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[SOLVED] Building my Retro Gaming beast...a little help pls.

 
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themacmeister
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:19 pm     Post subject: [SOLVED] Building my Retro Gaming beast...a little help pls. Reply with quote

I am putting together a gaming beast that I wish to have DOS/Win98 installed on. It is a Celeron 2.4GHz, 1GB RAM, 115GB HDD (with possible 80GB HDD #2) both IDE of course, Radeon 9200 AGP (64MB?), 3Dfx Voodoo 1 (800x600 max @ 16bit), PS/2 keyboard, USB mouse with adaptor.

Current screen is my 1920x1080 24" Benq LED LCD, and it is a wonderful screen. I will try and source a nice 17" CRT monitor in the future.

I made the mistake (?) of installing Win98se directly, and getting USB2 and mass storage working with all drivers, and now I discover I should have installed DOS6.22 first. I'm sure DOS will not go on my 115GB FAT32 HDD, so I will need to partition first.

PS. I know there is a Glide-enabled DosBOX build (which I have), so if you think I would be better off running DosBOX under Win98, please let me know (I can also switch back to USB keyboard, and use USB joystick in games etc.). I will hold off formatting until I get enough feedback.

Any help much appreciated. Thanks peeps. This is a great site.


Last edited by themacmeister on Thu May 01, 2014 8:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dosraider
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:06 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

A total overkill.
Wrong PC for dos. Could do for W98SE, but even then, an overkill.

No ISA slot for soundcard? Meh
CPU: too fast for many dos softs Meh
RAM: total overkill, even some W98 will choke on that. Meh
(some W98 software won't even run on +500MB RAM. In theory W98 can handle 2GB RAM, and most softs will be happy with that, but in fact due to programming flaws some softs block on 512 MB :/ has to see with the page handles, tech stuff really really boooooring .... )

Your monitor may be a 'wonderful screen' as you said, but seriously, 1920x1080, 24" for dosgamies...????? You will be much happier and get better results with a 17 or max 19" basic 4x3 LCD, can be a CRT but that isn't obligatory, those former 4x3 LCDs can cope nicely with dosgames. (and are cheap as dirt secondhand)

Sorry, but your start point is flawed and you'll get a lot of trubbles with that hardware. Meh

Ah well, if you want multi boot:
Or:
You will need a good partition manager that can handle FAT16.
Google around , you'll find something. Careful, read the specs, many newer ones ditched FAT16 support
You will need a bootmanager to choose between Dos/W98 at boot.
can be one that works from the HD itself, can be one that works from floppy ....

Or:
the more versatile solution: get a HD rack and switch HDs for Dos and W98 before boot.

With a good partition manager you don't need to wipe your W98 install, just move it up to free a 200 MB at the begin of the HD and create an extra primary partition to install MSDos on it. Of courtse only one primary can be active, dos or W98, that's where you need a boot manager to choose between OSses.

That's all the help you gonna get from me, not that I don't like you, no, as said your 'gaming beast' is a total overkill and you'll run into troubles, more than you can handle.
Let me redirect you to
http://www.vogons.org/index.php
Lots of peeps over there with much more knowledge about those matters.

A nice article about partition managers:
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-partition-management-software.htm
Maybe not the easiest in use, but really good is the freeware
http://www.ranish.com/part/
My personal fav is the GParted partition manager
http://gparted.org/
Can work from live CD, however it's linux based and not all like this ....
Take your pick I would say, there are plenty others floating around the net.

Good luck, and allow me once again to say:
Your hardware is a complete overkill, try to downgrade to a fast P2 or P3, and to ease your life look for a MB that has at least one ISA slot for an ISA soundcard.

And don't forget to have a good look at Vogons. Plenty info to find over there, really.

[Edit]
Maybe a last advise:
To learn working with partition managers/boot managers VPC2007 is useful, and if you screw things up within VPC it's a matter of delete - start over again.

Maybe my respons sounds a bit negative, sorry, wasn't meant that way.
You must comprehend that multiboot demands at least a minimal understanding of HD matters. Not that you won't get there, many did it before you so there isn't a reason why you wouldn't get there. Just don't expect a simple ride, you'll have to learn at least the basics.
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themacmeister
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:42 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, this PC was an $8 purchase at the local dump. I swapped out the TSST-Corp DVD-RW and replaced it with an LG model DVD-RW. Will check if that will work with Nero 5.551 under Win98 (or even SHOW UP). I'll try the LG OEM install first.

I totally hear what you are saying, but have not had any issues with Win98se so far. I have even installed KernEX and have installed some troublesome software that works (such as autostarts). I can put all of DOS on a completely different HDD, but if my Glide-enabled DOSBox works well, I don't think I will need a DOS install at all?!

I'll test DOSBox tonight and see how well it runs (especially with titles that require EMM386 and HIMEM.SYS).

