Questions

Computer far slower than it logically should be

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Computer far slower than it logically should be

Slayer_
Anyone that has answered my questions before, this might seem familure....

Anyways, since ye ole 95 detonated and will no longer startup, I took the drive out, and stuck it in a slightly newer machine, set it up as a secondary drive, and now just use it as file storage. This drive is a modern 40 gig drive (the last year they made 40 gig drives) and its pretty fast. Worked great in the old system.


The problem:
This new system is inexplicably slow, and seems to be getting worse. As simple as browsing a drive, even the faster drive, is really slow, almost a full 3 seconds per folder. There is constant "window peeling" for everything you do, which is "usually" a cause of not enough RAM, but that is impossible, as 256 RAM is far more than Windows 98 needs, and a quick memory usage check, even after constant running for a month, shows 60mb of RAM free.
Running programs, everything, is all crazy slow. Once a program is running, it is good, but the initial loading is slow as well as the unloading. I even made a simple app in Vb6 that just displays a message, and closes, it took 10 seconds to load, 3 seconds to display the message, and 5 seconds to finish peeling the message off the screen. I thought it should just be that the 10gig C drive is ridiculously slow, far slower than the original 3gig HDD in ye ole 95, but that doesn't explain why every action has ridiculous window peeling. So My last guess is Windows is convinced it MUST use swapfile for everything, as it doesn't seem to be utilizing the RAM as good as Windows 95 did.
But I am not certain, any suggestions?

Even by the standards back then, this machine is borderline unsuable (Viewing a webpage is pretty much impossible, it never finishes loading it takes so long)

The brief system specs are
Windows 98SE
P2, 350mhz
C drive is a 10 gig drive, not sure of year or manufacturer.
D,E drives are partitions of the 40 gig drive
256 mb DIMM RAM, 2 out of 3 slots filled, RAM is fairly modern, dated 2002.

I do not had indepth knnowledge of this system as it was purchased a long long time ago, and wasn't used by me until recently.
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    robo_dev

    Look for programs that are running...like add-on scanner applications, mouse applications, viruses, etc, etc.

    There was a version of Systernals "Process Explorer" for Win98...probably one on the net somewhere.

    But look in the startup folder as well as in Win.ini, autoexec.bat, as well as the registry..... or just run Msconfig and it will do all that for you.

    Windows 98 Solution Center
    http://support.microsoft.com/ph/1139

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    Slayer_

    I'll post a list when I can, ATM I do not have any process explorer installed, and you can't screen Ctrl+alt+delete in Win98 (especially not remotely like I am trying now)

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    robo_dev

    Hardware installed that is not being used (network adapters, scanners)

    Network connections that are not being used (shared folders, shared printers)

    Other stuff installed that slows things down: Network Client (e.g. Novell Client).

    Defragging the drive may help a little.

    Run Chkdsk and also clear out temp files.

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    Slayer_

    Hardware installed that is not being used (network adapters, scanners)
    Check!

    Network connections that are not being used (shared folders, shared printers)
    Check!

    Other stuff installed that slows things down: Network Client (e.g. Novell Client).
    Check!

    Defragging the drive may help a little.
    no Check!

    Run Chkdsk and also clear out temp files.
    Check!


    Why no check? It says last run in 1200 days, and it won't let it run, it loads it, says 0 percent, then hangs, if iI contrl + alt + delete it goes blue screen and complains about the system is busy. How can I defrag this thing?

    Also the other cheques in place, it is no faster at all. I deleted the other network protocols and such etc.

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    CaptBilly1Eye

    Here's where there is quite a bit of info on what to do when you have difficulty running Defrag or ScanDisk in Win98:
    http://www.helpwithwindows.com/windows98/troub-29.html

    One of the steps is to disable any programs starting up automatically at boot.
    That's where I would start.

    A couple of questions -
    1. Is the system vented well?
    2. How many fonts are installed?
    3. Are there any third-party disk-caching programs installed?
    4. Is Virtual Memory set to be Windows Controlled?

    I agree with robo_dev's suggestions in his first post.

    Win 98 includes a program called walign.exe that organizes pieces of programs on your hard disk in an order that decreases loading time. Run walign.exe by choosing Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Maintenance Wizard. A wizard will pop up and offer to delete unnecessary files, check your hard disk for errors, and speed up frequently used programs. If you set the wizard to run regularly, Windows 98 will load your programs as quickly as possible.
    (excerpt from http://sisnet.ssku.k12.ca.us/technology/Win)

    Although most of the sites that held tips for tweaking Win98 no longer exist, this one may be of help:
    http://www.angelfire.com/la/freereports/speedupwindows.html

    .

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    Slayer_

    I particularly like the one about it shutting down properly but runnign scan disk afterwards. I have no idea if that ever happens, since it's windows 98 99% of the time it doesn't shutdown. Anyways, I can't try anything of what you said righ tnow till I get home, but I can answer these


    A couple of questions -
    1. Is the system vented well?
    -The case is off right now, so yes
    2. How many fonts are installed?
    -unsure, w/e the stock fonts with Win98 are
    3. Are there any third-party disk-caching programs installed?
    -No
    4. Is Virtual Memory set to be Windows Controlled?
    -Should be but I will double check when I get home, I am not sure if I remember where to check this though, its been so long.

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    Slayer_

    And man is it fragmented, it's having to go one at a time, no grouping here! The poor old drive sounds terriable.

    I'm almost tempted to set the other drive as primary and let the ole 95 partition boot up (I wonder if it would, being a different... everything)


    I did the swapfile thing, 640 to both min and max. Changed it to be a network server (go figure).
    And when its done ill make the performance winzard do its stuff.

    However not much of this explains the window peeling, why it behaves like it has no extra memory at all. Every small action is coupled with an excessivly long redraw time. And although the drive is heavly fragmented, it's a 10 gig drive, and only 1.5 gigs are used.

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    vhrocker

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    Jacky Howe

    You can use the Hard Drive Makers Testing Utility to Test the Drive

    Hitachi / IBM - DFT "Drive Fitness Test"

    http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

    Works with all manufacturers

    Western Digital "Data Lifeguard"

    http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp#dlgtools

    Works with WD drives only

    Fujitsu "FJDT"

    http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/drivers.asp?L=en&CID=1

    Works with fujitsu models only

    Samsung "hutil"

    http://www.samsung.com/Products/Hard...ties/hutil.htm

    Compatability unknown...

    Seagate "Seatools"

    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools

    Works with Seagate drives only


    It may be time to wipe the Hard Drive for a fresh start.

    Darik's Boot and Nuke.
    http://dban.sourceforge.net/

    http://www.dban.org/documentation

    Autonuke should do it. Recreate your Partitions and you should be good to go.

    Also make sure that you have the latest device drivers installed.

    Link to speeding up Win98.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/835821

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    Slayer_

    It's fairly fresh, it only has about a months worth of use on it, granted it hasn't been used for..... 9 years??? (The Cmos battery was still good amazingly!).
    I remember even back then my old machine of half the power, ran circles around this thing, it was slow back then.

    I don't know the drive manufactuer, its one o fthose old systems where the HDD is locked inside a supposedly removable case. I have no idea what the drive manufactuer is, is there an easy way to check?


    ....Uh the defragmenting is SO SLOW, I have never seen such slow drive access, I am almost tempted to defrag the larger faster drive, to see if it goes as slow, or if its a proper speed. If it's slow then I know its not the drives fault....

