PDA

View Full Version : Need help building a DOS machine



esquire
02-10-2010, 11:12 PM
Okay, so I've read all the other threads on cpus, mobos and soundcards, and have decided to go with a 486 DX2/66 or a DX4/100, and a mobo that has ISA and PCI. AGP is not needed. I won an AWE 64 ISA off ebay for $3, and I have some older IDE hard drives, including a 15GB Maxtor, which I think should do the trick. I also have an old 5.25 and a 3.5 floppy drive lying around, as well as a 52x CD-Rom drive.

I am going to pick up an AT case w/ power supply from a local shop. Memory is abundant on ebay. My question on memory is whether there were compatibility issues with certain brands of memory and certain mobos that I should be aware of? Finding a memory compatibility list for a 15-20 year old mobo may be difficult.

After memory, I have to find a video card, and decide whether to dual boot with Win 3.1, Win 95 or Win 98. I have Win 95, 95B, 98 and 98SE.

So my questions to those of you experienced in building these things are:

1. Do I go ISA or PCI with the video card?
2. What cards do you recommend?
3. Should I add a Voodoo card for Win 95/98 games? Will that cause problems in DOS
4. Which version of Windows should I use - I see some choose 95 and other choose 98. Is it simply an availability issue? Is there any benefit to going with Win 3.1?

Thanks for any help.

Soviet Conscript
02-10-2010, 11:50 PM
Okay, so I've read all the other threads on cpus, mobos and soundcards, and have decided to go with a 486 DX2/66 or a DX4/100, and a mobo that has ISA and PCI. AGP is not needed. I won an AWE 64 ISA off ebay for $3, and I have some older IDE hard drives, including a 15GB Maxtor, which I think should do the trick. I also have an old 5.25 and a 3.5 floppy drive lying around, as well as a 52x CD-Rom drive.

I am going to pick up an AT case w/ power supply from a local shop. Memory is abundant on ebay. My question on memory is whether there were compatibility issues with certain brands of memory and certain mobos that I should be aware of? Finding a memory compatibility list for a 15-20 year old mobo may be difficult.

After memory, I have to find a video card, and decide whether to dual boot with Win 3.1, Win 95 or Win 98. I have Win 95, 95B, 98 and 98SE.

So my questions to those of you experienced in building these things are:

1. Do I go ISA or PCI with the video card?
2. What cards do you recommend?
3. Should I add a Voodoo card for Win 95/98 games? Will that cause problems in DOS
4. Which version of Windows should I use - I see some choose 95 and other choose 98. Is it simply an availability issue? Is there any benefit to going with Win 3.1?

Thanks for any help.

i've been knee deep in this stuff lately so i can give you a fresh opinion from the trenchs of 90's computeing

depends on what type of machine your building....from the specs it kinda sounds like a "jack of all trades master of none"

my advice is to make seperate pc's. for diffrent periods, specialize. though i do understand cost/space may make this impractical. IMHO your cpu is to slow to run alot of later windows games so i'm not sure how useful a voodoo would even be and even then you would need to pair it with a pci 2d card anyways.

to answer you though

1) if you have PCI slots use them for the video card
2) any 1 or 2 MB video card will do fine but i hear good things about ones that use the tseng chipset
3) if your running windows mays well use a voodoo. you have to pair it with a 2d card anyways so i don't think it would interfere in DOS since it wouldn't really be "active" unless your running a game that uses its 3D features.
4)if your going to do windows though just run win98se, many consider it the best "classic" windows sporting good compatibility with dos, stability and features.

but really if your going to go the windows route and intend to play some later games like 3d FPS's along with the DOS stuff i would go for a 200-400mhtz cpu. oh yhea. you may also be limited to 32 or 64mb ram with that MB which also is ok but not ideal if you plan on playing later 90's games

Blanka789
02-11-2010, 02:09 AM
My opinion is that a Voodoo 3 along with Windows 98 is probably the best solution for that mixture of current convenience and classic compatibility. Oh, and go with PCI over ISA.

