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Modern motherboards which are working with Windows 98 (discussion)

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Hello there,

Based on this thread I bought an Asrock ALivedual-esata2 motherboard, built a new system with it and managed to get Windows 98 SE to work on it. This motherboard is not available in the US, I ordered mine from the UK. It took 6 days to get to Illinois. Other system specs include:

AMD Athlon X2 6000+ 3.0GHz Dual Core Processor

2GB DDRII-800 RAM

500GB SATA-II Samsung HDD

NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 AGP 128MB VRAM

SB Audigy 4 Pro (Does not work with Win 98, except with KX Project drivers, see below)

SB Live! Value 5.1

Lite-On LH-20A1P 20x DVD Burner (IDE)

Mitsumi 32x CD-ROM (IDE)

HP Photosmart D7160 USB printer (Works on 98 even though the box says it doesn't)

3.5" floppy

Onboard audio is disabled in the BIOS. I cannot tell you whether it works under 98 or not.

Other OSes installed (besides 98SE) include Windows 2000 and Mandriva Linux 2008.1. Everything works perfectly under those OSes.

To get Windows 98 SE to install on a SATA HDD I had to set my BIOS to RAID mode, or else after the 2nd reboot of the install the CD/DVD drives would become invisible, and 98 SE would not be able to copy files from them. (You can set it back to IDE later after 98 is installed and your CD/DVD drives will still be visible, the setting doesn't seem to make a difference except during the install. Windows 2000 wouldn't install unless I set it back to IDE.) I also have only the first 125GiB of the HDD partitioned for FAT32 to avoid the 137GB/128GiB problem. The rest is partitioned for Linux and Win2k. I don't think I will need more than 125GiB of space for Win 98 since I only plan to use it for games and programs (like Impulse Tracker) that only run on Windows 98.

Some other setup tips:

1. Use a Linux Live CD to partition and format your hard disk. I really like the graphical Mandriva partitioner. The 98 SE installer corrupted my partition table during the formatting stage. If it's already formatted, 98 SE setup will skip this stage. (Note: You may have to format it once in Linux, then again from the DOS prompt after booting from the 98 SE install CD to get 98 SE to recognize your partitions properly.) Even the fixed Windows 98 SE fdisk does not support HDD larger than 137GB. Other third-party disk partitioners that support >137GB HDDs and multiple filesystem types should (theoretically) also work.

2. If you plan to use Windows 2000 (or XP or VISTA) make sure all of your FAT32 partitions are under 32GiB in size. For some reason these OSes do not like FAT32 partitions larger than that.

3. Your Win2k (or XP or VISTA or whatever...) install partition should be formatted NTFS since Windows 98 SE does not like to install on anything besides C:

4. When you first install, don't run setup directly. Boot to a prompt from the CD, then run "SETUP /P I" - This makes the installer use the APM BIOS instead of the ACPI BIOS. If you don't do this you will have IRQ conflicts later, and setup will lock up while "Detecting devices...".

5. After the first reboot edit your SYSTEM.INI and add the following line under [386Enh]:

MaxPhysPage=20000

This limits the amount of RAM that Windows 98SE can see to 512MB. Otherwise you will get an "Insufficient memory to initialize Windows" message when Windows 98 SE setup attempts to continue. You can increase it later. However the maximum I have been able to use and still get 98SE to boot is:

MaxPhysPage=486C4

This seems to be around the maximum amount than 98 SE can handle. It is 1157MB of RAM. I also have the lines:

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

DMABufferSize=64

MinSPs=8

under [386Enh] and I also have the lines

MaxFileCache=32768

MinFileCache=2048

under [vcache] in SYSTEM.INI. These lines were added after the install. I still plan to fine tune them more but it works fine now.

For more Windows 98 >512MB/1GB RAM issues see:

Windows 98 SE 2GB RAM Out of Memory Error when opening DOS command prompt

Help: I need to Get 2GB installed RAM working in Win98SE, Limiting MaxPhysPage/MaxFileCache doesn't work

VCache Fix Attempt

"Out of Memory" Error Messages with Large Amounts of RAM Installed (This is a Microsoft Knowledge Base article that details the problem; however, it recommends to reduce the amount of installed RAM to 512MB or less!)

6. Use HimemX instead of HIMEM.SYS in your CONFIG.SYS file. HIMEM.SYS does not seem to properly support large (>512MB/1GB, I'm not sure) amounts of RAM. Otherwise you will have problems opening DOS prompts/programs and with memory mapped devices such as your AGP video card.