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    Jacky Howe

    it hasn't been erased so it still has previous data on it. You may even find a formatting utility in the BIOS.
    Aida16 will tell you what the drive is if you can find a copy.
    You could also try another PSU.
    Also you didn't say how many MB your Video card is. 4MB or under is pretty lame. Check your refresh rates for the monitor as well.

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    Slayer_

    It was used for about a month or 2, then the system was put away, all work after that was done on my gaming system because it was the one with internet access. The gaming machine was also only a 200mhz machine with 64mb of RAM, but was 100 times faster than this machine for some inexplicable reason.

    It has an 8mb video card (ATI Rage2), 4mb isnt lame :(, my old system had a 4mb card and it was good.

    Based on how slow everything is, I doubt formatting will have an effect, if even a lasting one, however I do not have the driver disks for this machine anymore, so format is not a good method of doing this. I also don't have a win 98 install disc.

    Try another PSU??? Please explain this.


    Refresh Rate is set to 85hz @ 1024 x 768.


    Bios is kind of sparce of options, I don't even see PCI BIOS shadowing in it like my old system. About the most advanced thing in the bios is the ability to reserve IRQ's.
    (Ill be making a new question about bios/mobo problem leter, first I want this thing to get some power first)

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    Jacky Howe

    I thought that the System may have seen a lot of use. That PSU is almost brand new.
    Drop your refresh rate to 60Hz and 800x600 and see if there is any difference.
    It looks like you can only work with what you have so you are limited in what you can do.

    Edited to add:

    What was the performace like before you added the second drive.

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    Slayer_

    Just as bad.

    FYI 60hz really hurts the eyes, but I'll try.

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    Slayer_

    Other than added eye strain, the peeling and slowness is still there. I timed it, to open the my documents folder, which is empty, took 15 seconds.

    However, that is significantly faster than before the defrag, it used to take almost 2 minutes to open lol.

    Now how to I make it as fast as the machine that was 2 years older... half a second.

    Total boot up time was about 4 minutes, so not bad.

    I think these performance improvement tipsx are helping, but there should be a lot more left in this machine, I know its hardware should be able to go faster.


    Edit...
    Just had a thought, what if the Video drivers in it are so aweful that the 2D processing is taking forever??? Like I just tried Mechwarrior 3 on it, and it ran like a champ, Max graphics and everything.

    Edit:
    Yikes finding drivers for this thing is hard, I keep finding versions that are apperently older than what is currently installed.


    So for anyone that can help with this one, the Adapter tab in display properties says it is

    RAGE IIC AGP

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    ThumbsUp2

    ... the seek time on that old 10GB hard drive may be causing the problem?

    What's the spin speed of the old 10GB drive? When it's accessed like when you're opening My Documents, do you hear any type of 'click'? Perhaps the head is sticking or slow moving.

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    Slayer_

    Those old drives were always very noisy, very hard to tell.

    I tried running a SMART test on it, seems it doesn't support SMART.

    I wouldn't doubt it has a slow spin speed, however I did do a surface scan on it and it went at a pretty good speed.

    I used to have a HDD speed overclocker, maybe I'll find one of those again

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    Jacky Howe

    Support & Drivers and under AMD Support & Drivers

    Download graphics drivers

    and under Please select your operating system scroll down to Legacy Windows ME\98 and click on Legacy (Discontinued) and then click on Rage IIC


    <i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>

    <i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome. </i>

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    Slayer_

    It shows software version 5.3, but the version on that site is only version 4.####.


    NVM, Installed version is exact same as the version on that website...
    So I guess that isn't the problem.

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    Jacky Howe

    and another suggestion. Remove Norton and if it doesn't uninstall use the Removal Tool.

    Download and run the Norton Removal Tool

    http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039

    You can try Avast

    For a computer running Windows? 95/98/Me:
    486 Processor, 32MB RAM and 100MB of free hard disk space.

    http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

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    Slayer_

    It's not like its updating anyways, and altho it seems to do a good job with huestics, let's face it, its Nortan lol.

    I wanted to install Avira on it, but no support for 98, so I'll try Avast, thanks. I'd do it now but I can only remotely control the machine, and well, being 98, its not safe to restart unless your sitting infront of it, reset button at the ready.


    The scanning files as they are created or run, I find is important for such an insequre system with probably millions of remote code execution vulnerablilites.


    Also, something else I noticed, while trying to do the SMART scan, I saw the CPU usage in speedfan, and its spiking up and down, from 3% to 100% back and forth, sometimes just to 60%.

    What's a tool I can run on that system to figure out what process is doing this?

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    Jacky Howe

    Process Explorer. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    I couldn't get it to run in a Virtual Win98 environment but it may run on your System as the older versions were compatable.

    <i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>

    <i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome. </i>

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    Slayer_

    The burning all 256 MB of RAM and glueing the CPU at 100%, is counter productive.

    I'll stick with Nortan.

    Any other speed improvement suggestions???

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    Jacky Howe

    I would consider using Disk Cloning software to take an Image of the drive in case something goes wrong. You can then use the Image to restore the Operating System at a later stage if needed.

    WIN98 is more swap file intensive than WIN95, even with lots of free Real RAM. By default WIN98 first goes to Virtual Memory, then Real Memory, which is a rather clumsy way of doing it considering the respective access speeds. Allegedly it was done for better performance, but I found a noticeable speed up for many tasks by including this tip. The first access to the system object is just as slow as the default, but subsequent acceses to the same system object are noticeably faster (provided the the task mix has not caused it to be paged out to disk). Such tasks include repainting the desktop, opening a previously opened and closed directory, saving an image from a webpage, saving a URL to the DeskTop or Favourites, etc. Even games like Mordor (has lots of file I/O - a game designed from a UNIX original) seem to speed up! Add this line to the [386Enh] section in the SYSTEM.INI file.

    ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

    http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~rhayes/serious/techinfo/optwin95.htm

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    Slayer_

    to the second drive. The boost is noticable.

    Man am I ever getting tempted to stick the XP pro disc in this thing already. I techincally excede the minimum requirements, but its so painfully slow as it is, I dont know if I'd want to try it.

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    Jacky Howe

    you are handicapped with a 5400 rpm. Why don't you take willcomps advice and clone it to the 40GB drive and use the 10GB as a Backup. Good spot to keep your drivers etc...

    Also check to see if there is a copy of win98 on C: drive and check in windows. I used to hide the install folder on there. It saved having to find a CD later.

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    Snuffy09

    do you have conflicting AV programs?

    since you have a good size HD with extra room increate your max pagefile (virtual memory) to 1024.

    check your device manager, you may be lacking important motherboard/controller or other drivers needed for your rig to run properly.

    clean up your temp files. ccleaner is good tool for doing this fast and easy. i do not know if you can install it on 98 tho. its worth a try.

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    Slayer_

    do you have conflicting AV programs?
    -I have an old version of nortan coproate edition that refuses to update, I suspect it could be slowing file access down slightly because it is set to scan each file as they are run or created. Stupidly I forgot about this, I will try with it off when I get home and see if it significantly speeds up file access.

    since you have a good size HD with extra room increate your max pagefile (virtual memory) to 1024.
    -Ok, I shall do this when I get home.

    check your device manager, you may be lacking important motherboard/controller or other drivers needed for your rig to run properly.
    -I asume anything missing should show up as a question mark? Will a screenshot of the device manager be helpful?


    clean up your temp files. ccleaner is good tool for doing this fast and easy. i do not know if you can install it on 98 tho. its worth a try.
    -I believe this should be covered with my regular Maintenance plan I scheduled, if not let me know.