Lerxstnj
02-11-2010, 07:41 AM
Speaking from experience... I would skip Windows altogether. You don't need it in a system mainly for DOS apps. It will only slow everything down, fill up the hard drive, and be more unstable.

phreakindee
02-11-2010, 10:19 AM
Agreed, you will only run into headaches with Windows of any kind if you want to play DOS games. Conflicting drivers, memory managers and incorrectly-setup MS-DOS Modes/config.sys will be the bane of your existance. Even with 3.1 (which is installed as an app in DOS, not dual-booted) you may have some problems with conventional memory for DOS games in DOS 5/6 for instance depending on how you have it set (falling below the 576k conventional limit for instance - you'll likely need to run MemMaker to correct this when installing 3.1).

A voodoo is a nice card for those few early Windows 95 and DOS games that use it, but not with a 486 by any means. They were made to be paired with a Pentium processor, many of them with an MMX version. If you want DOS games with a 486, get a good 2D PCI card without Windows and be done with it. I use a 1MB-2MB Ati or S3 card usually and I've never run into serious problems with 90's games and DOS 6.22

As far as memory compatibility, I can't say I've ever run into much trouble with certain brands on certain boards from that period. Just avoid RAM posted as "generic" and go with trusted brands like Kingston, Toshiba, NEC and others. Mostly you'll run into trouble with the proper memory types, since right before the mid-late-90's EDO DRAM you had several types: SIMM, 72-pin SIMM (EDO, BEDO), DIMM, SODIMM etc. Still, I've never had too much trouble just typing in serial and model numbers into Google and getting the info I need. You'd be surprised how much of this stuff is still really easy to find out.

I made a video on this subject recently for my online show Lazy Game Reviews, which goes into many other aspects.

What DOS PC Should You Buy/Build? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxMXJd4GDyc)

Jorpho
02-11-2010, 10:36 AM
The big question you have to answer is, what exactly do you want to do? The less specific you are, the more complicated and ugly things are going to get.


I have some older IDE hard drives, including a 15GB Maxtor, which I think should do the trick.Older motherboards have severe problems with hard drives larger than 8 GB. FAT16 MS-DOS 6.22 partitions can't be larger than 2 GB anyway (though you could deal with FAT32 drivers if you really wanted to).


My question on memory is whether there were compatibility issues with certain brands of memory and certain mobos that I should be aware of? Finding a memory compatibility list for a 15-20 year old mobo may be difficult.I doubt you'll have problems with brands, but certainly 486 motherboards could be very picky about exactly what size SIMMs you can put in and where. Hopefully this information is silk-screened on the motherboard somewhere. If not, you may have a problem.


After memory, I have to find a video card, and decide whether to dual boot with Win 3.1, Win 95 or Win 98. I have Win 95, 95B, 98 and 98SE.There is no reason to use anything other than 98SE or 3.1. As long as you install MS-DOS 6.22 first, you can also keep them neatly out of the way whenever you just want to use DOS. But I doubt there's anything that requires Win9x that you would want to run on a 486, and the need for Windows 3.1 depends on whether you have anything that requires Windows 3.1 that you want to run.

esquire
02-11-2010, 06:29 PM
Get a good 2D PCI card without Windows and be done with it. I use a 1MB-2MB Ati or S3 card usually and I've never run into serious problems with 90's games and DOS 6.22

Any particular model recommendations? Is the ATI card the Xpert or VIP? What about Matrox cards? I suppose 16 or 32 MB is overkill, but there are some cheap Matrox G400's out there, as well as some ATI Mach 64s and Rage 128s even.

I mainly plan on playing the Ultima series on this thing, and some others like Red Baron, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake.

The Windows part is for some of the games that ran in Windows and Dos, such as Ultima VIII and some Windows only games. If you guys are suggesting stay away from running DOS and Windows on the same machine, I guess that is not a problem. I have an Athlon XP 1800 Socket A setup I can run Windows 98 on with any of the following AGP video cards - Riva TNT2 Ultra, Geforce 2, Geforce 3 Ti, Geforce 6200 and Geforce 6800 - are 6200 and 6800 too fast for some of those older games running in 98? I never used the 6200 or 6800 in 98, only in XP. I guess the safe bet would be the TNT2Ultra or Geforce 2 or 3. BTW, if anyone needs one of my spares, let me know. I may be listing them soon to make room.

