Question Windows 98SE system compatibility

Apr 16, 2019
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Hi!

I decided to build a Windows 98SE system and started buying various parts from the Internet. First things first, so I begun with the processor and the motherboard, which I checked for compatibility using the following criteria:

  1. The CPU has to be officially compatible with the motherboard
  2. There must be Windows 98SE drivers for the motherboard available
I think these are enough but I may prove wrong so I ask you if there is anything more I should have taken care of.

Hardware Information

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Prescott, 2.40 GHz, socket 478, FSB 400/533/800
Motherboard: Asus P4V800D-X, socket 478
 

Quarkzquarkz

Honorable
Sep 18, 2013
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My God, Windows 98SE?! I must salute you since the last time I remember fiddling with those I was a freshman in High School. Don't forget your Sound Blaster Creative Labs if you're going for the ultimate experience with sound fidelity during that era as well. And don't forget your mechanical drive and the good ol' internal CD-ROM optical drive! :D
 
Apr 16, 2019
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The project continues. I bought the CPU and Motherboard mentioned above and now I am looking for a suitable Graphics Card. One that I have spotted is MSI GeForce 5500 FX AGP 256MB, since cards with 512MB or more will almost certainly cause problems with Windows 98.

The problem is that when I looked into the web for more info, I found out that there are two different pictures about that particular card:

Picture 1

Picture 2

The card I am looking to buy is from picture 2. When I go to MSI official site and type 'MSI GeForce 5500 FX AGP 256MB' the first card appears and there are Windows 98SE drivers available for download. However, the seller informed me that the card's box mentions only Windows XP and Windows Vista as compatible OS.

I suppose I run into two different versions of the same card, one with cooler and one with heat sink but my logic says that all other aspects (chip, etc) must be the same (though I also notice different capacitors, etc).

How can I know if the card is compatible with Windows 98SE?
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Looks to be just the difference between the US and UK versions of the same card. I wouldn't be concerned about it. I'd be more concerned about your processor/motherboard. Are you certain you have the Prescott version of the processor or the Northwood version (90nm vs 130nm)?

-Wolf sends
 
Apr 16, 2019
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Interesting... hadn't noticed that there were two versions of the same card.

I am already there, only the mouse and CD-Rom remain to be bought. Any IDE CD-Rom would do? Or not?
 
Apr 16, 2019
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Ok, last update of the project:

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Prescott, 2.40 GHz, socket 478, FSB 400/533/800
Motherboard 1: Asus P4S800D-X, socket 478
Motherboard 2: Asus P4V800D-X, socket 478
Mouse: HP Optical PS/2 672651-001 674315-001
Keyboard: Microsoft Wired Keyboard 500 PS/2
Graphics card 1: MSI GeForce 5500 FX AGP 256MB
Graphics card 2: ATI Radeon 9200 AGP 128MB DDR-128-Bit
Memory 1: Kingston KTH-D530/256 256MB 400MHz DDR SDRAM DIMM
Memory 2: Kingston KVR400X64C25/512 512MB 400MHz DDR SDRAM
Hard Disk 1: Western Digital 80GB IDE 7200 RPM
Hard Disk 2: Western Digital 120GB IDE 7200 RPM
Cables: 5 X IDE (2 devices)
Floppy: I already had one unused, didn't check for specifications
Power Supplier: Corsair VS450 450 Watt
Tower Case: Midi Tower Case Supercase SK-502

Yet to obtain:

CD-ROM Drive
Sound Card (probably Sound Blaster Live! or Sound Blaster 16)

What do I have to watch for about those two missing components? The motherboard I am going to use also has two SATA ports. Are they recognizable by Windows 98SE? Also, I never had to install drivers for any CD-ROM drive I bought for any of the systems I built since my first PC but I am not sure this will be the case now. Are there any CD-ROM drives that can also write that are compatible with Windows 98SE? If a CD-ROM is IDE, will it automatically work on Windows 98SE? Because the research I did wasn't conclusive.
 
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As long as the controller chipset has drivers for win 98 it doesn't matter if it's sata or ide they will show up and work.
Your main concern is to find burning software that will work on windows 98 because it's not build-in like in later windows's.
 
