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Broadband on W98 seems very slow

dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: 05-03-2008

Broadband on W98 seems very slow

I've recently added a 3rd PC to my home network which is running windows 98.
I find that it is painfully slow when using the internet.
I've thought about why this might be happening and a few things spring to mind.
1) The Network card I installed may be inadequate but it's a standard PCI card
2) The CAt5e cable I am using may be faulty but then again it is definitely wired up correctly (I did it myself having cut a length from a 100mtr roll)
3) W98 just isn't good enough.  Embarrassed
4) The Netgear router needs tro be configured for this PC or it just can't cope with it.
The reason I have this 3rd PC with W98 is because it's for my kids who have software that can only be run on a W98 machine.
The other 2 PCs are XP and work fine.
I did a speed test on all three and on average the 2 XP machines give a 6.5 speed but the W98 is around 2 if I'm lucky and is seriously slow when browsing etc.
Can anyone advise me as to what I have done wrong or should be doing to improve this.
Thanks
32 REPLIES
N/A

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

If its just on one machine, it could be worth doing a bit of tweaking using DrTCP
Kitz has a useful guide/tutorial here : http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/tweak2.htm
Since the other machines work fine, its possible that the W98 box is suffering from settings which aren't quite perfect.
However, this'll allow the kids to use bandwidth that'd be permanently 'reserved' for you if you didn't make the change!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

I had the same problem and on advise just tweaked the MTU and RWIN as advised and problem cured.
N/A

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

Even if it were a 10MB card, thats still a heck of a lot more throughput that you'll get from an ADSL connection, so its very unlikely to be causing a problem.
Adding the client IP address to the router is unlikely to help too - its not a IP connectivity issue, as the OP states he can complete speedtests successfully on the W98 box.
Also in a default setup, the address visible in ipconfig is likely to be one assigned by the DHCP service on the router, thus it already knows what IP the W98 box is on.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

Isnt it winipconfig in win98? You said you did the cable yourself this could be the problem. Its easy to make a cable just connect the same wires at each end but you can then get cross talk which could slow it down ideal you need certain wires so the cross talk is eliminated. Can you try another cable?
Win98 shouldnt be slower than any other pc but its not very scientific to say it feels slow is it just webpages or just some webpages? What browser are you using? Can you copy files to the other pcs at a reasonable speed?
One of the main reason win98 is slow is that by default it adds netbui which floods the network if its installed remove it as this may make all the difference.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

I'd try adjusting the MTU and RWIN first.
Win98 was "optimised" for a dial-up connection and has an MTU of 576* and an RWIN of 8512 set as default.
Changing these to something more suitable for a broadband connection should speed things up somewhat.
* Not strictly true - it's set to "Automatic" for PPP dial-up connections.  Microsoft article here.
dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: 05-03-2008

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated.
I downloaded DrTCp and changed the settings as you suggested.
There is a definite improvement and when running the speed tests on all 3 PCs the speed seems pretty much the same (around 6).
There still seems to be a struggle and slowness though when viewing web pages (more so on the ones that have graphics)
Do u think I should try tweaking the MTu & RWIN again or should I try somethimg else.
dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: 05-03-2008

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

The Graphics card is an ATI 3D Rage II (English) (Direct Draw)and memory is 192 MB.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

did you remove netbui from the network settings?
dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: 05-03-2008

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

Samurai,  I have not done this yet but I was literally about to post a question to you as to how to do it.
Can you please explain?
Do you think I should add more memory and change the graphics card? if so can you recommend one that would do the job.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

I would just add some more memory first - that normally speed things up.  Unless you're doing stuff that's graphics intensive a new card isn't going to make much difference.
To see if you can get more memory for your machine go here.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

192MB should be plenty for Windows 98 to say the least!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

I havent got a 98 pc to go from but to remove netbui its in the network settings and you will see netbui tcip client for ms networks file and print sharing etc. in xp its control panel\network setting\local area network properties\general.
98 isnt much different so you should be able to find it if you have the 2 screens in the bottom right corner of the toolbar you can get at it that way.
It used to be the main protocol in 98 and blasts packets out all day long flooding the network and slowing it down.
Much more than 64 meg ram for 98 can make it worse as in those day 8 meg was the norm our if you were posh 32meg. so 98 was never written to use anymore as no one could use 64 meg of ram could they?
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

Quote
Much more than 64 meg ram for 98 can make it worse

Not entirely true.  Win 98 can handle large amounts of memory, see here - and, in general, the more memory you have in a system, the better.  The minimum amount of memory quoted is required to run the operating system e.g. if Win 98 needs a minimum of 16MB to run then that 16MB is occupied by the OS.  When you add a program that needs, say, 32MB of memory then an additional 32MB of memory is needed or the OS starts swapping things to disc (virtual memory) to free up space in RAM, slowing everything down.
However, there is a bug in Win98 that rears its head if you go above 512MB of RAM and it's documented in this article.
A couple of other articles on the subject of memory for Win98 can be found here and here.
Generally speaking though the more RAM the better, but, for most applications, 128MB of RAM should be more than adequate for Win98.
dgreen007
Grafter
Posts: 169
Registered: 05-03-2008

Re: Broadband on W98 seems very slow

I've tried to remove Netbui but  I can not find it in the Network settings.
Can someone please advise as to whether I should definitely be doing this and if so how exactly.
I've tried to establish how much max memory I can add to my PC.
The link below was showing me the recommendations but I'm a little confused.
Can I go up to 1Gb and would this make a big difference or should I just add another 256 and not exceed 512
http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/listparts.aspx?model=GA-6BXE
I realise now I must have 256 installed (even though the system reports 192) I presume it's two seperate 128s.
I'm wondering whether it would be safe to fill up all 4 slots with 256 in each?
Cheesy