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Upgrade from Win98 to WinXP

by mack9930317 / May 7, 2006 6:03 AM PDT

Ok here goes Chaps.

This is about an Upgrade from Win98 to Xp Home.

My mother has a Pc running Windows 98 but obviously she wants to Upgrade to Xp Home. In your opinions should this go without too much of a hitch? We have Downloaded a Prog called (UpgAdv.EXE) from the website which has been run. It only came up with a couple of Minor items that needed looking into such as Drivers for a Scanner which has been sorted.(Q1) Will I need just an Upgrade Version or can I also Upgrade with a Full Version? (Q2) Will I need the Drivers for the Motherboard etc after Installing WinXP (Do not have) (Q3) Is there anything else I should know before Buying and Installing?

My Mums Pc is -

1100mhz Intel Processor
256mb ram
Win98 (not SE)
20Gb Hard Drive

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Upgrade vs. Full version
by linkit / May 7, 2006 6:38 AM PDT

I'd compare prices on the following:
- Windows XP Home Upgrade Edition (with SP2)
- Windows XP Home OEM (full version with SP2)
- New computer with Windows pre-installed

The Upgrade version and the OEM version should be about the same price. Retail versions are more expensive.

I think you are in the UK, so you can't order from, but here are the prices I get:

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Upgrade from Win98 to WinXP
by foxrl / May 7, 2006 10:24 PM PDT

It is safer to get/purchase it from Microsoft or from
Vendors licenced to sell Microsoft XP Home. The reason
being if you run ito trouble you will have full tech
support from Vendor or from Microsoft.
Doing patching will only be good if you know the complete
patching to get upgraded to XP Home . I will not recommend this unless you are well versed in the
hardware setups of it.
Just get it from Microsoft and will solf all the

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Another site that is cheaper for WINXP Home
by DarCLew2 / May 7, 2006 8:58 AM PDT

Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2 3-Pack - OEM price: $268.95
Microsoft Windows XP Home
Windows XP Home Edition gives you the freedom to experience more than you ever thought possible with your computer and the Internet.
Manufacturer: Microsoft Type: CD Only
The SP2 update is shipping only, eDirectsoftware is no taxes and this is their site: they provide tech support and it is guarenteed for a full year. They do have either Gateway or Dell logos but they are genuine windows. Yes, you will need updated drivers, my modem was updated after a put in an install, HP DJ 648C didn't need it for USB, it was installed by WINXP, my video was updated and so was my audio automatically updated. I have a Gateway with 750 AMD and it was originally a WIN 98, then WIN98SE & WINME. It will change from Fat/FAT32 to NFTS and if you have a burner or your mum,, you can save your drivers for the motherboard from them. Darrell L. PS-They are a Microsoft Partner

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Before you...
by Papa Echo / May 7, 2006 2:19 PM PDT

...let in win XP Home by whatever means, I would suggest checking out compatibility issues. Your base system seems more than adequate, but check out the others HERE.

This is very important, as some, if not most devices for Win98 will not work in Win XP, same with programs. They may run, but not work properly for want of the proper ''XP drivers''. Manufacturers won't supply you with new drivers for old ''out of print'' devices. Windows or Mirosoft certainly won't. So, be prepared to make changes to what is in your computer or attached to it.

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I agree with Papa
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 7, 2006 8:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Before you...

although I would just add that your mother's PC specs are on the low side for XP

1] Processor - 110Mhz - A little slow, but will work as long as your mother doesn't want her computer to take her to the moon, Happy

2] RAM - 256MB - Although Microsoft recommend a minimum of 64MB RAM, many people find anything less than 512MB struggles. However, on a Win 98 machine your mother may not be able to increase her RAM by any more. 256MB won't stop XP working, but again performance will suffer a little.

3] 20GB hard disk - With XP being such a larger Operating System, there may not be too much left for anything else. You may want to suggest adding a larger hard disk, keeping the 20GB for the Operating System, and using the 2nd disk for new programs and data storage.

