General discussion


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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by ghstinshll In reply to What do you mean wrong ad ...

Ok, that guy was way off, and shouldn't be consulting in anyone's office. We're talking best scenario. 2K is it.

The snap server is a good idea, but not what I'm used to. They're not replacing hardware, so don't think about SCSI, or new server. At most, think about an IDE RAID card, and 2 drives set up in a mirror, plus a tape drive to back it up. At most.

My company hasn't given me the $ to replace my 10MB LAN and switch for my 80+ users... No need for NICs.

As for NT? Only if you know it, should you purchase CALs from ebay (for cheap) and use them on your LAN. Do it right with 2k so you can call MS and get help if needed.

Take the advice of Infidel, he knows what he's doing. We all know who to trust when proof-reading everyone else's posts for your protection.

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by apache5056 In reply to hello?

Keep it simple stupid.... When I read Infidel's post after mine, I thought what a j**k. But, reading and re-reading the additional posts by him, I too would take his advice. I would even consider asking him for permission for additional contact information if he would allow.

The dude is on the up-and-up in my book..

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by LordInfidel In reply to K.I.S.S.

I know that sometimes I come across as an *sshole. I'm not always correct though and do not mind being corrected when it is warranted.

No one is perfect. I just try to share my knowledge and experience.

I do it not for recognition or anything like that. I have found over the years that by helping others figure out their problems it gives you more avenues to figure out problems that you might face. Sometimes a problem that I am working on here that I am stalled on might get a push fromsome tid bit of information I pick up on newsgroups and forums.

In any event, thanks for the consideration.... I can be contacted thru the contact info in the republic. I beleive if you click on my name it will bring you to my profile, there should be a contact link right next to my name. It is in the top portion and is small from what I remember.

I usually like to keep info here so that others can read it and take advantage of it.

Sometimes it's hard for me to have off-line discussions because of the requirements of my job. I still have e-mail from a month ago that I need to reply to.

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Learning Tool

by ghstinshll In reply to Thanx.....

Techrepublic's forums are as much of a learning tool for daily life as the articles themselves are. It's great.

It's like they say, teachers learn as they teach... and it keeps going on in here too.

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Damn right!

by draco vulgaris In reply to Good Grief

I was waiting for someone mention the disks! Disks that are of the same vintage as W98 are hardly state-of-the-art. Without RAID and even, sometimes, with RAID a disk can handle only one I/O request at a time. A top-of-the-line hardware RAID controller may allow N simultaneous reads from an N member mirror set!

I'd say that RAID is a must for performance and reliability/availability. Mirroring is the most expensive but may provide the best performance as long as the controller supports multiple read requests and the accesses are mostly read. RAID 5 may a better bet with a mix of read/write requests.

Network advice is right on but a switch may be a better choice than a hub.

And truer words were never spoken than "define the problem". You can waste endless time and money trying to solve the wrong problem.

If you use NT4, be sure to install the latest service pack; there have been at least six and there were sound reasons for all of them! Ditto for W2K but that's only up to SP3 which I have not yet installed due to reported problems with it.

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We (sigh) did mention it

by LordInfidel In reply to Damn right!

There are probably a million problems going on with this netwk as with all netwks that are set up in this manner.

First and foremost though, they need to get into some sort of organized structure.

Once they can get that part up and running then they can get to the other upgrades.

One of my original points was the type of hardware being used. While I did not elaborate, I thought I was clear that if it was not a server class system and It was just some crappy office depot special, then they won't get the performance that they are looking for.

A workstation class system will fair much better for small netwks price wise then a full blown server class system. It all depends on what the server is going to be doing.

For a small netwk (5 users), the throughput for an IDE drive will be able to handle the small amount of requests going to it. The OS will be the bottleneck at that point. If the OS can'd handle the threads/requests and manange them, then the rest is moot.

I'm all for redundancy (you should see my exchange servers, they are built to the max reccomendations including dual controllers, but that is a whole other subject).

Sometimes you need to take what you have and make it work.

Everyone can tout off, buy a raid card; but if they have a crappy pci bus then it's not going to do them much good. Then you have to look at the PowerSupply. Is it a 250w? You will need at least a 350 to power all of those scsi drives.

Like I say all of the time, when you design these things out, you have to think it all the way thru.

But as I said before, sometimes you just have to work with what you got.

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Fix first what will get fixed anyway.

by c.barnhorst In reply to Good Grief

I agree that upgrading to 10/100 NIC's as a first step is good. You can do so cheaply and why wouldn't you want to anyway? After you upgrade to whatever Win2k you pick, what are the client side issues? I am interested in whether or not Win98 needs to be optimized differently if the server changes. I suspect so, but would like to hear a comment or two.

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

If you intend no more the ten concurrent logins NT4 or W2K workstation will work just fine. If you have crappy bargain hardware it wont work faster but will be more stable. Some of your problems may be the result of file locking on single user applications.

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I concur with LordInfidel

by maxwell edison In reply to Will replacing Win98 with ...

Here’s my take:

Yes, upgrade to Windows 2000. It would indeed improve your performance.

Windows 2000 Professional for your clients.

Windows 2000 Server for your file server.

I concur with LordInfidel. He gave some great advice. And, from what I’ve seen from his previous posts, he knows his stuff. There’s no need for me to say the same thing.

I would, however, add one thing:

The Server hardware is fine, but I would bump up the RAM (in the server). The price of RAM is VERY cheap and would be worth the upgrade. I would get ECC (either "error correction [or correcting] code" or "error checking and correcting") RAM for the server. I’ve found that has a great product at a great price. I’d guess that you could get 1.0 – 1.5 GB (giga-bytes) for around $300.

Good luck.

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by LordInfidel In reply to I concur with LordInfidel

I usually get my ram from MicroWarehouse ( or MemoryMan (

Right now I'm getting 256 of pc133 ecc for about $25 thru Mwhse. (But I go thru my rep so I get the good discounts, my rep is great if anyone needs an account mgr there)

So if you are looking to upgrade your memory, now is the time to do it before prices go back up again.

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