VOGONS


Reply 20 of 36, by Jo22

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-02-16, 21:44:
I would be tempted to suggest checking the power supply if all other avenues of inquiry have been exhausted. […]
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I would be tempted to suggest checking the power supply if all other avenues of inquiry have been exhausted.

Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-02-16, 05:41:

The lovely repeating problem of Explorer freezing if I move, copy, or delete a lot of files (seems to be a fault of IE6).

This is indeed a very well-established problem with IE6. Solutions are available.
https://msfn.org/board/topic/84451-98-fe-98-s … shell32dll-fix/

The "fix" is apparently English/French/Italian only at the time, sadly.
Users of, say, Spanish, Esperanto, German, Russian, Hungarian or Japanese are left out in the cold rain.. 🙁

"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 22 of 36, by lost77

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Just as many other people here I dont have any serious problems using Windows 98. The way I go about it is not to treat it like a modern OS.

1. Take things slow. I wait at least 15 seconds after booting to desktop before doing anything. Also a bit of waiting after exiting programs/games. And just generally use programs slower than what I do on my modern system. This might not be needed on a Pentium with an old slow hard drive but faster systems tend to give me errors or hang if I push it too hard. That is also why I only use spinning disks, faster storage will just have me waiting around more. I wouldn't try to copy/delete massive amounts of files, do it in batches. .

2. Less is more. Install as little as possible. It might be tempting to use all those expansion slots but the more you put in there the more chances of something breaking. It will also be easier to give components separate IRQs. I also disable things that I'm not currently using in the BIOS.

This also goes for installing programs/games/updates, stick to what you need. I also limit my memory to 512MB max and disk cache to 64MB.

3. Older is better. I try to only use PS/2 keyboard, mouse etc. USB is basically only used for transferring files using flash drives, which luckily tend to run slow on old computers (see point 1). The only computer that currently has a SATA-IDE adapter is a fairly new system, Athlon XP 3200+. This has a JMicron controller which is the most compatible I've tried.

4. Reboot often. Dont expect to jump in and out of programs/games like you would today. Many of them dont exit very gracefully and can give you subsequent errors. That wasn't a big deal back in the day when most people ran maybe one program or game per session.

Reply 23 of 36, by Jorpho

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-02-16, 22:11:
Jorpho wrote on 2020-02-16, 21:44:
I would be tempted to suggest checking the power supply if all other avenues of inquiry have been exhausted. […]
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I would be tempted to suggest checking the power supply if all other avenues of inquiry have been exhausted.

Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-02-16, 05:41:

The lovely repeating problem of Explorer freezing if I move, copy, or delete a lot of files (seems to be a fault of IE6).

This is indeed a very well-established problem with IE6. Solutions are available.
https://msfn.org/board/topic/84451-98-fe-98-s … shell32dll-fix/

The "fix" is apparently English/French/Italian only at the time, sadly.
Users of, say, Spanish, Esperanto, German, Russian, Hungarian or Japanese are left out in the cold rain.. 🙁

I think in earlier times people would just get the files from IE5.5 SP2, but I forget what is needed (if anything) aside from SHELL32.DLL.

Reply 24 of 36, by Baoran

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Sometimes these things can be caused by something you would never think of. For example in 1998 when I was working for Fujitsu there was a computer I was troubleshooting that kept on freezing, having blue screen and all that stuff no matter parts I replaced inside the case. In the end I figured out that all the problems were caused by a faulty keyboard that had some kind manufacturing defect. Not many people would consider something like that when it comes to freezes like that.

Reply 25 of 36, by Jo22

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Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-02-16, 18:54:

The Wiki said that Windows ME was "the last DOS-based version of Windows", and since Window 2000 came out before ME I just assumed 2000 was based off DOS as well. I guess asking if I should try Windows ME instead is out of the question? I still remember all the problems everybody was having with that OS back then.... and since the majority of the games I play are later DOS games I don't want to use XP (I have so many games, that for proper midi sound I have to reboot into MS-DOS mode so I don't think XP is an option).

