Windows 98 - To Upgrade or Not? - That is the Question.

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Thread Starter
Feb 1, 2003
I am currently using Windows 98 2nd Ed on an IBM Aptiva Model 2199-100 Mini Tower with AMD K6-2/450Mhz CPU 3D with 64 Mb RAM and 4.2 Gb Hard Drive. I'm mainly running Office 97 SR-2, Internet Explorer [Version 6.0.2800.1106IC SP1] & Outlook Express.

I am about to increase the RAM to 128 or 256 and add a new 40Gb Hard Disk & a CD Burner.

My first & major question is:
(1) Should I stay with Windows 98 2nd Ed [Version] or upgrade to Windows XP?

My other questions re upgrading:
(2) Would you add 128 or 256 RAM? Do I keep the 64 RAM so I have 192 or 320 RAM or ditch the old 64Mb RAM?
(3) Do I run both Hard Drives - the current 4.2Gb and the new 40Gb or ditch the old 4.2Gb?
(4) Any recommendations about the Brand & Model of Hard Drive and the CD Burner [which to buy or avoid].

Many thanks in anticipation of a lively debate.

Morris Broder
Melbourne, Australia
Email: [email protected]
Dec 5, 2001
1: If you're happy with 98, keep it. I personally love XP...but 450mhz might be on the slow side.

2: The more, the better...if you're gonna install XP, definitely go for 256MB+

3: You may as well use both, unless you don't need the space...

4: I'd say a Western Digital 7200 rpm with 8MB cache, but I'm not sure if they make them in 40GB... For the CD burner, either a Plextor or a Lite On, and look for one that comes with Nero rather that Easy CD creator.


Dec 26, 2002
1). Are you having trouble with 98? If not why switch? XP won't run well on your machine - CPU too slow for it.
2). Add 128 MB if you stay with 98 for a total of 192. For 98 you don't need more than that anyway. If you go with XP, add 256. In either case keep your old ram if it works, just make sure to buy same type of memory as you already have, ie. PC 100. Also make sure your motherboard will support 128 or 256 MB of ram in one slot.
3). If possible put the new drive as the master, although you will need to reinstall windows or use a program such as Norton Ghost to copy the data from the old drive to the new. Then set the old drive as slave and use it to back up to. The new drive will be faster and more reliable. Maxtor, Seagate, and Western Digital are all good. Go for a 7200 as opposed to 5400 RPM drive as its considerable faster. Also make sure your motherboard will support a 40GB harddrive - you may need to update the BIOS.
4). Maxtor, Seagate, and Western Digital are all good harddrive makers. As for a burner, I like LG burner's and don't like HP, other than that i have little preference. On the software side i like Roxio as opposed to Nero. Friendlier and neater interface.

With all you have in mind it may be just as cheap and a lot easier to buy an intergrated computer (video, sound on the motherboard) with XP. These systems can be bought without a monitor and usually cost well under a grand.
Jun 15, 2002
I'll take your questions in order:
(1) I would stay with Windows 98SE, unless you are having trouble with it. XP might have some hardware problems with your older machine, plus it is Microsoft's version of ultimate spyware.

(2) 256 MB of RAM would be better, and yes, you can keep the 64 MB you already have.

(3) You can also keep both drives. If you add the 40 GB drive as a slave, you won't even have to reinstall Windows.

(4) Get a good name brand CDR/RW and HD. There are cheap brands available, but the small savings won't justify the risk. I like Maxtor drives, but Western Digital is also very popular...


Nov 10, 2002
(1) For your OS, go with W2K. I have been using it for the past 3 years and i am very pleased with it. Absollutely rock solid OS. XP? I still don't like it. Yes they say it's faster and more stable than W2K - but w/ your setup, you won't notice much of a difference really.

(4) I use strictly Lite-On burners. They are good quality burners at a good affordable price compared to others. If i had more disposable income, i would definitely buy Plextor burners - one of the best in the industry IMHO. As for hard drives, both Western Digital and Plextor ahve good reputations and a proven track record of good customer service.
Nov 28, 2002
Hi, I'm sorry I didn't take the advice of manager of PC World. He said "no". I went and spoke to other members of staff and they read the package and said OK. (Windows 98)
As soon as I powered up the first message I got was "short of space". Took it back and got 20gb added. Home again and another problem. Modem wasn't compatable. So, new modem.
Now I had purchased XP Upgrade, 20gb and a new modem.
It then stopped working altogether, it was through another forum
(I hadn't discovered TSG at this time) that I got the old PC moving
again. I then purchased this new one, which in itself is a blessing,
my young teenage son was at war with me because I wouldn't let him use KaZaA and, in my opinion, other rubbish sites. If I had
to do over again I would not have changed or else scrapped old puter, it needed more hard drive anyway. I suppose if one was handy with puters maybe OK.
Dec 26, 2002
Your setup sounds almost exactly like my old one. In fact, it's kinda creepy. I say go with Win2K because it was the best on my old setup out of Win98, WinME, and Win2K. Never got to try XP on it but XP is kinda bulky so I doubt I would have liked it.
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