After all of this (and installing the drivers including the NVIDIA and ULi motherboard drivers - make sure you install these before anything else!) I have the following devices flagged in Device Manager:

(!) PCI RAID Controller - This is the JMicron SATA II RAID controller chip. There is no 98 SE driver that I know of. However, everything still seems to work even though my HDD is being accessed in MS-DOS compatiblity mode. This doesn't seem to be a problem.

(!) PCI Ethernet Controller - 98 SE does not seem to want to install the driver for the motherboard NIC. I can't seem to find a way to force it. I've tried right-clicking the INF, installing from Device Manager (by pointing it to the correct INF), removing the NIC from Device Mangager then reinstalling, to no avail. Any suggestions? Maybe I need a PCI NIC, but then I'd be using up all my PCI slots. A separate Realtek NIC driver gives the message "A device attatched to the system is not functioning" message when I try to install it.

Also, I CAN get my Audigy 4 to work under Windows 98 SE using the KX Project drivers instead of the Creative ones, but then the sound in DOS games/programs will not work (because these drivers do not include DOS emulation). However, if you use your computer for primarily music (and I do a lot of audio work) the KX Project drivers are supposedly better than the Creative ones. I only use the Creative ones because there are a lot of old DOS/Win9x games that I like. In any case the FireWire port on the Audigy 4 Pro works using the standard driver that comes with Windows 98 SE.

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Based on this thread I bought an Asrock ALivedual-esata2 motherboard, built a new system with it and managed to get Windows 98 SE to work on it. This motherboard is not available in the US, I ordered mine from ...

Why did you choose that board, and not the Intel-based Asrock Dual or 4-core VSTA boards?

SB Audigy 4 Pro (Does not work with Win 98, except with KX Project drivers, see below)

Based on what you wrote further down, I'm not sure if you're saying that the Creative drivers don't support win-98 at all, or that they do but the ktproject drivers work better.

To get Windows 98 SE to install on a SATA HDD I had to set my BIOS to RAID mode, or else after the 2nd reboot of the install the CD/DVD drives would become invisible, and 98 SE would not be able to copy files from them.

Is your optical drive also SATA? That could be why win-98 wouldn't see it as you describe.

Even the fixed Windows 98 SE fdisk does not support HDD larger than 137GB.

I've used fdisk to partition 160, 250 and 500 gb SATA hard drives, so I don't know what you're talking about here.

If you plan to use Windows 2000 (or XP or VISTA) make sure all of your FAT32 partitions are under 32GiB in size. For some reason these OSes do not like FAT32 partitions larger than that.

Again, this is wrong. A couple of years ago I installed XP-pro on a 250 gb hard drive formatted 100% as a single FAT-32 partition (with customized 4kb cluster size).

This confusion about 2k or XP not being able to handle FAT-32 partitions larger than 32 gb comes from the fact that 2K/XP will not themselves create a fat-32 partition larger than 32gb. This functionality (or handicap) is by design, because Microsoft wants you to use NTFS and to abandon fat-32 (for one convoluted reason or another). So many people think it means that you can't attach a pre-formatted fat-32 volume larger than 32 gb to a 2k/xp system. But you can.

(!) PCI RAID Controller - This is the JMicron SATA II RAID controller chip. There is no 98 SE driver that I know of. However, everything still seems to work even though my HDD is being accessed in MS-DOS compatiblity mode. This doesn't seem to be a problem.

I've suspected that nobody has win-98 drivers for any SATA-2 raid controllers, and you are confirming it in this case. If anyone else knows of a motherboard with a SATA-2 controller that has win-98 drivers, please say so.

And by the way, compatibility mode is low-performance, and it means your SATA-to-IDE mapping at the bios level is not working, otherwise Win-98 would be using 32-bit access through the EDSI_506.PDR driver.

(!) PCI Ethernet Controller - 98 SE does not seem to want to install the driver for the motherboard NIC.

Since you can't find a driver for the on-board SATA-2 or ethernet controllers, why did you choose that motherboard? Are you that fixated on AMD that you sacrificed some win-98 hardware compabitlity?

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3 mistakes:

Via is having Windows 98 SE and Windows Vista drivers for souncard on P4M900 chipset (my earlier mistake)

P4M900 chipset is having SATA2 and Windows 98 SE drivers !