May 25, 2019
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the card will work. doesnt matter if its PCI or AGP (PCIE can be a problem though)
AGP will give better performance than PCI of course but if your gonna game on 9x hard enough the difference would matter you should really go with a 6800 geforce or an ATI x850 instead.
 
Apr 16, 2019
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Ok, here is a list of CD-Rom drives:

HP SOHR-4839S CD-RW IDE 48x32x48
SAMSUNG SC-148 CD-ROM DRIVE INTERNAL IDE 288894-001
LG GH22NP20 22x IDE Dual-Layer 5.25" Super Multi DVD±RW Drive
IBM GCC-4481B CD-RW/DVD-ROM NEW 48X32X48X/16X SPEED IDE COMBO DRIVE 37L5001 AIR
HP DVD420i / Compaq 378050-001 8X IDE DVD±RW Drive - 378050001 / DVD-420i
IBM 33P3296 16X IDE / PATA INTERNAL DVD-ROM Drive - 33P3297 / 89P9687
IBM 31P3957 16X IDE / PATA Internal 5.25" DVD-ROM Drive
HP 176135-FD4 CD-ROM IDE/ATA TS-H192C/HPCH 266072-004
TEAC CD-540E-002U 40X IDE CD-ROM DRIVE - 19770590-02 / CD540E / 1977059002
Pioneer DVR-106PC 4X IDE / PATA DVD-/+RW Drive - DVR-106BK / DVR106PC / DVR106BK
Sony DRU-842A 20X IDE Multi Format Dual Layer DVD'R/RW Internal Drive - DRU842A
TEAC CD-W524E 24X 10X 40X IDE CD'R/RW DRIVE - CDW524E - 19770860-34 - 1977086034

It's not easy to find specifications about CD drives it seems. For other hardware it was much easier.
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Drives just tend to work. It's more the software used to control them (above basic Windows functions) that is of concern. I'd figure that any of those would work, but is there a reason you're not including SATA drives? Your motherboard does have two SATA ports.

-Wolf sends
 
Apr 16, 2019
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Actually, because SATA technology is newer I have the fear that the probability for compatibility is smaller. It may be an unjustified fear though.
 
May 25, 2019
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It depends on the chipset more than the drive. I've used SATA drives on ME builds with varying degrees of success. typically if you can set SATA mode in BIOS to Legacy-IDE instead of AHCI it usually works.
 
May 25, 2019
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To take advantage of cheap SATA HDDs (80-120gb size) building top tier win9x gaming rigs with radeon x850 graphics and efficient 80+ certified power supplies.

with the right hardware and a few tweaks win ME runs great. I was using it as primary OS until XP came out then continued to dual boot for old games until newer chipsets no longer had drivers then I just built a separate machine for win ME and old games and ran XP on my main PC until win 7 came out.
 

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
Actually, because SATA technology is newer I have the fear that the probability for compatibility is smaller. It may be an unjustified fear though.
I'd say I'm about 90% sure that any SATA CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive you install there is going to be compatible. However, I'd say the same thing about IDE drives. I was just curious why you were limiting your options.

-Wolf sends
 
Apr 16, 2019
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Finally, I found the time to put together all the pieces that I have collected the last few months. Of course, I didn't expect it to work on its first power-up and I was right. The bad news are that I spent the whole day without making any progress. I turn the power on, the motherboard led lights up, I hear the Hard Disks spinning and the fans working as expected. However, there is no BIOS loading, nothing. I swapped the motherboard with the other one (and did the same with every single piece that I had two of) but nothing changed. I am out of clues...
 

onespeedbiker

Prominent
Apr 13, 2019
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Back in the days of win95, I remember a similar issue with a bad CDROM drive. It could also be a bad hdd or ribbon cable; make sure all the cables are properly plugged in.
 
Apr 16, 2019
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I checked the cables numerous times. I also disconnected all unnecessary parts and left the simplest configuration possible.

In the end, I damaged the CPU cooler I (it had a really complex way of putting/removing it). No damage to the CPU though, so I just need to replace the cooler. Until then I can't run any more tests...
 
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