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  • #2285230

    Windows 98se limits


    by tabcomputers2002 ·

    I need a refresher on the limits of win98se will run on. My in-laws just got a P4 3.2ghz machine with 512Meg. I remember that 9X doesn’t like more than 511Meg. I also remember hearing the it doesn’t like PCs over a certain speed, but I can’t remember what that was.

    So my questions are:

    1 – What happens with more than 511Meg?
    2 – What was the fastest machine that 98 can handle? And what happens beyond that.

    Thanks in advance.


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    • #3313044

      Reply To: Windows 98se limits

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Windows 98se limits

      Windows 98 can use 512MB or RAM and much more. It’s a common misconception that W98 is limited to only 512MB. However, there is a bug in W98 that needs to be corrected in order for that operating system to take full advantage of an amount over 512MB.

      To tell W98 that you have more than 512MB of RAM, add the following line to the [VCache] section of your win.ini file: MaxFileCache = 524288.

      However, according to Microsoft, Windows Me and Windows 98 are not designed to handle more than 1 GB of RAM. More than 1 GB can lead to potential system instability. See the following article for the issues, workarounds, and more information.

    • #3312980

      Reply To: Windows 98se limits

      by tabcomputers2002 ·

      In reply to Windows 98se limits

      Thanks for the info on the memory. I’ll pass on the info.

      Any ideas on the speed of the system? I seem to remember that it doesn’t want to run this quick of a machine.


    • #3311519

      Reply To: Windows 98se limits

      by thechas ·

      In reply to Windows 98se limits

      As to speed, there is a bug in one of the networking components that can cause problems with CPUs faster than 2.1 GHz.
      I know that I saw a Microsoft Knowledge Base article on this, just can’t find it at this moment.

      While Max is correct that you can setup Windows 98 to use more than 511MB of RAM, benchmark tests show W98 starts to have reduced performance when you increase RAM beyond 196MB.

      The true hardware issue for Windows 98 is going to be device drivers.
      VIA for one, recommends using their older drivers for W98 systems. Which means that you don’t get the full use of all features on newer chip-sets.

      Even with the updated version of Fdisk from Microsoft, you cannot partition a hard drive larger than 137GB.
      (You may be able to get past this with a drive manufactures setup utility.)

      Many USB flash drives do not work on W98 systems.

      Then there is the security issue. Microsoft is only issuing patches for W98 flaws that it considers to be critical. There have been a number of updates that were assigned critical status for Windows 2000 and XP, but not for W98. If you take a W98 system on line, (even with dial-up) you should use a firewall.

      My advise would be to evaluate why you are sticking with W98. If the software that you use will not run on Windows 2000 or XP, I suggest stocking up on old motherboards and CPUs.

      Further, burn multiple copies of device drivers and Windows patches. They won’t be available for download forever.


    • #3311391

      Reply To: Windows 98se limits

      by wcp ·

      In reply to Windows 98se limits

      As for Speed limit, Windows 98SE CAN be installed in a faster CPU (2.2GHz or faster) if the Windows 98 CD contains the NDIS.vxd dated Nov 28, 2001 or later (I think if it is dated Sept or later, it should work). If this file is dated earlier, you may get Windows Protection error after the first reboot in the installation process.

      If this is the case, FIND a Windows 98SE computer with the right-dated NDIS.VXD file. Copy the file to C:/Windows/System directory (using a Windows 98 Startup disk) and resume installation.

      For a related Techrepublic question, refer to

    • #3312109

      Reply To: Windows 98se limits

      by tabcomputers2002 ·

      In reply to Windows 98se limits

      This question was closed by the author

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