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Win 98 viability in today's web


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#1 gil58

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:31 PM

I'm so happy to find a forum for the unsupported windows OSs!

I've got some older systems I'd like to donate to local senior citizens. What's the best way to keep these systems running reasonably well?

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#2 Bill R TechSpec

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:32 PM

I would recommend System Mechanic 3.6 for registry cleaning, junk file removal, etc. (you can probably find it free somewhere -- just Google it) and the free Diskeeper Lite for defrag. You can get it here:

http://majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=1207

Good luck!

#3 Animal

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 02:10 PM

For the record:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

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#4 Eyesee

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 04:30 PM

What are the seniors going to do with them?

I would try to keep the systems off the Internet if possible for lack of AntiVirus/AntiMalware software.

You will be hard put to find a newer printer that will work with 98 anymore.
But they will be perfectly fine for games.
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#5 Drovers Dog

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:04 PM

I agree with Eyesee and also Animal.

Firstly, as Eyesee is saying? I actually recycle old Computers for disadvantaged people and on really old ones that can't be updated to at least XP Home for use on the Net I set up with Free Games, mainly Card Games, for Seniors to enjoy. They love them like that.

As Animal has posted use of registry cleaners can cause so many problems that few Computer Helpers ever recommend them. They can completely take out the whole system.

Best way is to run a program like this litte free one that works quite well on WIN98 to clean up temporary Files, but, ALWAYS Back Up before use of any Cleaner. There is a free trial Online Back Up on the Site if needed. http://www.stevengould.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=70
I use it all the time with no problems.

Once done, remove any unwanted data and programs that are not needed, then run Cleanup again, after which defrag it a couple of times, then install some Games on it for them. Trust me, they will Love to receive a Computer set up like that.

Ray
What ever you give to others, you will get back doubled, Just make sure you only give Nice Things?......DD saying

There is a saying, "You just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" it means "to be happy with what you have and not look for the impossible"......DD saying

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#6 4dude

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:48 PM

I think when you realise how intrusive the newer OS's are and how PRIVACY IS GETTING VERY HARD,you realise just what a gold mine 98se is today!

98/98se came out BEFORE WINDOWS STARTED GOING DOWNHILL (Win2000 SP4)

I truly believe using OLDER S/W AND OS (FROM BEFORE THE INTRUSIVE PHASE) is much better IF YOU ARE A SECURITY/PRIVACY CONCERNED PERSON AND WANT TO BE ABLE TO TRUST THAT YOUR COMPUTER/SOFTWARE ISNT SPYING ON YOU......

#7 Drovers Dog

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 08:25 AM

WIN98SE was the Best Windows ever Released, end of Story.

Ray
What ever you give to others, you will get back doubled, Just make sure you only give Nice Things?......DD saying

There is a saying, "You just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" it means "to be happy with what you have and not look for the impossible"......DD saying

The "Spirit" of the people who died, on that terrible day 9/11 will NEVER REST until such time as the "Imbeciles" that caused it, are eliminated through out the World.....DD saying

What is a Dog?

#8 Romeo29

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 11:34 AM

Using Windows 98 is a hard thing in today's world. Many USB devices are not recognized by it. Not even pen drives.
Another way to be able to use older computers is install Puppy Linux on them. It is being updated regularly.

#9 4dude

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:27 PM

WIN98SE was the Best Windows ever Released, end of Story

I couldnt agree more mate!

I love 98se :)

Edited by 4dude, 08 July 2011 - 09:28 PM.


#10 cryptodan

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:19 AM

I think when you realise how intrusive the newer OS's are and how PRIVACY IS GETTING VERY HARD,you realise just what a gold mine 98se is today!

98/98se came out BEFORE WINDOWS STARTED GOING DOWNHILL (Win2000 SP4)

I truly believe using OLDER S/W AND OS (FROM BEFORE THE INTRUSIVE PHASE) is much better IF YOU ARE A SECURITY/PRIVACY CONCERNED PERSON AND WANT TO BE ABLE TO TRUST THAT YOUR COMPUTER/SOFTWARE ISNT SPYING ON YOU......


I will greatly disagree with you on this matter, because quite frankly NTFS Drives are a lot safer and keeps your data safer from others reading it. If I took your FAT formatted drive and stuck it in any computer I can easily retrieve your documents and other personal and private settings with great ease. NTFS Formatted Drives offer far greater security than then FAT formatted ones. You can also set up permissions on NTFS formatted drives, and these permissions are solid unlike Windows ME and earlier versions of Windows. Did you know that even if you tried to use the Login Feature you can still by pass that and still gain access to all user detail on Windows ME and earlier versions.

WIN98SE was the Best Windows ever Released, end of Story.

Ray


I will also disagree with this assumption, as it was the best when released, but I preferred Windows XP, then I took the Vista Plunge of which I enjoyed, and now I am using Windows 7 almost exclusively on all my computers. I have found it to be the easiest and most user friendly Operating System on todays market. It is very stable, reliable, and doesn't cause much of a headache. I can still play my old games just fine as well.

Albeit if I had an opinion which many of us do, I would say Windows 98 SE was the best release of the Windows Operating system for consumers in the 90's next to Windows NT4 for Commercial Use.

#11 strolln

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:21 AM

Regarding the title of this thread, "Win 98 viability in today's web", I personally would not use Win 98 on the web on a computer with any important data. It's way too vulnerable security-wise to trust any important data to. I have it installed in a VM (mostly as a novelty). It's fine for running some old games but I wouldn't use it for much else.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but, IMO, saying Win 98SE was the best version of Windows is a real stretch. I would never want to go back.

BTW, it's technically not correct to call Win 98 an operating system. Prior to Win NT, ALL versions of Windows were simply a shell running on top of DOS.

Edited by strolln, 09 July 2011 - 10:23 AM.

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#12 lti

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 07:44 PM

How much modern malware can run on Windows 98?

I have to use Windows 98 because I have software that won't run under Windows XP or later, even under compatibility mode. I don't connect any computer running Windows 98 to the Internet.

#13 Andrew

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 06:54 AM

How much modern malware can run on Windows 98?

I would estimate in the high 80% range.

The Windows API has remained almost completely backwards compatible with itself for 20+ years. An application written in 1990 strictly to documented APIs would very likely work on any later (32 bit) version of the OS.

I would not recommend using any of the 9x series Windows operating systems in a networked environment. Even if a piece of malware was unable to run, it would try to run which in the pre-protected-memory versions of Windows will 90% of the time crash the whole system.

I echo Romeo29's suggest about using Linux instead. There are a number of modern and light weight Linux distributions available (such as Puppy Linux or Xubuntu; Linux Mint would be the best for novice users, but it's system requirements are fairly steep for a computer of this vintage.)

#14 dETAIL

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

I know with XP you can, but I forgot if you can in 98...But basically just make one admin account like normal and one user account or guest account which doesn't have any privileges other than to open files like the web browser for example...should be good to go on the anti-virus front. They wont be able to make any real changes so the configs will be OK and more or less should be great computers for doing normal tasks and they wont require a sys admin to come in and continuously fix them...Just my .02

#15 cryptodan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:47 PM

In Windows 9x and Windows Me, you do not have a ADMINISTRATOR account. There was no such thing in Windows 9x or Windows Me.




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