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Will replacing Win98 with Win2K help?

By kush ·
Hello everybody
I really need urgent help on this one. My client has 5 PC networked through a SoHo Basic 10 BaseT hub, with Cat5 cable (about 5m each length). They are using Win98 on all machines, including the 'server' (a PIII 700MHz 128Mb RAM 10 Gig HDD with more than 7 Gig free). They are mainly using Pastel Ver 6 and Excel 2000.

The problem is that when more than one client tries to access the shared Pastel or Excel files on the server the process slows down terribly. When all four areconnected, it becomes real ****.

I had suggested that we replace the Win98 on the 'server' with Win NT 4 or Win2K Server (especially Win2K, since it recognises Fat32). Will this help? I would like to hear your advice before I proceed. Please help.


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back it up

by apache5056 In reply to Will replacing Win98 with ...

Back up the server 110% and give it a shot. I am no expert by any means (and will never claim to be) but I'd recommend 2000Advanced Server. And with 2K/A.S., your license should cover 5 users. I'd also use client license instead of the server license (unless the company is planning an upgrade in the future).

No pain, no gain. Having the backup can always put it back to the way it was. Sounds as if a late night is on the horizon...;0)

Why would they have 98 running on a sever anyhow? The security has got to be next to nothing.

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No to Adv Srvr.... Correction

by LordInfidel In reply to back it up

He does not need advanced server in this scenario.

Advanced server's main purpose in life is in the use of clustering. It is the same platform as 2k Server. (Side note, all versions of 2k, including pro, are built on the same set of instrucions, that is they are the same os, just with more features enabled. This is similar to the linux concept where it is just one OS but with different features enabled)

In this scenario he just would want 2k server.

Now for more clarification, Fine they are using a PIII 700 system. But is it a server class system?
Speed alone does not make a server. Or is it some system that they bought at compusa that has a crappy subsystem.

In this instance I would definetly get rid of 98. It has no business acting as a file server.

I would also upgrade to 2k. It does not have to be server, it can be 2k pro. (see my next post though on upgrades and the faux use of the word)

Next I would beef up the memory. 128 megs is nothing for a file server. Remember how OS's work. they work in memory, not off of the hdd.
A min of 512 megs would suffice for a file server.
(This is dependant on the size of the netwk)

2K pro by default allows a max of 10 connections to it. If you do not forsee yourself going over 10 connections 2k pro is fine.

However, you will not be able to use domain security, you will be limited to workgroup security. (see my next post on security)

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98 vs 2k

by admin In reply to No to Adv Srvr.... Correc ...

While I agree that for his purposes he should probably bite it and go 2k server, and that I agree that RAM makes the most difference (obviously all 512 mb sticks are not at all created equal either- use server class memory!) and that he will probably need new hardware, still, his original question was asking if 2k would make his network faster if put on his 98 box.

Wouldn't the answer to this be "No"? 98 may have all the security problems etc. but as far as sheer speed of the OS and a willingness to run on any (including crappy) equipment, it seems like it would outperform 2kserver here. I wonder if he has done any troubleshooting on his network personally to see if it's the OS anyway, because all things being equal including the box that probably came with 98 installed I would guess that he would go slower by just installing 2k. If it would even run or install at all. :>

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Ahhhh.... Did not even think that....

by LordInfidel In reply to 98 vs 2k

Ya know... Funny you mention it.

I was debugging a issue with a program being really slow on a system.

I was told by the vendor (and what I also thought) that it was the interaction with another programs use of the btrieve engine that was causing the issue.

After a reinstall of the updated versions of the programs, a packet sniffer anylasis and a reinstall of the OS. It was still slow.

It turned out that the netwk card was going bad. As soon as I replaced it, all was well again. And it did not show up in any of the diag tests. No dropped packets, nothing. It was just having issues passing traffic up.

In any case, I did make mention about the hardware they were running on. 2K does though manage memory better then 98. But like I said before, if they are running this on some crappy hardware, then they will not see performance.

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got me too

by apache5056 In reply to Ahhhh.... Did not even th ...

Didn't think about the hardware end to much. Must have been using my head for the hat thing...

I look to over-build things and my suggestion of Advanced Server maybe over-kill but I am the type that looks to the future needs and not the present needs...

should have read between the lines and thought about it first ..... :0)

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Not sure how to title this one

by LordInfidel In reply to got me too

Advanced server would not address their future needs.

Like I was saying in one of my posts. Adv Srvr was designed for a different purpose then server.

They(M$) basically mirrored the NT4 model with it's servers. So wkstn=pro srvr=srvr and enterpise server=adv srvr.

Ent Srvr/Adv Srvr are primarily used for clustering technology. Regular srvr won't do clustering. So you have to spend the additional cash and get Adv Srvr. When your designing a netwk you will know whether or not you need adv server. If you can not think of any reason to get adv srvr then just get srvr.

It's just knowing the difference between the OS's.

My server ration is 20 regular servers for every advanced server that I have deployed. And the AdvancedServers that are deployed are for sql clusters. You would not want to spend the amount of cash for adv srvr just to have it be a file srvr.

