Vintage HP desktop is slow with new 80GB HD

Hp desktops laptops palmtops Brio ba400...
June 4, 2010 at 22:12:27
Specs: Windows 98
It is an old Celeron machine with 40 GB and with good performance. But when the hard disk was replaced with an 80 GB IDE, everything slows down to a crawl. BIOS auto detects the hard disk correctly.

Thanks in advance for your help / replies.

See More: Vintage HP desktop is slow with new 80GB HD

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June 4, 2010 at 22:34:26
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

Did you install Win 98 from scratch on the 80gb drive?
If so, you need to load the main chipset drivers for the mboard, and in this case also the Intel Application Accelerator, after Setup has finished, in order for the hard and optical drives to be able to run as fast as they can.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

Load the main chipset drivers first.


Brio Ba400 support:

Drivers and software Win 98:
I don't see main chipset drivers there.

Main chipset drivers:

Intel Application Accelerator - you MUST install this after installing the main chipset drivers in order for the drives to be able to run at the max speed they can on your mboard (the 80gb drive's max burst speed in this case, probably 100mb/sec, may be higher than the main chipset's max burst speed, which may be 66 or 33mb/sec).

Optional - Integrated 810 chipset graphics drivers - these may be newer than on the HP site.

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June 5, 2010 at 04:44:28

That was incisive! And, you've given me a load to tackle! Thank you so much for the prompt and wonderful response.


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June 5, 2010 at 06:28:24
In addition to the comprehensive post above I would ask a couple of questions.

How did you install Win98 on that drive? I ask because many versions of Win98 and the accompanying floppy disk can't properly partition and format an 80GB hard drive.

What version of Win98 do you have?

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Related Solutions

June 5, 2010 at 09:51:16

Good question. I tried setting up partitions with FDISK.exe that came with Windows 98. The W98 Edition is SE Version 4.10.2222.

FDISK is and always was a true mess up. It showed only 10 GB total size instead of 80 GB. You need to specify the size of the partition to create as 100% of the available space.

After creating the partition and formatting the hard disk using FORMAT.exe, the DOS DIR command shows the correct hard disk size. Even after this, FDISK continues to show 10 GB as the total size.

Are you saying this could be the problem (i.e. FDISK-related)?

Thanks for your response.


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June 5, 2010 at 10:15:55
You need the newer version of fdisk that allows proper partitioning above 64GB.

When using the original version the partition created will be equal to the drive size minus 64GB. An 80GB drive is not really 80GB but 74.4GB. So your partition/drive size shows as 10.4GB. While this may not be the reason the rig is slow you should still fix it.

The updated version of Fdisk can be had at the link below.

The chipset drivers may be the primary reason for the lag. Your drive is probably running in a PIO mode and you may not have any DMA.

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June 5, 2010 at 11:02:44

Grateful for your kind suggestions. I'll try them out.


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June 5, 2010 at 22:43:21
I believe that's just an ATA 33 controller on the motherboard so even if the drive is an ATA 100 or ATA 133 it's only going to operate at ATA 33. Because of that it's not going to be faster than the 40 gig.

How much ram does it have and was that the same as when you were running the 40 gig?

Is the 80 gig a new or used drive?

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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June 6, 2010 at 09:44:58

The hard disk controller is ATA / 66. The RAM was / is 512 MB (2 x 256 MB). The 80 GB drive is new. The main problem is, with the new drive the system is excruciatingly slow. W98 takes 5 minutes to boot. So do other programs. What used to take seconds is taking minutes.

Thanks for your kind interest.


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June 6, 2010 at 10:11:56
If it's ATA 66 are you using the 80-wire cable?

512 meg is the most 98 can reliably handle on its own but you might try dropping it to 256 and see what happens. However I don't think ram is a factor.

Another thing; does it have a network card? If so, temporarily remove it. I've noticed 98 can hang when booting if there's one. I think it just spends too much time trying to determine if there's a connection. I think if you change the 'primary network logon' in 'network' in control panel to 'microsoft family logon' that will help but try removing the card first and see if that's the reason.

Other than that, a 5 minute bootup screams HARD DRIVE PROBLEM. What the model number of the drive? You may need to download a diagnostic from the manufacturer.

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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June 6, 2010 at 11:43:54
DAVEINCAPS, OtheHill, Tubesandwires,

Thanks a million to you guys for the comprehensive analysis of the problem. I've been spending the weekend digging up information & the next couple of days will be for implementing the solution.

I discovered from HP's site that Brio BA410 is rated for a max hard disk capacity of 30 GB only. This may change our entire approach to limiting the hard disk capacity to 32 GB thro' jumper setting. The idea is to use these numerous old systems that are perfect for many jobs except that the required hard disks are hard to come by.

