Sunday, June 14, 2009

Installing Windows98

Today I reinstalled Windows98 Second Edition on an old box, in the hope that it would work for some older games that are to new for Dosbox to old to work in Wine or WindowsXP. So here a quick summary of my experience:
  • W98 isn't much good at hardware autodetection, so I had to manually download the w9x_682.exe driver for the Matrox G450 Dual Head to get rid of 640x480 and 16 colors
  • my Logitech MX500 USB mouse works out of the box
  • boot time is very fast at around 10sec and beats my DualCore box
  • getting Internet to work is a little confusing, as W98 wants to install a modem, not the LAN, a little clicking through random boxes and entering gateway server manually makes it work
  • Internet Explorer 5 isn't to happy with the default start up page and crashes often
  • Firefox3 doesn't work on W98, so I go with Opera 9.64 which works fine
  • WindowsUpdate gives an error with IE5, so I'll upgrade to IE6 first, after which it seems to work
  • installing DirectX9
  • sound is not working, so I am downloading Via 4in1 for the Gigabyte 7VX mainboard along with driver for audio
  • audio driver for 7VX doesn't work, the 7VX-1 seems to be a different mainboard, but thats not listed on Gigabyte, so I am downloading the VIA driver Vinyl driver for the T82C686 AC97 Audio Controller manually from Via, sound is now working
  • W98 can't read .zip, so I am downloading 7zip
  • you have to reboot W98 a lot, oh how I missed that...
  • Via produced sound hickups in multiple games and sound plays at twice the speed, tried to transplant a Soundblaster Live!, but that caused Windows to just freeze on startup and didn't work in Linux either, ripped it out again for now
  • F22:TAW works great, except music, which is way to loud and crap and resists the volume control, disabling it completly is however possible
  • Installing Logitech Mouseware driver makes the mouse stop working, it gets detected properly when plugging it in, but after a reboot it no longer reacts, after uninstalling the driver it works again
  • the onboard gameport doesn't detect the Sidewinder 3D Pro (I remember that there was an issue with 3D Pro and fast computers or so, forgot the details)
  • Sidewinder Precision 2 USB works, but only as HID device, it is not registered by the Sidewinder driver, maybe I need a different driver
  • Sidewinder Precision 2 software does not exist on the web, its not offered by Microsoft and by no other site, I searched for a long long while before giving up and instead went hunting for the original driver CD, luckily with success, my Sidewinder Precision 2 stick now works
  • being forced to insert the W98 CD whenever a driver gets installed is annoying
  • the Gigabyte 7VX-1 is a OEM motherboard not supported by Gigabyte, seems like no BIOS upgrade is available (not yet sure if I need one, but I might end up putting a 200GB drive in) for that one
  • removed an old modem PCI card, inserted the Soundblaster Live! into the slot and this time it seems to work
  • Windows sound effects and sound in Linux work with Soundblaster Live!, but F22:TAW complains about sound card being busy at startup, no sound in Fallout either, DirectSound seems broken
  • W98 fails Windows Genuine check, can't download stuff from Microsoft webpage...
  • can't figure out why DirectSound isn't registering my sound card, even so normal Windows apps have sound, reinstalling Soundblaster Live! driver didn't help, now trying a complete reinstall of Windows98 again


Plouj said...

What games exactly are you trying to play? Did you try them with Wine?

Grumbel said...

Lets see, there would be Fallout1, Fallout2, Fallout Tactics, Homeworld, Planscape Tourment, Jagged Alliance, X-Wing Alliance, F22 ADF, Grand Prix Legend, Syndicate Wars, TNG: A Final Unity and maybe some more that I have floating around here and never finished or even started.

Some of those work somewhat in Wine and/or Dosbox, but often with issues, so I am trying it the native way, which so far isn't all to successful, as this Athlon 800 computer seems to fast for some of the older stuff and sound is causing trouble in.