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    Snuffy09

    Depending on how old your Norton AV is could be the reason your not getting updates... the version you are running my not be supported anymore. Also check your processes in task manager if you see "Rtvscan.exe", that is norton hogging up all of your system resources.

    yes, if there is a problem with your drivers there should be a yellow "?" or "!" beside the device in the device manager.

    I would download Ccleaner anyways. For the same reason you run different versions of spyware removers (ad-aware & Spybot S&D), one will pick up something that another one missed.

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    Slayer_

    It's even better installed than my XP machine, no missing devices at all.


    Edit...
    Holy Crap, Avast works on Windows 95? I wish I knew that 5 years ago.

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    vhrocker

    Is the video card listed as a generic or default (I forget how they label it), basically not specific to a particular brand, e.g. nVidia, ATI, S3, Intel.
    If not, find and install the correct ones.

    Is graphics acceleration turned on fully?
    http://libraries.risd.org/Downloads/TeacherResources/hardware_acceleration_settings.pdf


    Just a few ideas that I don't think I saw mentioned.

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    Slayer_

    Thanks for your response.

    It is an ATI, and shows it, DXDIAG reports the correct drivers installed. And graphics acceleration is turned to full.

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    robo_dev

    Just for grins, if that old dog will boot to CD-ROM, load a linux CD distro on there.

    I would start to dig into the hardware and try resetting the bios to factory defaults as well as looking for a bios upgrade. Maybe something is weird with the hard drive controller?

    Unplug anything extra besides the primary drive and the video card.

    Also swap the IDE cable and make sure it's an 80 wire cable.

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    Slayer_

    I was gonna make a new question but, this things IDE controls don't seem to recognize secondaries on the cables. SO I have one cable for each drive, and no CD drives hooked up.

    I tried getting them on the same IDE cable, but it never seems to recognize them at the BIOS. The system wont boot if their is two drives on one cable. It just sits at a black screen, no beeps nothing. I tried just hooking up a HDD and CD, same problem.

    I did try loading the defaults, and I tried looking around for optimization features such as bios shadowing, there is nothings. It's a really sparse bios.


    What will loading a Linux Distro help me with?

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    reisen55

    Your specifications are soooo behind the times I would, as I have, keep this as a DOS only station for reference. You can get a Dell Refurb right now for $78 on their website that is contemporary. I would not even bother with this computer. Don't put time or mental anguish into it.

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    Slayer_

    Besides, A refurb means it has likely already died once, this machine has stood the test of time and stands tall. Sure its back may be acheing and its getting slow in its old age, but we have drugs for that, we can revive it, give it new life.

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    Glenn from Iowa

    It's still 2/13, and the lowest price I can find on the Dell Outlet store is $209 for an Inspiron 531 with an AMD processor. It is possible that there were only 1 or 2 machines in that price range (~$78) which were purchased before I looked for prices. But how do you find deals like that? Or are you just exaggerating to make your point?

    - Glenn

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    willcomp

    Your 10GB drive is likely a 5400 RPM drive while the 40GB drive is a 7200 RPM drive and has higher areal density. If you clone the 10GB drive to 40GB drive, there should be a noticeable performance improvement.

    Test memory to ensure that there are no memory problems in higher range memory. Memtest 86+ is on the UBCD along with other handy utilities including hard disk testing software. http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ --- you'll need to disconnect a hard disk and connect a CD drive.

    When you connected drives on same IDE channel, were jumpers set properly? Are you using 80 wire cables for hard disks? 80 wire cable ensures that cable supports CS jumper settings.

    You need to determine manufacturer and model of 10GB disk. IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test will give you that information and also test disk. Post back with make and model of 40GB hard disk.

    For future reference -- it's good practice to run defrag in Safe Mode. Prevents constant restarts and there are no unnecessary drivers and software loaded.

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    ThumbsUp2

    I am convinced it is this old 10GB drive causing the slowdown.

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    Slayer_

    After totally breaking all my virus scanners, I'm backing up the drives, I have 3 Winrar archives and a huge file copy going, across the 2 drives, and over to a network drive, and its honestly going at an acceptiable rate. Sure that 10 gig drive is thrashing pretty hard, but the improvements are definitly there.

    With all forms of security down, access times have drastically improved.
    Also moving the swap file to the faster drive also resulted in a pretty good speed boost.
    About the only odd issue left is that strange window peeling. Where everything seems to have a huge visual redraw delay.

    ...Also I gotta figure out how to get some security back lol


    I have no idea what the cables are, they are the cables that were in it.... The BIOS seems incapable of detecting more than 2 devices on IDE's. I have some ASUS brand name cables hanging around from my last rebuild, I can stick those in and see if it fixes it.
    I have my drives set as primary and secondary, 10 gig at primary, 40 gig at secondary. Cable Select wasn't working at all, it would refuse to even start up POST with CS on.


    Drive models seem to be the same brand????
    the 10 gig is showing as
    ST310240A
    SMART shows 95% fitness and 97% performance.
    (Quick google of model number confirms the 5400 RPM's)


    and the 40 gig shows as
    ST340014A
    This drives SMART shows 93% on both performance and fitness.

    ST=Seagate???


    Lol, Cnet is selling one for 60 bucks, WHAT A RIPOFF! lol
    http://reviews.cnet.com/hard-drives/seagate-medalist-10240-hard/4014-3186_7-30012447.html

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    Glenn from Iowa

    Here is a page to interpret the model number <http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=204763>. I couldn't find a model number for ST340014A but ST340014AS did come up as a 40GB 7200RPM Barracuda 7200.7 SATA drive under Desktop Hard Drives.

    The ST310240A is classified as an "Older Hard Drive;" a 10.24GB 5400RPM Medalist ULTRA-ATA3 drive. That is why you could not attach both drives to one cable: one has an ATA interface, and the other has a Serial-ATA interface.

    The inability to partition more than 33.8GB on the 40GB drive is a capacity limitation of the BIOS. Check to see if there is a newer version of the BIOS.

    To find more information about each drive (including jumper settings), go to http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/ and type the model number into the Family/Model Number field in the "Product Find" box in the lower right side of the page. Make sure that "All Products" is selected (as the drives you are looking for are not Current Products!) and click the little blue arrow to the right of the Family/Model Number field. Notice that the resulting frame will have two tabs: one that says "Overview" and one that says "Technical Specifications."

    Good luck!

    - Glenn

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    Slayer_

    With a newer one, and suddnely stuff started working properly, also improved speed a bit.

    All drives recognized now.

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    willcomp

    A thumbs up or 2 would be appropriate.

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    Slayer_

    Thanks for your advice, however cloning the drive to the larger drive is no an option as the drive is used for files only as the server drive.

    Someone had already menthioed defrag while in safe mode.

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    willcomp

    I don't appreciate gratuitous use of LOL. I also thought you took some of my advice. That's OK, you may need my help again sometime and will be SOL.

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    willcomp

    My choice of OS on your hardware would be Windows 2000 (W2K). It is essentially a lighter version of XP and runs well on lesser hardware. Nearly all AV and malware removal software supports W2K while support for W98 is sparse. Eventually, you'll encounter adware/spyware/rootkits and there are no effective removal tools for W98.

    I also recommend that you use Firefox and ditch IE 6.

