Computer Build using old HD?

Hewlett-packard / Old
January 7, 2009 at 11:52:33
Specs: Windows 98, Intel 600mhz/256k
I have a really old computer that's just dragging along with Windows up in about a day and a half. Wondering if I could build a new computer and just use the old hard drive to prevent me from having to buy a new o/s. Would that work? Obviously I would buy an additional hd being that the old one is 4 gigs, but I just want to be able to have an o/s w/o paying a ton. Just FYI...this is going to someone computer illiterate, so linux based is out of the question

See More: Computer Build using old HD?

Report •

January 7, 2009 at 12:12:30
600MHz w/256MB (not 256k) *should* run Win98 quite well. If the system is slow to boot & performs slowly once in Windows, it's probably NOT a hardware problem. More than likely the system is bogged down with a load of crapware (spyware, malware, adware), or it may have a virus (or viruses), or there may be a ton of unnecessary programs that load at startup, or it could be any combination. Also, anti-v programs such as Norton or McAfee are huge resource hogs...if that's what you have, uninstall it & replace with a lightweight freebie IF you can find one that still works with 98. Here's one possibility:

ClamWin Free Antivirus

Here's a few other programs you should install & run:

CCleaner Slim

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Trojan Remover

How to use MSCONFIG

Report •

January 7, 2009 at 12:49:13
I agree with jam.

To answer your question though, you wouldn't be able to recycle the operating system on a new build. The OS is keyed to the motherboard. Sometimes very similar system from the same maker will skate by but you are talking about a totally different animal.

If you don't want to pay a ton for your OS then you will need to buy an OEM computer like you currently have. HP, Dell, Gateway, Acer, etc.


Look at the link below paying special attention to the New OEM restrictions.

Report •

January 7, 2009 at 17:05:45
The old drive might be the problem. I'm having a similar problem with this 98 machine. After starting it up, it takes almost half an hour before I can get online. I run a clean machine so it's not malware.

If the drive is OK and you get rid of any malware then you can swap it into a newer machine. But you need to make sure 98 drivers are provided by the motherboard manufacturer.

It's best to copy the cab files from the 98 cd onto the hard drive before you move it. Check my #2 here:

for details.

Report •

Related Solutions

January 7, 2009 at 20:26:03
I'm having a senior evening. Win98 would have no restrictions like I pointed to in #2.

What problem you would probably run into would be getting drivers to run new hardware.

Report •

January 7, 2009 at 21:06:04
An existing 9X OS on a different motherboard will boot up OK and then you start getting what seems like an endless series of 'new hardware found' boxes. It'll find some of what it needs in the windows\inf folder but eventually it asks for the 98 cd. Usually the cdrom isn't recognized yet so it can't load the drivers it needs unless the cab files have been copied to the hard drive and you direct the search there. Once all the new drivers get loaded it runs OK with the new motherboard.

I'm sure the same is true with ME but I don't remember if I've ever swapped an ME drive.

One of my most frustrating moments was when I discovered you couldn't do that with XP.

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 01:45:06
I agree with jam. I've used a laptop with Pentium 120MHz 32 Meg ram with W98SE and I can connect to the internet in 2-3 minutes from a cold start. Your machine is full of junk software.

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 04:51:26
Thanks to all for your help. I know for a fact that it isn't malware, junk software, etc. being that it has always run this slow even before connecting to the internet. Granted it's running alot slower now, but I feel this is due to the wireless internet card's software and the fact that wireless wasn't very popular in 98. But I guess I will look for a computer that has 98 compatible drivers and go from there. I'll probably break down and just buy an o/s anyway; sounds easier. Would like to wait til Windows 7 comes out, heard it's going to be good!

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 04:57:03
If you feel the problem lies with a wireless card why not install a wired network card. You can buy one for about $10. Not practical to run cable?

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 08:29:38
Unfortunately that would be much easier, but the man of the house is too lazy/cheap to run wires down to the computer. So the wireless has to stay.

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 12:40:59
Try running it wired to see if that is the cause of the speed problem. An external wireless adapter may solve the problem.

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 12:49:17
That is what I have, external usb wireless card. Unfortunately, like I said, it has to stay and was the lowest/cheapest card I could find to run with Win98. Which came with a bulky program

Report •

January 8, 2009 at 12:52:25
I don't know if the Wireless network adapter can drag down Win98 when not on the internet but you could find out easily enough by removing the wireless adapter and see how Win98 then runs.

Try downloading CCleaner and running BOTH the cleaner module and the registry module.

I know jam mentioned CCleaner slim. I don't know what the difference is but suspect it doesn't have all the modules. Get the regular version.

Report •

Ask Question