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[Solved] A few questions about the Win98SE update pack

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#1
Zapeth

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Hi guys, I have a PC with Windows 98 SE on it (fresh install) and I was thinking about patching it using the Unofficial Windows 98 Second Edition Service Pack 3.13.
However before doing that I have a few questions about the whole "patch Win98SE" topic:

1) Is the above mentioned Service Pack really the best to use? I mean there are a few other "unofficial upgrade packs/cd's" out there, this one seems to be the most active one (though I had to search a little for it). In fact the most "popular" pack seems to be the older version 2.1a, I'm wondering why? Did some guys made the pack up to 2.1a and then some other guys took over to make it to 3.13?
I actually only need the USB Mass Storage support and perhaps the 512 RAM fix since I mainly plan on playing old games on that machine so I'm wondering if the 2.1a isn't already good enough for me...

2) Since I just talked about USB support, how well is it supported? I mean are only USB sticks recognized or also external harddrives?

3) Are there some known driver issues with devices after applying the patch? I'm specifically interested in the Voodoo 5 5500 graphics card and the Diamond Monster MX300 sound card.

4) How safe/stable is the update process itself? I'm asking this because I tried several times to use the patch on a Virtual Machine and each time I either ended up with a bluescreen during the setup/reboot, some error messages during install or some errors on reboot.
Just recently I tried to install it again and he gave me an error message during the setup (I can only remember a message about being unable to register an .ocx file) and I ended up with the message "Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer". And the only way to access the OS again is with safe mode.
So I would like to hear if any of you guys had problems with installing it or maybe some issues afterwards.

Edited by Zapeth, 07 January 2013 - 09:31 AM.



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#2
LoneCrusader

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You will likely get a wide variety of opinions in response to your question. This is a matter of deep division and disagreement, even amongst those of us who are still regulars here.

I personally do not use or recommend ANY "Unofficial Service Pack." I recommend that users become informed about the specific updates they need, and apply them separately. Yes, this can become a tedious process, but it's essential for learning if you plan to continue using Windows 9x systems. There is no "one size fits all" solution because, INEVITABLY, something will be included or a choice made in an unofficial pack that the author or main users consider vital, but others may not want, or consider useless.


Now, to try and answer your questions.

1.) It is the most active and the most recent. However it has also generated controversies and has unresolved known issues with USB devices. The "old" USP was created and maintained by Gape up until version 3.0 Beta 4. At this point, Gape disappeared and the project became inactive until PROBLEMCHYLD took it upon himself to update it. PROBLEMCHYLD has worked long and hard to try and get the USP to a "finished" state, and I admire his work, even if I disagree with choices that have been made. (I'm not trying to single out PROBLEMCHYLD here, I have also agreed with some of his changes, and I disagreed with many of the things about Gape's version as well, hence one of the reasons I do not use or promote "unofficial service packs.")

The "512MB RAM fix" can be added without the USP. It also depends what "version" of this fix you are referring to. There are tweaks that may enable you to use up to ~1.5GB, but despite the wide reports of success with this, I have NEVER personally been able to make these work. Now, if you are referring to RLoew's RAM Limitation Patch, which needs no tweaks, and allows use of up to 4GB of RAM, then it is a different matter, as it is not free, and is not included in any unofficial package. Also, the RAM Limitation Patch and the older versions of the USP have issues when used together, due to "tweaks" applied by the USP. (Observed this on a test machine of my own.)

2.) External USB Device Support is virtually nonexistent on a fresh install, but can be made very comprehensive with NUSB. I recommend installing NUSB version 3.5. (note 3.5, not 3.6). Once NUSB is installed, many USB devices are supported, including flash drives, hard drives, and optical drives as well.

3.) Any hardware that old will have no issues under 98 and there shouldn't be any with the unofficial updates either.

4.) This one I cannot address personally, as I do not use the USP. You may well have encountered some of the known issues, or as yet undiscovered issues. We would need a substantial amount of further information to even guess at a cause or a solution. Also it is worth noting that a virtual machine may frequently behave differently than a real machine.

Edited by LoneCrusader, 25 December 2012 - 05:20 PM.


#3
submix8c

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Back up one subforum level. Now scroll down and click on this. USP has so far been ok (AFAIK) with a few "glitches" as just specified. All "fixes" aren't forced on you (AFAIK). Each machine will be different (fact). Drivers aren't included (AFAIK) - that's up to you to get and install. Other "packs" are available (look at those links) as well as "somewhere" a repository/links-to of all known fixes (official and unofficial).