4] XP with SP2 does not allow any pests. Any viruses, spyware etc will upset the installation of SP2 and make it problematical. Yor mother should ensure her computer is clean before trying to upgrade.

Good luck.


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Disagree with 3] see below
by DarCLew2 / May 8, 2006 12:26 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree with Papa

3] 20GB hard disk - With XP being such a larger Operating System, there may not be too much left for anything else. You may want to suggest adding a larger hard disk, keeping the 20GB for the Operating System, and using the 2nd disk for new programs and data storage.
I have 14.33 GB Hard Drive and WIN XP Home took up 5.22GB and I have 64% free space (9.21 GB free)and that is fully loaded with many programs. I have just installed PowerDVD for my system, it was higher .01GB Darrell L.

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Here is the correct specs for XP Home
by torr1 / May 14, 2006 12:04 AM PDT

Here's What You Need to Use Windows XP Home Edition

"? PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required;* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
? 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
? 1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space.*
? Super VGA (800

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(NT) (NT) processor is 1100Mhz (not 110Mhz)
by linkit / May 8, 2006 2:54 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree with Papa
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Oops! :)
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 8, 2006 4:38 AM PDT

thanks linkit.

DarClew2, you may be right of course. Mine was just a suggestion.


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Mark, I had emailled you about but said you were Max Duh!
by DarCLew2 / May 8, 2006 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Oops! :)

Guess I am prone to errors too. Wish I could email tobeach over him wanting to use Old Adaptec ECDCreater v4.02 - he may download it first then the upgrade I found for WINXP Pro @, I had the same more than 2 years ago for WIN98SE.
He'd would have to download and just save to install both, install his version offline, update driver to newer version and then go online to see if it works.
Interestingly, some were listed as being roxio so I knew it was correct. When I went to the site, if he clickes on the CD/DVD, it leads to the printer and the covers for CD's that he wanted.

I wrote to you about that had updated free hardware. Darrell

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I never got your email
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 8, 2006 7:18 AM PDT

What said Max?


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went to your profile and it had: Email this User
by DarCLew2 / May 8, 2006 2:21 PM PDT
In reply to: I never got your email

under Moderator, apparently, link doesn't work but I sent this site to you: File Hippo - Download Free Software. Darrell

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I agree
by linkit / May 8, 2006 5:12 AM PDT
In reply to: I agree with Papa

A personal experience for those considering XP upgrades:

I still have my PIII 500MHz, 384MB, 120GB, nVidia TNT2 128MB video computer that runs Windows XP Home. It ran Windows XP just fine...until I got used to faster machines.

Over the years, I added:
- 256MB RAM to 384 MAX (PC100)
- 120GB HD
- PCI USB/Firewire combo card (originally no USB2.0 or Firewire)
- 10/100 network adapter card (originally none)
- DVD+/-RW (originally only a DVD-ROM)
- Windows XP Home Upgrade (originally Windows 98SE)

If I had the original machine, and wanted to get it ''up to speed'' for Windows XP, I WOULDN'T DO IT. The total cost of those upgrades would equal the cost of a NEW lower end P4 or Athlon 64 machine that will be much faster and be around longer.

I will also add that many of the components that will be in a NEW machine (HD, PSU, fans) will likely be quieter. A more pleasant computer experience.

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More RAM
by Scott Simontis / May 8, 2006 6:58 AM PDT

256MB will run Windows XP, although I would recommend that you try and upgrade if possible. Look at your motherboard manual to see what kind of memory your computer takes, and how much it can hold. Going up to 512MB would really help.

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This is an UPgrade...???
by skycatcher / May 11, 2006 7:16 PM PDT

Let's get this straight... Are you claiming that changing 98se for XP is actually an UPgrade....!!!!

Microsoft is stopping support for 98se because it's now perfect with nothing left to improve. 98se with still do everything that is required only Faster, and it can do it on a slower PC with less RAM and a smaller HDD.