Here is what I have so far for the DOS rig:

Asus PVI-486AP4 Socket 3 mobo
486DX4 100mhz cpu w/ heatsink (no fan)
Creative Labs AWE 64 ISA soundcard
3.5 Floppy
5.25 Floppy
CD-Rom

Next is memory, and now it looks like I'll need a smaller HD per Jorpho's recommendation. I threw out all my 8GB and under HDs years ago. :shameful:

Jorpho
02-11-2010, 07:53 PM
Any particular model recommendations? Is the ATI card the Xpert or VIP?I'd never even heard of the ATI VIP before. If that's early SVGA technology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Video_Graphics_Array), it's likely to have all kinds of problems.


If you guys are suggesting stay away from running DOS and Windows on the same machine, I guess that is not a problem.I have no idea why people are saying that; if for example you have Windows 3.1 and you want to run a DOS game, you can just exit Windows and the DOS game would never know Windows was there! Things are only slightly more complex with Win9x.


I have an Athlon XP 1800 Socket A setup I can run Windows 98 on with any of the following AGP video cards - Riva TNT2 Ultra, Geforce 2, Geforce 3 Ti, Geforce 6200 and Geforce 6800 - are 6200 and 6800 too fast for some of those older games running in 98? I never used the 6200 or 6800 in 98, only in XP. I guess the safe bet would be the TNT2Ultra or Geforce 2 or 3.I've never heard of video cards being "too fast". Certainly, there are tons of problems with newer cards being incompatible with older games - or rather, with newer cards being unable to support older, more compatible driver versions. I think the cards in question would be newer than what you're looking at, though.

and now it looks like I'll need a smaller HD per Jorpho's recommendation.Well, a bigger hard drive might still work - just as long as you're not expecting to use its entire capacity.

phreakindee
02-11-2010, 09:10 PM
I have no idea why people are saying that; if for example you have Windows 3.1 and you want to run a DOS game, you can just exit Windows and the DOS game would never know Windows was there! Things are only slightly more complex with Win9x.

The reason I mention it, in regards to Win9x, is the fact that many pre-1994 DOS games can run into problems with memory management under Windows 9x "Dos Mode". It's not true DOS and often you'll run into glitchy sound, low memory depending on how you have things set up in config.sys, driver issues with sound and video devices, and such. With pure DOS all you have to do is get proper hardware, proper DOS drivers if needed and possibly run MemMaker and you're set. I've run into infinitely less problems in true DOS when compared to Win9x DOS. Windows 3.1 isn't nearly as big of a problem, since you install it as an app in DOS. The only problem is when it screws with your startup config, and then it can conflict with memory management which some DOS games hate.

Jorpho
02-11-2010, 11:00 PM
The reason I mention it, in regards to Win9x, is the fact that many pre-1994 DOS games can run into problems with memory management under Windows 9x "Dos Mode".For starters, if MS-DOS 6.22 is installed before Win9x, it will automatically set up a very convenient boot option that will allow you too boot into MS-DOS 6.22 without any traces of Windows.

Secondly, MS-DOS mode is pretty darn close to true DOS anyway! It is nothing like opening a command prompt while Win9x is running, and it is absolutely nothing like the "virtual DOS machine" of 2K/XP/Vista.


It's not true DOS and often you'll run into glitchy sound, low memory depending on how you have things set up in config.sys, driver issues with sound and video devices, and such.This, good sir, is bullcrap!


The only problem is when it screws with your startup config, and then it can conflict with memory management which some DOS games hate.Offhand, I cannot recall of a situation where this happens, but even if it does, setting up multiple boot configurations with MS-DOS 6.22 is trivial anyway.

phreakindee
02-11-2010, 11:23 PM
Okay, Win9x installs what is more commonly known as "DOS 7" and is not the same things as DOS 6.22 - it is great for many things, but simply does not work for others. Try running a game like Fire & Ice or Jill of the Jungle on many machines in Dos mode and you'll have some maddening problems. Most games are fine though. It all depends on your hardware and software to go with it. There are immense variations during that time period.