Well, its not easy to explain. In simple words, Windows Me was based on Win98SE, but got some of the WIn2000 system files ported over.
Hence, it has a different network stack than 98, WIA for optical scanners, Universal Plug&Play, built-in support for USB pen drives and so on.
Thus, it will run better or more stable on newer hardware that came after Windows 98SE was released (think of the ACPI issue).
However.. Me was released as an updated often or rather, was sold as an update primarily.
That's where some of the trouble started. Under normal circumstances, users installed Me atop an existing, maybe slightlly corrupted, Win9x installation.
Because of that, and older Win9x drivers, it wasn't as stable as it could be. Also, Win Me was heavily based around WDM drivers (but could still fully use DRVs/VXDs also).
If installed from scratch (wiped HDD, then formatted with format c: /b, then Me setup executed from win9x\setup.exe), it may run *okay*.

Edit: So yes, if you have another HDD at hand for testing, give Me a try, maybe it works for you.
However, please install Me from DOS (to do so, use a bootable 98SE CD or a bootable Me CD).
Please don't do an upgrade over an existing Windows installation. It caused me trouble on "Me compatible hardware" already.

Edit: Just for fun, here's an earlier tposting of mine that tells how Win98SE caused me trouble on a GA586S mainboard.
Re: Windows 98SE Black Screen MS-DOS Mode
You see, you're not alone with issues like that. Some hardware just doesn't like 98SE (or vice versa). 😉

"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 26 of 36, by pentiumspeed

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Type of hardware needs to be listed so we can say if it has known issues, CPU etc.

Memory modules had been known to fail most especially these gamer, no name and funny sounding brands. I used OEM brands like Micron, Hynix, Samsung etc (the ones on the sticker of the memory).

Also power supply! If the Dell power supply is getting too old or overwhelmed by hardware stuffed into Dell computer, I strongly tell you to get a Seasonic power supply and Dell to ATX adapter cable. I have trouble finding the adapter cable to convert standard ATX to Dell 20 pin plus 3.3V 6pin connector on ebay. I forgot what name of it was called.

This adapter I am using for my Dell motherboard slot 1 converts Dell 20 pin atx style with 6 pin 3.3V connector that is converted from standard ATX pinout using standard ATX PSU.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 27 of 36, by Dochartaigh

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dr_st wrote on 2020-02-16, 21:10:

I wonder if your motherboard is going bad. It sounds annoyingly similar to the issues I've been experiencing:
Re: Super Socket 7 Win98SE masochism (work in progress)

Two motherboards going bad though?

Jorpho wrote on 2020-02-16, 21:44:

I would be tempted to suggest checking the power supply if all other avenues of inquiry have been exhausted.

I picked up an Enlight which is vastly overpowered for this build - but it should take care of that. Also tried 2 Dell power supplies of the two Dell's I have though...

Jo22 wrote on 2020-02-16, 22:11:

The "fix" is apparently English/French/Italian only at the time, sadly.
Users of, say, Spanish, Esperanto, German, Russian, Hungarian or Japanese are left out in the cold rain.. 🙁

I followed this:

http://www.frankprovo.com/win98ie6filesproblem.htm

Shagittarius wrote on 2020-02-16, 23:10:

I had ram that was being run too hard and it had similar results, if you can I would try underclocking the ram.

I ran 2x DOS based hardware tests and the RAM tested fine during those tests. It did tell me they're two different brands (I though they were the same), so I picked up 3x sticks (this MB has 3 slots which I find weird....usually always has 2 or 4 I thought) of Toshiba 100mhz 168-pin PC100 Non-ECC RAM (which I hope is the right type!).

lost77 wrote on 2020-02-16, 23:14:

2. Less is more. Install as little as possible. It might be tempting to use all those expansion slots but the more you put in there the more chances of something breaking. It will also be easier to give components separate IRQs. I also disable things that I'm not currently using in the BIOS.