I'll keep all your points in mind and try to figure out the best solution.

DAVEINCAPS, we are using 80-wire cables. I'll also remove the network card and try. Thanks.

OtheHill, your FDISK angle is a terrific one I forgot to mention. Thanks.


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June 7, 2010 at 08:20:53
Your info in the blue bar in the first post says ba-400

That's what I provided the support link to, and what I looked up. .

In your last post you mention ba-410

Those are two different series of models !!

Which do you have?

What Product number does it have ? - that's probably on the label on the outside of the case - Dxxxxx

Regarding OtheHill's link in Response 5.

That update is supposed to be installed on a working Win 98 or 98SE installation on a computer. When you don't have that, you can get the updated Fdisk.exe on the web, by itself. For the correct one, in it's Properties it's size is 64,460 bytes for 98SE, and it's original date is 5/18/00 (depending on where you get it from the date may be something else - the right one is 64,460 bytes for 98SE).
(Or you can extract it from the download pointed to by OtherHill if you know what you're doing, e.g. with WinZip - you need to extract fdisk.98s and rename it to fdisk.exe , for 98SE.)

If you use a Win 98 or 98SE Startup disk to Fdisk the hard drive, you must copy the updated Fdisk from Windows (or wherever you have it) to the Startup disk floppy. If you boot/install Windows from the Win 98/98SE CD, you cannot Fdisk/Format a hard drive larger than 64 gig properly - use the Startup disk with the updated Fdisk instead.

Win 98 / 98SE's Format has some "cosmetic" bugs - when you format a partition that's over a certain size, it appears from what it displays before it has finished that it is not formatting the size of the partition correctly, but it will format a partition correctly (up to and inc. 128gb) after the updated Fdisk.exe has been used - the size stated when Format is finished is correct. .

"I discovered from HP's site that Brio BA410 is rated for a max hard disk capacity of 30 GB only. "

Your Brio BA-4x0 is old enough that hard drives larger than 30gb were probably not available yet.

That does not necessarily indicate that the mboard's bios version can't recognize hard drives larger than that.

Besides that, you have said the system was working fine with a 40gb drive - was the entire (binary) size of the drive being seen?

There are some older bios versions, most are Award ones, or brand name versions based on Award ones, that may have bugs that prevent a drive larger than 32gb or 64gb (binary) from being detected properly, if the bios version was released before early 2000 or so, but I don't think that applies in your case.

If you can see the full size of the 40gb drive in Windows (about 37gb, binary, for a single partition), then your bios version does NOT have a 32gb bug.

Look in your bios Setup. If it has a selection for detecting hard drives, try it, or, the detected size may be shown elsewhere. The size shown in the bios is almost always the binary size, rather than the decimal size used by drive manufacturers, so, if there are no bugs in your mboard's bios version, an ~80gb manufacturer's size drive is detected as ~74.5gb, or ~76,293mb.
If that's about what you see there, the bios version does not have a 64gb bug either, and you DO NOT need to install a jumper on the 80gb drive so the bios sees only 32gb .

When you use the original version of Fdisk that comes with 98 or 98SE, if the size of the drive detected by the mboard's bios version is over 64gb , Fdisk starts counting over again after the first (binary) 64gb - ~74.5gb - 64gb = ~10.5gb. That's the "raw" size, before the Fdisk software partitioning and the formatting have used up a small percentage of the available drive space, so the total size in Windows is a bit smaller than that, if it's a single partition.

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June 8, 2010 at 08:12:56
I built a new system at the beginning of 2000 that is using 98SE, that I am still using.
Epox (EP-)MVP3-G5, ATA 66, K6-III 450, AGP 2X, Radeon 7000 AGP card (running at 2X).
It has very similar performance to what your system should have.
I have found there is little if any noticeable benefit of using more than 128mb of ram with it for 98SE. The mboard does not have onboard video; if it did, it could use a bit more ram, say, 32mb more than 128mb would be enough.

I have loaded several Intel 8xx main chipset mboard systems for others, and I know from experience that the hard and optical drives run MUCH slower while loading Windows and in Windows, before the main chipset drivers have been installed in Windows. The earlier 8xx main chipsets MUST have the Intel Application Accelerator loaded, after the main chipset drivers have been loaded, that being the equivalent of enhanced disk controller drivers for other makes of main chipsets. If Intel lists the IAA for a 8xx main chipset, it MUST be installed, whatever Windows operating system (95 and up) is being used. When that is loaded, the Intel Application Accelerator is listed in your Programs list, and you can run that to see what speed mode the hard and optical drives are presently in.
You can easily find out whether your hard and optical drives are running in PIO mode in 2000 and up, but there is no way you can determine that with what's built into 98SE and previous (and probably ME and previous).

