What CPUID is needed in BIOS for Win 98 SE?

June 20, 2020 at 16:30:54
Specs: several
I acquired a Dell Vostro 400 desktop computer which had
been gutted down to the motherboard, CPU, power supply,
and 2 GB RAM.

It originally had Windows XP installed. I have a spare,
brand-new, never-used WD 640 GB SATA hard drive on
which for a hot minute I thought I could install Windows 7.
I put the hard drive in the case but haven't plugged it in yet.

I also have a CD-RW drive. It is IDE, not SATA. So if I am
going to connect it to the computer it will either have to be
with the little IDE/SATA converter that although it is *very*
little, isn't little enough to fit into the case in either of the two
positions where an optical drive can be installed. The only
way I can see to make it fit would be to attach it to the drive
via ribbon cable, which would mean finding a gender changer
for the end of the ribbon that plugs into the converter.

OR... I could have the drive outside the case and connect it
via an IDE/SATA to USB converter. It requires AC power, via
a standard computer power cable, which I have plenty of in my
storage unit on the other side of town, which in normal times
would mean an hour-and-a-half bus ride each way. Maybe I
can mooch one off of someone in the building.

But either way, after that hot minute, I remembered that Win 7
is on a DVD, not a CD, and the drive doesn't do DVD.

So I can install Windows 98 SE instead. Or maybe Ubuntu or
Bionic Pup or something. Those are all on CD.

In any of these cases, do I need to or should I enable the setting
in the BIOS to limit CPUID MaxVal ? The BIOS setup program
says that enabling it sets the value to 3.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#1
June 20, 2020 at 18:27:17
If you have a machine with a DVD, you could still move the Win7 installation to flash :

https://tweaks.com/windows/39415/ho...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#2
June 21, 2020 at 04:12:24
That looks like a great idea! I'm doing it.

I had a 32 GB flash drive with very little on it. The article
said to format the drive to clear it out first, so I did, whether
that is necessary or even useful. Took about an hour.

The article appears to be in error when it says to type
XCOPY D: J: /e (where D: is the DVD drive and J: is the
flash drive). I used XCOPY D:\*.* J: /e which worked.

At least I'm pretty sure it worked. I haven't tested it yet.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#3
June 21, 2020 at 08:53:01
I don't know why you would even consider installing Win98 on a Core2 with G33 chipset, but I doubt you'll accomplish it with 2GB RAM installed. You'd need to lower the RAM amount to 512MB for the installation, then tweak the vcache settings in the system.ini file after installation to allow the use of more RAM, then install the 2GB RAM.

Take the opportunity to learn Linux instead. Mint 19.3 Xfce is my recommendation. Or if you want something slightly less taxing on resources, try Linux Lite. Both are based on Ubuntu & are very user-friendly & windows-like.
https://www.linuxmint.com/
https://www.linuxliteos.com/

BTW, it shouldn't take an hour+ to format a 32GB jumpdrive, it should only take about a minute or less. You need to make it bootable to be able to install an OS from it, not to mention the system has to be able to boot from USB. Did you check the BIOS settings? Being that it's a Dell I'm sure the setting options are minimal.
https://rufus.ie/
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/using...

message edited by riider


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#4
June 21, 2020 at 13:51:21
I'm sure the reason it took an hour to format the Flash drive is
that I unchecked the checkbox for "Quick Format". I didn't know
why the web page T-R-A linked said to format it, but it seemed
like a good idea, so a full format seemed like the thing to do.

I came here just now to complain that the Flash drive appears to
be unbootable. The web page didn't say anything about making
it bootable. I was wildly surmising that copying the files from the
bootable DVD would magically do that.

Indications in both the BIOS setup program and the user manual
are that the computer can boot from USB Flash drive. Settings
options are indeed minimal, but it does allow both one-time and
long-term booting from sources other than a hard drive.

So you are saying that just because Windows 98 SE doesn't know
what to do with 2 GB of memory, it won't install? I wouldn't have
guessed that.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#5
June 21, 2020 at 14:08:53
I do notice now that I look for about the sixth time, that the
image of the Format dialog box on the web page shows
the Quick Format checkbox is checked...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#6
June 21, 2020 at 15:27:52
"So you are saying that just because Windows 98 SE doesn't know
what to do with 2 GB of memory, it won't install?"

That is correct. You can work around the RAM limitation after it's installed but why bother? Just download the Linux ISO of your liking & use RUFUS to create a bootable USB jumpdrive. Then boot off it & take it for a test drive. No installation is required. No HDD is required either.

message edited by riider


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#7
June 21, 2020 at 15:29:28
"Windows 98 SE doesn't know what to do with 2 GB of memory..."

https://www.techrepublic.com/forums...

Furthermore, there's very little support for Win98 anymore. Possible that you won't find drivers for much of anything on that "new of a machine". Dell shows only WinXP and Vista for driver-support:

https://www.dell.com/support/home/e...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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#8
June 21, 2020 at 19:49:42
Yeah, cpu speed is going to be the least of your problems. With 95 and 98 FE you'd get an NDIS error if the cpu was too fast. I think 98 SE and up no longer had that problem.

The FAT partitions can only be partitioned up to about 128 gig using FDISK. I think there's third party software that can partition it to larger partitions but then the native 98 disk tools won't work or won't work right.

