Fresh Win98 SE install takes 20 mins to boot

June 19, 2011 at 03:03:06
Specs: Windows 98 SE
I just installed win98 SE onto my new-ish computer b/c i wanted to dual-boot it with XP pro. my computer has evga nvidia nf680i sli motherboard, evga e-geforce 8800 gts video card, 2 x 1GB ram sticks, and a 320GB sata drive. i forget the cpu...
after finally getting setup to begin installation, it gave me an error saying it did not have enough memory. after searching forums, i found and implemented the following changes to system.ini:



one of these two fixed the error message (not sure which though), and setup was able to complete, but now (and i timed it) from computer start to windows fully loaded it takes 20 minutes. it spends all this time on the win98 loading screen, with the little blue-ish scroll bar thing slowly moving at the bottom. does anyone know what would be the cause of this and/or how to fix it so it takes a reasonable amount of time to boot?

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June 19, 2011 at 16:03:44

With this setting you are limiting Windows 98 to 16MB of RAM. While I definitely think this is part of your problem, Windows 98SE should not take 20 minutes to boot even with only 16MB of RAM as this is the minimum requirement Microsoft posted for Windows 98. This "minimum" can also be bypassed by using the "/im" switch during setup. I've installed it on machines with only 8MB RAM (yes it was painful!)

Minimum Hardware Requirements for a Windows 98 Installation

How did you get Windows 98 installed on a 320GB hard disk drive--multi-partitioning? Usually Win9x can only recognize 137GB.

iMac G5 1.8GHz "Hero" PowerPC
2 x 1GB DDR PC3200 SDRAM
160GB WDC WD1600JD-40GBB2
Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5.8

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June 19, 2011 at 16:43:27
yeah, Win98 itself is installed on a 10GB primary partition

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June 19, 2011 at 20:44:09
You might check this old thread:

The link in my # 3 there is some screenshots of modifications to 98 to allow large amounts of ram. Also check Whitphil's comments about the cache file settings.

The link is to driverguide and they're so screwed up now I wouldn't recommend downloading it from there. If you want it send me a private message with your email and I'll send it to you.

But as mentioned previously, the ram is probably not what's slowing it down. You got 98 on a SATA drive? How did you do that?

Also, to get 98 to run right you'll need 98 drivers for all the hardware. Many of those drivers probably don't exist. I think you'll eventually find that it will be much easier to install 98 as a VM within XP or find an old P-III or something similar and install 98 on it.

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June 20, 2011 at 16:41:18
I would also like to know how you got Win98 to install on a SATA drive. Does the BIOS have an IDE mode for the hard drive settings?

To simplify the above comments, Win98 can't access more than 512MB of RAM. If you can, the simple solution, if possible, is to temporarily install only 512MB of RAM and then make the modifications DAVE mentions. Then you could increase the RAM.

The hardware drivers most likely are not available for Win98 unless the rig is older than you are indicating.

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