VOGONS


Reply 20 of 39, by Garrett W

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Ribbicipp wrote on 2024-05-09, 19:24:
As a big box collector I have around 200 big box games on my shelves from around that era of gaming, so I wanted to try some of […]
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As a big box collector I have around 200 big box games on my shelves from around that era of gaming, so I wanted to try some of them out and relive those nostalgic memories from when I was kid.
I quickly realized that there are lots of compability issues with games from this era. First I tried out some proper DOS games like Commander Keen 1-5, all working fine. Blake Stone, working fine, Wolf3D fine, Doom 2 also fine.
Then I moved on to the Windows 95 era. Full Throttle, one of my absolute favorite games of all time ran really slow with super choppy sound no matter if i ran it win Win98 or DOS. Ultimate Doom 95 ran "fine" but didn't detect my mouse for whatever reason. Outcast self-uninstalled itself for god knows why, MDK2 played fine, C&C Tiberian Sun fine.

Was it really this hard getting games to run properly or even run at all during this time? For example, Full Throttle was a Win95 title, but W98 wasn't exactly that big of a difference from 95, right?
Are these issues OS or hardware related or even both? As someone who hasn't used hardware or software this old in over two decades, this is new ground for me.

Any interesting tips, ideas or experiences you guys could share with me that might help me out?

Can't comment much on the rest, but Full Throttle is a DOS game, not a Windows 95 game. It came out a few months before Win95. There was a Windows version that came out around 2002 on a DVD case (DotT, Sam & Max and The Dig got the same treatment) which is far heavier although that should still run okay on your PIII 800.

Outcast came out around the same time as Win98SE and was not QA'd properly for it. As such, the game will self uninstall when it attempts to install DirectX 6.1 which comes packaged with Windows98SE. There is a patch for it online, it is quite a ridiculous bug.

Reply 22 of 39, by AppleSauce

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Its part of the hobby tbh , pc compatibles were never as easy as say consoles and there will be tinkering, but hey it makes them fun to me as there's a bit of a challenge to getting a working setup and learning the ins and outs of the system while screaming at the computer for 2 days straight.

Reply 23 of 39, by Ribbicipp

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AppleSauce wrote on 2024-05-10, 16:28:

Its part of the hobby tbh , pc compatibles were never as easy as say consoles and there will be tinkering, but hey it makes them fun to me as there's a bit of a challenge to getting a working setup and learning the ins and outs of the system while screaming at the computer for 2 days straight.

Lol, im starting to realize that now, yes. It's frustrating but at the same time very rewarding when you finally get it working.
As someone who just started this retro pc build journey im clearly just scratching the surface. But im hyped.

Reply 24 of 39, by bZbZbZ

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Your experience sounds remarkably authentic 😀

Back in the day, I had all of those same experiences. Windows 9x is horrifically unstable compared to Windows XP, and as others have said it seems to get worse and worse the more you touch it. I find for a retro gaming machine that I turn on once every few months it's not so bad... but back in 1999, when my whole family was using the computer on a daily basis, things got really bad.

To combat this, we would set up our computer as follows:

  1. use FDISK to Partition the hard drive into at least 2 partitions (usually more, using logical partitions inside an extended partition), with C:\ being intended as the OS drive.
  2. Before installing Windows, copy the 'Win98' folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM to partition drive D:\
  3. Eject Install Windows CD-ROM and install the OS from D:\Win98\setup.exe (this guards against my flakey optical drive messing up the OS install, and makes future driver changes way smoother)
  4. After OS first boot, after the dust settles, restart the computer.
  5. Image the entire C:\ drive using Norton Ghost (bootable from a floppy), with the image files stored on another partition
  6. Install drivers in the following order, with reboots between EACH AND EVERY one: mobo chipset, graphics, sounds, ethernet
  7. Image the entire C:\ drive again, frequently, before installing questionable software, or whenever things are working well... because you never know when things could start going horribly wrong
  8. Use the computer, with all personal files and non-OS dependent data stored on partitions that are NOT the C:\ drive, with the understanding that C:\ might need to get reverted from image at any time
  9. Copy select key image files to an external location (burn to CD-R, copy to network location, etc) to guard against hard drive failure that takes out all partitions

I still use Macrium Reflect Free to do essentially the same on my Windows 11 machine, although far less rigorously....

