Windows 98SE support in an MSI motherboard?

Discussion in 'MSI' started by ***** charles, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. Hi all,

    What is the fastest motherboard that MSI produces
    for which one can still get W98SE drivers?

    ***** charles, Mar 28, 2007
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  2. ***** charles

    Paul Guest

    That information is not generally gathered together in one
    place, for the easy use of customers.

    At one time, it would be a simple matter of checking
    the download page, and see whether Win98 drivers were
    listed for the various chips on a motherboard. But the
    motherboard makers seem to feel no need to list Win98
    separately, even if the driver was available.

    For example, the last chipset at Nvidia that actively
    supported Win98, is Nforce3. If I use the "Mobot", here:

    select "Nforce3 250" as a chipset, and select socket AM2
    (latest AMD socket), I would get this one board:

    If I go to the Asrock site, the only drivers listed are for
    Win2K/WinXP. There is nothing showing for Win98, implying
    Asrock could care less about Win98. (It means I did find a
    driver on the Nvidia site, but Asrock doesn't show that
    driver, because they officially don't care about Win98
    any more.)

    Now, if I go to the Nvidia site, select download, Nforce3,
    I am offered a choice of Win98. The available download is
    dated from 2004. Which means it would still work, but Nvidia
    has not been actively working on support for it either.

    And that means, as a user, you are an orphan. You have
    virtually no one to turn to, if there are any issues with
    Win98 operation. Say, for example, there is a bug in the
    BIOS that upsets your Win98 install. Would Asrock waste
    BIOS developer time, fixing a Win98 bug ?

    The motherboard companies do not make grand statements about
    operating system support, because the customers would interpret
    such statements to mean "you'll support my OS, forever". And
    the motherboard companies simply don't want to get caught in
    a compromising situation. The motherboard companies don't write
    the drivers, and they also don't get a say in when the chipset
    company stops supporting the driver. So the motherboard maker,
    by definition, must stay silent on the issue. They are not
    "in the driver seat".

    So, if you wish to answer this question for yourself, you
    visit the chipset makers: Intel, Nvidia, ATI, SIS, Via
    then loop through all the possible chipsets, find each chip
    maker's download page, and see whether Win98 is supported.

    Then, go to the "Mobot" search engine, enter a modern socket
    or processor (LGA775 or Core2 Duo processor, or socket AM2 for
    AMD), and see if a particular chipset is used with a modern
    socket. Since the cross product of useful chipset and modern
    sockets is pretty low, you might not get to select a particular
    manufacturer of the motherboard.

    For SIS, it looks like the latest stuff doesn't support Win98.
    But companies like SIS and Via tend to be "tail enders", meaning
    they support stuff longer than the "tech push" chipset makers.
    So there might still be some of their previous generation
    stuff, that can be used.

    For a Core2 Duo processor choice, I might try Asus P5PE-VM, since
    it uses an older chipset (Intel 865G) which has an AGP slot,
    and AGP is more likely to have a Win98 driver than say a
    PCI Express video card slot. Stick the interface in "Compatible"
    mode, and Win98 should not have a problem working with it. One
    of the downsides to P5PE-VM, is it would not be an overclockers
    board - stick a Core2 Duo processor in it, and it runs at
    stock speed.

    So there are some choices like that, but where I got my information
    was little by little. There wasn't some table with "the answer"
    in it, and right now, I'd have to do the same thing you're going
    to have to do - visit the site, or the sites
    and look for drivers, and see which chipsets are the most recent,
    then use the Mobot to see if anyone makes a board with that chipset.

    And even if the chipset supports Win98, that doesn't guarantee that
    all the peripherals will be "Win98 ready". For example, you'd have
    the usual issues getting USB2 to work. That might take a separate
    PCI USB card, one that comes with a driver disk and has OrangeMicro
    USB drivers. The Ethernet chip might similarly not be supported in
    Win98. So there is plenty of work to do, before you get close to
    full functionality.