I have about 50 DOS systems I've built and 7 that I have currently in my home. I'm not just spewing crap as you say, but am speaking from a lot of experience with many various PCs using DOS 5, 6, 3.x, Windows 95, OSR2, 98, 98SE, ME, NT and others.

It all depends on your hardware and software configuration - if it's not ideal you will have choppy/glitchy sound, incompatible or imperfect video and memory problems such as with certain games from Epic which require 576k of conventional memory free. If your configuration for DOS is not correct or the drivers don't play nice then for certain sound cards, CD-ROMs, mice etc, you will have annoying as piss issues with Windows 9x, since it does NOT work in exactly the same way as a true DOS OS. I don't know the exact reasons why, but the same computer with Windows 98 for instance can have some serious issues with many games but with DOS installed only it is just fine. Again, results may vary - it all really depends on what you're using exactly. For most a Win9x Ms-Dos prompt is fine. For me with the thousands of games I have, it is not enough and I have my various machines for each particular setup that I need.

Windows 3.1 can install itself, depending on the mode (memory-enhanced modes, EMM386, EMS etc), in such a way that conflicts with many DOS games. It's a relatively small list in the grand scheme, but it exists. If it is set up to start as soon as DOS loads, sometimes it leaves traces of the memory setup it was using in Windows still running (this is uncommon though). These can certainly be avoided, but if you just let Win3.1 install to its default settings, you may have issues, you may not.
Xargon is an example - if you have some extended memory managers running the game won't work or it will have slow, garbled or glitchy sound. This can be amplified by a Win9x version of DOS and its drivers or configuration which, under some circumstances, causes even more issues such as freezing the machine. Mostly it has to due with coding of these certain games and how they respond to these memory managers and drivers used, especially in regards to those that are made to be compatible with later revisions of Windows.

Jorpho
02-11-2010, 11:49 PM
Okay, Win9x installs what is more commonly known as "DOS 7" and is not the same things as DOS 6.22 - it is great for many things, but simply does not work for others. Try running a game like Fire & Ice or Jill of the Jungle on many machines in Dos mode and you'll have some maddening problems.Sir, I do not know what you are talking about. Are you suggesting that games will run substantially differently on a computer booted with a Windows 98 startup disk than when the same computer is booted with an MS-DOS 6.22 startup disk, even if they are using an identical config.sys and autoexec.bat?


It all depends on your hardware and software configuration - if it's not ideal you will have choppy/glitchy sound, incompatible or imperfect video and memory problems such as with certain games from Epic which require 576k of conventional memory free.This much is true, but it makes no difference whether you are using DOS 6.22 or DOS 7!


Windows 3.1 can install itself, depending on the mode (memory-enhanced modes, EMM386, EMS etc), in such a way that conflicts with many DOS games.Then as I said, you set up multiple boot configurations. There are plenty of DOS games that require specific memory configurations that conflict with other DOS games, too!

If it is set up to start as soon as DOS loads, sometimes it leaves traces of the memory setup it was using in Windows still running (this is uncommon though).This doesn't even make sense gramatically.

esquire
02-12-2010, 12:16 AM
I'd never even heard of the ATI VIP before. If that's early SVGA technology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Video_Graphics_Array), it's likely to have all kinds of problems.

It (ATI VIP) was an ISA card, I was mistaken. I ended up finding a S3 Virge DX PCI real cheap, so I bought it. I heard the S3 Virge and Trio are good for 2D gaming. I may pick up a Cirrus Logic card as well, just to experiment.

I currently have DOS 6.2, not 6.22, on disc. Is there much of a difference?

Jorpho
02-12-2010, 08:03 AM
I currently have DOS 6.2, not 6.22, on disc. Is there much of a difference?One has DoubleSpace, the other has DriveSpace. So if you never use drive compression (and why on Earth would you?), then there is no difference at all.

You ought to be able to find the relevant 6.22 upgrade disks somewhere on Microsoft's web site anyway. Said disks will upgrade any version of MS-DOS 6, free and legally.

phreakindee
02-12-2010, 07:18 PM
Are you suggesting that games will run substantially differently on a computer booted with a Windows 98 startup disk than when the same computer is booted with an MS-DOS 6.22 startup disk, even if they are using an identical config.sys and autoexec.bat?