Also, in Device Manager, check to see whether the hard and optical drives are using DMA - that's often not switched on by default, when Windows is initially loaded by Setup, and when a drive is added after Windows has been loaded.

NOTE that I'm not certain whether this applies after the IAA has been loaded - DMA may be either there or it isn't.
(In 2000 and up, you can't determine what mode your drives are running in, normally seen at the Advanced tab of the properties of your drive controllers in Device Manager, after the IAA has been loaded - you can see that only when you run the IAA. )

E.g. Right click on My Computer - Properties - Device Manager

- open up CDROM - double click on a model listing - Settings tab - there should be a checkmark beside DMA - if there isn't click on the small square box beside DMA to insert a checkmark, click on OK at the bottom of the window, click on OK at the bottom of the System Properties window. If you are prompted to Reboot, do that. Reboot in any case if you changed the setting.
The checkmark should be beside DMA when you look again.

(NOTE than some older CDrom and CD burner drives will not retain enabling DMA if they can't support it - it will be unchecked when you look again.)

- open up Disk Drives - double click on a drive listing - Settings tab - there should be a checkmark beside DMA - if there isn't click on the small square box beside DMA to insert a checkmark, click on OK at the bottom of the window, click on OK at the bottom of the System Properties window. If you are prompted to reboot, do that. Reboot in any case if you changed the setting.
The checkmark should be beside DMA when you look again.

NOTE that if the drive (and the main chipset) supports ATA 66 or greater, you MUST use an 80 wire data cable, otherwise that DMA setting may not stay enabled, and in any case the drive won't be able to use faster that the ATA 33 speed with a 40 wire data cable.
(If the main chipset does not support ATA 66 or greater, a 40 wire data cable can be used.)
You would not normally use a recent or fairly recent DVD burner drive with your slower system (it doesn't meet the minimum system specs for the drive) , but if you did, only DVD burner drives capable of burning DVD-R or DVD+R disks at 16X or greater can use ATA 66 and require a 80 wire data cable, if they're by themself on a data cable. All other optical drives will run fine with a 40 wire data cable, if they're by themself on a data cable.

It's not recommended that you have an optical drive and a hard drive on the same IDE controller (same data cable) on the early 8xx main chipset systems. (That doesn't matter with newer main chipsets.)

Your 80gb drive, being new, will probably perform a bit better than the 40gb drive despite it being limited to a max burst speed of ATA 66 by main chipset limitations, because the drive's onboard memory cache is probably larger (the larger it is, the longer time the fastest data rate can be used in one go), and the max sustained (continuous) data rate is probably a bit higher.
The ATA 66 burst data rate can only be used in one go for brief periods of time. When a drive continues to be accessed for any one thing, eventually the drive's memory cache is exhausted and then the drive reverts to it's much slower sustained data rate, max. - the data rate it can sustain indefinitely.
In this case, the sustained data rate may be not much slower than the burst data rate, since the drive is limited to ATA 66 burst speeds by main chipset limitations. 80gb IDE drives are usually capable of a max UDMA 100 burst speed. Desktop IDE drives larger than that are usually capable of a max UDMA 133 burst speed.

A side note.

I have tried a PCI IDE controller card capable of a UDMA 133 burst speed with several mboards that have older main chipsets that are not capable of that, or not capable of a UDMA 100 burst speed, along with a hard drive that is capable of that , or a hard drive that is capable of a UDMA 100 burst speed.
I found that the hard drive cannot run faster, when connected to the PCI controller card, than the max speed the mboard's main chipset supports.
That may or may not apply to your 810 chipset mboard.

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June 9, 2010 at 20:41:15

Sorry for the tardy response. I was away for the last 3 days. Thanks for your kind concern and your brilliant exposition of all factors connected with the problem. You guys over here are absolute wizards!

The model we have is BA-410 but the subject line was selected from a dropdown where the nearest I could find was BA-400. Of course, I went to the correct page on HP's site and downloaded the chipset drivers for BA-410. BTW, the chipset on the motherboard is S3/Prosavage not Intel. HP has also given the OEM installation disks which should automatically install the chipset driver, right? Disk #2 is "Drivers and Utilities".

The updated FDISK I have downloaded is 64, 460 bytes in size. Thanks.

As you have pointed out, the BIOS seems to be capable of handling 80 GB comfortably, so the 30 GB limit must have been based the hard disk capacity available then.

