Replace Win XP with Win 98

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DKTaber

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Have a friend with a 9-month-old Dell Inspiron laptop who's had nothing but problems with Win XP. We've deleted the main partition and reinstalled XP, but problem (inability to maintain a modem connection) persists. It may be just a bad modem, and Dell is sending a new one, but he just doesn't like XP, and asked if it's possible to put Win 98 on the computer. I use Win 98, so am not familiar with XP, but know that XP uses NTFS instead of a FAT, and can't find anything that says whether or not it's possible to reformat the drive for a FAT-based Win 98 system. Is it, and if so, how (i.e., can I just boot to the command prompt, type "format c:", and hit enter)?
 
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Can't help you on the NTFS.. But I'm using windows XP and my file system is FAT32. Open windows explorer and right click on the C: drive (or which ever drive holds XP) click properties.. It will tell you what file system you are using. If its the FAT32, thena all you'll have to do is insert the Windows 98 CD.. reboot, and follow the directions to format and install 98
 

DKTaber

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Thanks for the quick response. I've downloaded DOS 6.22, and will give it a try.
 

Squashman

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If the drive is currently formatted NTFS you will need to use Fdisk to remove the primary partition and recreate a new one. Download a Windows 98 OEM bootdisk which will have cd-rom support.
 

crjdriver

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Before you do this have you checked to see if there are win9x drivers available for the laptop? My guess is no there will not be; you will find some items [hardware] that will not work. Hardware from one era works best with an os from that era. Since this is a modern laptop, it will work best with a modern os. It would be better to try and fix the problem rather than go with five year old technology on a modern computer.

Do a careful investigation prior to trying to install win9x; you will save yourself a lot of work.
 

DKTaber

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Thanks Squashman and crjdriver. Actually, we ARE trying first to fix what ails XP (or the hardware), and will go back to Win 98 only if that fails. I've already removed the 2nd partition (wiping out everything except the NTFS), reinstalled XP and the software he uses. The problem before doing that was that the system could not maintain an Internet connection (dial-up). It connected, and might stay connected for 1-4 minutes, but for no apparent reason, would drop the connection. The problem continued after reinstalling XP. We were on the phone with Dell yesterday for 3 hours doing connectivity tests, and running FixBlast.exe to remove MSBlaster, if it had it (it didn't). Dell finally came to the conclusion that the modem was faulty, and is sending a new one. That's the same conclusion I came to the day before, but am not at all confident it's the culprit; in my experience, new modems aren't usually faulty. But we (and Dell) have no other explanation for it, so we'll try that first (new modem is supposed to arrive no later than tomorrow).

BTW, I asked Dell about removing XP and putting Win 98 on it, and he said it should not be a problem. But I thought his answer was a bit "flip", and would certainly call again to see what another tech might say.
 

Couriant

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2 things come to mind for your problem. Yes the modem being faulty can be the issue. Also the modem cable could be faulty. Also the ISP could also be the problem. Try using a different ISP like use one of the AOL free CDs to see if the same problem occurs. Actually a third has entered into my brain. The phone line itself could be faulty. You might want to check the notebook on another phone line to make sure.
 

DKTaber

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Have no idea. The first is, I think, just the NTFS. I'm unfamiliar with XP, but I do know that at the time you install it, you can put on multiple operating systems. Perhaps that's why it partitions the drive initially for NTFS in part. 1 and the XP and the programs you install on part. 2. If you install a second OS (e.g., Win 98), wouldn't it have to go on part. 3?
 
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DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!

If this PC is still under warranty DO NOT change the operating system unless your friend wants to PAY FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT!

Dell Will NOT support ANYTHING if the Facory version of Windows is not on the system. Also, if it goes in for repair, it will come back with XP back on it...GUARENTEED!!!!!

Tell your friend to WAIT for the replacement modem and see if that solves the problem!
 

Couriant

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It's possible that the drive is too big for the bios in the notebook so was split in 2. As for FAT/NTFS here is a quick overview. Windows 9x will not be able to see a NTFS partition because of it's structure. NTFS can see a FAT32 partition. If you would like to see the partition with Windows XP (or 2000) then you will need to make sure that you install Windows 98 first, then install Windows XP with the FAT32 Partition option checked/marked.

But sexytech is right. manufacturers will not support their machines if it has been altered by someone else other than them.
 

DKTaber

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SexyTech and Tidus: Thanks for the info. I was not aware that Dell would stop supporting the computer if the OS was changed... and the Dell tech that said we could put Win 98 on it didn't tell us that!

FYI, the modem arrived this morning, was installed, and I just got a call from the owners saying that it made no difference; computer makes, but cannot hold a connection for more than about 4 minutes. So I think they're going to have to hammer Dell into giving them a new machine.
 
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Something else to check regarding the modem...

Is the modem a V.92 compliant modem? if it is, try putting in a good Ole V.90 modem and see what's what. If it works with a V.90 modem but not the V.92 modem, then there's some driver issues OR the ISP doesn't like the brand of V.92 modem.

MAKE DELL CHANGE THE BRAND OF MODEM BEFORE REPLACING THE WHOLE PC.
 
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