No. I'm not talking about boot disks at all. I was referring to the difference between MS-DOS Mode and true MS-DOS. There is a difference and some, not many, titles will notice. For me, it's simpler to deal with real DOS than to deal with the potential problems of MS-DOS Mode. Boot disks are something entirely different, since that bypasses all of these issues.

Jorpho
02-13-2010, 01:20 AM
Boot disks are something entirely different, since that bypasses all of these issues.Putting aside config.sys and autoexec.bat, the environment you get when you boot up with a startup disk is precisely identical to the environment you get when you select "Command prompt only" from the Windows 9x boot menu, or when you select "Restart in MS-DOS mode" from the Shutdown menu. In either case there is absolutely no trace of Win9x in memory. This is not the same as starting an MS-DOS command prompt from within Win9x.

phreakindee
02-13-2010, 09:44 AM
Putting aside config.sys and autoexec.bat...

That's the whole point though. Many users can often get something screwed up with their 9x configs which conflicts what they really need for high compatibility for true DOS programs, and the point of a boot disk for many is to not have to worry about Win9x startups (like 95/DOS-compatible sound drivers for instance, which don't always work as well as true DOS drivers).
These configs are the entire point of a boot disk, at least for me, so honestly the rest is a moot point. That's why starting a computer back in MS-DOS mode can be just fine - because you can give it a specific configuration that is better suited for DOS without having to worry about excess stuff for Windows.

Sometimes. But not all the time. Again, because DOS and DOS mode just work slightly differently. Sure there are arguable specifics as to WHY, but honestly who cares if it sometimes doesn't work in Windows and you don't NEED Windows then why stick with it? Xargon in true DOS is again an example. It's fine in true DOS. It will not start on all machines in MS-DOS Mode or even restarted into a custom config.sys/autoexec. It all depends on the machine and its hardware and driver configuration. I don't see a point in arguing back and forth over variables.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. More often than not it works. But in nearly two decades of screwing with this and arguing these points, I've found that there are times it simply does not work as well in Windows 9x as it does in true MS-DOS, putting aside the fact that it should be just the same under ideal circumstances, it's just not always. This is why so many people (posted above and elsewhere) recommend you skip Windows installs altogether if you want a lot of DOS stuff, because you will simply get the maximum compatibility with a minimum of hassle.

I'm not arguing this unimportant point and hijacking this guy's thread any longer. MS-DOS can work better for some, Windows is just fine for most.

Jorpho
02-13-2010, 09:55 AM
That's the whole point though. Many users can often get something screwed up with their 9x configs which conflicts what they really need for high compatibility for true DOS programsYou can load up DOS sound card drivers in your Win9x autoexec.bat/config.sys, and your sound card will be available if you start up or "restart" in MS-DOS mode, precisely as if you had used a boot disk.

like 95/DOS-compatible sound drivers for instance, which don't always work as well as true DOS drivers).I know of exactly one package from Creative Labs that could possibly fit the bill of being "95/DOS-compatible", and the files it contains are pretty much exactly the same as the DOS drivers. There is no difference between "DOS-compatible" and "true DOS" - it's either DOS or it isn't!

I'm not arguing this unimportant point and hijacking this guy's thread any longer.Well, regardless of your two decades of experience, you're wrong, and I just think everyone should know that.

phreakindee
02-13-2010, 10:09 AM
Well, regardless of your two decades of experience, you're wrong, and I just think everyone should know that.
I'm wrong about not wanting to hijack someone's topic? Wow.

Two bonafide losers arguing over semantics helps nobody and I apologize for the two of us. Now then...

To the original poster: it sounds like you've got the system you want, and that's great. On the OP, now that I think about it practically and seeing it's pointless to talk with someone with more than 10,000 posts, it doesn't seem like with the 486 system you're going for that having Windows makes sense at all.