Reply 25 of 39, by smtkr

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Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stability issues are just obnoxious.

Eject a CD? Nah, Windows 9x is still randomly locking onto it--blue screen. Put the CD back in, hit enter, and then eject it again. It's fine. Windows will allow you to eject. Is it not merciful?

Randomly lost a right click context menu? Well, stop installing so many programs. They have a tendency to alter your registry. You don't want to do that, do you? Windows might cross its arms and dare you.

At some point, it's not cute. Just install XP for your windows applications and be done with it. For DOS, just set up a DOS partition. Win9x is the reason people would habitually curse Bill Gates while using computers.

Reply 26 of 39, by ldeveraux

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smtkr wrote on 2024-05-14, 01:14:
Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stab […]
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Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stability issues are just obnoxious.

Eject a CD? Nah, Windows 9x is still randomly locking onto it--blue screen. Put the CD back in, hit enter, and then eject it again. It's fine. Windows will allow you to eject. Is it not merciful?

Randomly lost a right click context menu? Well, stop installing so many programs. They have a tendency to alter your registry. You don't want to do that, do you? Windows might cross its arms and dare you.

At some point, it's not cute. Just install XP for your windows applications and be done with it. For DOS, just set up a DOS partition. Win9x is the reason people would habitually curse Bill Gates while using computers.

Firm, but fair!

Reply 27 of 39, by DosFreak

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I was using 9x when it first came out, it was shit then and shit now.

Install only what you need to include drivers, updates and actual necessary applications
Only use it for applications\games that don't work on DOS/NT4/2000+, everything else goes to those.
Images\Snapshots

Keep to the above and frustration factor goes way down.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Make your games work offline

Reply 28 of 39, by Ribbicipp

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bZbZbZ wrote on 2024-05-13, 02:39:
Your experience sounds remarkably authentic :) […]
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Your experience sounds remarkably authentic 😀

Back in the day, I had all of those same experiences. Windows 9x is horrifically unstable compared to Windows XP, and as others have said it seems to get worse and worse the more you touch it. I find for a retro gaming machine that I turn on once every few months it's not so bad... but back in 1999, when my whole family was using the computer on a daily basis, things got really bad.

To combat this, we would set up our computer as follows:

  1. use FDISK to Partition the hard drive into at least 2 partitions (usually more, using logical partitions inside an extended partition), with C:\ being intended as the OS drive.
  2. Before installing Windows, copy the 'Win98' folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM to partition drive D:\
  3. Eject Install Windows CD-ROM and install the OS from D:\Win98\setup.exe (this guards against my flakey optical drive messing up the OS install, and makes future driver changes way smoother)
  4. After OS first boot, after the dust settles, restart the computer.
  5. Image the entire C:\ drive using Norton Ghost (bootable from a floppy), with the image files stored on another partition
  6. Install drivers in the following order, with reboots between EACH AND EVERY one: mobo chipset, graphics, sounds, ethernet
  7. Image the entire C:\ drive again, frequently, before installing questionable software, or whenever things are working well... because you never know when things could start going horribly wrong
  8. Use the computer, with all personal files and non-OS dependent data stored on partitions that are NOT the C:\ drive, with the understanding that C:\ might need to get reverted from image at any time
  9. Copy select key image files to an external location (burn to CD-R, copy to network location, etc) to guard against hard drive failure that takes out all partitions

I still use Macrium Reflect Free to do essentially the same on my Windows 11 machine, although far less rigorously....

good tip. i'll probably do something similair to this system in order to make it easier when reinstalling the OS.