Try putting two identical PCs side by side - one running a fully updated 98se (including the Unofficial 98se SP2) and the other running a fully updated XP. Press both start buttons and see who wins. More whistles and bells doesn?t mean a better system and I?ve never found a properly set up 98se to be ?unstable?.

This could start off a whole new debate... teehee !

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Upgrade to Windows XP
by ezeze5000 / May 11, 2006 9:00 PM PDT

Well by the time you get all the hardware upgrades, purchase the XP upgrade disk and spend the time to do the upgrade you could go to Wal-mart and purchase an upgrade PC (no monitor) for a little over $300 U.S.
These systems allready have XP installed and would run much better than any old PC could be upgraded to.

Of course if you wanted a good virus free PC you could just load one of the many Linux Desktop Distro's on your old PC.

Most all of the popular Linux Distro's are located at:

I hope this helps!

note: Try the live distro's first, they won't hurt your existing windows installation (puppy linux is a good one).

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XP is bigtime upgrade
by Aaronatblue / May 12, 2006 6:15 AM PDT

XP is far superior to windows 98 by leaps and bounds. 98 doesn't have anywhere near the manageability, driver compatibility and ease of installation for new hardware. It's difficult to secure, doesn't connect to a domain properly etc etc.....
Try plugging in a usb drive to your *perfect* os. Doesn't work... you need to install a driver cd. 98 is a pain in the butt OS without support for modern hardware.
Try installing a 300 GB drive on windows 98 and see how well FAT32 supports it....
Only good thing about 98 is it's small footprint.

You're claim about performance is somewhat accurate, but at the same time rediculous. Again, XP is a much more modern OS and it supports a ton of new types of hardware and features out of the box.

It's like I'm driving a hummer and you're saying your beaten up old motorcycle is faster. obviously it's faster, but try driving that motorcycle in the rain....

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re: 98SE vs Win Xp
by jpotter85 / May 12, 2006 1:50 PM PDT

I totally agree with skycatcher on this point: win98 is faster, especially on older systems.
I also do not like being forced to upgrade just because the almighty MicroSoft has decided that they will no longer support older operating systems. They do not seem to get that people sometimes do not have the means to keep up with all the upgrades. Not just the operating system, but all the other peripherals, including ram memory and then printers and scanners which won't work on the new OS. Enough is enough! I am seriously thinking of going over to Linux. MicroSoft has been '****-tating' long enough what is on our computers, and how we use them.
I can see the point of businesses wanting the newest and best, but your everyday person who just wants to surf and visit with their computer from home doesn't need the so-called 'improvements'. I know of no one who actually 'needs' a huge new hard drive, and yet we've been forced to buy bigger and more trouble-prone equipment for the last 8 years just 'cuz "they" say so. Well, I ain't doin' it no more. I will never fill up an 80 gig hard drive, never mind a larger one, with the things I am interested in. So, I'm not interested in any more upgrades. Period. Happy

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windows 98 update
by cody / May 12, 2006 4:09 AM PDT

yes you can update iam tec an your pc that your telling can be yes after i read your letter i see you can do but check memmory to

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my thoughts
by ackmondual / May 12, 2006 4:30 AM PDT

<B>As far as your current specs go</B>, Truthfully, you can get away with what you have.

I also upgraded fom win98 (this was SE) to winXP Pro and had:
-P3 550MHz
-128MB SD RAM PC133 upped to 640 MB of RAM
-new 80GB hardrive
-13.6GB hardrive became my 2ndary

speed was fine. I had to disable the translucent selection rectangle effect back to the classic dotted line square found in win2000 and before since it would bring my system to a crawl when it got bigger than 320x320 pixels. Everything else ran OK. Not as smooth as win98 SE mind you, but it was still acceptable.

RAM was fine too. IIRC, i had 128MB at first, but I upped it to 640MB. There was a slight performance boost, but it could've all been in my head.