Here's why:
To really take advantage of what Windows 95 offers (DirectX/OpenGL), and even more so with Win98, you simply need a much faster processor to match up with most of the games. And if you do that, the point of making a machine for DOS is simply lost.
There are several games that run too fast, with errors or refuse to work at all on a late-life Pentium 1 or higher. There are solutions such as Mo'Slo but they aren't perfect by any means and can result in serious choppiness (Jazz Jackrabbit and Tyrian come to mind instantly). There are patches, but for DOS purists like myself those are annoying. Combined with the potential issues with using a Windows 9x config, it seems DOS is the obvious choice for a 486. I have two systems with almost identical chips and while you can run Windows 95 on them, it doesn't mean it works out all that well and honestly I'm just left wishing I had a system made for it.

That's my opinion, due to actual experience.

PC-ENGINE HELL
02-13-2010, 01:01 PM
Weird you'd mention the speed issue/choppiness thing, esp with Jazz Jackrabbit. I could swear I never had any issues with that game, and my Dos gaming system is running on a K6-3 400mhz. Im really going to have to pull that one back out and play it again to be sure. The only games I ever have run into any kind of real speed issues (too slow/too fast/non working) is Out of This World or Mortal Kombat 2. Possibly a few others i can tthink of right now. The fix though? Restart in DOS from 98. Granted I dont play much any DOS stuff thats older then 91-92. Anything before that time frame doesn't really interest me, except maybe Silpheed. But I mean, yea I have tons of stuff sitting there on my system, everything runs great, no complaints.

In regards to that, a friend of mine has a kinda similar machine built speed wise, except he uses a Pentium 3 Slot 1 BX system, and runs it specifically in DOS only. He runs alot older stuff then me, and Ive never heard him complain of having any issues. Its great there are 386 and 486 enthusiast out there still who like to build those systems, and tinker with stuff like the math-co processors, turbo modes, ect. But honestly you really don't have to go that route specifically for DOS. The people who do are really just trying to be period correct with the hardware and look of their computer for the timeline the software was released.

Understandable for sure, but not required by any means, and only a good idea if you plan to just play DOS stuff from early 95 and prior. That and I can promise you this, you will suffer on older 386/486 when running later Dos titles like Carmageddon, Chasm: The Rift, Doom, Duke Nukem3D, Quake, ect. Even Pentium 90/AMD K5 hardware is skating on thin ice with those kinda titles. If you do run into a clock syncronized game you just gotta play on newer hardware, use Moslo.

phreakindee
02-13-2010, 03:16 PM
Weird you'd mention the speed issue/choppiness thing, esp with Jazz Jackrabbit. I could swear I never had any issues with that game.

Mainly referring to the Turbo Pascal errors, as described here (http://www.jazz2online.com/jcf/archive/index.php?t-14398.html). It occurs on most processors newer than a Pentium II.

Jorpho
02-13-2010, 04:55 PM
oh i can't resist
There are patches, but for DOS purists like myself those are annoying.Because everything else about maintaining "DOS purity" isn't annoying at all..?

Push Upstairs
02-14-2010, 04:10 AM
For the OP:

A 486DX2/66 and Windows 95 I would not recommend. My parents had a 486SX (DX?)/66 and we got someone to put Win95 on it and it was kind of sluggish, and that was with 12megs of RAM.

You might be better off with the /100 if you wanna go the Win95 route.

esquire
02-14-2010, 10:02 AM
Well the deal for the Socket 3 motherboard and 486DX1/100 went south, so I still need a mobo and CPU. Seeing that Socket 3 mobos are hard to come by, I may step up to a Pentium I or II.

On a side note, I know support for Win 98 is dead as of 2006, but you should be able to still download whatever updates they did post at one time, correct? I logged onto Windows update with my Athlon XP 98SE machine, coming off a fresh install and kept getting an error after I scanned for updates.

Jorpho
02-14-2010, 10:24 AM
On a side note, I know support for Win 98 is dead as of 2006, but you should be able to still download whatever updates they did post at one time, correct? I logged onto Windows update with my Athlon XP 98SE machine, coming off a fresh install and kept getting an error after I scanned for updates.I would strongly suggest some of the third-party unofficial "service packs" that have come out in the last four years: they neatly bundle together everything you might need.

www.mdgx.com has all the useful links, as well as tons of other nifty information about older versions of Windows and DOS. (Pity the site is kind of difficult to navigate.)