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    Slayer_

    Though I do have XP Pro. And an old key that a year after I bought it, M$ Decided it should be considered pirated.

    It is definitly true 98 is really starting to p*** me off, constant errors, stuff randomly crashes, all these BSOD's. It's hard to believe MS released something this bad, people say ME sucked, they obviously never spent any real time with 98, cause 98 is just as bad if not worse.

    Spybot S&D does work all the way down to Win95 (brilliant program), I'd install virus scanner but none seem to work on this rig, can't fix nortan, cant remove it, and no other virus scanner seems to work properly on Windows 98.
    So as it looks like it is heading for a reformat anyways, I am debateing what this machine will be used for.
    If I should stick a Linux distro on it, and continue to use it as a server, but basically nothing else. If I want to install XP or 2000 on it, and have it available for Windows apps, but, it will be really slow and insecure. If I should reinstall Windows 98 and relive this whole thing, if I should downgrade to Windows 95 and suffer memory leaks and extreme software incompatibility issues, but on the other hand, it should be very fast.


    FYI I was told that Mandriva Spring 2008 was a good version for this meek hardware, that it can have the GUI and all the tools I need/want. I am not an experienced Linux user... I just know that Linux has never successfully served my needs. However as it looks like I'm heading for a reformat anyways, its worth a shot.
    If I can make the old system live again, I'll stick the 10 gig drive in that rig, reinstall 95, and procede from there, then it can be once again my legacy machine for my legacy apps. Virtualizing 95 really doesn't work well, IE, it will die saying windows protection error if you have hardware virtualization enabled. It can't recognize CD drives on RAID controllers like I have, and it crashes randomly on the fake system the VM provides (bad drivers???)


    The midway plan is to remove the 10 gig drive, leave it with 98, incase I need to reboot back to it (for driver names and versions or w/e) but use that 40 gig drive as the sole drive in it, create appropriate partitions, and use that.
    I do wonder if this mobo can repartition that 40 gig drive to actually recognize the full 40 gigs, my last system could only recognize 33 gigs, so it's short partitioned.


    I would like to know, can I clone this drive into a file??? That I could later use to restore onto that 10 gig drive should I want to reverse all this??? My main machine has more than enough space for this, however how can I clone the drive to a network system??? This old rig does not have a CD burner, and I doubt I could install one in its current shape. (Don't have one available either).


    Also I do not care for Firefox, i had a bad experience with it once and it left a very sour taste in my mouth, I don't want to use it again. I would install Opera but the latest version doesn't work properly on Win98. It loads and browses, but is very unstable. I do not browse the internet on that machine, so I do not need a new web browser. (Why browse the internet on such a hunk of junk when you got a 2.6ghz duel core with 3gb of RAM, two monitors, 9600GT VC, 2TB worth of HDD space, sitting next to it? lol )

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    ross.com

    I don't remember Win98 no more, but in XP, in the device manager, in the IDE Channel, under Advanced settings, there is a setting called Transfer Mode: if it says PIO it means the CPU is polling the drive to transfter every byte of data. It should be set to DMA access to allow data transfer without bogging down the CPU. There are Different levels of DMA - depenant on the hardware and drive being used. DMA level 5 is very fast and I think it requires the 80 pin cable as already mentioned.

    Hope this helps!

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    Slayer_

    I had a CD drive do that too me once, how do you fix it?

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    ross.com

    I don't remember how I fixed it, but I must have changed that setting in device manager, or in the BIOS. you should probably google PIO mode - now that i think about it... I think Windows sometimes decides a device can't cope with DMA mode so it drops it to PIO mode. You might need a registry fix for it.

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    seanferd

    Look at the disk properties in BIOS. The drive should be set to autodetect. If not, you may have to look up the transfer modes available to that drive and set one. If the drive is crapping out, it may detect as a slower mode anyway.

    (Note: I've not read the entirety of this thread, so forgive if I repeat something).

    If this drive is slower than the primary master, it will slow it down if on a shared cable. Data transfer speeds drop to the slowest on the cable.

    Was it a drive that was physically too large for FAT 32 or the BIOS on the old machine? Did you install drive geometry translation BIOS on it? Get rid of it if you did. Use the original setup disc or something like DBAN. The key is to delete all partitions and boot sector + backups.

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    Slayer_

    Sorry, your post doesn't seem to be answering anything previous said, so I am confused. I will try to answer your points though.


    "Look at the disk properties in BIOS. The drive should be set to autodetect. If not, you may have to look up the transfer modes available to that drive and set one. If the drive is crapping out, it may detect as a slower mode anyway."
    It is set to auto detect, detects good.

    "If this drive is slower than the primary master, it will slow it down if on a shared cable. Data transfer speeds drop to the slowest on the cable."
    The primary, or the booting drive, is the slow one, so I am not sure if this applies, however the secondary seems to hum along very nicely at top speed.


    "Was it a drive that was physically too large for FAT 32 or the BIOS on the old machine? Did you install drive geometry translation BIOS on it? Get rid of it if you did. Use the original setup disc or something like DBAN. The key is to delete all partitions and boot sector + backups. "
    Yes, the 40 gig was physically to large for the BIOS in the old system, even if set manually. No special software was installed on it. Even when it was reformated to Ubuntu, Ubuntu did not manage to get more than 32 gigs out of it.

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    seanferd

    I originally meant to just answer the question as to where to set the transfer mode (PIO, UDMA, etc.)

    Then I got to thinking that if the drive in question was older and slower (data transfer speed) than the boot drive on the newer system, and was on the same data cable, it would slow down the transfer speed of the newer drive, hence slowing down the system.

    If drive geometry translation (e.g., EZ-BIOS) wasn't used, my point would be irrelevant, as it obviously is.

    As for the size discrepancy you mention, did you delete all partitions and recreate one before you reformatted? There may be some sort of service/swap/recovery partition there. (edit: I see in another post that a BIOS limitation is mentioned. You can always create a second partition to pick up the slack.)

    Anyway, good luck with all that. I've used some very old systems myself up until quite recently.

    And sorry again for the non-sequitor post.

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    Slayer_

    The max it wants to recognize is 32 gigs, even when I let Ubuntu make the partitions. I then went back to Win95 and remade a 5 gig partiton and a remaining partition. Inside FDisk it doesn't see anymore than 32 gigs. nor did it see anymore in Ubuntu.

    I am unsure if this new[er] system can handle the larger drive, I have not tried since the performance of the system has been so terriable.

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    seanferd

    anything beyond 32Gig if Ubuntu doesn't see it either, if you tried deleting and recreating partitions with Ubuntu setup. If you haven't, but it was already formatted with fdisk, 32 is what it will see.

    It should say something in BIOS setup, or the system docs whether or not the box can use a disk of that size without something like EZ-BIOS.

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    Mehul Bhai

    In First place why r u still using such old OS and H/W in these age, particularly in case u r a S/W & App Developer as your profile suggest. No one will use the apps developed on such a obsolete machine and OS. Win98 is known as the 2nd most unstable OS of MS, the first being Win ME and now Vista is. I would not suggest these type of systems in these age even for home use, as now systems are so cheaper that u can buy a new system then wasting time on this Forum in rectifying the problems in a long unused system. This saves so much of manhours. As you say your system was lying unused for long which suggest that your system may not updated with the latest MS updates from the MS Updates site. Do the same see the results.

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    seanferd

    some people are great fans of old technology, and if it does what you want for your purposes, there's that as well.