I do not see point in Nvidia 5X00 GPU. Much better are Nvidia 6x00 and ATI 9x00

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Based on this thread I bought an Asrock ALivedual-esata2 motherboard, built a new system with it and managed to get Windows 98 SE to work on it. This motherboard is not available in the US, I ordered mine from ...

Why did you choose that board, and not the Intel-based Asrock Dual or 4-core VSTA boards?

Since you can't find a driver for the on-board SATA-2 or ethernet controllers, why did you choose that motherboard? Are you that fixated on AMD that you sacrificed some win-98 hardware compabitlity?

And by the way, compatibility mode is low-performance, and it means your SATA-to-IDE mapping at the bios level is not working, otherwise Win-98 would be using 32-bit access through the EDSI_506.PDR driver.

I like AMD because they offer a good price to performance ratio. Also I don't like the idea of Intel becoming a monopoly. Also this motherboard isn't for Win98 only, it's for Linux and W2K as well. I wanted one with a good upgrade path that works under all OSes.

The NIC isn't necessarily hopeless, the NVIDIA motherboard drivers seem to include one for 98 and there is a Realtek driver for 98SE here:

http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downlo...p;GetDown=false

I'm thinking I haven't tried absolutely everything to get the NIC to work. As far as SATA-2 (and MS-DOS compatibility mode) I was under the impression that MS-DOS compatibilty mode uses the BIOS to access the HDD. Slower, but at least 98SE works. I haven't ever seen any version of Windows boot in under 1 minute anyway, so it's still pretty fast.

SB Audigy 4 Pro (Does not work with Win 98, except with KX Project drivers, see below)

Based on what you wrote further down, I'm not sure if you're saying that the Creative drivers don't support win-98 at all, or that they do but the ktproject drivers work better.

The Creative drivers for the Audigy 4 Pro are 2000/XP only. The ones for the Live! 5.1 support 98 (and even 95 I believe...). The KX Project drivers work with both cards under 98SE, but there is no emulation for DOS games/programs using the KX Project drivers. Therefore when using the KX Project drivers you won't have any sound in DOS games/programs. If you don't game, or use any DOS programs that use the sound card, the KX Project drivers are supposedly better than the Creative ones. (The KX Project drivers don't support EAX for instance... but they do support ASIO which the Creative drivers don't)

To get Windows 98 SE to install on a SATA HDD I had to set my BIOS to RAID mode, or else after the 2nd reboot of the install the CD/DVD drives would become invisible, and 98 SE would not be able to copy files from them.

Is your optical drive also SATA? That could be why win-98 wouldn't see it as you describe.

My optical drives are both IDE. I don't have any SATA optical drives. The problem seems to happen when you have a SATA HDD and IDE optical drives, in this case when setup tries to initialize the protected-mode IDE driver after the 2nd reboot it will hang for about 5 minutes, then come up with a BSoD that says basically "You have some devices using 16-bit drivers and some using 32-bit, this setup is not allowed, so your Standard Dual PCI IDE Controller has been disabled." Then the drives are invisible. To get around this problem you need to set your BIOS to RAID mode. (This causes the PCI RAID Controller device to appear. If I copy all the files on the 98SE CD to my HDD and set the BIOS to IDE mode, then install, this device will not appear, but neither will my optical drives).

Even the fixed Windows 98 SE fdisk does not support HDD larger than 137GB.

I've used fdisk to partition 160, 250 and 500 gb SATA hard drives, so I don't know what you're talking about here.

If you try to use 100% for your partition size using the fixed 98SE fdisk (there is a display bug that prevents you from entering the partition size in MB) it will create a partition that is only 137GB/128GiB in size, at least based on my experience. I usually use Linux to partition my drives so maybe there's a way to create partitions larger than the 137GB limit using 98SE fdisk, but I haven't found one.

If you plan to use Windows 2000 (or XP or VISTA) make sure all of your FAT32 partitions are under 32GiB in size. For some reason these OSes do not like FAT32 partitions larger than that.

Again, this is wrong. A couple of years ago I installed XP-pro on a 250 gb hard drive formatted 100% as a single FAT-32 partition (with customized 4kb cluster size).

This confusion about 2k or XP not being able to handle FAT-32 partitions larger than 32 gb comes from the fact that 2K/XP will not themselves create a fat-32 partition larger than 32gb. This functionality (or handicap) is by design, because Microsoft wants you to use NTFS and to abandon fat-32 (for one convoluted reason or another). So many people think it means that you can't attach a pre-formatted fat-32 volume larger than 32 gb to a 2k/xp system. But you can.