The Device Manager does have DMA enabled against the hard disk in th 98SE that we use. I didn't understand your point (PIO mode) of not being able to find that out in W98. In fact, you yourself have given the steps to find it out!

When I came to this forum, I had only half a hope of finding the solution for an outdated system like BA-410. But I have been swept off by a veritable deluge of quality information - thanks to you, OtheHill & DAVEINCAPS.


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June 10, 2010 at 09:11:24
In future, PLEASE mention the actual model or model series in your first post, if that's not correct in the blue bar in your first post. That would save us from looking up the wrong model or model series info.

"BTW, the chipset on the motherboard is S3/Prosavage not Intel."

Actually, it's Via/S3 - a Via Main chipset with S3 Pro Savage video integrated into it.

I see appropriate main chipset and onboard graphics drivers are there on the HP site in the BA-410 series support.

Driver - Chipset

hp brio ba410, inf files for S3/Via chipset for Windows 95, Windows 98 SE and Windows 2000
Version: 1.02 (6 Sep 2000)

hp brio ba410, AGP support driver for Windows 98 SE
Version: 3.59 (28 Aug 2000)

Driver - Graphics
Version: 13.00.10 (14 Jan 2002)
hp brio ba410, on board video driver for Windows 95 and Windows 98 SE

Those should work fine. However, the ones on the Via web site are a bit newer.

Via Main Chipset Drivers
Microsoft Windows - Windows 98SE- Hyperion (4in1) chipset drivers (includes AGP drivers)

The one at the top is optimized for more recent main chipsets and operating systems.
The one lower down will probably work better with 98SE
Scroll down.
Retro OS VIA 4in1 drivers Dated: 25-Oct-2001

Via Integrated Video Drivers
Microsoft Windows - Windows 98SE - Integrated Graphics -
S3 Pro Savage IGP (probably)

ProSavage Graphics Driver Dated: 6-May-2003


"The Device Manager does have DMA enabled against the hard disk in th 98SE that we use. I didn't understand your point (PIO mode) of not being able to find that out in W98. In fact, you yourself have given the steps to find it out!"

The CDROM listing(s) also have the DMA setting in their properties. It's much more common for that to not be enabled by default for an optical drive than a hard drive in 98SE.

There is nowhere in 98SE that I know of where you can see the drive is nominally in PIO mode, as in, PIO is shown on the screen - you can only see whether DMA (Direct Memory Access) is enabled or not. You also cant tell if the drive supports DMA or Ultra DMA (UDMA) , other than DMA stays enabled.

"When I came to this forum, I had only half a hope of finding the solution for an outdated system like BA-410."

The BA-410 series is a business computer series. HP often has much more extensive support for their business computers, even when they're relatively old.

The same often applies to Compaq business computers, although HP has lost some of that info since they took over Compaq's support.

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June 10, 2010 at 10:14:51
Lots of Brio ba410 models

What Product number does yours have?
That's probably on a label on the outside of the computer case.

This is probably your mboard -

Go here:

Scroll down to
PC Board
D9840-69007 System processor board - With integrated S3 Pro Savage AGP 4X video controller and 3 PCI slots

Picture - click on the camera icon at left of that.
Scroll down.

According to info I have found, your BA-410 probably has a
FIC FR35 mboard, called Verona by HP.
According to posts I found VERONA is printed on the mboard or on a label on the mboard.
It's an OEM only model - made only for brand name system builders, there is no retail FIC FR35 model, FIC has no support for it.

Manuals for similar retail models here:
e.g. FR33, FS35 ?

If you DO have the FIC FR35 / VERONA mboard,
HP bios update, but never flash your bios unless you MUST, e.g. if the release notes for a bios version (or for a previous bios versions newer than your mboard has - usually the newest one includes all previous fixes) does not mention it fixes a problem you're having, DO NOT flash the bios - in that case it's extremely unlikely flashing the bios will fix your problem.

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June 11, 2010 at 07:24:53

Sorry for the trouble due to my mentioning a wrong model. I had no idea you would be so meticulous, precise and painstaking. I just expected some general guidelines. And, thanks for all the details you have provided.

From my earlier response (Response #13):
'HP has also given the OEM installation disks which should automatically install the chipset driver, right? Disk #2 is "Drivers and Utilities".'

Do we still need to install the chipset drivers downloaded from HP / VIA sites? The Disk #2 which is loaded as part of the installation process should automatically do it, right?


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June 11, 2010 at 11:35:36
Using the restore disks from HP will restore to factory condition. Depending on how old the computer is that could mean you still need to download many updates and possibly service packs.

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June 11, 2010 at 19:37:07
Thanks, OtheHill.


