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Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2007

Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Some friends got a new PC for Christmas with Vista and a BT router and broadband package. They have an ancient machine running Windws 98 on 64Mb of RAM.
I foolishly offered to clean it up and try and get it to connect to their network. With no anti virus or maintenance at all for the last 5 years it didn't take long for me to get into a mess.
I ended up doing a clean install of Win 98 from their disc which is fine other than that the display will not change from 480x600. It doesn't have a separate  graphics card. In frustration I have put in an old graphics card i had that says its a 128 32 mb Rage  PRo. I downloaded the The drivers from ATI but still no ability to fix the display. I haven't even started to think about getting a usb adapter or pci card for the wireless network yet but am expecting further problems with that.
Any ideas on sorting out the display?
Basically they just want a machine for web browsing and web mail and word processing ( they used wordpad for the last 5 years) so I did think about a linux alternative but without the drivers I think I'm stuck.
Sorry to admit I am an amateur who has got out of his depth.
16 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

I'd say download ubuntu and stick that on. Driver support is really good (especially compared to what it used to be) and you can test it as a live distro to make sure it detects everything first. Might be worth a shot, and will run better (and be more secure) with linux on anyway.
Hope that helps,
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Ubuntu needs more RAM than this old thing it only has 64 and
Ubuntu saya it needs :
" At least 256 MB of RAM is required to run the desktop install CD. Install requires at least 4 GB of disk space. "
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Ubuntu'll thrash and thrash, and anything like it will be the same. Their window managers are just too huge for such low-spec machines
Try Puppy Linux: http://www.puppylinux.org/user/downloads.php?cat_id=1 and download 2.15CE.
Even so 64MB is going to be a struggle. If you're going to go the Linux route, repartition the disk and create a 100MB swap partition and then install Puppy to the hard disk.
It may have a "cute" name but it's the Dogs B's
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

If you have the right display drivers it should work. Did it install ok?
Is there nothing written on the old card to say what it is like S3?
On some of the old cards you had to install the software before you put the card in. Remove the software put the old card back in install the software shut down and put the card in and see if it finds it.
Do you know what version of 98 you have as the old version wont support USB
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Groundsman
Try going here:
http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?ps=UE&lang=en
This utility will run on your machine and should tell you what the onboard video card is, after that you should be able to find the drivers.
Rikaitch
Grafter
Posts: 212
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

God beat me to it. Download Everest Home edition, click on display, and then PCI/AGP video. It'll tell you exactly what the graphics card is, and it might even point you in the direction of where to download the driver from.
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Thanks guys, I was worried about the fqct Win 98 was so old it was 98 SE though. I upgraded to ME just in case as I had an old licence.
Thanks for the tips on the identification and installing before fitting.
I expect I'll be back on here before too long.
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Things have gone from bad to worse. I downloaded the utility and was just going to fiddle with the graphics card. A "Friend" offered me some spare RAM. I had a slot put it in and tried to boot up but got a blank screen. - Took the dodgy RAM out.
I then found that the bios settings were all cleared and every attempt to find the C drive met with Not Found. My diagnosis was that the hard drive died under the strain. Ive moved the jumpers to reset the bios and repositioned all the cables and tried a different power supply cord. No luck
Howeverr I now have a glimer of hope! When I ran Puppy linux  2.02 which I have on a cd from the RAM I see a C drive, complete with a windows folder etc.
How come the bios cant find the C drive but puppy does,
Any advice gratefully received before I'm going to have to eat humble pie.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

i fink linux doesn't use the bios to address the disk but as for what else is going on i dunno!
paul
ps AAMOI Puppy 2.02 is a good choice  as 2.15CE is quite a lot bigger in a ram-challenged machine so on reflection my original advice wasn't the best
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

I swapped the jumpers on the drive form master to CS (Cable Select) and it booted.
Don't ask me why ?!
notheruser
Grafter
Posts: 139
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

So the position now is that you can boot, but still don't have the correct drivers?
You don't mention what kind of machine it is - this may help. You've been inside - did you note what kind of motherboard is in it? Most have a model number printed on them, and once you have identified the motherboard, getting drivers should be very easy - usually you just need to Google two words -motherboardmodel drivers - and you'll get what you need.
I'm sure the Linux solutions would work fine, though given that the owners of this PC are familiar with Windows 98 (and not with any Linux variant), it might be worthwhile persisting with the 98 install.
RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 632
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Registered: 06-08-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

I don't think that I can suggest anything that hasn't already been suggested, but I notice that you've considered using WinME instead of Win98SE. My only suggestion is, if you're going to use Windows instead of Linux, don't touch WinME with a barge pole. If I remember correctly, even Bill Gates admits it was a mistake.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Quote from: the
Things have gone from bad to worse. I downloaded the utility and was just going to fiddle with the graphics card. A "Friend" offered me some spare RAM. I had a slot put it in and tried to boot up but got a blank screen. - Took the dodgy RAM out.
I then found that the bios settings were all cleared and every attempt to find the C drive met with Not Found. My diagnosis was that the hard drive died under the strain. Ive moved the jumpers to reset the bios and repositioned all the cables and tried a different power supply cord. No luck
Howeverr I now have a glimer of hope! When I ran Puppy linux  2.02 which I have on a cd from the RAM I see a C drive, complete with a windows folder etc.
How come the bios cant find the C drive but puppy does,
Any advice gratefully received before I'm going to have to eat humble pie.

Once you recovered from the ram/drive problem did you run the utility? What info does it give you about the video card?
Jon
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Windows 98 display - bitten off more than I can chew`

Have you checked that the monitor drivers are there? I know my '98 installation used to moan unless I put some monitor drivers in. It used to detect it as some low res monitor...