    For some people, there is the ability to run older Windows and DOS apps as well, which have no newer equivalents. It is also handy to have such a system around for reference if you might be supporting small businesses or or other individuals who stick with older operating systems for their own reasons.

    I doubt he's doing development work on the Win 95/98 machines.

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    Slayer_

    For legacy applications. you cannot update them to Xp because the referenses do not work, however mysteriously, once compiled, the referenses do work lol.

    But its basically, its coded in the oldest system that will still have to use it. As its competely forward compatible, but not backwards compatible because of various system library referenses.
    However I do not code on THAT machine, I did have a real 95 machine for coding, but it recently died. I now use a virtual machine with 95 to continue supporting and updating it.
    Many people have stuck with 95 because it was far more stable than 98 and works perfectly on the same hardware. So people are using these 95 machines as thin clients. 95 can run remote desktop to a terminal server just fine.
    The average machine sizes range from 66mhz machines to 600mhz machines.

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    robo_dev

    Look for programs that are running...like add-on scanner applications, mouse applications, viruses, etc, etc.

    There was a version of Systernals "Process Explorer" for Win98...probably one on the net somewhere.

    But look in the startup folder as well as in Win.ini, autoexec.bat, as well as the registry..... or just run Msconfig and it will do all that for you.

    Windows 98 Solution Center
    http://support.microsoft.com/ph/1139

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    Slayer_

    I'll post a list when I can, ATM I do not have any process explorer installed, and you can't screen Ctrl+alt+delete in Win98 (especially not remotely like I am trying now)

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    robo_dev

    Hardware installed that is not being used (network adapters, scanners)

    Network connections that are not being used (shared folders, shared printers)

    Other stuff installed that slows things down: Network Client (e.g. Novell Client).

    Defragging the drive may help a little.

    Run Chkdsk and also clear out temp files.

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    Slayer_

    Hardware installed that is not being used (network adapters, scanners)
    Check!

    Network connections that are not being used (shared folders, shared printers)
    Check!

    Other stuff installed that slows things down: Network Client (e.g. Novell Client).
    Check!

    Defragging the drive may help a little.
    no Check!

    Run Chkdsk and also clear out temp files.
    Check!


    Why no check? It says last run in 1200 days, and it won't let it run, it loads it, says 0 percent, then hangs, if iI contrl + alt + delete it goes blue screen and complains about the system is busy. How can I defrag this thing?

    Also the other cheques in place, it is no faster at all. I deleted the other network protocols and such etc.

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    CaptBilly1Eye

    Here's where there is quite a bit of info on what to do when you have difficulty running Defrag or ScanDisk in Win98:
    http://www.helpwithwindows.com/windows98/troub-29.html

    One of the steps is to disable any programs starting up automatically at boot.
    That's where I would start.

    A couple of questions -
    1. Is the system vented well?
    2. How many fonts are installed?
    3. Are there any third-party disk-caching programs installed?
    4. Is Virtual Memory set to be Windows Controlled?

    I agree with robo_dev's suggestions in his first post.

    Win 98 includes a program called walign.exe that organizes pieces of programs on your hard disk in an order that decreases loading time. Run walign.exe by choosing Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Maintenance Wizard. A wizard will pop up and offer to delete unnecessary files, check your hard disk for errors, and speed up frequently used programs. If you set the wizard to run regularly, Windows 98 will load your programs as quickly as possible.
    (excerpt from http://sisnet.ssku.k12.ca.us/technology/Win)

    Although most of the sites that held tips for tweaking Win98 no longer exist, this one may be of help:
    http://www.angelfire.com/la/freereports/speedupwindows.html

    .

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    Slayer_

    I particularly like the one about it shutting down properly but runnign scan disk afterwards. I have no idea if that ever happens, since it's windows 98 99% of the time it doesn't shutdown. Anyways, I can't try anything of what you said righ tnow till I get home, but I can answer these


    A couple of questions -
    1. Is the system vented well?
    -The case is off right now, so yes
    2. How many fonts are installed?
    -unsure, w/e the stock fonts with Win98 are
    3. Are there any third-party disk-caching programs installed?
    -No
    4. Is Virtual Memory set to be Windows Controlled?
    -Should be but I will double check when I get home, I am not sure if I remember where to check this though, its been so long.

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    Slayer_

    And man is it fragmented, it's having to go one at a time, no grouping here! The poor old drive sounds terriable.

    I'm almost tempted to set the other drive as primary and let the ole 95 partition boot up (I wonder if it would, being a different... everything)


    I did the swapfile thing, 640 to both min and max. Changed it to be a network server (go figure).
    And when its done ill make the performance winzard do its stuff.

    However not much of this explains the window peeling, why it behaves like it has no extra memory at all. Every small action is coupled with an excessivly long redraw time. And although the drive is heavly fragmented, it's a 10 gig drive, and only 1.5 gigs are used.

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    vhrocker

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    Jacky Howe

    You can use the Hard Drive Makers Testing Utility to Test the Drive

    Hitachi / IBM - DFT "Drive Fitness Test"

    http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

    Works with all manufacturers

    Western Digital "Data Lifeguard"

    http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp#dlgtools

    Works with WD drives only

    Fujitsu "FJDT"

    http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/drivers.asp?L=en&CID=1

    Works with fujitsu models only

    Samsung "hutil"

    http://www.samsung.com/Products/Hard...ties/hutil.htm

    Compatability unknown...

    Seagate "Seatools"

    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools

    Works with Seagate drives only


    It may be time to wipe the Hard Drive for a fresh start.

    Darik's Boot and Nuke.
    http://dban.sourceforge.net/

    http://www.dban.org/documentation

    Autonuke should do it. Recreate your Partitions and you should be good to go.

    Also make sure that you have the latest device drivers installed.

    Link to speeding up Win98.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/835821

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    Slayer_

    It's fairly fresh, it only has about a months worth of use on it, granted it hasn't been used for..... 9 years??? (The Cmos battery was still good amazingly!).
    I remember even back then my old machine of half the power, ran circles around this thing, it was slow back then.

    I don't know the drive manufactuer, its one o fthose old systems where the HDD is locked inside a supposedly removable case. I have no idea what the drive manufactuer is, is there an easy way to check?


    ....Uh the defragmenting is SO SLOW, I have never seen such slow drive access, I am almost tempted to defrag the larger faster drive, to see if it goes as slow, or if its a proper speed. If it's slow then I know its not the drives fault....

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    Jacky Howe

    it hasn't been erased so it still has previous data on it. You may even find a formatting utility in the BIOS.
    Aida16 will tell you what the drive is if you can find a copy.
    You could also try another PSU.
    Also you didn't say how many MB your Video card is. 4MB or under is pretty lame. Check your refresh rates for the monitor as well.

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    Slayer_

    It was used for about a month or 2, then the system was put away, all work after that was done on my gaming system because it was the one with internet access. The gaming machine was also only a 200mhz machine with 64mb of RAM, but was 100 times faster than this machine for some inexplicable reason.

    It has an 8mb video card (ATI Rage2), 4mb isnt lame :(, my old system had a 4mb card and it was good.

    Based on how slow everything is, I doubt formatting will have an effect, if even a lasting one, however I do not have the driver disks for this machine anymore, so format is not a good method of doing this. I also don't have a win 98 install disc.

    Try another PSU??? Please explain this.


    Refresh Rate is set to 85hz @ 1024 x 768.


