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Upgrading from Win '98:  Go to Win 2K or Win XP???

Posted on 2002-05-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Hello experts,

I'm running Win '98 on two machines that I use for personal business purposes.  I have a network of only two machines, so my needs are fairly simple.  Both of my machines have greater than 256MB of RAM, but Win '98 can't recognize that add'l memory.  Friends have said that I should upgrade to Win 2K and others have said to upgrade to Win XP.  I would like to get creative opinions from you experts for a solution that (ideally) will not involve cleaning off my hard drive.  Again, my main objectives are to minimize the upgrade hassle/work and tap into the memory that I have > 256MB.  Suggestions/Comments?
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Question by:chensgen
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Expert Comment

by:AvonWyss
ID: 7029097
Mainly, Windows XP is Windows 2000 with new gimmicks. The fundament is the same, and both can be considered stable operating systems. Windows XP offers a lot of new more (some less) useful enhancements to the UI and Windows Exporer. Things like burning a CD, printing pictures, generating folder thumbnails etc. is all included and integrated in the Windows Explorer under Windows XP.

If I were you, I would go and try Windows XP; in case you don't like it, you can still disable must of the new features, and/or you can revert to Windows 2000.
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by:jmiller47
ID: 7029143
I would say the same thing but add that you use some way to back up your hard drive before upgrading. If the upgrade goes wrong, you can then restore to your original configuration.

1. Buy a cheap hard drive. Copy your old hard drive to the new hard drive. Upgrade the OS on the new Hard drive. If the upgrade does not work, put the old hard drive back in.

2. Purchase Symantec Ghost and make a backup of your hard drive onto recordable CDs.

I hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 7029626
I agree with all the above, but would prefer Win2k as I consider it more stable at the moment.

You can run the upgrade check to see if your hardware and software are compatible.


Guide to upgrade from win9x to win2k Pro
http://support.microsoft.com/servicedesks/Webcasts/WC082200/wcblurb082200.asp
Upgrading Your Corporate Windows 9x Desktops to Windows 2000 Professional

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/TechNet/prodtechnol/windows2000pro/deploy/upgrdmigrate/proupgr.asp


I hope this helps.


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by:chensgen
ID: 7029880
Will both Windows 2K and XP allow me to use more than 256MB of Memory?
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by:chensgen
ID: 7029886
(One more comment)

Actually, I was told by both Dell and IBM that Win '98 will recognize more than 256MB RAM *but not use
it*.  Here is my hardware (if your suggestions make a difference):

Desktop:  Dell Optiplex, Pentium II 350Mhz, 40GB hard drive

Laptop:  IBM Thinkpad A20m, Pentium III 700Mhz, 20GB hard drive

Yes, this is for my personal business and nothing hard core.

Do you know of ways that I can *use* more memory in Win '98?
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by:AvonWyss
ID: 7029894
Both 2000 and XP allow you to do use as much memory as there is abailable - if your hardware and BIOS support it, that is. I think that should be ok, though. Remember that both 2000 and XP are built on the same fundament; they have are very similar from a technical view and have also very similar specs to hardware requirement and support.

It is possible to tweaks Windows 9X so that it works fine with more than 256MB of RAM, but you'll need applications that take advantage of the spare ram to actually use it. The Windows 9X cache manager has trouble with huge abounts of RAM, and that's why more RAM does not accelerate WIndows 9X in most cases. WIndows NT/2000/XP on the other side are completely rebuilt on new technology and deal much better with huge amounts of RAM.
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by:z_sky
ID: 7030957
How about Windows ME? why nobody mentioned it? Can it help you to use more memory than 256M. I am not sure , just a comment. :-)
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RickHulshof earned 200 total points
ID: 7031081
Nobody mentioned Win ME because most of us think it sucks - IMHO its worse than Win98. Most people will recommend Win2K or XP because of Stability. IE - I am a power user - run 5 to 10 applications at once. I was running a top of the line computer brand new with Win98 - I had to reboot 3 - 10 times a day. Windows 95, 98 , ME are all famous for what is called memory leaks (you open and close a program and not all the resources the computer used for that program get released) evenually the computer tell you that you are out of memory of resources - or it just crashes, The same Machine When I upgraded to win XP I could run for a month without a reboot.

A key thing to keep in mind before you upgrade is compatibility. If it is an older computer there is a chance that some of your hardware may not be compatible. Like a modem , sound card video card. I would recommend borrowing an XP disk from someone you know (NOT to install) but the use the compatibility test option that first comes up in the upgrade. This will list hardware items that will either need a new driver (which you can sometimes download off the internet) or that are not compatible.

Also what speed is your processor - IMHO - I use 600 MHZ processor as my cut off line for XP - I find below this the Computer runs slower. In that case I use Win 2K (its a little less demanding)

Also go to http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html and download the belarc advisor program - run it and print out your results. This lists all your drivers and alot of other useful information about your computer that you might need to know later in case of a problem.

One final thing - do you use any old DOS programs if so you might have some problems with them.

I hope you find some of this information useful,

Rick

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by:RickHulshof
ID: 7031089
I apoligize - I repeated - sysexpert in regards to the compatibility test

Rick
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by:chensgen
ID: 7031218
Thanks!  I may have some additional comments/questions later, but wanted to make sure points were awarded.
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by:SysExpert
ID: 7034404
Not a problem Rick.

 chensgen , I'm glad you got the info you needed.

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