Best way to keep a Win98 from crashing, is to use Norton Systemworks. That is a forbidden topic in this forum, so be warned BC does NOT endorse what I say (of course not, I'm just a typer in the forum, not a part of BC). They will tell you that all such non-MSFT programs are either useless at best, or dangerous. So now you are warned. I hope I stated that rightly, in deference to BC.
Win98 backup and reinstall is more convoluted: it requires a startup floppy or CD, the original installation CDs, or.. Norton SystemWorks, which is a version of the same thing. Else, all you can do, is the floppy rescue/startup disk program in Win98, plus backup/restore. That won't protect you from the BSODs (which are usually due to driver problems or bad shutdowns, partial uninstalls that Norton can find and identify). But it will help you recover from them.
But here's what I know and have lived through: Nortons' programs have saved every Win98 I own, many many times, from BSODs and every kind of error you want to name. For 20 YEARS. When Windows updates stopped, those machines became stable. All my client work was AND IS STILL on them. I have to keep it forever, due to IRS audits (to prove origin). All of them are still running, except the one whose internal zip drive I misconnected. Someday I'll fix it.
Granted, you can't use powerful programs like that without being very very very very careful to monitor every step. Never never never never automate such tasks. Even Norton's stuff says that. For Norton accompanied his stuff with huge tutorials and books, just like he used to with Norton Utilities. That's how I LEARNED Windows for crying out loud. Editing the registry with Norton Registry Editor, doing myself by hand over and over and over to fix an attempt to make a Win95 machine a Win98 machine. Prior owner was so aggravated at trying, he threw the Micron out. Thanks to Norton System Works along with other stuff I got at Office Depot shortly after that April Fool's Day in 2000, I got that machine working again. Took three months, because the prior owner had all kinds of mishmosh between Win95 and 98 in the registry.
So I guess you can say I know something about recovery. And yes, BC is right. At the same time, I actually use this software and it saves my machines. Still.
I know how resizing a DOS window is done, do it all the time. But I never got DOS to run successfully in Win98 except as RayOptics says, with F8. But DOS runs really well in XP. (Purists will tell you it's not DOS anymore. Yet it still works with all the same commands.) Fullscreen or not, and the Print Screen might work too. I use it a lot, as my business is built around DOS Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.1. (Nothing better has come since, for my actuarial calcs.)
To size a Dos window, then, I know from XP but maybe it works in Win98 also, for you. On the main executable, right click Properties, then you see Font Layout. Picking different fonts sizes the box.
But there's another answer. If you have a newer machine, you might be able to run your programs in DOSbox. There's a configuration file it uses you can tweak to get the window size you want, each time and you can change it anytime, though only through the config file. You can download Dosbox free, here. Click on the Green button. It works eiher in Linux or Windows.
Then read the Dosbox-0.74.conf file (should be in Users AppData Local, in Win8 or 10, you won't see the file until after install); it will tell you how to change the default params. In the [autoexec] section at the bottom of the file, you put in your batch commands. Since it's open source, I can upload the way I coded it to my domain, if you like.
DOSbox works in Windows 10 64-bit, and in Win8 32-bit. You don't need it for XP 32-bit; just do the 7th paragraph's right-click on the executable. If you'll make a batch file to launch it, make sure the right-click Properties specs on the batch file are the same, though in XP I've sometimes forgotten to do that, and it runs fine. In Win7 32-bit, the principles are the same as for XP, but you can't run fullscreen in Win7.
Try it, so you have an alternative to Win98.
Then there's Taos Computing, but since Dosbox works for me, I didn't go to them. They offer more sophisticated emulation, which COBOL and other science-specific applications need.
As far as restoration goes, I'd get Norton GoBack 4.0 for Win98, or even up to 2006 SystemWorks (which includes GoBack, and also works for XP). I use it on all my Win98 and XP machines ever since I got them. This only protects you one day at a time, but you can literally roll back the clock to when it worked. The program inserts itself at boot before Windows, so you can do troubleshooting prior to Windows without a PE environment. I've used it 1000 times, easily. Either a Win update or installation trashed the machine, or it just didn't feel good when it woke up that morning.
There's no really good restoration/recovery method for Win98, other than reinstallation from the CDs. You've only got rescue, or backup. Versions through 2006 Systemworks have programs for this, too.
I've done their Iomega thing, plus Iomega's own version, still have the zips. Better, is Retrospect 6.5 (which I use a lot for Win98 also).
Win98 can handle only certain usb drives: the old big WD with extra usb hub and firewire , hulky thing; have two of those, plus 3 Seagate (wheel) Pocket drives (way overpriced, almost as bad on Ebay). So you can do backups on those drives as well. But not image, as all the imaging software wants more RAM than you likely have; except, Retrospect (covered below) has an imaging option which you might like.
Here's the link to NortonSystemWorks, as it has recovery/rescue disk creation expressly designed for Win98, and uses Iomega. You have Zip drives, right? Probably 2003 will be okay, but after that they started focusing more on XP. I use 2000 but also 2006 on my Win98s, so now I contradict myself, lol.
Retrospect Express 6.5 is an automated backup especially for Win98 and XP, which also does 'duplicate': meaning, a live copy of all programs and files, very efficient and came free with the WDs. It runs on Win98 (and used to run my XP machines) religiously, automated; so you can just set it up, set the drive up, make sure the machine is on when backup is to run, and forget it. Better still, you can get Professional in Amazon. Retrospect's special instructions for creating images and startup disks drove me nuts, so I never tried them. As you're smarter than me, you'll understand them. Prices on all these programs are pretty low.
I don't know where to find lower prices on the drives, but there must be lower prices somewhere. I bought my Seagates for like $12, and the WDs, for like $75 back in the day. The last one I want to argue cost me $50 a few years ago. I just searched for where else you might find them, turning up empty.
Since they are all FAT32, you'd think a later drive just needs to be FAT32, but I've not had luck with that. Must be something in the controller for the later drives.
Edited by brainout, 13 July 2015 - 08:01 AM.