    Bios is kind of sparce of options, I don't even see PCI BIOS shadowing in it like my old system. About the most advanced thing in the bios is the ability to reserve IRQ's.
    (Ill be making a new question about bios/mobo problem leter, first I want this thing to get some power first)

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    Jacky Howe

    I thought that the System may have seen a lot of use. That PSU is almost brand new.
    Drop your refresh rate to 60Hz and 800x600 and see if there is any difference.
    It looks like you can only work with what you have so you are limited in what you can do.

    Edited to add:

    What was the performace like before you added the second drive.

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    Slayer_

    Just as bad.

    FYI 60hz really hurts the eyes, but I'll try.

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    Slayer_

    Other than added eye strain, the peeling and slowness is still there. I timed it, to open the my documents folder, which is empty, took 15 seconds.

    However, that is significantly faster than before the defrag, it used to take almost 2 minutes to open lol.

    Now how to I make it as fast as the machine that was 2 years older... half a second.

    Total boot up time was about 4 minutes, so not bad.

    I think these performance improvement tipsx are helping, but there should be a lot more left in this machine, I know its hardware should be able to go faster.


    Edit...
    Just had a thought, what if the Video drivers in it are so aweful that the 2D processing is taking forever??? Like I just tried Mechwarrior 3 on it, and it ran like a champ, Max graphics and everything.

    Edit:
    Yikes finding drivers for this thing is hard, I keep finding versions that are apperently older than what is currently installed.


    So for anyone that can help with this one, the Adapter tab in display properties says it is

    RAGE IIC AGP

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    ThumbsUp2

    ... the seek time on that old 10GB hard drive may be causing the problem?

    What's the spin speed of the old 10GB drive? When it's accessed like when you're opening My Documents, do you hear any type of 'click'? Perhaps the head is sticking or slow moving.

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    Slayer_

    Those old drives were always very noisy, very hard to tell.

    I tried running a SMART test on it, seems it doesn't support SMART.

    I wouldn't doubt it has a slow spin speed, however I did do a surface scan on it and it went at a pretty good speed.

    I used to have a HDD speed overclocker, maybe I'll find one of those again

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    Jacky Howe

    Support & Drivers and under AMD Support & Drivers

    Download graphics drivers

    and under Please select your operating system scroll down to Legacy Windows ME\98 and click on Legacy (Discontinued) and then click on Rage IIC


    <i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>

    <i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome. </i>

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    Slayer_

    It shows software version 5.3, but the version on that site is only version 4.####.


    NVM, Installed version is exact same as the version on that website...
    So I guess that isn't the problem.

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    Jacky Howe

    and another suggestion. Remove Norton and if it doesn't uninstall use the Removal Tool.

    Download and run the Norton Removal Tool

    http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039

    You can try Avast

    For a computer running Windows? 95/98/Me:
    486 Processor, 32MB RAM and 100MB of free hard disk space.

    http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

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    Slayer_

    It's not like its updating anyways, and altho it seems to do a good job with huestics, let's face it, its Nortan lol.

    I wanted to install Avira on it, but no support for 98, so I'll try Avast, thanks. I'd do it now but I can only remotely control the machine, and well, being 98, its not safe to restart unless your sitting infront of it, reset button at the ready.


    The scanning files as they are created or run, I find is important for such an insequre system with probably millions of remote code execution vulnerablilites.


    Also, something else I noticed, while trying to do the SMART scan, I saw the CPU usage in speedfan, and its spiking up and down, from 3% to 100% back and forth, sometimes just to 60%.

    What's a tool I can run on that system to figure out what process is doing this?

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    Jacky Howe

    Process Explorer. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    I couldn't get it to run in a Virtual Win98 environment but it may run on your System as the older versions were compatable.

    <i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>

    <i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome. </i>

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    Slayer_

    The burning all 256 MB of RAM and glueing the CPU at 100%, is counter productive.

    I'll stick with Nortan.

    Any other speed improvement suggestions???

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    Jacky Howe

    I would consider using Disk Cloning software to take an Image of the drive in case something goes wrong. You can then use the Image to restore the Operating System at a later stage if needed.

    WIN98 is more swap file intensive than WIN95, even with lots of free Real RAM. By default WIN98 first goes to Virtual Memory, then Real Memory, which is a rather clumsy way of doing it considering the respective access speeds. Allegedly it was done for better performance, but I found a noticeable speed up for many tasks by including this tip. The first access to the system object is just as slow as the default, but subsequent acceses to the same system object are noticeably faster (provided the the task mix has not caused it to be paged out to disk). Such tasks include repainting the desktop, opening a previously opened and closed directory, saving an image from a webpage, saving a URL to the DeskTop or Favourites, etc. Even games like Mordor (has lots of file I/O - a game designed from a UNIX original) seem to speed up! Add this line to the [386Enh] section in the SYSTEM.INI file.

    ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

    http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~rhayes/serious/techinfo/optwin95.htm

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    Slayer_

    to the second drive. The boost is noticable.

    Man am I ever getting tempted to stick the XP pro disc in this thing already. I techincally excede the minimum requirements, but its so painfully slow as it is, I dont know if I'd want to try it.

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    Jacky Howe

    you are handicapped with a 5400 rpm. Why don't you take willcomps advice and clone it to the 40GB drive and use the 10GB as a Backup. Good spot to keep your drivers etc...

    Also check to see if there is a copy of win98 on C: drive and check in windows. I used to hide the install folder on there. It saved having to find a CD later.

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    Snuffy09

    do you have conflicting AV programs?

    since you have a good size HD with extra room increate your max pagefile (virtual memory) to 1024.

    check your device manager, you may be lacking important motherboard/controller or other drivers needed for your rig to run properly.

    clean up your temp files. ccleaner is good tool for doing this fast and easy. i do not know if you can install it on 98 tho. its worth a try.

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    Slayer_

    do you have conflicting AV programs?
    -I have an old version of nortan coproate edition that refuses to update, I suspect it could be slowing file access down slightly because it is set to scan each file as they are run or created. Stupidly I forgot about this, I will try with it off when I get home and see if it significantly speeds up file access.

    since you have a good size HD with extra room increate your max pagefile (virtual memory) to 1024.
    -Ok, I shall do this when I get home.

    check your device manager, you may be lacking important motherboard/controller or other drivers needed for your rig to run properly.
    -I asume anything missing should show up as a question mark? Will a screenshot of the device manager be helpful?


    clean up your temp files. ccleaner is good tool for doing this fast and easy. i do not know if you can install it on 98 tho. its worth a try.
    -I believe this should be covered with my regular Maintenance plan I scheduled, if not let me know.

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    Snuffy09

    Depending on how old your Norton AV is could be the reason your not getting updates... the version you are running my not be supported anymore. Also check your processes in task manager if you see "Rtvscan.exe", that is norton hogging up all of your system resources.

    yes, if there is a problem with your drivers there should be a yellow "?" or "!" beside the device in the device manager.

    I would download Ccleaner anyways. For the same reason you run different versions of spyware removers (ad-aware & Spybot S&D), one will pick up something that another one missed.

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    Slayer_

    It's even better installed than my XP machine, no missing devices at all.


    Edit...
    Holy Crap, Avast works on Windows 95? I wish I knew that 5 years ago.

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    vhrocker

    Is the video card listed as a generic or default (I forget how they label it), basically not specific to a particular brand, e.g. nVidia, ATI, S3, Intel.
    If not, find and install the correct ones.

