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Windows 98 vs ME

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First post, by buckrogers

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On a machine designed for running glide games (400-450mhz)), word processing and net surfing, what OS is preferred?

Reply 1 of 25, by eL_PuSHeR

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The both of them are quite similar. I prefer a updated Windows 98 second edition over ME because ME is bloated to me.

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Reply 2 of 25, by HunterZ

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WinME is generally considered to be a bloated addition to Win98SE to make it more user-friendly. Almost everywhere I've looked, people tend to suggest using 98SE instead. A 450MHz machine should be able to run either without problems, however (provided you have a decent amount of RAM and disk space installed).

Reply 3 of 25, by Snover

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Windows Me is the absolute worst Windows operating system ever created, and I would not recommend anyone ever use it. If you need a non-NT Windows OS, go with Windows 98SE.

Yes, it’s my fault.

Reply 4 of 25, by Jorpho

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Aside from the often-problematic System Restore (which can be disabled) and the lack of real-mode DOS (which can be fixed by a patch), has it ever been definitively shown that Windows ME is genuinely less stable at its core?

http://www.mdgx.com has a nice little program that will upgrade Windows 98 SE with various updated resources from Windows ME, in theory giving the best of both worlds.

Reply 7 of 25, by swaaye

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Yeah once you disable System Restore (which is an absolute must), WinME I think can be ok. It really has some nice things like Win2k's looks and better compatibility with some newer hardware I believe.

However, I still think I prefer 98SE. It still has some of 95's insane speed due to simplicity yet supports far more hardware and software than 95. I've found though that 486's run 95 far better than 98 (regardless of RAM and other hardware) and I think it's because 98 may be Pentium optimized in compilation (I've read this on the net in a few places). But if you are running a mid range Pentium or higher, 98SE is the way to go.

If you REALLY want better hardware support though I think 2K is always the way to go. Especially if you're running K6/P6 or higher, 2K will just have a tangible smoothness that 9x doesn't have. Just be sure to have at least 128MB RAM min.

Reply 8 of 25, by HunterZ

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I ran Win2K just fine for over a year on a PII-450, and WinXP on a PIII-550 (with XP themes and most effects turned off of course) - each with around 512MB of PC100 RAM. The "smoothness" you describe is probably because the multitasking is much better using the NT core.

Reply 10 of 25, by CKeene

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I tried using Me for a while but it was junk. It used a very early version of System Restore that was extremely buggy and hogged resources like crazy. There was an option to turn it off, but it not only turned itself back on from time to time but turning it off did not get rid of the _Restore folders and their junk. I eventually found a utility called System Restore Remover Pro which completely removed it and helped quite a bit. However the OS itself was still bloated and buggy; they tried to do too much with the old 9x code base and crippled too much legacy stuff. You may have noticed that Microsoft quickly swept this OS under the rug and would rather pretend it never existed. Look at the amount of updates and attention it received from them, hardly any at all. Windows Me was a flop and I don't recommend anyone use it period.

For an older gaming system definately run Windows 98; for an older system that won't be used for gaming run Windows NT or 2000 instead. Windows 2000 is also fine for most newer games.

Reply 12 of 25, by buckrogers

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Thanks for all the responses.

I am tired of using XP on a 2Ghz machine, and have found that all of the software and games I want to use will work on an older OS, so I figure why not upgrade to an older PC with trick hardware that will run super fast using an older OS. Plus, I like having isa slots for the real general midi sounds through a Roland SCC1.

With this in mind, I am still unsure as to which OS to use.

Uses:

1. I want stability since I will be using the machine to write up a doctoral thesis using MS Word.
2. I want to play a small handful of games such as Albion, Ultima Underworld 2, Redguard 3dfx, and Turrican (works on my K6 700Mhz fine) and some early Direct X games on an Asus P3b-f running somewhere between 400-900Mhz with 512mb RAM.

The main idea is to be able to swap between work and dos gaming.

I found a site that explains how to "clean up" ME:
http://www.burzurq.com/forum/trevtweak.html

Not sure if that will solve the problems people have with ME. At this point 98SE, perhaps with some cosmetic and functional improvements is best.

Does anyone know if I can run the types of DOS games mentioned direct from ME after changing the settings for each program (e.g., what memory system is loaded) as can be done under 98SE, or would I have to boot to pure DOS each time I wanted to play games?

Reply 15 of 25, by alexanrs

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ME is not that bad, really. The main problem in ME is, besides System Restore, that it ships BETA versions of Internet Explorer (and, due to IE integration, a whole Beta shell) and Media Player. The MS-DOS hiding thing is annoying as well. But it have its pros: it ships the best memory manager in the 9x family, a better kernel and updated system files.

In my opinion: if you own both 98se and ME, try installing ME, updating everything you can (WindowsUpdate or mannualy downloading them in MS site) and searching (google) for fixes to reenable the option to startup in DOS mode and to disable System Restore. If you are happy with what you got, stay with it. If not, format the machine and put 98.

If you do not already own them, I suggest using 98, because it will give much less configuration problems: as soon as you disable ActiveDesktop (and it is not even necessary to disable, but I recommend) you are ready to go.

I'm supposing that, in both OSes, the drivers allow you to have sound in DOS boxes and VESA.

Reply 16 of 25, by HunterZ

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I recommend disabling Active Desktop on all versions of Windows because it sucks up lots of resources (memory, CPU, and even graphics speed and network bandwidth depending on what you have on your desktop)

A common use of Active Desktop is to use MSIE for displaying JPEG or GIF wallpapers. I convert them to BMP so I don't have to do that. Scaling looks better too.

Reply 17 of 25, by DosFreak

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Never found much use for Active Desktop....I did play around with it a bit when it first came out but considered it bloatware like everything else......I wonder how much use Active Desktop has gotten over the years? Considering MS's direction with Vista I guess Active Dekstop is probably dead.

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Reply 19 of 25, by CKeene

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I never use jpegs as wallpaper, and disable the option to do so first thing when I install Windows. I don't need all my digital photos showing up in the wallpaper list, it's ridiculous. Besides, jpegs suck as wallpaper (blotchy, full of artifacts) and they have to be decompressed into native bmp format anyway so they are still using as much memory as a nice clear bitmap would. Active Desktop was also bloated and buggy in earlier versions of Windows. As far as Me having better memory support I don't really see it; still has issues with over 512mb just like 98 and having updated system files doesn't mean better system files. In my opinion Me is far far less stable than 98 and eats up more resources. There's really not a single advantage to using it over 98 but there are tons of disadvantages. I'm surprised anyone even rembers Me though, it wasn't around very long at all.