I tend to store lots of music, PC game files, PC games themselves, media, and other stuff on my PC, so I needed more than the 8GB available after winXP installation. It'll greatly vary by what you do with your PC. For some, 5GB free will be more than anyone will ever need. For the digital or industry person, they can really use 500GB+. Get familiar with your mother's PC usage habits to determine if another/bigger hardrive is in order.
Just keep in mind, after install, winXP eats up about 2GB of space, but there's more to that. Using System Restore eats up space depending on how far back of a system state you want it to store. Virtual memory, and temporary internet files all use the same space. I'd say give assume 5GB of all uses for winXP, required as well as some optional ones that are good to have just to be on the near safest side.

If you want more optimum performance, say...
-somewhat faster but definately more noticeable speed
-better multitasking (5 browser windows, 3 Office documents, some more complex apps like video player, and better performance due to less virtual memory use)
-more headroom in terms of freespace.

I'd say get at least a P4 2GHz and 512MB of RAM. The processor is likely a stretch, but RAM can be easily updated. Even a 512MB stick of RAM, giving 768MB total is a cost effective, and easy Do It Yourself upgrade.

<B>Alternatives to upgrades</B>
Many home users like winXP for sure, but for the sake of performance, consider getting win2K. win2k is considered the best Windows OS from an IT standpoint. It's got the best features for such low requirements. WinXP is superior, but only if you have the hardware to run it. Coporate environments prefer win2k since they won't need as high of hardware to get it to run as smoothly, but also mentioned by the other poster, winXP does have some issues that can still be problematic. These are moreso for IT admins.

If you really must stick with winXP, then consider turning down all the special effects, the winXP interface (will be replaced with the classic win98/win2k interface), and other visual effects. If you will have issues with your posted setup, doing all that will reduce the load on your system resources enough to make things smoother for sure. Without all that "bling", winXP is just win2k with better networking built in.

win98 ain't bad, but i had several lousy moments with it during my 4 year with it. Granted, i could've taken better care of my PC on the inside of the hardrive, but I do feel winXP is better in that regard.

Some of your apps may not work. I tried changing the .exe properties of certain apps to win98 compatibility, but that didn't work. Was able to find either winXP compatible versions or winXP equivalents of the apps I used to use on win98. My flight stick only works on win98 tho, and I may replace that one day when I get back into flight games. So yeah, keep in mind, some of your hardware and software may not make the leap across. Most likelythe former.

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Still debating if I want to go from win98se to winxp
by Maxxam / May 12, 2006 6:50 AM PDT
In reply to: my thoughts

My Dell Dim with win98se is running perfectly, but without the ability to update from MS, it makes me nervous for the future of using it on the internet. My system is a 700mhz, 256ram and boots up just as fast or faster than my Toshiba laptop with winxp home. If I do not get winxp on the Dell, what will I do for security on the machine when MS stops supporting it?

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re: Still debating if I want to go from win98se to winxp
by ackmondual / May 12, 2006 11:58 AM PDT

M$ already stopped supporting win98 SE. Some1 on this forum mentioned the reason being it's already been as patched as they'd like.

but without the ability to update from MS, it makes me nervous for the future of using it on the internet

Are u referring to if u have the hardware to upgrade or the ability (legal or permission-wise) to upgrade to winXP? With your specs and a retail copy, it should work.

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still debating if I want to go from win98se to winxp
by Maxxam / May 14, 2006 3:20 AM PDT

Was not aware that MS had already stopped supporting Win98. I was able to get a critical update from them last week. Well, I guess I will keep an eye out for an upgrade WinXP. Suppose Home edition is better for an older PC with only 256 ram. I have only two slots for memory sticks and have 128 in each. Would these be able to handle 256 each if the pins match? If so, I could pull the old 128s out and replace with 256s. My desktop is a Dell Dimension XPS T700r with 10g hd. Want to upgrade the hd to 120gb.