If you can use >32GiB FAT32 partitions with 2K/XP I stand corrected. I did come across some information on Google that recommended NOT to use FAT32 partitions larger than 32GiB with 2K/XP, so I decided to keep mine under 32GiB just to be safe.

I do not see point in Nvidia 5X00 GPU. Much better are Nvidia 6x00 and ATI 9x00

I had the 5200 in an old system so I decided to pull it and put it in the new one so I didn't have to buy a new video card just to get the system up and running. I plan to do so later. Also I plan to increase RAM to 3GB, hopefully 98 SE will still work with the SYSTEM.INI fixes and HimemX after I increase the RAM.

Edited by ALincoln
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I like AMD because they offer a good price to performance ratio. Also I don't like the idea of Intel becoming a monopoly. Also this motherboard isn't for Win98 only, it's for Linux and W2K as well. I wanted one with a good upgrade path that works under all OSes.

The fact that it's a multi-OS system is irrelevant. The fact that win-98 is installed and used on it is relevant. The argument about AMD "price/performance" is bogus. You simply have something against Intel, so that's why you chose that motherboard, and you now have to deal with some win-98 incompatabilities because of it.

So to summarize, under win-98, you can't get a SATA hard drive to work in anything other than compatibility mode, and you (probably) can't get the nic to work. I'd throw that board on the trash heap.

If you try to use 100% for your partition size using the fixed 98SE fdisk (there is a display bug that prevents you from entering the partition size in MB) it will create a partition that is only 137GB/128GiB in size, at least based on my experience.

Your experience is faulty:

------------------------

Subject: Update 4: Cluster size and exploring the limits of FAT-32

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 10:49:46 -0500

From: 98 Guy <98@Guy.com>

Newsgroups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion

Fdisk (dated May 18, 2000 - not april 23, 1999) was used to create a single primary partition on a new 250 gb SATA Western Digital hard drive. The computer was started in DOS via a win-98 boot floppy (note: himem.sys was loaded as part of the boot).

A single primary partition was created using all available space on the drive. I didn't check the details as to what fdisk reported as the total drive capacity (fdisk is known for not reporting correct on-screen numbers such as volume size or total drive size).

Now format the partition:

Formatting 41,86.65M

Format complete.

Writing out file allocation table

Complete.

Calculating free space (this may take several minutes)...

Complete

System tranferred

Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)?

238,414.41 MB total disk space

360,448 bytes used by system

238,414.07 mb available on disk

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.

7,629,249 allocation unites available on disk.

Ok, looks good. Let's try chkdsk c:

244,136,352 kilobytes total disk space

244,135,968 kilobytes free

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit

7,629,261 total allocation units on disk

7,629,249 available allocation units on disk

Ok, still looks good. Let's try Scandisk c:

Scandisk ran just fine, performed all checks except surface scan.

-------------------------

If you can use >32GiB FAT32 partitions with 2K/XP I stand corrected. I did come across some information on Google that recommended NOT to use FAT32 partitions larger than 32GiB with 2K/XP, so I decided to keep mine under 32GiB just to be safe.

2K/XP are perfectly capable of handling (and even to be installed on) Fat-32 drives of up to (at least) 250 gb, and probably larger.

2K and XP are prevented (by intentional design limitation by Microsoft) to allow the user to format a logical drive larger than 32 gb as fat-32.

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Hello!

3 mistakes:

Via is having Windows 98 SE and Windows Vista drivers for souncard on P4M900 chipset (my earlier mistake)

P4M900 chipset is having SATA2 and Windows 98 SE drivers !

I do not see point in Nvidia 5X00 GPU. Much better are Nvidia 6x00 and ATI 9x00

Hm, IMHO this is again a mistake. P4M900 is just a northbridge,

but SATA functionality is in southbridge.

For example the following P4M900 motherboard is not SATA2

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Mode...X90-VSTA%20R2.0

because it has VT8237A SB, while the following PT880 Pro Ultra is

SATA2 capable since it has VT8237S SB

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Mode...al-SATA2%20R2.0

For example, MSI P4M900M3-L is SATA2

http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=pr...amp;cat2_no=170

And IIRC, Windows 98SE driver works only when VT8237S is running in RAID

mode (this is configured in BIOS) ...

Regards, Roman

Edited by modicr
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...

