Windows ME is newer than 98SE. But, although I don't like silly arguements going on about one operating system being "better" than another (it's all a matter of taste and personal preference), I'm not too keen on ME because it won't let you get to full
DOS mode. Which is a bit cheeky for a GUI that's plainly, like all the Win9xs, balanced on top of a version of DOS.
Windows 98SE is a pretty useful OS even if it does lack the security and stability that's possible with a well set up and configured
version of Windows NT/2000/XP. You see, the whole trick with these operating systems is knowing how to set them up!
I was on the beta for Windows 95. It took me years but I learned how to set up Windows 9x so that it's quick, clean, versatile and
stable. The main trick is to scrap the Active Desktop. That increases stability by about 95%. 98lite's cool too. And here's a guy who knows what he's talking about-
It may seem a lot of trouble to go to. But it all becomes second nature. And if you do an install like this it should last for at least two years because you keep it clean and stable by doing proper maintenance
. Vital processes and checks are-
1/ Always back up the registry before trying any new software (no Add/Remove ever works properly so, if you don't like the software, uninstall it and restore the registry copy).
2/ Always use CleanSweep or similar when you install anything
after the original OS install. Then, after you've done a program's normal Add/Remove, remove it again with CleanSweep (and be amazed at all the crud it left).
3/ Clean the registry regularly. Microsoft's own RegClean works okay (but it needs a special file to fix game controllers under DirectX 8 after it's run). RegCleaner is a good tool too. But once again, CleanSweep probably does the best job. I use all three!
4/ Run the System File Checker often. Run it when you first do the install. And keep running it. If any program changes a file for an older version (and installing stuff does this all the time) restore the later one. If the program complains then copy its version into its folder. Then it uses the old one and the rest of your system uses the up-to-date one.
Obviously ScanDisk and Defrag are important and I have two up-to-date virus scanners. But only
run them on demand. Never have them running all the time, particularly on a gaming machine. They use too many resources. Configure your download manager to use them to scan incoming files and then quit. Just scan stuff that's new to the system.
If you're really paranoid, like me, then run AdAware sometimes. And set up ZoneAlarm so that it's only running when you're connected to the Internet and quit it when you quit.
Make sure that there's no unknown stuff running in the background on the system. Programmer's are such arrogant SOBs. Remove shortcuts from StartUp on the Start Menu. And remove items loading from the registry. If you're a beginner it's probably best to use a tool like StartUpCpl (Start Up Control Panel) from here-
Other stuff's more cosmetic. I mean I never can understand why people don't spend a little time organising their Start Menus. When I put my mouse over "Programs" the menu appears with four items next to it- "Applications, Comms, Games, System Tools". Each of these logically branch in turn. It saves me hours of browsing the menu looking for stuff. I can just go and click it.
I could go on. And on. As you've probably gathered I'm a fast touch-typist. I can go on and on for pages like this.
nobody's read this far anyway.