Dave-H

Advice on a 64bit system upgrade

155 posts in this topic

Hi all, I really wasn't sure where to put this thread, as it relates to Windows XP, Windows 98SE, and Windows 7/8!

As XP is "piggy in the middle" here though this is where I'm starting it, mods please feel free to move it if you need to.

 

I'm after advice on an upgrade to my system.

This has been prompted by the fact that a piece of software I use all the time has just (without any warning) gone 64 bit only.

 

My motherboard (a Supermicro X5DAE) is now over ten years old (2003) but it was very expensive so I have stuck with it.

It's a dual processor Xeon server board, and has served me very well for many years now dual booting Windows 98SE and Windows XP.

 

I'm now looking at a 64bit upgrade, and I'm wondering if what I am considering is at all possible (or sane!)

 

Supermicro sell a 64bit equivalent of the board I have, and as I've been very pleased with my current board I'm thinking that would be the obvious route to take.

 

What I want to do, in an ideal scenario, is to have a triple boot machine, with the Windows 98 and Windows XP that I've got, with the addition of a 64bit installation of Windows 7 or 8.1.

 

I of course realise that driver availability will be a severe and very probably insurmountable problem with this setup.

I'll probably be lucky to find any XP drivers for the new motherboard, and there certainly won't be any 98SE ones!

It is an Intel based motherboard though, and I was wondering how successful I might be with generic drivers, even if there is some loss of functionality. Drivers for the graphics card will be a big problem of course, as will interfacing the rest of my hardware, which includes four devices which use IDE interfaces.

 

Fundamentally, will my 32bit Windows XP work on a 64bit motherboard anyway? My researches seem to indicate that it will, as there is backwards compatibility, but what about Windows 98SE? Will that run (driver problems apart) on a 64bit processor and motherboard anyway? I know I can run it in a virtual machine, but I'd rather run it natively if it's at all possible.

 

So, am I speaking of the impossible here?

Of course being a computer hobbyist I really just want to do this to prove that I can, not for any practical reason!

If I was being completely realistic I'd just upgrade to 64bit Windows 8.1 only and be done with it, but where would be the fun in that!

:lol:

Any thoughts gratefully received.

Cheers, Dave.

:)

Edited by Dave-H
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Really sorry for the multiple posts guys!

:o

I was just getting SQL server errors whenever I tried to post the new topic, and tried multiple times without realising that they'd actually worked!

Please remove the duplicates.

:)

EDIT: Thanks!

:thumbup

Edited by Dave-H
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Hi, Dave!

Yes, one can run 32-bit XP on a 64x processor/motherboard OK, in principle. The only problem (which is not necessarily a small problem) is to have all needed drivers to enjoy fully the hardware one has on hand.
What I've done is to keep my main machine as a XP SP3 / 98SE dual boot (it also boots DOS and Porteus Linux), and I built a second machine (i7 3770k on Asus P8Z68-V LX) which has two different bootable XP SP3 partitions and a bootable Win 7 Ultimate 64x (it also boots DOS and Porteus x64 Linux), so I;m able to cover all my needs. My intention was to put both using the same mouse, keyboard and monitor, using a KVM switch, but I've not come 'round to setting this up yet. A Z68 board will give one the best possible intel-based experience. The 7 series chipsets include USB 3.0 but lack USB 3.0 drivers for XP... hence one has to rely on ASMedia or Renesas (VIA USB 3.0 has problems with 6+ series intel chipsets) anyway, so that a Z68 makes more sense.  Another option, instead of using and IvyBridge processor is to use an i7 990X and a X58/ICH10 based motherboard... but I do think the i7 3770k and Z68 board combination will end up being less expensive but eqially satisfactory. The Asus P8Z68-V LX has the advantage of still having a VGA connector and the onboard ASMedia USB 3.0 controller, which does have drivers for XP. Just my 2¢, from my personal experience.

If you want to read more about the headaches newer generation intel processors/chipsets give with XP, please do read this link, this link, this link and this other link.

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Thanks Den, and sorry for the delay in replying.

I must say when I looked at those links my heart did sink a bit!

I really don't want to end up having two separate systems, so it looks as if I will have to make compromises, as I thought I would.

 

That Asus motherboard looks very interesting (and is remarkably cheap!) and I do have other Asus hardware (netbooks and monitors) that I've been very pleased with, so it certainly deserves some consideration.

I like the fact that it has on-board sound and graphics, which means more room for expansion cards. It doesn't seem to have any IDE interfaces (although I was pleased to see that it still has PS/2!) but I guess that can be added via an expansion card to drive my IDE hardware until I update it all to SATA.

 

One question I still haven't been able to find a definitive answer for is whether Windows 98SE can run at all on a 64bit system. I know of course that there was never a 64bit version of 98, but is the backwards compatibility good enough to let it run at all on 64bit hardware, ignoring the driver problems for a moment?!

Cheers, Dave.

:)

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One question I still haven't been able to find a definitive answer for is whether Windows 98SE can run at all on a 64bit system. I know of course that there was never a 64bit version of 98, but is the backwards compatibility good enough to let it run at all on 64bit hardware, ignoring the driver problems for a moment?!

 

Yes, it sure can run. RLoew does it, so he's probably the best person to ask about it (just look at the specs of his machines with most memory, at the top of the > 1 GiB list). But one would be so limited by lack of drivers that I don't really see why do it (of course it can also be done very confortably inside a virtual machine, buy, then... what for?).

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Thanks Den, good to know that Windows 98SE can run on 64bit hardware.

Driver availability is another issue though of course!

 

I've actually found a possible Supermicro motherboard that looks attractive, a X7DVL-E.

It's not too different from the one I've already got, and has an impressive amount of expansion slots.

