First post, by Holering
Windows 98SE seems to be the best supported legacy OS for 9X games and DOS IMO. It has strong third party support and you can boot into DOS no problem. It's also flexible with drivers and supports USB just fine. If you bought a shiny new AM3+ system (this guide was tested with AM3+) or similar for Windows 98SE, then proceed to install 98SE 😀. Just don't blame me if you erase your 4 terabyte HDD with all your precious stuff, along with blowing up your PC, catching your house on fire and killing people around you; okay?
Windows 98SE with a legal product key
HIMEMX.EXE http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/fre … official-rp.zip
FAT32 Partition with 137GB or less HDD space
BIOS that can boot from cd-rom drive.
IDE emulation via bios (for HDD controller and CD-ROM drive controller)
Legacy USB support for keyboard and mouse
Extract umbpci_e.zip, hiram.zip and himem334-unofficial-rp.zip to a temporary folder (can name it DOS or something like that). Burn the temporary folder to a writable cdrw. You can do this in your favorite OS.
After fat32 partition is ready, and you know what you're doing, copy the Win98 folder from the Windows 98SE CD to the C drive (your fat32 partition). This is needed when 98SE prompts to insert 98 cd during driver installs and you have 32-bit HDD drivers disabled (because 98SE doesn't like modern HDD controllers usually, and Cdrom drives aren't available after setup this way).
Insert your Windows 98SE CD. Reboot PC and boot from CD. Select to "Boot From CD-Rom" choice at startup menu. Select to "Start computer with CD-ROM support" choice at next startup menu. Assuming cd driver letter is D (default), start setup without acpi: [code]D:\win98\setup /pi[/code] When setup initializes it prompts to perform a routine check, hit enter to continue. When scandisk finishes without errors, setup will continue as normal. Proceed with setup until prompted to reboot (when prompted to create startup disk during setup, click next and click cancel to avoid making floppy; and click ok to proceed setup).
This is the hard part... Upon reboot, boot from Windows 98SE cd again: select to "Boot From CD-Rom" choice at startup menu, and select to "Start computer with CD-ROM support" choice at next startup menu. Assuming C is your fat32 drive (which Windows 98SE has just used), go to the windows\command folder and do the following like this: [code]cd C:\windows\command
edit ..\system.ini[/code] Go to [386Enh] section and add some lines so it looks like this: [code][386Enh]
MaxPhysPage=40000[/code] Go to [vcache] section and add some lines so it looks like this: [code][vcache]
MaxFileCache=65536[/code] Do ctrl+S to save system.ini (or save via menu). Open system.cb while you're still in edit (same folder as system.ini), and add the same lines and the missing section headings for those lines so it looks like this: [code]
[/code] Save this file too. Close edit. Swap Windows 98SE CD for the cdrw you burned with the temporary folder. Copy the files from temporary folder in CDRW to your C drive like this (assuming you named temporary folder "DOS"): [code]mkdir C:\DOS
copy D:\DOS\*.* C:\DOS[/code] Change attributes of config.sys in C:\ and open config.sys with edit: [code]attrib -R -H -S C:\config.sys
edit C:\config.sys[/code] Comment out lines containing himem.sys and emm386.exe so they look like this (assuming you installed Windows to default folder): [code];DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
;DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM[/code] Add the following lines under DOS=HIGH,UMB,AUTO so it looks like this: [code]DOS=HIGH,UMB,AUTO
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\HIMEMX.EXE /MAX=2097152[/code] Restore attributes to config.sys: [code]attrib +R +S +H C:\config.sys[/code]
Reboot PC, and boot Windows 98SE in safe mode (can hold right-shift key, or hold f8 during boot). Right-click "My Computer", click properties, go to "Performance" tab in "System Properties" window, and click "File System..." button. Click "Troubleshooting" tab, and click box "Disable all 32-bit protected-mode disk drivers"; click "OK" button and reboot. Proceed with Windows 98SE setup as normal.
Congratulations! You're now in your fresh new Windows 98SE install 😎 .
Install unofficial 48-bit LBA patch from mdgx's site http://www.mdgx.com/files/ATADRV98.EXE. After installing you can now re-enable 32-bit protected-mode disk drivers (clear the checkbox which you previously selected in last step), have DMA for HDD, and access your CD-rom drive.
Personally couldn't use DMA for CD-rom drive. Had to use cd-rom drive via usb to avoid that problem. But it works fine without DMA.
XMSDSK is a great ram drive. You'll probably be limited to 600 megabytes however, because of the system arena problem with 98SE (VMM of 98SE can really only deal with 2GB of ram max). XMSDSK can be found here: http://www.uwe-sieber.de/files/xmsdsk.zip
Rloew has lots of cool things. It cost a very small amount of money. His website is here: http://rloew.x10host.com/. Most interesting is the ram patch (actually all his stuff is interesting 🤣). It fixes the system arena problem with 9x and lets you max out your ram for a ram drive according to him.
Uwe Sieber's homepage is really cool as well! Lots of tools and useful things that you sometimes can't do without. http://www.uwe-sieber.de/util_e.html
VBE driver for almost any video card (even current ones). Allows high color and high resolution. They work great in VirtualBox too. http://www.navozhdeniye.narod.ru/vbe9x.htm
MDGX's website. Tons of patches, tips, and DOS-9x stuff that sometimes you can't be without. http://www.mdgx.com/web.htm
There's many options. Most likely you only have pci slots, so you can buy a pci soundcard for DOS games and a video card with 98SE drivers, but you'll find the soundcard may not work whatsoever in DOS (lack of NMI-DDMA). The only cure to DOS sound is buying a soundcard with Sound Blaster Pro emulation via WDM drivers, and running your DOS games inside 98SE. Many pci soundcards have WDM drivers with Sound Blaster Pro emulation fortunately. Running DOS games inside Windows 98SE with such a card allows you to have sound, and good midi with Microsoft's software midi synthesizer (even if the card doesn't normally have hardware synthesis). Some cards like the Live! offer additional soundfont support for midi, or FM synthesis for others. Some cards like the au8830 (Vortex 2) don't have WDM drivers, but they have high mobo compatibility and functional sound/midi for DOS games inside 98SE via VXD drivers. Most soundcards have problems with VXD drivers for DOS sound/midi in 98SE and don't usually work however, and even when they work there is usually issues due to the low level nature of VXD drivers.
Might change from time to time.