Reply 29 of 39, by Ribbicipp

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smtkr wrote on 2024-05-14, 01:14:
Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stab […]
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Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stability issues are just obnoxious.

Eject a CD? Nah, Windows 9x is still randomly locking onto it--blue screen. Put the CD back in, hit enter, and then eject it again. It's fine. Windows will allow you to eject. Is it not merciful?

Randomly lost a right click context menu? Well, stop installing so many programs. They have a tendency to alter your registry. You don't want to do that, do you? Windows might cross its arms and dare you.

At some point, it's not cute. Just install XP for your windows applications and be done with it. For DOS, just set up a DOS partition. Win9x is the reason people would habitually curse Bill Gates while using computers.

how well does WinXP fair with Win9X games?

Reply 30 of 39, by mln

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My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc.
Maybe because it was my only OS for some time, maybe because my self-assembled PC hardware caused the issues, maybe both.

Nowadays I have 98SE installed on my x58-based PC (120gb sata ssd, pci-e radeon, sb audigy 2, linux dual-boot). I use it only to play a few games I have installed and it feels... great.
No bloat, good looking and consistent UI, super fast. It's rock solid, I didn't see a blue screen yet. 😀

Sure, it took me some time to find right bios settings, drivers and so on, but overall there wasn't much hassle.
I guess a key to keep Win98 in a good condition is to not install everything you put your hands on, but I think it applies to WinXP as well.

tl;dr Win98 is a great game-launcher and nostalgia time-machine if you find a way to properly setup it.

Reply 31 of 39, by Ribbicipp

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mln wrote on 2024-05-14, 14:56:
My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc. Maybe because it was my only OS for s […]
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My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc.
Maybe because it was my only OS for some time, maybe because my self-assembled PC hardware caused the issues, maybe both.

Nowadays I have 98SE installed on my x58-based PC (120gb sata ssd, pci-e radeon, sb audigy 2, linux dual-boot). I use it only to play a few games I have installed and it feels... great.
No bloat, good looking and consistent UI, super fast. It's rock solid, I didn't see a blue screen yet. 😀

Sure, it took me some time to find right bios settings, drivers and so on, but overall there wasn't much hassle.
I guess a key to keep Win98 in a good condition is to not install everything you put your hands on, but I think it applies to WinXP as well.

tl;dr Win98 is a great game-launcher and nostalgia time-machine if you find a way to properly setup it.

yeah, i think it's going to take a while before i find the perfect "mix" of what my ideal Win98SE setup looks like. going to experiement with different sound cards, GPUs, drivers and software settings.
but hey, i guess that's part of what makes this hobby charming. problem solving with a huge touch of nostalgia and re-living those old memories once again.

Reply 32 of 39, by leonardo

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Ribbicipp wrote on 2024-05-14, 17:11:
mln wrote on 2024-05-14, 14:56:
My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc. Maybe because it was my only OS for s […]
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My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc.
Maybe because it was my only OS for some time, maybe because my self-assembled PC hardware caused the issues, maybe both.

Nowadays I have 98SE installed on my x58-based PC (120gb sata ssd, pci-e radeon, sb audigy 2, linux dual-boot). I use it only to play a few games I have installed and it feels... great.
No bloat, good looking and consistent UI, super fast. It's rock solid, I didn't see a blue screen yet. 😀

Sure, it took me some time to find right bios settings, drivers and so on, but overall there wasn't much hassle.
I guess a key to keep Win98 in a good condition is to not install everything you put your hands on, but I think it applies to WinXP as well.

tl;dr Win98 is a great game-launcher and nostalgia time-machine if you find a way to properly setup it.

yeah, i think it's going to take a while before i find the perfect "mix" of what my ideal Win98SE setup looks like. going to experiement with different sound cards, GPUs, drivers and software settings.
but hey, i guess that's part of what makes this hobby charming. problem solving with a huge touch of nostalgia and re-living those old memories once again.

