First post, by MaximRecoil
Whenever I've installed Windows 98 SE, I always get an hourglass beside the mouse pointer for 10 or 15 seconds after the desktop loads. It does that from the very first boot on a fresh install, and I've never been able to fix it, not even by disabling every startup item in msconfig. Windows 98 FE doesn't do that; as soon as the desktop loads it's ready to go.
The other day I decided to try a 32 GB CompactFlash card instead of the old Maxtor 80 GB HDD I was using. Since the CF card should be a lot faster than the HDD, I thought that might eliminate SE's hourglassing. The results were terrible. Not only did it not eliminate the hourglassing, but SE ran like garbage on it. Copying a somewhat large file like the IE6 installation took about 2 minutes (whereas it only took several seconds on the old HDD) and while it was copying, the mouse pointer would intermittently freeze/lag. The pointer would freeze/lag every time there was any significant disk activity, and it did it both before and after I'd installed the drivers (video card, sound, etc.)
Before giving up on the CF card I decided to try Windows 98 FE, not that I really expected it to make a difference, but amazingly, it ran beautifully. The file copy that took several seconds on the HDD and 2 minutes on the CF card with 98 SE, was instantaneous with 98 FE, and there was no mouse pointer freezing/lagging no matter how much disk activity was going on. I did a benchmark to see how it compared with the HDD and here are the results (HDD on the left, CF card on the right, 98 FE in both cases):
I wish I'd done a benchmark with 98 SE on the CF card but I didn't think of it before wiping it to install FE instead.
Does anyone know what it is about 98 SE that made it run so poorly on the CF card while 98 FE runs so great on the same CF card and same computer hardware?
The computer consists of:
Asus A7A266 motherboard
AMD Athlon XP 2600+ CPU
1 GB DDR RAM
SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB CF card plus IDE adapter with DMA support