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June 11, 2010 at 22:04:11
Did the computer originally have 98SE on it?

This series can have all sorts of operating systems on it - it appears starting with Win 95 there is a full list of downloads for it
If 98SE wasn't on it originally, if you were to use the downloads on the HP site you might need different ones.
E.g. Many Win 95 drivers and Win 98 drivers are the same or very similar, 98SE and ME drivers can be the same, but many 95 and 98 drivers cannot be used for 98SE or ME.

Earliest manuals listed put there in 2000
In User Guide - 05/00 (May 2000).

It's likely at that time that you could get the system with either 98SE or 2000 on it.

(98SE was first released ~ mid 1999; 2000 in ~ Dec. 1999)

There are two main situations for a restore disk set.

The older situation is the set's first disk can't also be used as the same way as a regular Windows disk.That set prompts you to insert the second disk, etc. Very little user input is required, other than changing disks when prompted to do so - it automatically installs a Product Key for the Windows version - for 2000 and up, it Activates Windows automatically in the background near the end of Setup. . When that set has finished installing, all the necessary drivers for system, and any included extra software that comes with the system, has already been installed.
I have reloaded only one brand name system with such a set - it was a Compaq or HP desktop that had XP Home on it.

The newer situation is the first disk is merely a slightly modified version of a regular OEM Windows disk (almost all the files, of the ones that have the same name that are on both, are identical ), which can be used the same way as a regular Windows disk.
I have seen several such sets, for newer Dell, HP, and Compaq systems, laptops and desktops, have used the first disk as a Windows disk to repair Windows, but I haven't used such a set to reload all the software yet.
It definitely does not have the drivers for your system built into Windows on the first disk.
I suspect...
- that set probably does not prompt you to insert the second disk when you boot with the first one - you have to know you need to insert the second disk, etc., and install the drivers, and any included extra software that comes with the system.
- you probably have to enter the Product Key yourself during Setup - you use the one on the official Microsoft label if it's present on the computer case. That label was not available for 98SE until after the beginning of 2000 - before that the Product key was printed on the front page of a Microsoft booklet that came with the computer, or that came with the Windows CD if it was a generic system or you used a retail or upgrade CD. If the set has 2000 or later on it, you probably have to Activate Windows yourself, near the end of Setup or after Setup has finished.

Your system was made at about the time that there was starting to be a switch from the first type of set to the second type, so it could be either type.

"Depending on how old the computer is that could mean you still need to download many updates and possibly service packs."

As far as I've seen, service packs are only available , or built into the contents of the CD(s), for the operating system itself, for 2000 and up. (There is a SP2 for IE 6 though, which is not the IE version included with 98SE).

For 98SE, after you have installed the necessary drivers yourself, or after they have been installed automatically by the set, you go to the Microsoft Update page on the Microsoft site, and have it Express search for updates - install all that apply, which is usually all of them.

NOTE that the version of Internet Explorer that comes with 98SE (and 98, an older version, and 95, an even older version, if it comes with it, the earliest disks didn't ) does NOT work properly on the web these days - it's unusable !

You need to install IE 6, or another newer browser version, before you can properly use the internet.
Installing IE 6 installs a lot of files that are not just for the IE browser - those are used by other programs as well, including other browsers, so it's important to install IE 6 even if you aren't going to use the IE 6 browser.
After you have installed IE 6, SP2

You need either the IE 6 download that starts the downloading of the rest of the files you need for IE 6 , or the full IE 6 install download, to be available for you to load, before you try to go on the internet. The former may fit on a floppy (I don't know where you get that anymore); the latter must be on a CD (98SE can't natively recognize USB flash drives; additional third party drivers are required to be installed for that).
Note that some software CDs you may already have may have IE 6 on them you can install (e.g. older AOL CDs - there is merely have a small amount of AOL labelling for some titles.)
Otherwise, you need to get a IE 6 download.

See Response 8, regarding IE 6 and Generic USB drivers, and Response 9, regarding the (Adobe) flash player and several other recommended programs you should or could install

Note that, these days, both IE 6 SP2 and Netscape occasionally experience slow loading on some web pages because of (java) script being loaded on the page in 98SE.
In IE 6 SP2 you can't do anything about that.
In Netscape, you can either use the YesScript plug in, or you will get a message box in a short time, saying
Warning: Unresponsive Script
click on Stop script.
The page will then load faster, but you may need to do that again if you reload the page or load a different page.

In 98SE, there are some pages that don't work properly in IE 6 SP2; there are some web pages that don't work properly in Netscape; there are some that don't work with either (e.g. UTube)

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