This also goes for installing programs/games/updates, stick to what you need. I also limit my memory to 512MB max and disk cache to 64MB.

I started doing the "Compact" Win98se install even to keep it as tidy as possible. I have a very short list of non-games I install (and what I've switched to recently, just in case): 7Zip (now WinRAR), Daemon Tools (instmsia.exe installed before).

I've disabled my serial ports and I think printer? ports in the BIOS to free up resources.

Only 256mb RAM. Can you tell me about disk caches? I've never messed with that. I did read a couple articles about Virtual Memory though and started using 512/512 min/max that those articles said to use.

Jo22 wrote on 2020-02-17, 20:21:

Edit: So yes, if you have another HDD at hand for testing, give Me a try, maybe it works for you.
However, please install Me from DOS (to do so, use a bootable 98SE CD or a bootable Me CD).

Just bought a 120gb WD 7200RPM IDE drive from 2006 used off eBay - I'll try that when it arrives.

Anybody see any issues is I still keep the games on the SSD - it'll most likely be on the secondary IDE line with the CD drive. I just need something I can plug into my regular/modern computer and copy over files fast, then get them onto the old mechanical HDD of this retro computer (USB 1.x is WAY too slow....like 7-10+ish minutes to copy over a single ~700mb ISO for a game).

pentiumspeed wrote on 2020-02-18, 00:13:

Memory modules had been known to fail most especially these gamer, no name and funny sounding brands. I used OEM brands like Micron, Hynix, Samsung etc (the ones on the sticker of the memory).

Also power supply! If the Dell power supply is getting too old or overwhelmed by hardware stuffed into Dell computer, I strongly tell you to get a Seasonic power supply and Dell to ATX adapter cable. I have trouble finding the adapter cable to convert standard ATX to Dell 20 pin plus 3.3V 6pin connector on ebay. I forgot what name of it was called.

This adapter I am using for my Dell motherboard slot 1 converts Dell 20 pin atx style with 6 pin 3.3V connector that is converted from standard ATX pinout using standard ATX PSU.

When I was shopping for RAM and a HDD last night I did pickup a beefy new power supply. It's MB connectors look like this:

1MZuKYf.png

And when I first got the Dell's I picked up one of these ATX to Dell adapters - I hope the two line-up and work properly and don't blow my MB up....because I really don't know what to pay attention to (i.e. the differences), besides just plugging it in.

2gxcb9z.png

pentiumspeed wrote on 2020-02-18, 00:13:

Type of hardware needs to be listed so we can say if it has known issues, CPU etc.

Here's from my spreadsheet:

Dell Dimension XPS T450
--Pentium III 700MHz Coppermine 100mhx (Slot 1 - taken from the 2nd Dell T700r with same exact MB as T450 model)
--256MB RAM (2x128) - mismatched brand, bought new
--3.5" 1.44mb Floppy built-in
--CD/DVD Burner Drive (tried 2x brands)

UPGRADES:
PNY GF4TI4600AGP (GeForce 4 ti4600) 128MB AGP Video Card
3dfx Voodoo 2, 12MB, PCI, Creative Labs 3D Blaster CT6670 model, w/ gold-plated VGA passthrough cable
3dfx Voodoo 2, 12MB, PCI, Creative Labs 3D Blaster CT6670 model (same as above but different brand RAM)

ISA Sound Card (DOS): ESS ES1869F, S611-SF
----Dreamblaster X2 - MIDI Synthesizer board
PCI Sound Card (Windows): Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS, Gold, SB0350 (NON-OEM)

