One of the reasons for running Windows 98 SE on new hardware is the best-possible support for DOS as well as driver support for older or special hardware, especially in the industrial / embedded world. However, often, old special purpose hardware does also require an ISA slot, which has become a rare gem on modern mainboards.
Personally, I run DR-DOS 7.08 and Windows 98 SE (besides a host of other operating systems) on a Commell P4LA Rev D BIOS 2.1 industrial mainboard, equipped with Core2D E6600 SL9S8 2.4GHz and 4x1 GB RAM.
- Intel 945G PCI-Express chipset & ICH7R chipset (RAID + Matrix storage support)
- CPU Intel Core2D, Pentium D, Pentium 4, Celeron D (no EE editions) with 800/1066 MHz FSB, LGA 775 socket
- lots of BIOS config settings
- 4x 240-pin DDR2 533/667 RAM slot for up to 4 GB of RAM (of course, Windows 98 SE can only use a fraction of it, but still)
- 1x 16-bit ISA slot
- 4x 32-bit PCI slots
- 1x PCIe slot 4x
- 1x PCIe slot 1x
- 1x PCIe slot 16x
- Onboard VGA (Intel GMA 950) with 224MB shared memory (no driver support for Windows 98 SE, so only standard VGA resolution under Windows)
- PATA: 2x EIDE/ATAPI UDMA100 devices or a 40-pin DOM (disk-on-memory)
- SATA: 4x SATA-II (modern OSes support all 6 channels simultanously, whilst only up to 4 of them can be used under Windows 98 SE. I'm quite confident that - with a little bit of tweaking - all six channels could be made work in DOS and thus in Windows 98 SE as well, although most probably not at full speed.)
- Marvell E8053 Yukon Gigabit LAN (DOS and Windows 98 SE drivers exist, but I could not get 188.8.131.52 to run so far, so I use an Intel PRO 1000 GT PCI Gigabit LAN addon card. For me, the Yukon driver either hangs or crashes during Windows startup.)
- Audio Realtek ALC880 HDaudio with S/P-DIF (no DOS and Windows 98 SE drivers exist to the best of my knowledge.)
- 1x 32-pin DIP JEDEC DiskOnChip socket
- 1x CF-Card slot Type II
- 8x USB 2.0
- 5x RS232, one of them configurable as IrDA
- 1x RS232/422/485 port
- 1x LPT incl. ECP/EPP
- 2x FDD (up to 2,88 ED disks, but without 3mode support)
- 1x PS/2 keyboard
- 1x PS/2 mouse
- 8x user programmable digital I/O ports
- configurable hardware watchdog
Since no Windows 98 SE drivers exist for the GMA 950 onboard graphics (or at least I could not find any), I installed an ATI All-in-Wonder X800XL PCIe DVB-T/PAL 256MB (100-714502) graphics card into the PCIe 16x slot. I think, this video card is one of the latest, for which Windows 98 SE drivers are still available: Catalyst 6.2 as of 2006-02-09. This driver suite officially supports only the Radeon 9800, 9700, 9600, 9500, 9200, 9100, 9000, 8500, 7500, 7200, 7000 and Xpress 200 series (incl. All-in-Wonder variants of them). However, it also provides beta support for the Radeon X850, X800, X600, X550 and X300 series (but not for the All-in-Wonder-variants of them). Trying to install these drivers, the automatic installation will detect an "incompatible card", but if you install the drivers manually, it is still possible to use the video card in all resolutions, with dual monitor support and as 3D graphics card. So far, I was not able to get the TV Tuner running, and the driver for the Remote Wonder Plus remote control causes a non-fatal protection fault at startup.
In regard to 945G chipset driver support. Intel does not officially provide Windows 98 SE drivers for them, but manually installing assorted generation 8xx drivers from various packages, I was able to find working drivers for most components. Only very few yellow "!" can be found in device manager:
- Other components:
-- ! PCI card
-- ! PCI RAID controller (not essential for operation, see below)
- Audio, Video, Game controllers:
-- ! ATI WDM TV Tuner (I still have some hope to get it working)
- System components:
-- ! PCI standard ISA bridge (secondary) [the primary PCI standard ISA bridge works] (not essential for operation).
EDIT: With the updated Intel drivers from http://windows98.ic.cz
it now shows up as: "Intel® 82801GB/GR (ICH7
family) LPC Interface Controller - 27B8". The yellow "!" did not vanish, however...
- Universal serial bus controllers:
-- ! ATI RemoteWonder Plus (I still have some hope to get it working)
Since RAID works on BIOS+hardware level, having no RAID drivers for Windows 98 SE is not much of a problem, unless someone would need maximum harddisk performance. In my case, my focus is more on reliability. Therefore I use RAID 1 for redundancy, and only a small section of the drive matrix as RAID 0 (for cache files). Recommended harddisks for RAID are Western Digital *YS RE2 SATA harddisks, where the 15s read timeout can be disabled using the TLER utility. In case there would be a RAID fault under Windows 98 SE, one would require another operating system such as Windows 2000 or XP in order to rebuild the RAID. However, basis setup does not require any drivers or tools at all and can be done from within the BIOS.
I hope this information may help some people to find a mostly DOS and Windows 98 SE compatible modern, flexible, and highly reliable industrial grade mainboard with support for PCIe, PCI and ISA at the same time.
This post has been edited by matthiaspaul: 23 September 2007 - 01:57 PM