PC-ENGINE HELL
02-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Well the deal for the Socket 3 motherboard and 486DX1/100 went south, so I still need a mobo and CPU. Seeing that Socket 3 mobos are hard to come by, I may step up to a Pentium I or II.

On a side note, I know support for Win 98 is dead as of 2006, but you should be able to still download whatever updates they did post at one time, correct? I logged onto Windows update with my Athlon XP 98SE machine, coming off a fresh install and kept getting an error after I scanned for updates.

Download and install Internet Explorer 6.1 first. Also make sure your time/calender are set correctly. I know that sounds like it wouldn't make any difference, but it does for some odd reason. As recommended also, you can nab third party bundles that tend to work well. Hardware wise you can always nab a Super Socket 7 AMD K6-2 combo cheap, or a Slot-1 Pentium 2-3 combo using the 440BX chipset. Either would serve you well, and you wouldn't be as limited on hardware choices.

Push Upstairs
02-14-2010, 03:23 PM
On a side note, I know support for Win 98 is dead as of 2006, but you should be able to still download whatever updates they did post at one time, correct? I logged onto Windows update with my Athlon XP 98SE machine, coming off a fresh install and kept getting an error after I scanned for updates.

There is a 3rd party "Windows98 Service Pack 2.1" that includes all the updates and hotfixes released for Win98 (or so I've been told). One install is better than trying to get a bunch of various ones.

esquire
02-14-2010, 05:18 PM
Download and install Internet Explorer 6.1 first.

The problem is, I can't even download IE 6.1 from MS' website. Everytime I go to the webpage with the download, IE 5 crashes and closes.

I have several K6-2s and IIIs cpus that I kept over the years, but I threw away all the mobos back in the day. Who knew I would be regretting that now.

Jorpho
02-14-2010, 07:19 PM
Download and install Internet Explorer 6.1 first.There is no IE 6.1 . The latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows 98 was IE 6 Service Pack 1.


The problem is, I can't even download IE 6.1 from MS' website. Everytime I go to the webpage with the download, IE 5 crashes and closes.mdgx.com provides several direct links to the full version (as opposed to the web installer):
ftp://ftp.qut.edu.au/pub/mirrors/microsoft/ie/6.0sp1/ie60sp1.exe
ftp://131.181.118.243/pub/mirrors/microsoft/ie/6.0sp1/ie60sp1.exe

PC-ENGINE HELL
02-14-2010, 08:34 PM
There is a 3rd party "Windows98 Service Pack 2.1" that includes all the updates and hotfixes released for Win98 (or so I've been told). One install is better than trying to get a bunch of various ones.

Yea I have that on hand, it offers a few extra things too if I remember right, including a new start up and shut off screen.


There is no IE 6.1 . The latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows 98 was IE 6 Service Pack 1.
".1" was just short for service pack one lol. Was being lazy, was in the middle of some soldering work and didn't feel like typing out the full name. Short cuts short cuts short cuts lol.

Push Upstairs
02-15-2010, 03:34 AM
I dunno how you could stand using a 10yr old PC on today's internet. I tried both my 500mhz and an 800mhz and they both were pretty damn sluggish on today's media heavy sites.

Then again I'm used to a dual core 2.4Ghz with 4gig of ram, the step back would be pretty jarring.

esquire
02-23-2010, 01:34 AM
Since my 486 deal fell through, I've managed to come into possession of several machines that my brother had lying around:

Gateway Pentium 120, w/ 1 GB and 10 GB HDs, Matrox MG400 PCI, Ensoniq Soundscape Opus ISA, NIC, Modem, memory, floppy and CD-Rom with Windows 95 installed

Dell Celeron 500 MHz w/ Win 98 (don't know the rest of the particulars)

Dell PIII 1 GHz w/ Win 98 (don't know the rest of the particulars)

Parts stripped from a PII Slot 1 (case defective)

The Celeron is pretty up to date with Win 98 (as opposed to the problem I was having with my Athlon XP which wouldn't update off the MS Update).

