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)
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]:
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:
This seems to be around the maximum amount than 98 SE can handle. It is 1157MB of RAM. I also have the lines:
under [386Enh] and I also have the lines
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 promptHelp: I need to Get 2GB installed RAM working in Win98SE, Limiting MaxPhysPage/MaxFileCache doesn't workVCache 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
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.