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Reformatting a Windows 98 PC

Posted on 2007-03-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I have an old PC OS Windows 98  from which I'm transferring all important files over onto a new Windows XP computer. Is it safe then to reformat the old PC? At the moment it is 'Dead Slow'!!! and crashes a lot. Once I've copied any files I need can I safely uninstall all the old programs or should I just reformat? I have been running an old version of Norton Antivirus on this PC, will I then have to update it online and will this take days???...we have a very slow dial-up internet connection!
I hope to be able to give the old PC a new lease of life so would appreciate any advice here!
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Question by:siobhanmonty
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Cowboys_Fan_87 earned 150 total points
ID: 18763666
If you still have the Win 98 software, then reformat would be your best option.  Uninstalling, especially from 9x, leaves a lot of "junk" in the registry.   A reformat will make that PC run at the same speed when it was first turned on.  
Also very important, make sure you have any driver disks that came with the PC.  If you don't have them, use a program like SIW (Go here to get it http://www.gtopala.com/ ) to determine what hardware is in the PC.  Once you have that information, download the drivers and burn them to CD (Win98 did not support USB, Win98SE did).  
Once you have the OS reinstalled, I would suggest finding a buddy to borrow their broadband connection and run windows update...as you will have about 50 to 100MB of patches to install.
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by:SysExpert
SysExpert earned 150 total points
ID: 18764170
In addition, since you probably have lots of space on the new machine, I would consider copying EVERTHING from the win98 machine to a subdirectory on the new machine.

Once you wipe the drive, you can not easily recover any files, drivers, or forgotten info.

Hard drive space is relatively cheap now.

As time goes on, you can delete portions that you are sure you no longer need.

The easiest way may be to mount the win98 hard drve temporarily as a slave into the new machine.

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 18765472
And forget Norton, get one of these free AV programs:

Avast! 4 Home Edition
http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

AVG Free Edition
http://www.grisoft.com/doc/products-avg-anti-virus-free-edition/us/crp/2

Zee
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by:siobhanmonty
ID: 18772530
Ok Guys,Thanks for the advice !!!..... so far I've copied all the important files I can see onto Cd's and transferred them to the new machine. The old Windows OS is Windows SE and is USB compatible, however I only have a USB 2.0 key which is not being 'seen' by the old PC, so CDs seem to be the only way. I'm relatively inexperienced in getting inside the 'box' so don't think I'd be happy about setting up the old PC as as 'slave drive' unless it's very straightforward. I did consided linking the two of them using  a parrallel lead, but apparently data transfer is really slow this way.
Thanks for the tip on the Anti-Virus software. Have found Norton to be a real pain in the past anyway and have been using 'Bullguard' on the New PC with no problems to date. Norton 2007 was causing major headaches! Could I just use this Bullguard software on the Old PC if it's compatible with WIn 98SE? and avoid having to download loads of updates?
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by:blue_zee
blue_zee earned 75 total points
ID: 18772686
For the Windows 98SE updates you can download and burn to CD this excellent compilation:

"UNOFFICIAL Windows98 Second Edition Service Pack 2.1a (Freeware)":
http://exuberant.ms11.net/98sesp.html

I do not know Bullguard well enough to comment on its pros and cons. If you have used it and are happy with it, why change?

Good luck.

Zee
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