StarTech.com IDE to SATA Adapter Converter (40-Pin PATA to 2.5" SATA HDD / SSD)
OR NEON SATA to PATA/IDE and PATA/IDE to SATA Hard Drive Interface Dual-Adapter
OR AliExpress CF card adapter Dionb recommended (only 1x Win98 install on this so far)
--Verbatim 47012 2GB CF Card (think this is older slow transfer speed type...was $12 new off Amazon)
Crucial BX500 120GB SATA 2.5" Internal SSD Hard drive
OR Kingston 120GB A400 SATA 3 2.5" Internal SSD SA400S37/120G

NEC FP2141SB or Sony CPD-520GS CRT Monitor
IBM Model M Keyboard 139140, PS/2 Cable, perfect condition
OR Dell QuietKey PS/2 keyboard
Microsoft Basic Optical Computer Mouse X09-13932 USB Wired With PS2 Adapter
OR Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 USB w/ PS2 adapter

Roland MA-8 Speakers

Reply 28 of 36, by boxpressed

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Some Dell mobos need a proprietary PSU, while others don't. I have an Optiplex GX1 that originally came with a P2 that needs one, while Dell went with a standard pinout just a year or two later.

Reply 29 of 36, by bofh.fromhell

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Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-02-16, 05:41:

So before I rant since I know people will blame it on some of the below, here's the setups I've been using which 20+ times now has failed to give me a 100% working Win 98 SE installation:
*snip*

Had a similar experience back in the day.
Everything installed fine, but after a short while weird stuff started to happen and crashes soon after.
Drove med to the edge of insanity before i finally found the problem.
Turns out my winzip installer had a virus, and winzip was the first thing I always installed.........^

But yea, Windows 2000 is a vastly superior OS then W9x.
Takes beefier hardware to run smoothly, any P6 (ppro, P2 etc.) and up with min 128MB RAM makes it smooth.
And obviously you wont get DOS, but that's easily sorted with dual boot.
I even prefer WinME to W98 nowadays.
Like W2K its got tons of more drivers included (less time wasted on installing those).
Also most (all?) problems it had at release are now since long sorted.

Reply 30 of 36, by Shagittarius

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Shagittarius wrote on 2020-02-16, 23:10:

I had ram that was being run too hard and it had similar results, if you can I would try underclocking the ram.

I ran 2x DOS based hardware tests and the RAM tested fine during those tests. It did tell me they're two different brands (I though they were the same), so I picked up 3x sticks (this MB has 3 slots which I find weird....usually always has 2 or 4 I thought) of Toshiba 100mhz 168-pin PC100 Non-ECC RAM (which I hope is the right type!).

My ram also passed hours of testing with no errors, it wasn't until I was in windows and attempting to install updates that it had problems...I still maintain the RAM and the HDD are your best bets for where the issue lies.

Reply 31 of 36, by dr_st

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Shagittarius wrote on 2020-02-18, 05:58:

My ram also passed hours of testing with no errors, it wasn't until I was in windows and attempting to install updates that it had problems...I still maintain the RAM and the HDD are your best bets for where the issue lies.

Do you suggest that Windows 9x is "harder" on RAM than DOS-based Memtest tools? What can it possibly do that memory tests don't catch? I think it can't override BIOS-set parameters (frequency, timing), can it?

How did you establish in the end that it was RAM - simply replaced it and the issues went away?

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 32 of 36, by Shagittarius

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dr_st wrote on 2020-02-18, 09:02:
Shagittarius wrote on 2020-02-18, 05:58:

My ram also passed hours of testing with no errors, it wasn't until I was in windows and attempting to install updates that it had problems...I still maintain the RAM and the HDD are your best bets for where the issue lies.

Do you suggest that Windows 9x is "harder" on RAM than DOS-based Memtest tools? What can it possibly do that memory tests don't catch? I think it can't override BIOS-set parameters (frequency, timing), can it?

How did you establish in the end that it was RAM - simply replaced it and the issues went away?

I can't tell you technically why it happened but here's how it all worked out though this was with Windows XP not 98.