If you're having problems with USP, they're better addressed in that thread. "Protection error" indicates something needs "fixed" prior to install(?).

You can use google for anything you need to searchj for and append
site:www.msfn.org
which works better than MSFN's Search.

Edited by submix8c, 25 December 2012 - 05:34 PM.


#4
PROBLEMCHYLD

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There will be many opinions about whats a good pack to use. Its up to you to find out what suits your needs. SP3 has a few flaws, but what software doesn't? Regardless, if another user doesn't recommend something, use your own discretion. Its not about what another user like or feel, but how you feel and what you like. People complain about MS software all the time, but they continue to use it. If I were you, I would install each pack separately and see whats best for you. The SP installs over 900+ files and most of the files are optional. There is about 100+ not optional (some updated files DON'T exist on Win98) and becuase most are runtime libraries. Most people don't have problems with SP3 and I don't use Virtual Machines so I can't test your problem. Here a little example, I don't use Microsoft Vista, I have tried it and didn't like it. Just becuase I didn't like it, doesn't mean I shouldn't recommend it to others. Thats weirdo $h!+ :unsure:

#5
Zapeth

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Thanks for the thorough and quick answers :)

I recommend installing NUSB version 3.5. (note 3.5, not 3.6). Once NUSB is installed, many USB devices are supported, including flash drives, hard drives, and optical drives as well.

Is there a reason to use 3.5 and not this 3.6 version (beside the fact that those links are dead)?

3.) Any hardware that old will have no issues under 98 and there shouldn't be any with the unofficial updates either.

I was concerned that some Win98 drivers might get problems when changing/modifying system files. I know that one can't say for sure whether there are any existing issues but to hear that there are not any known issues is good enough for me ;)

4.) This one I cannot address personally, as I do not use the USP. You may well have encountered some of the known issues, or as yet undiscovered issues. We would need a substantial amount of further information to even guess at a cause or a solution. Also it is worth noting that a virtual machine may frequently behave differently than a real machine.

Well I don't know, I just tried it with VirtualBox, default settings and a standard Win98 SE installation and everytime I had at least one issue/error when installing the pack. But if the install works on real systems then I guess there is no need to dig further into this.

If you're having problems with USP, they're better addressed in that thread. "Protection error" indicates something needs "fixed" prior to install(?).

I know, I just mentioned it to give a reason why I wanted to know whether the USP is a safe install process or not. In fact I did the whole Virtual Machine thing only to try out the service pack but now I'm not sure if that was a good idea since it doesn't seem to really reflect a real system (at least for those kind of things).

If I were you, I would install each pack separately and see whats best for you. The SP installs over 900+ files and most of the files are optional. There is about 100+ not optional (some updated files DON'T exist on Win98) and becuase most are runtime libraries. Most people don't have problems with SP3 and I don't use Virtual Machines so I can't test your problem. Here a little example, I don't use Microsoft Vista, I have tried it and didn't like it. Just becuase I didn't like it, doesn't mean I shouldn't recommend it to others. Thats weirdo $h!+ :unsure:

Well I would try out different packages if I had the time for it :)
But since the process of formatting, reinstalling Win98SE, reinstalling drivers and trying out different (combinations of) packages and perhaps even doing some bug/glitch testing takes an awful lot of time on a real machine, this is not an option for me (especially if my USB devices are not detected by default).
I could only try the Virtual machine since it's a lot easier and faster process and can even be run "in the background".

So to come to a conclusion I think I will do some more research on certain packs and then simply try it out :D
Thanks again for your answers, regards
Zapeth

Edited by Zapeth, 26 December 2012 - 10:21 AM.


#6
LoneCrusader

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Is there a reason to use 3.5 and not this 3.6 version (beside the fact that those links are dead)?

The 3.6 version includes a file (SYSDM.CPL) from Windows ME that has been determined to have strange effects on 98SE systems. There is an entire thread devoted to this with my (and others') unsuccessful attempts to pinpoint and correct problems. Also, some contents of that particular file, pertaining to CONFIG.SYS (used under 95/98/98SE but eliminated under ME) have been removed that were present in the 98SE version. The effect of this (or lack thereof) has yet to be determined.




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