VOGONS


First post, by BigJim

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Hi all I'm a first time caller, but very long time listener, and whilst I can usually sort out issues without having to bother the hive mind I was wondering if I could pick your brains regarding a Windows 98 SE installation as I'm stumped!

I'm trying to dual boot with XP on old hardware for late 90s and millennial games. This is the second machine I've built; the first was a P4 1.6ghz with 512mb ddr and a 64mb ATI agp card and the dual boot worked flawlessly.
 
I have a new system now with a newer motherboard supporting ddr2 memory, although I've still only got 512mb onboard. I wanted to build another pc to take advantage of a 256mb PCI-e card I had lying around. In testing (since I had to repair the card) XP installed and booted without any hiccups. I reformatted and went through the installation process for Windows 98, and again it installed without any error. However when I go to restart for first boot the system locks up after the login screen has been on for a second or two, complaining in DOS that there has been a protection fault due to stack overflow, and to check stacks are set properly in config.sys. Now I've been doing a lot of reading over the last few days and it seems all anyone can say is that stack overflow should not be a problem for any non-DOS programs ie Windows 98, as it's handled automatically. Config.sys doesn't even contain a stacks line. I've tried deleting and booting without Config.sys via msconfig in safe mode (Windows 98 WILL boot into safe mode) but the system still locks up trying to boot Win98 normally.
 
I tried the harddrive from my working retro rig and XP again ran fine, but my fully patched Windows 98 partition would not boot as above.
 
Specs are: Rc415st-pm mobo
Intel pentium 4 3.6ghz
Ati x550 256mb
1x 512mb ddr 2 (mobo is not dual channel)
80gb seagate hdd
Onboard sound
 
Any thoughts on this gratefully received, thank you so much for your time x

Reply 1 of 4, by gerry

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did you try adding

STACKS=64,512
FILES=60
BUFFERS=40

or similar to config.sys

windows may not worry about it, but DOS does

beyond that it may be a driver or interrupt conflict, it might even be the mb and components being used; I'd imagine various incompatibilities creeping in as newer components leave backward compatibility behind

Reply 2 of 4, by BigJim

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Hi gerry thanks for your reply, I will definitely try that and report back. I should point out that DOS works perfectly stable on this hardware, It's only when it tries to boot Win98 that it crashes complaining of a stack overflow.. To avoid ambiguity I'll just say that the error appears in DOS, ie not a blue screen general protection fault, but it pertains wholly to Windows. The full error is something like:

"Windows Protection Fault - Windows has been shut down to prevent instability caused by a stack overflow. Edit STACKS in config.sys to ensure stacks are properly configured." [massively paraphrased 🤣]

As far as I know based on my [probably poor] research all the hardware I'm using has official Windows 98 SE support [even the pci-e card has drivers!] I don't know about the motherboard though.. I tore it out of a prebuilt HP machine circa 2006/07 [??] which came loaded with XP. I was just excited to see it was LGA775 and would support the P4 I'd tracked down, alongside the other parts I wanted to throw together.. It's entirely possible it is the mobo that's causing this, I've looked and there are only drivers for XP and Vista 🙁

Reply 3 of 4, by gerry

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you are probably right that the hardware isn't itself incompatible, if its 2006 I'd imagine it should be ok but the lack of win98 drivers for the mb are a bit of a worry!

hopefully it works now, otherwise it could hard to track down without being able to swap out the mb to test that. To be honest I only put win98 on machines of around 200-1000mhz era, so haven't tried on later hardware