I would install Windows XP original release, this would boot and run fine. Next I would install all the SPs I had files for up to SP3, this would run fine. Next I would start downloading the updates that remained that were not present on the SPs. This is where randomly 1 of the updates would fail as I was installing it. As you can imagine an update failing in the middle of install often left some kind of problem behind upon reboot. At first I thought it was a MB incompatibility or something but then I tried a setting in the bios that relaxed the ram timings and suddenly all the problems went away. NOTE: I also tried this with WIndows 7 and had exactly the same problem, everything was fine with the initial install but then went to hell with updates.

Eventually I found ram that I could run at full speed without underclocking (relaxed timing), and now the system is fully stable and is my 98SE/XP machine.

Things don't always take a consistent path to failure, sometimes the issue only occurs under specific circumstances and it can be infuriating trying to figure it out. However if corruption is an issue I would lean towards the memory or storage sub systems, somewhere along the full path of those devices would likely be the problem. Of course every situation is unique so keep your mind open to recognize patterns.

As for why windows might be harder on ram it could be that some windows function require more of the full voltage the ram pulls or access the ram in ways memtest does not. When you overclock a system it might appear totally stable with a synthetic benchmark/test but crash consistently when you throw a realworld game or app at it, none of them can simulate all the ways your system might be pushed.

Last edited by Shagittarius on 2020-02-18, 14:56. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 33 of 36, by Dochartaigh

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boxpressed wrote on 2020-02-18, 02:00:

Some Dell mobos need a proprietary PSU, while others don't. I have an Optiplex GX1 that originally came with a P2 that needs one, while Dell went with a standard pinout just a year or two later.

I'm like 99% positive this series (the entire Dell Dimension XPS T___ and T___r line) uses the off-spec wiring. Can I try to match up colors of the wiring before I turn on the new power supply or something – just to be safe?

bofh.fromhell wrote on 2020-02-18, 03:37:
Had a similar experience back in the day. Everything installed fine, but after a short while weird stuff started to happen and c […]
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Had a similar experience back in the day.
Everything installed fine, but after a short while weird stuff started to happen and crashes soon after.
Drove med to the edge of insanity before i finally found the problem.
Turns out my winzip installer had a virus, and winzip was the first thing I always installed.........^

My last couple builds I've been switching from the utilities I was using to different versions. Only one that stayed was Daemon tools, but I guess I can find a slightly older version from someplace else and try that just to rule it out (any other options for ISO mounting? Think I tried Alcohol 120% from Phil's website but that wouldn't install on mine - only tried that 1x version though).

bofh.fromhell wrote on 2020-02-18, 03:37:
But yea, Windows 2000 is a vastly superior OS then W9x. Takes beefier hardware to run smoothly, any P6 (ppro, P2 etc.) and up w […]
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But yea, Windows 2000 is a vastly superior OS then W9x.
Takes beefier hardware to run smoothly, any P6 (ppro, P2 etc.) and up with min 128MB RAM makes it smooth.
And obviously you wont get DOS, but that's easily sorted with dual boot.
I even prefer WinME to W98 nowadays.
Like W2K its got tons of more drivers included (less time wasted on installing those).
Also most (all?) problems it had at release are now since long sorted.

Win 2000 is out as I don't want to have to reboot into a different OS just to play games. Might give Windows ME a try...but still have nightmares from that back in the day 🤣.

Shagittarius wrote on 2020-02-18, 05:58:

My ram also passed hours of testing with no errors, it wasn't until I was in windows and attempting to install updates that it had problems...I still maintain the RAM and the HDD are your best bets for where the issue lies.

Ordered both new mechanical HDD and new RAM (Toshiba)...but I think people still keep forgetting I've tried this on TWO computers (and briefly/sporadically a 3rd), so that would be REALLY bad luck if BOTH were bad... I personally think it's one of my cards or one of the drivers for my cards...

Shagittarius wrote on 2020-02-18, 14:52:

I can't tell you technically why it happened but here's how it all worked out though this was with Windows XP not 98.