Just remember to take a deep breath and go do something else every once in a while. These things can still get the best of you if you aren't careful. 😉

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 33 of 39, by Ribbicipp

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leonardo wrote on 2024-05-14, 17:22:
Ribbicipp wrote on 2024-05-14, 17:11:
mln wrote on 2024-05-14, 14:56:
My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc. Maybe because it was my only OS for s […]
Show full quote

My experience with 98SE back then was a mixed bag; a lot of reinstalls, blue screens etc.
Maybe because it was my only OS for some time, maybe because my self-assembled PC hardware caused the issues, maybe both.

Nowadays I have 98SE installed on my x58-based PC (120gb sata ssd, pci-e radeon, sb audigy 2, linux dual-boot). I use it only to play a few games I have installed and it feels... great.
No bloat, good looking and consistent UI, super fast. It's rock solid, I didn't see a blue screen yet. 😀

Sure, it took me some time to find right bios settings, drivers and so on, but overall there wasn't much hassle.
I guess a key to keep Win98 in a good condition is to not install everything you put your hands on, but I think it applies to WinXP as well.

tl;dr Win98 is a great game-launcher and nostalgia time-machine if you find a way to properly setup it.

yeah, i think it's going to take a while before i find the perfect "mix" of what my ideal Win98SE setup looks like. going to experiement with different sound cards, GPUs, drivers and software settings.
but hey, i guess that's part of what makes this hobby charming. problem solving with a huge touch of nostalgia and re-living those old memories once again.

Just remember to take a deep breath and go do something else every once in a while. These things can still get the best of you if you aren't careful. 😉

oh yeah, i've quickly realized just this exact thing. the other week i spent like 5 hours straight trying to figure out why i couldn't install drivers for the sound card i had installed and it just drained me mentally. so im def going to take breaks and do other stuff in between all the headaches!

Reply 34 of 39, by Cyberdyne

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I was slow to jump on to the only windows bandwagon. Back in the day. Windows 3.1 only used for Internet Explorer 3 for internet surfing. Ok sometimes PaintBrush and PaintShopPro 3. Lets be honest, image editing is better in Windows than DOS. Then got a bootleg CD with Windows 95OSR2. And also only used it for Internet, image editing and Napster+Winamp. Still mainly played DOS games. And used Norton/VolkovCommander for all file managing stuff. 98SE was only like a year. With Windows 9x. There were 2 problems. Use too long in a day... crash. Use too long overall ... Registry fill, dll hell, slowdown. XP was the first one that I mainly used everyday. And that one I used to over 10 years straight. Then migrated to 7.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.
PS. If I upload RAR, it is a 16-bit DOS RAR Version 2.50.

Reply 35 of 39, by gerry

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Ribbicipp wrote on 2024-05-14, 13:12:
smtkr wrote on 2024-05-14, 01:14:
Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stab […]
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Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stability issues are just obnoxious.

Eject a CD? Nah, Windows 9x is still randomly locking onto it--blue screen. Put the CD back in, hit enter, and then eject it again. It's fine. Windows will allow you to eject. Is it not merciful?

Randomly lost a right click context menu? Well, stop installing so many programs. They have a tendency to alter your registry. You don't want to do that, do you? Windows might cross its arms and dare you.

At some point, it's not cute. Just install XP for your windows applications and be done with it. For DOS, just set up a DOS partition. Win9x is the reason people would habitually curse Bill Gates while using computers.

how well does WinXP fair with Win9X games?

in my experience better than most people think it does - but it pays to look out for patches and so on when XP's compatibility mode doesn't work out

and yes, as above 98 is nostalgia but can be good when set up carefully

the CD thing though, that's true - 9x loves checking your CD now and then and locking everything up until it has confirmation of whatever mysterious things it was after 😀

Reply 36 of 39, by smtkr

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Ribbicipp wrote on 2024-05-14, 13:12:
smtkr wrote on 2024-05-14, 01:14:
Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stab […]
Show full quote

Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stability issues are just obnoxious.