I assume the DOS 7.1 installed with Win98se is compatible with FAT32 and long filenames. I would love to revert back to USB mouse and keyboard, as well as my XBOX 360 wireless controller (YES, there IS a driver for Win98se!!!).

I assume that performance will not be an issue with 2.4GHz CPU, 1GB RAM and Radeon9200 under DOSBox.

Thanks for the prompt reply. I am now thinking that I might have a Win98se/XP box, so I can run newer software and get on the internet -- obviously not using IE after that latest bug discovery Happy

Many thanks for the prompt reply, but I am stuck with this hardware, so should try and make the most of it. Cheers. Congratulatory
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dosraider
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 7:28 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

themacmeister wrote:
I totally hear what you are saying, but have not had any issues with Win98se so far. I have even installed KernEX and have installed some troublesome software that works (such as autostarts).

Oh , Win98SE will work on that system, it's some softs that won't.
First that comes to mind if my memory isn't failing me is Jane's Longbow or was it longbow2...? There are others in the same situation. Then you will have to restrict the Vcache of W98SE or VCache will take most (if not all) virtuam memory.
An interesting article about this problem:
http://www.thpc.info/ram/vcache98.html
scroll down to find the good settings on a W98SE system with a lot of RAM
Another work around is to limit the accessible RAM to 768MB.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/184447
Not specified in the article but it's helpful to limit the RAM, otherwise you slow down your whole W98SE system.
Contrary to the latter NT model when running W98SE with an excess of RAM you will keep W98 busy reading-writing-managing all the excess RAM, it's also a certain way to wear out your HD, W98 won't stop accessing it.
Ah well, some more reading for ya:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/10114-48-98se-amount


themacmeister wrote:
I can put all of DOS on a completely different HDD, but if my Glide-enabled DOSBox works well, I don't think I will need a DOS install at all?!

I'll test DOSBox tonight and see how well it runs (especially with titles that require EMM386 and HIMEM.SYS).

I assume the DOS 7.1 installed with Win98se is compatible with FAT32 and long filenames. I would love to revert back to USB mouse and keyboard, as well as my XBOX 360 wireless controller (YES, there IS a driver for Win98se!!!).

For the thousands time :
Dosbox isn't dos.
Whilst it became really good, it ain't dos.
Some instructions were never implemented. (share to name one).

Dos 7.1: good, really good but again it ain't MsDos 6.22.
It will certainly run without troubles 95 to even 98% of dosgames and softs, but will choke on some others. (altered memory managers EMS-XMS)
FAT32: most dosgames won't mind, but some won't even be able to read-write on FAT32. Those need FAT16.
Long file names: same, some won't mind but some won't be able to handle them, in fact a lot won't be able to write savegames if there is a long file name in the dir structure.

And so on and so on ... a long list of pros and cons.
Fact is , best compatible dos for dosgaming is still MsDos 5 or 6.22. Period.

But have your fun, you certainly will achieve at least something good from it, and in time mayhaps look out for a fast P2 or P3 in the trash bins, you can find them things there.

Another thing to consider: W2ksp4.
Your computer seems to be ideal to run it, don't underestimate that almost forgotten OS, prelude to XP.
It would run fantastico on such computer.
Drawback: most softs ourdays won't install on it, you will need to hunt for the older ones (W2k compatible), good news: they are still findable on wayback internet sites or old software sites. Even as all the drivers for it.
ex: (one of many) http://www.goatley.com/hunter/w2k.html

Enjoy your computer I would say, can be real fun to setup those things.
[Edit]
Whilst I'm thinking of it, there is another simple solution to dual boot:
Two HDs, one (smaller) in IDE0 for dos
One larger one in IDE1 for win 98
Disable autodetect in BIOS and let only the one you need enabled in BIOS.

There is a lot more to say, but I think this will be enough for now.....
lmao.... seems I keep on ramble about the subject here ... and there is so much more to say about it, time to hit the break. Happy
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themacmeister
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 8:38 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I played some games under DosBox last night, and two or three wouldn't launch, and complained about EMM386 etc.

I bit the bullet, and installed WinXP with the 2k-XP Glide drivers from Iceman. My 9200 can handle everything but Glide, and then there's the Voodoo. From memory, I do not think I own any DOS glide games, but I'm sure there is a lot of them.

I just realised that the 45GB of game installers I copied over all work on WinXP (and 97% work under Win7-64bit). I'm a bit used to my GeForce GTX660, so I might need to crank the res and settings down a bit Happy

Anyways, only two drivers needed after install (sound and voodoo). Networking is also 3x faster, not sure of the exact reason, but the games installers that took 3 hours to copy off only took 1 hour to copy back?!

Also, nearly my entire software backup is now compatible, with no need to go to oldapps.com or abandonware sites.

Cheers for the help. Please close this thread.
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