I tried installing DOS 6.2 on the P120's 1 GB. I am running into problems with games like Ultima 7, not enough system memory, so I need to run a boot disk. I also need to find a DOS mouse driver for my Logitech Wheel Mouse - suggestions?

Lastly, the Ensoniq sound card is causing me problems. Its PNP and I am having difficulty figuring out the IRQ in DOS. It's allegedly SB Pro compatible, but I can't get it to work in Ultima 7, partly because of the IRQ issue. I am thinking of switching over to either a SB AWE 64 ISA, or Aureal Vortex 2 PCI.

Jorpho
02-23-2010, 08:02 AM
Ultima 7 is one of the most excruciatingly persnickety games you might ever want to run. I suggest you consult one of the many online guides on the subject (http://members.iinet.net.au/~rsd/ looks pretty nifty - remember to use archive.org for dead links), and then just get out a normal PC and use Exult. :p

I could very well be wrong on this, but as I recall, Ultima 7 cannot be run if an expanded memory manager is loaded, and the DOS drivers used by PCI Ensoniq or Creative Labs soundcards require expanded memory. It may be impossible to circumvent this conflict.

I can tell you that some people have apparently had success with Ultima 7 and UMBPCI , a utility which creates upper memory blocks without expanded memory, but I don't know the details and I don't think it will help with the sound card issue.

As for mouse drivers, CuteMouse (http://cutemouse.sourceforge.net/) is the only thing worth bothering with, unless you have some kind of perverse longing for authentic Logitech DOS drivers for your DOS experience. :p (Of course, CuteMouse won't work with USB devices, and you should not count on a USB-to-PS2 adapter to work with all mice - but I guess a lot of Logitech products still include one of those.)

And don't forget that setting up multiple configurations with DOS 6.2 is a fairly trivial matter, so you need not necessarily deal with a boot disk.

Ze_ro
02-23-2010, 06:51 PM
For whatever help it might be, I've attached my startup files... It starts up with a menu that allows picking between EMM386, QEMM (a third party replacement), or no memory manager at all (specifically for U7). Don't just drop these onto your system and expect them to work though, as your stuff may be in different places and whatnot, but it might give you some hints on how to tweak your own system.

If you don't want to go through all the trouble of setting up a menu, you can always cheat and hit F8 when the "Starting MS-DOS" message comes up, and DOS will step through your setup files asking for confirmation on each step. Simply skipping the EMM386 line might be good enough to get Ultima 7 running as long as you don't use too many other TSR's.

Even with all the drivers I load, I still manage to get 634k free with QEMM, and 610k free with EMM386 (some programs, such as Windows 3.1, are not compatible with QEMM, so EMM386 is sometimes necessary). My U7 setup leaves me with only 580k free, but this seems to be enough for Ultima 7, so I haven't made any attempts to better than. Just as a test, I tried disabling my sound drivers, and I got sound in the game anyways, so I really have no idea what those sound drivers even do aside from wasting about 30k of memory.

One thing you might notice is this little bit:

FILES=40
DOS=HIGH,UMB
LASTDRIVE=F
FCBS=4,0
STACKS=9,256
I'm never quite sure how much (if at all) this affects free memory, but if you leave some of these out, I think DOS will use excessively large values by default. If you need to squeeze a few extra kilobytes of memory out of your system, you might want to try fiddling with these settings... you certainly don't need buffers for a drive Z: that will never exist! If you set FILES or STACKS too low, some programs (including games) will complain, so it's tough to find a good balance.

Quite a bit of memory can be saved by ditching the default MS-DOS mouse and CD-ROM drivers. Instead, use CuteMouse (http://cutemouse.sourceforge.net/) and SHSUCDX (http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/dos/shsucdx/). Of course, if you're trying to get Ultima 7 running, then skip the CD-ROM drivers entirely, as they're just wasting memory for a device that the game will not use.

--Zero

lothropdefency
04-28-2010, 01:04 PM
I currently have DOS 6.2, not 6.22, on disc. Is there much of a difference?

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=96cc3197-b7e5-4b31-badb-ddaac771295f&displaylang=en

from what i've read those files should update your dos to 6.22