Eject a CD? Nah, Windows 9x is still randomly locking onto it--blue screen. Put the CD back in, hit enter, and then eject it again. It's fine. Windows will allow you to eject. Is it not merciful?

Randomly lost a right click context menu? Well, stop installing so many programs. They have a tendency to alter your registry. You don't want to do that, do you? Windows might cross its arms and dare you.

At some point, it's not cute. Just install XP for your windows applications and be done with it. For DOS, just set up a DOS partition. Win9x is the reason people would habitually curse Bill Gates while using computers.

how well does WinXP fair with Win9X games?

I haven't found any Win9x games that don't work. The closest thing is the original command and conquer, which requires a little bit of magic.

Reply 37 of 39, by Cyberdyne

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smtkr wrote on 2024-05-15, 00:12:
Ribbicipp wrote on 2024-05-14, 13:12:
smtkr wrote on 2024-05-14, 01:14:
Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stab […]
Show full quote

Windows 98 is just a nostalgia machine, IMO. I started out with it when I got back into vintage computing, but the bugs and stability issues are just obnoxious.

Eject a CD? Nah, Windows 9x is still randomly locking onto it--blue screen. Put the CD back in, hit enter, and then eject it again. It's fine. Windows will allow you to eject. Is it not merciful?

Randomly lost a right click context menu? Well, stop installing so many programs. They have a tendency to alter your registry. You don't want to do that, do you? Windows might cross its arms and dare you.

At some point, it's not cute. Just install XP for your windows applications and be done with it. For DOS, just set up a DOS partition. Win9x is the reason people would habitually curse Bill Gates while using computers.

how well does WinXP fair with Win9X games?

I haven't found any Win9x games that don't work. The closest thing is the original command and conquer, which requires a little bit of magic.

What magic. Now everything has community patches or GOG version. So also never have Windows 9x for gaming purpoces.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.
PS. If I upload RAR, it is a 16-bit DOS RAR Version 2.50.

Reply 38 of 39, by Jo22

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smtkr wrote on 2024-05-15, 00:12:

I haven't found any Win9x games that don't work. The closest thing is the original command and conquer, which requires a little bit of magic.

I'm not very profound when it comes to commercial games, but..

Generally speaking, anything relying on a VXD "DLL" won't work properly on Windows NT series.

With exception to Win16 programs, maybe, because they run in Windows on Windows (WoW) on top of NTVDM.

And WoW is essentially a modified version of Windows 3.1 with 386 Enhanced-Mode kernal (which uses VXDs or rather *.386 files).

Programms like Mod4Win come to mind (it's a Win16 application with 32-Bit code).
It uses a VXD as a helper application, for better multi-tasking.

Other games or multimedia applications may rely on such VXDs, too.

Another exception is language support, or rather, encoding of files and code pages.

Windows 9x doesn't support Unicode internally, but uses "ANSI" (Windows OEM).
It's essentially an system born in the ASCII age, still.
A wrapper, unicows.dll, does make Unicode applications run - but doesn't add support for Unicode characters.

Windows NT by contrast, is using Unicode through and through.
It does internally convert ANSI programs to Unicode.

The Asian language editions of Windows 9x use double-byte encoding for the corresponding applications.

Using a Windows NT line operating system to handle them properly is tricky, because not all APIs support the character conversion.

I ideally, installing support for Asian languages fixes things, but sometimes the IME (input method editor) and the MS AppLocale utility are required.

In the end, it's much easier and cleaner to use an Asian copy of Windows 98SE.
It will handle all Windows code pages correctly and handle double-byte executables without issues.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 39 of 39, by Cyberdyne

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I understand that some of us like to use their comuter in native language. But most of us understand english perfectly. And even some of us do not like our native language version of stuff. Once tried an Estonian version of Windows XP. And once by accident installed Estonian Firefox. Both instancec were so unnatural and undcofortable. 😆

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.
PS. If I upload RAR, it is a 16-bit DOS RAR Version 2.50.