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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger baumgrenze's Avatar
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    XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    I am considering the upgrade from Win98 SE2 (OEM installed software) to XP Home. Win98 has been performing OK, especially if I have RamPage running to manage resources, but I am regularly encountering hardware and software that cannot be used/installed.

    I plan to do the install on a Dell Optiplex GX200 with a 867 mHz processor and 383 MB of RAM. It has three SCSI drives in the box, two 9 GB and one 18 GB in size. In addition I have two Firewire boxes which contain EIDE drives, 20 GB in one and 40 GB in the other. It is clear to me that I need to do some C: drive cleanup to make room for the installation.

    My research tells me that I should do a 'complete backup' before attempting the install. I would like advice regarding just what is advisable and what I software I should use for the process. I bought a copy of Ghost 2001 when it was 'new' software. I tried it a couple of times but I was never confident that I could recover using the backup it created. I do try to make copies of files I create, so that I have backups of them, at least, photos, documents, spreadsheets, email directories, etc.

    I gather that, since I plan to do an upgrade, I need to leave Win98 installed on my machine so that the upgrade software finds it and agrees to the upgrade. Once XP is installed, do I uninstall Win98, or does the upgrade use significant portions of the old OS so that I need to leave the clutter behind? Do I have the option of a 'clean install' on a reformatted disk once I have gone through the upgrade process? It appears to me that I'll need to get all my hardware recognized by the new OS and the potential for a 'tangle' of files and directories is not insignificant.

    In searching for prices, I find that there are eBay sellers who claim to have the 'retail' product (not OEM) for 75-80% of the minimum 'store' price which starts ~$100. Should I anticipate investing in time and effort far more than the $25 I might 'save' if I buy on eBay? Does anyone have advice to offer me that is based on experience?
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    You should get more RAM. Although the official minimum is lower, I consider 512 MB to be the minimum workable RAM for Windows XP. With 383 MB, you'll be swapping memory much of the time as soon as you start running some applications.

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition

    I would never upgrade an OS like you're talking about doing! After the length of time the old OS has been used, you need to do a clean install to get rid of any clutter or garbage that has built up over time. A nice, clean fresh start will pay off in the end. I'm also not sure about all those drives you've got. Those SCSI drives are way too small to serve much data, so I don't know which drive you plan to put XP on. You'll need at least the 20 and I have no experience with what you call "Firewire boxes" so I don't know how that will work.

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    I wouldn't recommend upgrading that PC to Windows XP, there is too little memory, the CPU is barely powerful enough and the disks are too small.

    In summary, it sounds like it was a good balance of hardware for a Windows98 system, but none of it is really up to Windows XP. I would keep the Windows98 system as it is and save up for the possible purchase of a new PC sometime in the future.

    StuartR

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    I have to emphatically agree with Stuart on this. Your old hardware is too old, slow and inadequate for an upgrade to XP. Even if you could get XP loaded on one of those old HDs with a clean install, you would have no room for programs and utilities to protect the installation from virus & malware infection, let alone the resources to run them. And that doesn't even address the issue of programs that you will want for your own reasons (financial, image manipulation, music, etc) or any data that you have or will create.

    Save your <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15> and buy a new PC. I believe Vista will be available in a few days or weeks on many, if not all, new PCs. I don't know how long or even if, the manufacturers will be installing XP on new machines.
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    Doc,

    >>I believe Vista will be available in a few days or weeks

    I was talking to the local Staples store manager and he showed me retail copies of Vista that they already have available in store for sale for the end of the month.
    So it looks like a "go" on that option but as I have said, I'm playing the waiting game on Vista. Nothing that makes me want to rush out on the initial sale day and plunk down my <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15>
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  7. #7
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    Yes, come midnight Monday, Vista will be on the shelves. Yes, some of the stores here in the Greater Seattle area will be open ALL night. Remember that those who are "down under" will be able to get Vista before we do!

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    A friend just told me that he saw one of the Home Shopping Networks selling new PCs today with Vista preinstalled. I suppose with the delay in receiving the system delivery until after tonight @ midnight it's Kosher. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    Kind of like when WIndows 95 came out.
    Stores open at midnight, advance ordering of copies to be received on the release date.
    Long lines at the retail outlets.
    Bragging rights: I got my copy, did you?

    Ah, the good old days! <img src=/S/fanfare.gif border=0 alt=fanfare width=31 height=23> <img src=/S/nope.gif border=0 alt=nope width=15 height=15>
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  10. #10
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    Yes, even some of the BIG OEM's have been taking orders for delivery on Tuesday.
    In todays newspaper Dell has a large add about getting your new laptop with Vista.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition 4.1

    Dave,

    Not sure anyone here cares enough!!