    You probably already know that Win98 has issues with too much
    memory. Generally, there are a couple of variables in the
    setup files, that can fix the issues. If you are single booting
    though, it wouldn't make sense to buy an excess of RAM. 512MB
    should be trouble free, 512MB to 1GB total memory can be fixed
    without disabling any RAM, and above 1GB the excess RAM would
    have to be "made invisible".

    Paul, Mar 29, 2007
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  3. <snip>

    Thanks for the info and methodology. Since Intel stopped
    support for 98 with the 875 chipset I though MSI might
    have done the same. With that in mind I found the following
    3 boards:

    875P Neo-LSR/ FIS2R
    875P Neo-FISR (PCB 2.0

    In my area I still have to help with W98 machines since they
    still do all the things the user needs (no reason to upgrade).
    I did notice that at least one of the above boards has SATA.
    How would one go about installing W98SE OEM cd onto
    a sata150 drive mapped out as C? is this even possible?
    The PATA controllers look like they only go up to ata100
    and not ata133. Any other insight would be helpfull.
    My plan is to use hardware that has driver support that is
    already on the oem cd.

    ***** charles, Mar 29, 2007
  4. ***** charles

    Paul Guest

    The ICH5/ICH5R have "Compatible" and "Enhanced" modes.

    You can have a total of six disks on an ICH5. Four are
    IDE (up to ATA100 speed). Two are SATA. The six disks
    are further divided into three groups of two. Each
    PATA cable is a group. And the two SATA disks form their
    own group.

    In Compatible mode, you can only use two groups of the
    three groups available. The reason for this, is Compatible
    mode is used for Win98, and places the disks in the I/O
    space, using IRQ14 and IRQ15 for interrupts (two disks per
    IRQ). The Win98 driver thinks it is dealing with a standard
    two ribbon cable setup (even though one group can be two SATA
    disks, the fact they are SATA is invisible).

    In Enhanced mode, all six disks can be used. All three
    groups are enabled. The way this works, is the disk interfaces
    are mapped to the PCI address space. Win2K and WinXP have
    drivers that work with PCI bus mapped drives. But Win98
    doesn't have a driver like that. If you selected the
    Enhanced mode, and tried to install Win98, it won't find
    any disks.

    So, to use Win98 with an 875/865/848, you'd want to
    switch to Compatible mode, and use the BIOS to select
    the appropriate two of three groups to use. There is some
    variation in the BIOS designs, as to the terminology used
    for this (YMMV).

    The reason there is a limit of ATA100, is the strobe
    in the ICH5 is only suited to writing at 89MB/sec.
    Reads can run at the full 100MB/sec. For some reason,
    Intel didn't strain themselves, trying to run at ATA133.

    Paul, Mar 30, 2007
  5. ***** charles

    Tamiami Guest

    Installing 98SE on a new K8T-Neo2 was pretty smooth. I first loaded the
    OS to an old ATA133 and then transferred and enabled the boot to a WDC
    SATA150 using Western Digital's Datalifeguard. The trick was to enable
    RAID in the Bios and not SATA even though I installed only one SATA
    drive. Also the VIA 4in1 package (4.55) that came with the board
    installed smoothly and has USB 2.0 for 98SE.
    Tamiami, Mar 30, 2007
  6. How did you transfer the pata partition to the sata partition? Ghost? and if
    so which version did you use?

    ***** charles, Mar 30, 2007
  7. ***** charles

    Tamiami Guest

    ***** charles wrote:
    Downloaded 11.2 for Windows from here:

    Partitioned and formatted the ATA133 and then loaded 98SE on it.
    Nothing else. No drivers, etc. Installed Datalifeguard on it,
    connected the SATA and used Datalifeguard to partition the new SATA (for
    my needs the same size C: partition as the ATA), format, copy and make
    bootable. Swapped the boot order in the Bios, shutdown down,
    disconnected the ATA and restarted with the new SATA.

    IMO Datalifeguard is absolutely sweet. It has made me a Western Digital
    customer forever.

    Tamiami, Mar 30, 2007
  8. ***** charles

    Tamiami Guest

    Forgot to add that I did install the VIA SATA/RAID drivers on ATA133
    98SE install.

    Tamiami, Mar 30, 2007
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