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768MB (3x 256MB)
by linkit / May 14, 2006 4:55 AM PDT

You need to get the EXACT memory type. You can discover what type by reading the computer specifications at or entering your model number at

I entered your system at and looked it up at Looks like you the max RAM is 768MB (3x 256MB) of PC100.

The cost of the new HD, RAM, Windows XP, is very close to the NEW $299 Dell computer currently being offered.

IMO, I'd forget the upgrade and just get a new computer. Install Linux on your old computer and use it for Internet and general office work if you don't want Win98.

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Maxxam, according to linkit, you have 100 MHZ Memory sticks
by DarCLew2 / May 14, 2006 2:51 PM PDT
In reply to: 768MB (3x 256MB)

The bad news is they are not made anymore, the new ones are 133 MHZ. I had a Compaq that had 3 100 MHZ sticks, 64 MB, 32 MB & 16 MB. I did get lucky when I put in a 128 MB, 133 MHZ stick in place of 16 MB 100MHZ but a second one burned up! $99 plus tax. That meant the cost was $198 and I could have gotten a new computer a lot easier. Didn't pay to be stingy for me. Darrell Lewis

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Dell memory warning
by linkit / May 14, 2006 3:26 PM PDT

I was also thinking that Maxxam could use PC133 RAM, mainly because I have used PC100 and PC133 modules (exclusively and mixed) in Intel PIII systems with great success. lists both PC100 and PC133 modules up to 256MB as being compatible; however, has the following note for the Dimension XPS Txxxr systems:

''NOTE: Only 100-MHz DIMMs are supported. The system can include both ECC and non-ECC memory; however, to support ECC, all installed DIMMs must be ECC-capable. ECC DIMMs have an odd number of memory chips on the module and non-ECC DIMMs have an even number of chips.''

My old PIII 500MHz (not a Dell) has a mix of the two memory module types and works fine. As you lamented, I too wish I could go back in time and put all the money spent on upgrades for that computer towards one of today's new machines. It currently is a Linux box.

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Looks like upgrading for me is not good idea
by Maxxam / May 15, 2006 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell memory warning

Thanks linkit and darclew2. Probably is better to just buy a new computer, now that I think about it. A new one will have faster cpu, better graphics, etc. Just did not like the idea of more landfill with the old computer. It is still working like a champ if I do not install anything else on it. But the idea of no more updates from MS is why I wanted to upgrade OS. Maybe use offline or install Linux. Which one is popular nowadays? I have only used the live CDs of Mandrake, Suse, and Knoppix. All were the latest from last year, which are probably outdated by now. Should I look into buying full versions of Suse or Red Hat?

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by ackmondual / May 15, 2006 5:54 AM PDT

The free distros of Linux seem to suffice for many, but of course, paid copies will have tech support, if free distros even have it at all. Not too familiar with the different versions, so u'll have to do research there or wait for suggestions from others.

As for an extra PC, having even an extra tower unit ain't so bad. You get extra flexibility in your computing uses, especially when multiple ppl are in your house. But yeah, the only issue with a new PC is transferring all your old stuff to your new PC. A cheap USB thumb drive can do that. And even a $300 to $500 PC will keep basic users' needs set.

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some suggestions
by linkit / May 15, 2006 6:48 AM PDT

Free Linux distributions:

SuSE works great on my old P3 computer.
Xandros and Fedora have also worked.
Ubuntu seems to be gaining popularity (I'm trying it today).

You can download many of these and burn them to CD or DVD for installation. You can pay for a disk to be mailed to you, too. If you don't want to deal with large downloads or torrents, look for a Linux magazine at your local book/magazine store. Many of them have a disc with a free Linux distribution.

Some references:

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I see a new computer in my future.
by Maxxam / May 15, 2006 8:54 AM PDT
In reply to: some suggestions

Thanks guys for helping me think this out. It's good to have some knowledgeable folks to bounce ideas around and help the ol' noggin make sense the various choices. A new basic computer is about $300 or $400 for using on the internet makes sense. Then the old w98 can be used for exploring other ose's. Thanks again.

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