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by mrafrohead In reply to 98 vs 2k

I hope i'm not getting ahead of myself here, as I haven't read everything written yet... I'm making it through the list, but...

I would think that win2k/pro/srvr/asrvr would run slower on the pc than win98 - but wouldn't it handle the networkingaspects better??? So if they were using it as a server and pulling files from the machine, I would think that they would get much better performance using the 2k line versus the 9x os...

Granted actual apps on the server may run at a slower rate, the clients would get better transfers, etc from the server???

I'm curious here and I'm seeing a great spot to learn.

I use machines 9x and 2k that are networked and I personally think the 2k boxes handle network type stuff MUCH better than win9x does... But then again, this is my opinion here:)

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Here's my opinion on this.

by admin In reply to

I'm pretty sure it's not shared by everyone else, but hopefully you'll get a bunch of opinions while forming your own :)

Win98se is faster as an OS in my experience especially in a default install and this shows up more on older hardware. (u gotta tweak 2k to go fast- especially with games in my experience). I have also used 98 as a <gasp!> yes,server at work. We do social work and sometimes we just don't have a lot of money and only old donated equipment to use. We ran our HR database on itfor some time (PeopleTrack) and we ran a lot of 5-6 ws workgroups. We also used both NT and 98se and as far as speed on hp 233's, win98se did the best for us. They did occasionally Blue screen or otherwise fail more than the NT boxes and were religiously rebooted nightly (required!). 2k came along and it's memory management superiority is obvious and upgraded my opinion to "it depends" as far as which is fastest. As you said it depends on the applications.

Having said all that, I would still run 2k and recommend it over NT (NT has no life cycle any longer, why buy something that's gone in year or less... Plus, sometime I'm gonna post a few select lines that are repeated many times each day in my server logs from all you guys running un-patched NT! {not directed at anyone specifically, sorry!}) and I would especially recommend it over 98se, but that was not the question.... the question was "will it run faster just upgrading the OS" and I personally don't think he'll gain much speed especially in the small network he's running. So, basically I wasn't recommending anyone run 98se in a network unless they absolutely have to. I was recommending that this was probably not his speed problem and that he should look elsewhere.

Personally, I still game on 98se. At work I stick with NT (getting less of this :), 2k and Linux. So, again, this basically just backs up what you said above.

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Faux upgrade

by LordInfidel In reply to back it up

The use of the word upgrade always throw's people.

Most people think that you can just put in the cd and upgrade the system while retaining your old settings. While this is true, that there are upgrade paths from certain OS's. It is not the best path to take.

When ever you attempt to upgrade, things might not go as planned. All because an OS worked on one system, the new OS might not.

Also you need to understand what is going on behind the scenes. It is upgrading or attempting to upgrade, millions of lines of code. A mistake can and will happen. You may not be able to see it, but it can cause weird unexplainable problems.

The best course of action when upgrading, is to back up your files to cd/alternate disk. Make sure you have all of your programs. If your systems hardware is older then 2 years, flash the bios with the latest version.

Then **** away the old OS, including all partitions, reformat (with 2k always use NTFS, no matter what, i'm not a big fan of dual-booting, live in one world and deal with it or get another machine). Using NTFS allows you to have file level security, an unlimited amount of files (NTFS is not limited by the size of a FAT).

Misconception with newbies, 98/95 clients can access files on a 2K/NT4 server/System that uses NTFS. The OS hosting the files, hands the files back to the client in a format that it can understand.

Personal tip, for prodcution type servers, I always prefer to format the root drive (c) as a 4 gig partition. This stems back from my NT4 days, but I ported it over with security in mind. Limiting the root drive to 4 gigs makes me pay more attention to increased files sizes which means somethings wrong. Some of my counterparts have debated thiswith me, and while I do see their point in not limiting the root drive to 4 gigs, the flip side is that you should not be installing 4 gigs worth of programs on a server anyways.

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Security and 2K

by LordInfidel In reply to back it up

While one would think that if you upgrade to 2K you are automatically more secure. Well yes and no... It depends.

Flaky, yes I know, but here is why.

It will depend on how it is installed. If you install it on top of a FAT32 partition, you will not get any security that is built in.

In fact, AD will only install if NTFS is the file system. It will not install on FAT32 partitions.

Domain or not to domain. What is a domain?

A domain is essentially a group of computers that has a leader. That leader is responsible for the security (user name and passwords) of the rest of the systems. By using a domain model, 1 user name and password will grant you access to any domain members systems.

Now, this is different from a workgroup model. A wrkgrp does not have a central authority figure. Each system is responsible for it's own security.

So if you have a user called mytoe on system 1 and a user on system 2 called mytoe with a different password assinged to it. Mytoefrom system 1 can not access files on system 2.

Workgroups require that you set up users on every system. That is if you have 5 users and 5 systems and each system shares files to the other 4. Every system has to have a u/p for each person. Ifone person changes their password, it would need to be changed on every system.

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