    Is graphics acceleration turned on fully?
    http://libraries.risd.org/Downloads/TeacherResources/hardware_acceleration_settings.pdf


    Just a few ideas that I don't think I saw mentioned.

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    Slayer_

    Thanks for your response.

    It is an ATI, and shows it, DXDIAG reports the correct drivers installed. And graphics acceleration is turned to full.

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    robo_dev

    Just for grins, if that old dog will boot to CD-ROM, load a linux CD distro on there.

    I would start to dig into the hardware and try resetting the bios to factory defaults as well as looking for a bios upgrade. Maybe something is weird with the hard drive controller?

    Unplug anything extra besides the primary drive and the video card.

    Also swap the IDE cable and make sure it's an 80 wire cable.

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    Slayer_

    I was gonna make a new question but, this things IDE controls don't seem to recognize secondaries on the cables. SO I have one cable for each drive, and no CD drives hooked up.

    I tried getting them on the same IDE cable, but it never seems to recognize them at the BIOS. The system wont boot if their is two drives on one cable. It just sits at a black screen, no beeps nothing. I tried just hooking up a HDD and CD, same problem.

    I did try loading the defaults, and I tried looking around for optimization features such as bios shadowing, there is nothings. It's a really sparse bios.


    What will loading a Linux Distro help me with?

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    reisen55

    Your specifications are soooo behind the times I would, as I have, keep this as a DOS only station for reference. You can get a Dell Refurb right now for $78 on their website that is contemporary. I would not even bother with this computer. Don't put time or mental anguish into it.

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    Slayer_

    Besides, A refurb means it has likely already died once, this machine has stood the test of time and stands tall. Sure its back may be acheing and its getting slow in its old age, but we have drugs for that, we can revive it, give it new life.

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    Glenn from Iowa

    It's still 2/13, and the lowest price I can find on the Dell Outlet store is $209 for an Inspiron 531 with an AMD processor. It is possible that there were only 1 or 2 machines in that price range (~$78) which were purchased before I looked for prices. But how do you find deals like that? Or are you just exaggerating to make your point?

    - Glenn

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    willcomp

    Your 10GB drive is likely a 5400 RPM drive while the 40GB drive is a 7200 RPM drive and has higher areal density. If you clone the 10GB drive to 40GB drive, there should be a noticeable performance improvement.

    Test memory to ensure that there are no memory problems in higher range memory. Memtest 86+ is on the UBCD along with other handy utilities including hard disk testing software. http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ --- you'll need to disconnect a hard disk and connect a CD drive.

    When you connected drives on same IDE channel, were jumpers set properly? Are you using 80 wire cables for hard disks? 80 wire cable ensures that cable supports CS jumper settings.

    You need to determine manufacturer and model of 10GB disk. IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test will give you that information and also test disk. Post back with make and model of 40GB hard disk.

    For future reference -- it's good practice to run defrag in Safe Mode. Prevents constant restarts and there are no unnecessary drivers and software loaded.

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    ThumbsUp2

    I am convinced it is this old 10GB drive causing the slowdown.

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    Slayer_

    After totally breaking all my virus scanners, I'm backing up the drives, I have 3 Winrar archives and a huge file copy going, across the 2 drives, and over to a network drive, and its honestly going at an acceptiable rate. Sure that 10 gig drive is thrashing pretty hard, but the improvements are definitly there.

    With all forms of security down, access times have drastically improved.
    Also moving the swap file to the faster drive also resulted in a pretty good speed boost.
    About the only odd issue left is that strange window peeling. Where everything seems to have a huge visual redraw delay.

    ...Also I gotta figure out how to get some security back lol


    I have no idea what the cables are, they are the cables that were in it.... The BIOS seems incapable of detecting more than 2 devices on IDE's. I have some ASUS brand name cables hanging around from my last rebuild, I can stick those in and see if it fixes it.
    I have my drives set as primary and secondary, 10 gig at primary, 40 gig at secondary. Cable Select wasn't working at all, it would refuse to even start up POST with CS on.


    Drive models seem to be the same brand????
    the 10 gig is showing as
    ST310240A
    SMART shows 95% fitness and 97% performance.
    (Quick google of model number confirms the 5400 RPM's)


    and the 40 gig shows as
    ST340014A
    This drives SMART shows 93% on both performance and fitness.

    ST=Seagate???


    Lol, Cnet is selling one for 60 bucks, WHAT A RIPOFF! lol
    http://reviews.cnet.com/hard-drives/seagate-medalist-10240-hard/4014-3186_7-30012447.html

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    Glenn from Iowa

    Here is a page to interpret the model number <http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=204763>. I couldn't find a model number for ST340014A but ST340014AS did come up as a 40GB 7200RPM Barracuda 7200.7 SATA drive under Desktop Hard Drives.

    The ST310240A is classified as an "Older Hard Drive;" a 10.24GB 5400RPM Medalist ULTRA-ATA3 drive. That is why you could not attach both drives to one cable: one has an ATA interface, and the other has a Serial-ATA interface.

    The inability to partition more than 33.8GB on the 40GB drive is a capacity limitation of the BIOS. Check to see if there is a newer version of the BIOS.

    To find more information about each drive (including jumper settings), go to http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/ and type the model number into the Family/Model Number field in the "Product Find" box in the lower right side of the page. Make sure that "All Products" is selected (as the drives you are looking for are not Current Products!) and click the little blue arrow to the right of the Family/Model Number field. Notice that the resulting frame will have two tabs: one that says "Overview" and one that says "Technical Specifications."

    Good luck!

    - Glenn

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    Slayer_

    With a newer one, and suddnely stuff started working properly, also improved speed a bit.

    All drives recognized now.

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    willcomp

    A thumbs up or 2 would be appropriate.

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    Slayer_

    Thanks for your advice, however cloning the drive to the larger drive is no an option as the drive is used for files only as the server drive.

    Someone had already menthioed defrag while in safe mode.

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    willcomp

    I don't appreciate gratuitous use of LOL. I also thought you took some of my advice. That's OK, you may need my help again sometime and will be SOL.

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    willcomp

    My choice of OS on your hardware would be Windows 2000 (W2K). It is essentially a lighter version of XP and runs well on lesser hardware. Nearly all AV and malware removal software supports W2K while support for W98 is sparse. Eventually, you'll encounter adware/spyware/rootkits and there are no effective removal tools for W98.

    I also recommend that you use Firefox and ditch IE 6.

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    Slayer_

    Though I do have XP Pro. And an old key that a year after I bought it, M$ Decided it should be considered pirated.

    It is definitly true 98 is really starting to p*** me off, constant errors, stuff randomly crashes, all these BSOD's. It's hard to believe MS released something this bad, people say ME sucked, they obviously never spent any real time with 98, cause 98 is just as bad if not worse.

    Spybot S&D does work all the way down to Win95 (brilliant program), I'd install virus scanner but none seem to work on this rig, can't fix nortan, cant remove it, and no other virus scanner seems to work properly on Windows 98.
    So as it looks like it is heading for a reformat anyways, I am debateing what this machine will be used for.
    If I should stick a Linux distro on it, and continue to use it as a server, but basically nothing else. If I want to install XP or 2000 on it, and have it available for Windows apps, but, it will be really slow and insecure. If I should reinstall Windows 98 and relive this whole thing, if I should downgrade to Windows 95 and suffer memory leaks and extreme software incompatibility issues, but on the other hand, it should be very fast.