It's from 2009, and therefore still has a floppy connector and serial ports (and a header for a parallel port)!

It doesn't have on-board sound, which my board does, but it does have on-board graphics, which mine doesn't.

It also has one IDE connector, which I can work around.

The details are here.

 

It uses an Intel 5000V chipset, which I don't know very much about, but it supports Windows XP of course.

Obviously Windows 98 would be a problem, both with the chipset and the graphics, in fact even finding Windows 7/8 drivers for the ES1000 graphics looks a bit dodgy! I could of course just replace the on-board graphics with an add-in card, which I will have to use for sound anyway.

 

My main worry is that the motherboard won't actually support Windows 7 or 8.

It's not actually listed as supporting Vista in Supermicro's OS compatibility chart.

The only motherboard in that series that says it's compatible with Vista is the X7DVL-L, which is far too limited on expansion slots to be any use to me.

 

The X7DVL-E motherboard is still available here in England for a reasonable price.

Any thoughts?

Cheers, Dave.

:)

Edited by Dave-H
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Any thoughts on this Den, or anyone else?

Any opinions for or against what I'm considering would be very welcome.

:)

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Chipping in. Dave, you didn't notice this at the bottom of the chart?

** Minimum OS tested with basic system configuration
It implies that anything -above- Win2kSP4 is workable. :unsure:

http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon1333/5000V/X7DVL-E.cfm

It looks like they ARE supported! Select Windows and VOILA! Even Windows 8 is listed.

http://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/resource_drivers.cfm

 

HTH

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Thanks, yes reading it that way it does sound more hopeful!

Looking at the drivers offered for that board however, the only drivers offered for Windows 8/8.1 are for the LAN, there are no others listed.

There are chipset drivers for Windows 7 however, and I would think it's likely that they would also work with Windows 8.

If I'm going to go for this, I would rather go for Windows 8.1 than Windows 7.

I think I will just e-mail Supermicro support and ask them if Windows 8.1 will work with that motherboard.

:)

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Were I you, whom evidently I'm not, I'd, wit all due respect, Dave, go straight for 7 Ultimate x64, fully avoiding 8.1.1.1.1....

And make it double boot with x86 XP SP3 and a good emergency linux 3rd boot, like Porteus x64. Just my 2¢, of course!

But we're long time friends, and I'd unfair to withhold my opinion when you opened a thread precisely asking for opinions.

I always thought Vista SP0 was MS worst mistake ever... But, then, two SPs put it on the right track...

... while nothing seems able to make 8 right. :puke:

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Thanks Den, of course I value your opinion immensely!

:wub:

The reason I was going to go with 8.1 was simply because I already have a 64bit Windows 8 installation disk, which was sent to me when I upgraded my netbook from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 8.

They sent a 32bit disk and a 64bit disk, and I only used the 32bit version on the netbook of course.

It was a cheap upgrade offered when Windows 8 launched which I wasn't really eligible for as I only had Windows 7 Starter, but I tried it and it worked!

I later did the free upgrade to Windows 8.1, which I would hope to be able to do again.

 

From experience with my netbook, once you've put Classic Shell on it, Windows 8.1 seems fine.

Classic Shell is one of those programs that is so brilliant you can't believe that it's actually free!

I now have a start menu on Windows 8.1 that looks and acts exactly the same as the start menu of Windows 98 and XP, which actually makes Windows 8.1 usable IMO. Classic Shell even allowed you to boot straight to the desktop before MS officially added the facility in 8.1.

 

Interesting that you suggest Linux as a third OS, I will certainly consider that if it proves impossible to get Windows 98SE to work on the new system.

I have e-mailed Supermicro to see if they think that Windows 8.1 will be OK on that motherboard, I'll let you know what they come back with.

Cheers, Dave.

:)

Edited by Dave-H
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The reason I was going to go with 8.1 was simply because I already have a 64bit Windows 8 installation disk, which was sent to me when I upgraded my netbook from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 8.

They sent a 32bit disk and a 64bit disk, and I only used the 32bit version on the netbook of course.

It was a cheap upgrade offered when Windows 8 launched which I wasn't really eligible for as I only had Windows 7 Starter, but I tried it and it worked!

I later did the free upgrade to Windows 8.1, which I would hope to be able to do again.

 

And they gave you also two licenses, at least one of which transferrable to other hardware? :unsure:

A good deal :yes:, I would say.

 

jaclaz

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LOL, well of course that could well indeed be an issue, but if I can't now install and activate the 64bit version I can presumably deactivate and uninstall the 32bit version from my netbook if necessary.

:)

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I don't think so... An upgrade to an OEM license should be itself OEM, and, as such, not transferable.

And, nowadays, it's probably possible to acquire an FPP 7 Ultimate with both x86 and x64 discs inside (to be used in a either/or basis, of course) for a very good price, since it's not anymore the latest Windows.

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Kind of on-topic. Just because a driver isn't listed doesn't (necessarily) mean you need to get it. Usually (loosely speaking) the ones that -aren't- listed are pre-supplied with the OS in question.

 

HTH

 

Oh, and I agree with Den on the Win7. Not sure about that Win8 x86/x64 deal. If you have -one- Prudoct key given, then it probably means you can install either/or -once-. :unsure: AFAIK, a single Key is the "license" in any/either case.

 

Oh, and see this (found while looking for a Win7 "deal" for you).

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/172259-sigh-ms-scaring-windows-7-users-w-end-of-support-hype/

Seems they -may- be right about availability. OEM System Builder is available for around $100, but the FPP are disappearing fast. :( Noticed that last time I was at Best Buy a while back (Win 8 galore, no Win7).

Edited by submix8c
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