    We are still recovering from our long weekend to celebrate A Day!!

  12. #12
    3 Star Lounger baumgrenze's Avatar
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition

    Thanks to everyone for your replies.

    I should have said that sometime in the next year I will acquire a new PC. At the same time, I do believe that this machine is perfectly adequate for many tasks. The OS upgrade is in response to devices like a WiFi router that won't recognize Win98, or the most recent versions of AdobeReader (and some individuals find that they 'must' use a feature in creating a pdf file that makes the file readable with only the latest and greatest.)

    I was surprised at the vehemence of some of the responses regarding the upgradability of the OptiPlex.

    I checked out an article in PCWorld which I found on CNet.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,78...1/article.html

    It was written on 31 January 2002, shortly after XP was released (10/01). In particular it says, "If your computer is less than a year old, upgrading to Windows XP should be easy." Dell shipped me the OptiPlex in May 2001. It was less than a year old at the time of writing. It was the closest thing Dell had to what I'd purchased (a Dimension 400 which they could not manage to get running correctly again) where the deciding factor was the capability of running SCSI HDD's. They left me with my Win98 OS.

    I also ran the XP Readiness Test mentioned in the article. It is at:

    http://www.pcpitstop.com/xpready/

    The results are in the attached Word file. (PitStopTest.doc)

    Only the HDD space was 'out of line' being far below the "recommended" value. The article told me that I'd need to set aside 1.5 GB of space for the OS.

    Help me understand. Under normal use, Win98 does not often start swapping to the HDD with cached information. It is apparent when I'm running Adobe Photo Deluxe HE.

    Is XP significantly inferior to Win98 in its ability to use memory?

    I set about (but never completed) a project to segregate the operating system to one drive, applications to a second, and created files to a third. It seemed logical to create a setup where defragmentation would be simplified by some of the disks not being filled with scattered files that are often written and deleted. I did manage some segregation. I understand that with the NT file system some of my considerations are now moot. My current system uses FAT32.

    Finally, wouldn't past experience suggest that I should wait at least 3-6 months from now before buying (or assembling) a machine with Vista as the OS? I know that it has taken MS far longer than they wanted to get this product out the door, but that does not reassure me that they will have it 'right' from the get-go.
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  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition

    Baumgrenze,

    I am sorry if my advice came across as vehement, I will try to explain my opinion, but please feel free to try this upgrade and let me know I was wrong.

    I think that Microsoft seriously underestimated the resources needed to run Windows XP, and I know that people who had anything near the minimum requirements found that they couldn't run any applications as well as the operating system! Since then the malware threat has grown to the point where we all need to run anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software, all of which consume more resources. 512MByte of memory is the bare minimum I would accept for running Windows XP now, and 1024 MByte is much more stable and responsive.

    You will probably be able to get Windows XP running on this system, but I think you are likely to find the performance unacceptable.

    I do agree with your opinion about Windows Vista, and I shan't be buying Vista based systems for some months yet.

    Good luck,

    StuartR

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition

    I'll go with Stuart on this - the minimum system requirements that Microsoft publishes are routinely too small to support their software. You might get it running... but that's about all you'll do. Getting the OS running is one thing. User experience is quite another story. XP is newer and requires more system resources.
    <hr>Is XP significantly inferior to Win98 in its ability to use memory?<hr>
    Not at all. In fact, it's FAR better at memory management. But it's designed to run on much newer hardware than Windows 98. None of the developers at Microsoft are using a machine of the class you describe.

    Remember that the main reason Microsoft took so long to get Vista out the door is because they completely restarted the development cycle halfway between the release of the previous Windows version and now. It's not at all because they were focused on getting it perfect, it's because they promised the world and found out that they couldn't deliver on those promises. For roughly the first year, the early adopters are going to be fighting the compatibility battles as the rest of the software industry catches up and updates their offerings to make them run better (or at all) on the new Windows.
    -Mark

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: XP Upgrade - Advice (Windows 98 Second Edition

    I too apologize if my response sounded a bit harsh. But as Stuart and Mark have indicated, in the real world, XP is too resource intensive to run properly on the hardware Microsoft recommends. Further, as I stated in my previous post, with the malware threat and the need for software that must run in real time along side the OS in order to provide the protection you need, your old system just isn't up to the task.

    MS has always seemed to understate the resource needs of it's OS's and they seem to be doing it again with Vista. From the reports I've heard, you'd better have at least a gig of RAM, and two gigs would be better, to run Vista and all the applications and programs you want and need. It is also a good strategy to wait awhile before moving to Vista to give the rest of the developers time to make their software work and play well with Vista. There are sure to be conflicts and problems. Past is prologue.
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