    FYI I was told that Mandriva Spring 2008 was a good version for this meek hardware, that it can have the GUI and all the tools I need/want. I am not an experienced Linux user... I just know that Linux has never successfully served my needs. However as it looks like I'm heading for a reformat anyways, its worth a shot.
    If I can make the old system live again, I'll stick the 10 gig drive in that rig, reinstall 95, and procede from there, then it can be once again my legacy machine for my legacy apps. Virtualizing 95 really doesn't work well, IE, it will die saying windows protection error if you have hardware virtualization enabled. It can't recognize CD drives on RAID controllers like I have, and it crashes randomly on the fake system the VM provides (bad drivers???)


    The midway plan is to remove the 10 gig drive, leave it with 98, incase I need to reboot back to it (for driver names and versions or w/e) but use that 40 gig drive as the sole drive in it, create appropriate partitions, and use that.
    I do wonder if this mobo can repartition that 40 gig drive to actually recognize the full 40 gigs, my last system could only recognize 33 gigs, so it's short partitioned.


    I would like to know, can I clone this drive into a file??? That I could later use to restore onto that 10 gig drive should I want to reverse all this??? My main machine has more than enough space for this, however how can I clone the drive to a network system??? This old rig does not have a CD burner, and I doubt I could install one in its current shape. (Don't have one available either).


    Also I do not care for Firefox, i had a bad experience with it once and it left a very sour taste in my mouth, I don't want to use it again. I would install Opera but the latest version doesn't work properly on Win98. It loads and browses, but is very unstable. I do not browse the internet on that machine, so I do not need a new web browser. (Why browse the internet on such a hunk of junk when you got a 2.6ghz duel core with 3gb of RAM, two monitors, 9600GT VC, 2TB worth of HDD space, sitting next to it? lol )

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    ross.com

    I don't remember Win98 no more, but in XP, in the device manager, in the IDE Channel, under Advanced settings, there is a setting called Transfer Mode: if it says PIO it means the CPU is polling the drive to transfter every byte of data. It should be set to DMA access to allow data transfer without bogging down the CPU. There are Different levels of DMA - depenant on the hardware and drive being used. DMA level 5 is very fast and I think it requires the 80 pin cable as already mentioned.

    Hope this helps!

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    Slayer_

    I had a CD drive do that too me once, how do you fix it?

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    ross.com

    I don't remember how I fixed it, but I must have changed that setting in device manager, or in the BIOS. you should probably google PIO mode - now that i think about it... I think Windows sometimes decides a device can't cope with DMA mode so it drops it to PIO mode. You might need a registry fix for it.

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    seanferd

    Look at the disk properties in BIOS. The drive should be set to autodetect. If not, you may have to look up the transfer modes available to that drive and set one. If the drive is crapping out, it may detect as a slower mode anyway.

    (Note: I've not read the entirety of this thread, so forgive if I repeat something).

    If this drive is slower than the primary master, it will slow it down if on a shared cable. Data transfer speeds drop to the slowest on the cable.

    Was it a drive that was physically too large for FAT 32 or the BIOS on the old machine? Did you install drive geometry translation BIOS on it? Get rid of it if you did. Use the original setup disc or something like DBAN. The key is to delete all partitions and boot sector + backups.

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    Slayer_

    Sorry, your post doesn't seem to be answering anything previous said, so I am confused. I will try to answer your points though.


    "Look at the disk properties in BIOS. The drive should be set to autodetect. If not, you may have to look up the transfer modes available to that drive and set one. If the drive is crapping out, it may detect as a slower mode anyway."
    It is set to auto detect, detects good.

    "If this drive is slower than the primary master, it will slow it down if on a shared cable. Data transfer speeds drop to the slowest on the cable."
    The primary, or the booting drive, is the slow one, so I am not sure if this applies, however the secondary seems to hum along very nicely at top speed.


    "Was it a drive that was physically too large for FAT 32 or the BIOS on the old machine? Did you install drive geometry translation BIOS on it? Get rid of it if you did. Use the original setup disc or something like DBAN. The key is to delete all partitions and boot sector + backups. "
    Yes, the 40 gig was physically to large for the BIOS in the old system, even if set manually. No special software was installed on it. Even when it was reformated to Ubuntu, Ubuntu did not manage to get more than 32 gigs out of it.

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    seanferd

    I originally meant to just answer the question as to where to set the transfer mode (PIO, UDMA, etc.)

    Then I got to thinking that if the drive in question was older and slower (data transfer speed) than the boot drive on the newer system, and was on the same data cable, it would slow down the transfer speed of the newer drive, hence slowing down the system.

    If drive geometry translation (e.g., EZ-BIOS) wasn't used, my point would be irrelevant, as it obviously is.

    As for the size discrepancy you mention, did you delete all partitions and recreate one before you reformatted? There may be some sort of service/swap/recovery partition there. (edit: I see in another post that a BIOS limitation is mentioned. You can always create a second partition to pick up the slack.)

    Anyway, good luck with all that. I've used some very old systems myself up until quite recently.

    And sorry again for the non-sequitor post.

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    Slayer_

    The max it wants to recognize is 32 gigs, even when I let Ubuntu make the partitions. I then went back to Win95 and remade a 5 gig partiton and a remaining partition. Inside FDisk it doesn't see anymore than 32 gigs. nor did it see anymore in Ubuntu.

    I am unsure if this new[er] system can handle the larger drive, I have not tried since the performance of the system has been so terriable.

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    seanferd

    anything beyond 32Gig if Ubuntu doesn't see it either, if you tried deleting and recreating partitions with Ubuntu setup. If you haven't, but it was already formatted with fdisk, 32 is what it will see.

    It should say something in BIOS setup, or the system docs whether or not the box can use a disk of that size without something like EZ-BIOS.

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    Mehul Bhai

    In First place why r u still using such old OS and H/W in these age, particularly in case u r a S/W & App Developer as your profile suggest. No one will use the apps developed on such a obsolete machine and OS. Win98 is known as the 2nd most unstable OS of MS, the first being Win ME and now Vista is. I would not suggest these type of systems in these age even for home use, as now systems are so cheaper that u can buy a new system then wasting time on this Forum in rectifying the problems in a long unused system. This saves so much of manhours. As you say your system was lying unused for long which suggest that your system may not updated with the latest MS updates from the MS Updates site. Do the same see the results.

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    seanferd

    some people are great fans of old technology, and if it does what you want for your purposes, there's that as well.

    For some people, there is the ability to run older Windows and DOS apps as well, which have no newer equivalents. It is also handy to have such a system around for reference if you might be supporting small businesses or or other individuals who stick with older operating systems for their own reasons.

    I doubt he's doing development work on the Win 95/98 machines.

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    Slayer_

    For legacy applications. you cannot update them to Xp because the referenses do not work, however mysteriously, once compiled, the referenses do work lol.

    But its basically, its coded in the oldest system that will still have to use it. As its competely forward compatible, but not backwards compatible because of various system library referenses.
    However I do not code on THAT machine, I did have a real 95 machine for coding, but it recently died. I now use a virtual machine with 95 to continue supporting and updating it.
    Many people have stuck with 95 because it was far more stable than 98 and works perfectly on the same hardware. So people are using these 95 machines as thin clients. 95 can run remote desktop to a terminal server just fine.
    The average machine sizes range from 66mhz machines to 600mhz machines.