You might be able to get around the ram problem but even if you do, understand that 98 won't work any better--it'll just keep memory errors from popping up. I uploaded a file named 'ram.zip' to driverguide several years ago. It had screen shots of fixes to allow 98 to work with large amounts of ram. The last time I tried to find it, it wasn't there (Anymore Driverguide is only useful if you're looking for ad-inspired useless downloads) but I probably still have it on my other computer.

Also 98 setup won't natively see a SATA drive. The drivers you'd have to load first to make setup work are chipset-dependent and are going to be hard to find. Sometimes you could change the drive type or characteristics in bios setup to allow it to be seen but again, that's kind of iffy.

If the only thing stopping you from installing windows 7 is a DVD drive, just consider buying one. You can get one on ebay for $10 - $15.


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#9
June 22, 2020 at 04:55:04
Does all that mean the CPUID MaxVal which I originally asked
about is useless? It's in the BIOS explicitly for operating systems
older than Windows XP.

I made the Flash drive bootable with DiskPart, formatted it again,
which took 75 minutes, then re-copied the Win 7 files back onto it.
The first phase of the install process seemed to finish sooner than
I expected. The computer restarted, and the program on the Flash
drive started the install from the beginning. I realized my mistake
before it could write anything to the disk. I forgot that I made the
Flash drive the boot device, not just for one boot. After fixing that,
the install resumed, but then the screen went black and this time
stayed black. Long enough that I decided to shut off the power.
That happened a couple times more. I tried starting in Safe Mode,
but Windows said it can't finish the install in Safe Mode.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#10
June 22, 2020 at 10:56:52
If you install 98 I'd go ahead and enable it. Apparently that setting is about extended capabilities of newer cpus and not cpu speed.

As far as the windows 7 setup not finishing; probably start setup again but format the drive so it's a new install. When it reboots, immediately go into bios setup and change the boot order to hard drive first so it won't boot from the flash drive again.


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#11
June 22, 2020 at 11:38:00
"I made the Flash drive bootable with DiskPart, formatted it again,
which took 75 minutes, then re-copied the Win 7 files back onto it"

Always the hard way. I give up.


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#12
June 22, 2020 at 13:30:53
> As far as the windows 7 setup not finishing; probably start
> setup again but format the drive so it's a new install.

It has been too long since the last time I did this. I forgot about
that step until I got to it. When I did get to it, I was too tired and
anxious to get on with the process to look up what to do. Plus
the "monitor" I'm using is unbelievably crummy. It may be a little
bit better than a Teletype machine, but only a little. Very hard to
read anything not in a big font. I saw the "Advanced" button that
would lead to partitioning options, and clicked it, but couldn't see
what to do after that, so I just hit Enter and hoped the defaults
would be okay.

The drive was brand new, though. Never attached to a computer
before, so it isn't obvious to me what partitioning it would need for
a Windows 7 install. If I were trying to install Win 98 SE, I'd prolly
break the drive into much smaller chunks.

> When it reboots, immediately go into bios setup and change
> the boot order to hard drive first so it won't boot from the flash
> drive again.

I think I should have told it to boot from the Flash drive only on
the current boot, then use the HD after that. The first reboot taking
place relatively soon took me by surprise, and I didn't realize that
I needed to catch it.

I wonder if the install got stuck on a black screen because it needed
something more from the Flash drive after the first reboot. Not only
did I change the boot order after I realized what was happening, but
I removed the Flash drive. Can you tell me whether the source drive
ever needs to be accessed again after the first reboot?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#13
June 25, 2020 at 04:36:59
I'm getting an endless loop:

I start the computer, the POST runs, Windows indicates it is
starting, and the screen goes black. (No signal.) Not knowing
what else to do, I hold the power button down to shut off the
computer. I restart it, and go into Safe Mode. Windows starts
and the screen works, but Windows tells me it can't complete
the install in Safe Mode, so it needs to restart. It restarts, and
the screen goes black...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#14
June 29, 2020 at 19:08:47
What version of windows did you put on it?

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#15
June 29, 2020 at 22:35:42
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM on DVD, build
date March 15, 2010. I have Service Pack 1 on DVD, too,
but I didn't even reach the point of thinking about it until
just now.

I suspect the problem is that Windows changes to a
different video driver at that point, and my extremely
primitive "monitor" (what I had on hand) can't handle it.

It handles the first several screens of the install okay.
The image is centered on the screen, nothing cut off,
and is the normal colors. Really horribly crappy quality,
but that's because the "monitor" isn't really a monitor.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#16
July 5, 2020 at 17:30:32
Maybe that's it. I remember 98 on some systems had a continuous rebooting problem if there was too much ram but that wouldn't be a problem with windows 7.

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#17
July 5, 2020 at 18:09:11
I'm going to put a sign up on the bulletin board asking if
anyone has an old (but working!) monitor or TV they want
to get rid of. I've seen some huge flatscreen TVs delivered
to the building in the last few months. The people who got
them may be having trouble getting rid of their old ones...

As long as it has a DVI-I or VGA connector.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#18
July 6, 2020 at 18:50:59
"
I'm going to put a sign up on the bulletin board asking if
anyone has an old (but working!) monitor or TV they want
to get rid of"

Too bad you didn't ask just a week or two ago. Company I work for got rid of a dozen or so large Dell CRT monitors (going to all LCD). Shipping on such, however, would have been a nightmare...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#19
July 6, 2020 at 19:26:28
Thank you but no thank you on CRT.

That's what I've got attached to the thing now. :-)

And I have mailed CRTs in the past. >:-O

I used to have a very nice 24" Dell Ultrasharp flat panel
monitor, but somebody else probably has it now.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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