I would install Windows XP original release, this would boot and run fine. Next I would install all the SPs I had files for up to SP3, this would run fine. Next I would start downloading the updates that remained that were not present on the SPs. This is where randomly 1 of the updates would fail as I was installing it. As you can imagine an update failing in the middle of install often left some kind of problem behind upon reboot. At first I thought it was a MB incompatibility or something but then I tried a setting in the bios that relaxed the ram timings and suddenly all the problems went away. NOTE: I also tried this with WIndows 7 and had exactly the same problem, everything was fine with the initial install but then went to hell with updates.

I've been installing Windows 98 Second Edition. BUT, at times I've tried the Unofficial Service pack (think 3?) right after the initial Windows install. I have super similar experiences - OR that software/update is just buggy as hell. It only installed properly on maybe half of the installs. Other half it was just crap (timed out, froze computer, just sat and did nothing, and/or seemed to finish but then DirectX or whatever was never installed or updated). I then moved over to the Win98 Security Update CD 2-2004 which I think a mod on this forum highly suggested - again with that it only seemed to work maybe half of the time (weird font fills the screen pop-ups, doesn't reboot and start again like it should, etc.)... again, this was tried on two different systems with two different sets of RAM (each uses 2x 128mb sticks for 256 total).

Lately though, I've said screw those updates. I install the Nubs USB driver and that's it for system stuff like that (and recently switched from the 36e? version to the 33 version just in case - trying to try alternates for EVERYTHING.

Reply 34 of 36, by dr_st

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Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-02-18, 15:26:

at times I've tried the Unofficial Service pack (think 3?) right after the initial Windows install.

Never do this. You are right - it's more trouble than it's worth. Just install the NUSB drivers and any specific patch you need.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 35 of 36, by Bruninho

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dr_st wrote on 2020-02-18, 18:27:
Dochartaigh wrote on 2020-02-18, 15:26:

at times I've tried the Unofficial Service pack (think 3?) right after the initial Windows install.

Never do this. You are right - it's more trouble than it's worth. Just install the NUSB drivers and any specific patch you need.

I think it'd be easier to show a list of the patches provided by the unofficial service pack (and/or any official pack) then mark what we think we'd need, and then people would tell us if it'd be good to install it or not. I never had a problem with the USP, though. I always selectively choose which updates to install within USP.

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

Reply 36 of 36, by Dochartaigh

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Bruninho wrote on 2020-02-18, 18:49:

I think it'd be easier to show a list of the patches provided by the unofficial service pack (and/or any official pack) then mark what we think we'd need, and then people would tell us if it'd be good to install it or not. I never had a problem with the USP, though. I always selectively choose which updates to install within USP.

I only choose the one which was for Windows drivers only (like updates...forget what they call it exactly but it's only 1 item/checkbox). Then ran the DirectX 9.0c? (last one that works on Windows 98). Still issues only doing those two. It went OK a couple times though.


When I use those various SATA to IDE adapters to use SSD's on this old computer. Am I fine using the regular/original IDE cables? leading to the motherboard? I don't know if this applies but thought I would post something I found on an old OG Xbox group I'm on which I randomly found – it was talking about those same adapters and said "the majority of ide to sata converters do not work with 40 wire cables" -they need 80 wire cables which I don't have. Could that possibly be the problem? There's only 40 pins physically being connected so I just don't understand that anyway...

EDIT, more info (just in case this pertains to my build) """orientation is necessary as well. This is a recurring topic of discussion on this board and reddit. 80 wire IDE cables have a bridged pin on the blue side of the cable. This communicates to the motherboard that an 80 wire cable is connected. This same concept is played out with the SATA to IDE adapters, however the orientation of the cable (blue end plugged in to board or adapter) is not relevant in the case of the Xbox because it does not perform a check of the cable type."""

Does this have any bearing on an my Pentium III Win98 computer? Xbox's really are just quasi-regular PC's inside...