Also, I CAN get my Audigy 4 to work under Windows 98 SE using the KX Project drivers instead of the Creative ones, but then the sound in DOS games/programs will not work (because these drivers do not include DOS emulation). However, if you use your computer for primarily music (and I do a lot of audio work) the KX Project drivers are supposedly better than the Creative ones. I only use the Creative ones because there are a lot of old DOS/Win9x games that I like. In any case the FireWire port on the Audigy 4 Pro works using the standard driver that comes with Windows 98 SE.

What version kX Project drivers did you use in 98SE?

According to the change log, 98 support was dropped after version 5.00.3537 (2004)...

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Compatibility update for Asrock Alivedual-esata2:

I managed to get my NIC to work. I clicked on the (!) PCI Ethernet Controller device, clicked Update (or Reinstall) Driver, Select Driver from a List, then Have Disk...

Then I browsed to the directory where the INF was. Windows 98SE accepted the NIC driver and it worked.

Also, SATA I (aka SATA 150 MB/s) works fine on this board. Windows 98SE loaded the 32-bit HDD drivers just fine and detected the disk as a regular IDE disk (BIOS is set to "Non-RAID"). I have not noticed any performance decrease (on any OS including Linux and Win2K) as a result of using SATA I instead of SATA II. The SATA I ports are controlled directly by the nForce3 250 chipset, rather than through the JMicron controller, this is why SATA I works properly (i.e. in non-MS-DOS compatibility mode) and the SATA II only works in compatibility mode. If you use an IDE HDD for Windows 98SE there are still 2 IDE ports on this board, just like on older boards. They work just fine.

What version kX Project drivers did you use in 98SE?

According to the change log, 98 support was dropped after version 5.00.3537 (2004)...

I used version 5.10.0.3537. It is still available here:

http://download.kxproject.lugosoft.com/?fi...rv3541-full.exe

Hope this is helpful,

ALincoln

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I see that Newegg still offers (as of Sept. 7, 2008) a Foxconn 661GX7MJ-H motherboard, currently $19.99 that should run Windows 98. It has AGP 4X/8X, DDR400 Memory slots, IDE (no SATA), a SIS chipset and takes various Pentium 4, Celeron D and Pentium D CPU's. It does not accept most kinds of Dual-Core CPU (except for Pentium D Smithfield 805) which would be wasted on Win98 anyway. (There are lots of reviews of the MB where people have not checked the CPU list, tried to use a dual-core CPU and then complained that the motherboard was DOA! doh!)

I went to the Foxconn website and as of Sept. 7, 2008 there are still Win98 drivers listed for this MB.

I realize it's an older design MB that Newegg is clearing out, but it should work fine with Win98!

Edited by the xt guy
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I would like to know which is the better motherboard windows 98 Se compatible to use the intel Q9450.

I tried a biostar tf7150-m7 (nforce 630i) using a 80 gb ide hard drive (master), but after the install when the windows starts, it not recognize the ide dvrw (slave), only the floppy and hard disk are recognized by win98se.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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In yours opinion is better 775i65g or GA-P31-DS3L for win98?

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In yours opinion is better 775i65g or GA-P31-DS3L for win98?

Second MBO is GIGABYTE ?

I do not know is producer of first MBO (AsRock ?).......

MBO with chipset P31 are not supporting Windows 98 (GA-P31-DS3L).

MBO created around chipset i865 will work with Windows 98, but you will have 2 small problems. This are memory and processors.

For example GA-8I865PE775-G-RH (rev. 4.9) is supporting Core2Duo E4300-E4700, Pentium Dual-Core 2140-2220. You can use even "old" Core2Duo which are working with FSB 1066 (E6300, E6320, E6400, E6420, E6600) but it will work with FSB 800

AsRock 775i65G is having similar processor support, but Core2Duo processors with FSB 1066 will work with full speed.

Second problem is memory, because 775i65G will work only with DDRI and if we look prices of this and DDRII memory......

You must buy AGP card (Nvidia 6x00 or ATI 9x00) or you can use integrated graphics (direct X 8).

I am using this MBO with ATI 9x00 card :)

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So any MB I can buy for W98 in this year 2008? :hello: I really miss that OS.

I have nvidia 6800 PCI express, modified INF (ich7), Audigy2 ZS Card (can use kX) now the only thing missing is MB! :sneaky:

(although I have i955 Dell PC, I can't install cauz this **** dell's bios won't let me, it has built-in protection to mess W98 installation)

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