also, regarding "Xp will make the use of USB devices a little easier for you", are there any easy solutions that you are aware of to achieve this under Win 98?

Cheers

samb said:
This should work fine for what you use the computer for. Xp will make the use of USB devices a little easier for you.

If you are coming from 98 you might benefit from going into control panel > System > Advanced > Perfomance > settings > visual effects - select best performance.


Then go to Display properties and select Classic theme - this will give you a familiar look on your desktop.

There are all sorts of performance tweaks for getting an older machine to run in a satisfactory manner for what you want.

You didn't mention how much ram you have - try to have at least 512mb or you will be thrashing the harddrive.

I recently ran a minimal install of TinyXP on a Pentium II with just 128mb of ram, and it was surprisingly responsive - remember if you are not happy you can always reinstall 98 or dual boot until you decide for sure.

Related resources
February 2, 2009 5:32:38 AM

The only USB devices that really become easier to use are USB flash devices or other USB storage devices. Under XP / Vista (and I think 2K as well), you don't need to install any additional drivers... but you do need to install drivers for them to work with 98. Given the age of your hardware, you'd be better off with Win 2K Pro rather than XP or 98.

As for your RAM situation, it might not hurt to physically check how much RAM is installed. Some of your RAM may be shared with your video if you have integrated video... but if you have a separate video card, then either you have 1 stick of 256MB that went bad or you only ever had 256MB installed. Win 2K will run better on 256MB than XP, that's for sure. With XP, I'd recommend 1GB and with 2K, 512MB should be ok. Part of it will depend on what you're using for antivirus software.
February 2, 2009 1:02:12 PM

Thank you Zoron. Very helpful.

This old Pentium(r) III machine (450 mz, and 320 RAM [327,680 -found the problem]) will be used primarily on a dialup connection: MS Outlook email and Internet browsing. Perhaps I should leave well enough alone. In other words, stick with the Win 98 SE.

However, I would like to clean-up the hard drive and reinstall Win 98 SE. Nothing needs to be saved or backed-up. I have the original CDs for Win 98SE, modem, monitor and the application software. I created a system disk using Control, Settings, Add/Remove and tested it. The computer boots form "A" and I can access the CD-ROM ("D").

This computer hasn't been used for awhile, so I don't know what to expect as far as security updates for Win 98SE are consrned. If I could download these from another compter and instal these on the Penitum, this will be ideal.

Any information you have on the easiest procedure will be appreciated. I believe it is a simple matter of starting from "A", select FDISK, and reinstall Win 98SE.

Cheers

Zoron said:
The only USB devices that really become easier to use are USB flash devices or other USB storage devices. Under XP / Vista (and I think 2K as well), you don't need to install any additional drivers... but you do need to install drivers for them to work with 98. Given the age of your hardware, you'd be better off with Win 2K Pro rather than XP or 98.

As for your RAM situation, it might not hurt to physically check how much RAM is installed. Some of your RAM may be shared with your video if you have integrated video... but if you have a separate video card, then either you have 1 stick of 256MB that went bad or you only ever had 256MB installed. Win 2K will run better on 256MB than XP, that's for sure. With XP, I'd recommend 1GB and with 2K, 512MB should be ok. Part of it will depend on what you're using for antivirus software.

!