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#175511 - 17/08/2003 04:41 The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K?
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
I really have to stop doing impulse buys.

In anticipation of the upcoming releases of Doom 3 and Half Life 2, I have upgraded my motherboard, CPU, RAM, and video card.

Mobo is the ASUS P4C800 Deluxe, CPU is an Intel 3.2 ghz, RAM is a gig's worth of Corsair 466mhz PC3700, and the video card is a GeForceFX 5900 Ultra with 256mb of video memory, made by BFG Tech.

I actually had the choice between two different GeForce 5900's with the same specs, I picked the one on the shelf that said "24/7 tech support" and "Lifetime warranty". I was glad I did, because I couldn't get the system to boot once I installed the Nvidia drivers. Their tech knew exactly how to fix my problem.

Turns out that Windows 98, 98SE, and ME don't support more than 512 megs of RAM. Even though the system properties screen properly detects and displays "1024mb", you run into all sorts of odd problems such as the video drivers not working.

So after I removed one of the sticks, everything worked fine and I was able to rush off to a LAN party where the games we played performed flawlessly at much higher resolutions and frame rates than I'd previously thought possible. Ah, it feels good.

But I've got this 512 meg chip sitting here just itching to be used. And I'm sure Doom 3 and HL2 are going to like having the extra RAM when the time comes to get those games.

Although I'd prefer to avoid installing the Fischer Price OS on this computer, I certainly don't mind installing Win2K (I guess I'll throw out those few apps and games I still have which won't run on NT/2K), and have even been contemplating doing so for a while now.

My questions to the panel:

- Has anyone had any trouble or performance issues running relatively recent games on Win2k?

- In terms of how it affects games and home systems, can anyone think of a reason why I shouldn't install 2K server on this box instead of 2k professional? There are a few features of 2k server that I'd like to use on this box if I can. For instance, when installing, I get to pick and choose features as opposed to having my features chosen for me like the 2k pro installer does.

- Is there a definitive list of differences between 2k server and 2k professional somewhere?

- Is it possible to convert the FAT file system on my disks to NTFS without destroying the data that's on them? I've only ever installed 2k onto boxes which I was nuking and paving. I've never tried to do it onto a drive which contains some files I'd like to save. If I can do it, does that have to be done at setup time, or can it be done after the fact?

Anyone else have any comments or suggestions about running 2k for a gaming system?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175512 - 17/08/2003 06:14 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Greetings!

Nice impulse buy!!! I am impressed!!! No hard drive, power supply or case, though???

I cannot help much with the gaming, but with Win2K pro vs server...

You will need to go through and disable any of the services you do not need (by hand) on server. Otherwise, they will slow the machine down. Also, tune any processes that are left - since server is multiuser, the resource sharing is a bit more intense. There are a number of cool features of server that are nice (Terminal Services, for example), but make sure you lock it down properly.

I have converted FAT->NTFS during installation without any problem. I would not recommend the upgrade path, though. If you have rebuilt everything else, you might want to take the time to build the W2K from scratch. This will eliminate any leftovers that might be in your older configuration. Also, doublecheck your video and other drivers, to make certain that server can handle them.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#175513 - 17/08/2003 06:30 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14119
Loc: Canada
My 1GB P4 system runs win98 with no issues. Dunno how much of the 1GB is used, but the video (ATI in this case) is rock stable. Time to google for help..

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#175514 - 17/08/2003 06:36 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14119
Loc: Canada
Ah.. here it is:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q253912

So your super-duper 256MB video card is the trigger. But you should be able to utilize more RAM (up to 1.5GB) by adjusting the vcache size as noted.

Cheers

EDIT: this link has an explanation of the problem (and solution):

http://aumha.org/win4/a/memmgmt.php


Edited by mlord (17/08/2003 06:45)

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#175515 - 17/08/2003 06:49 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
Jerz
addict

Registered: 13/07/2002
Posts: 634
Loc: Jesusland
Go on breakdown and get XP Professional, you can make it "look" like 2000

I personally think it's the best and most stable os that ms has come up with. Windows 95, 98, ME all gave me WAY too many blue screens; 2000 was cool but it took FOREVER to get the drivers out the door when it was first released. I used to joke with people saying that it wouldn't crash because "Hell nothing will run on it", but I guess things have changed for that os.

WinXP is the shiite.

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#175516 - 17/08/2003 06:52 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: mlord]
muzza
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 21/07/1999
Posts: 1765
Loc: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
I remember a magazine article where the test system had these type of symptoms and the fix was something to do with changing the memory aperture in the BIOS. Sorry I can't be more specific, but it may help.


I'd definately recommend a fresh install if possible. Windows is always better that way. 98SE must zing along on a P4 3G!
_________________________
-- Murray I What part of 'no' don't you understand? Is it the 'N', or the 'Zero'?

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#175517 - 17/08/2003 08:03 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: Jerz]
mschrag
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/09/2000
Posts: 2303
Loc: Richmond, VA
I really have no complaints about XP Pro either ... Like Jerz said -- you can turn off the Fisher-Price Look and Feel and it looks exactly like Win2k. Plus if you're going to drop the Microsoft Tax, you might as well get the latest stuff so it lives longer in support.

(though I wouldn't necessarily call it the "shiiite" , I'm happy with it for the most part)

ms

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#175518 - 17/08/2003 08:18 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: mschrag]
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
Seconded!... uh thirded?
I havent and will not touch anything older than win2k at this point.
Started running win2k pro when it was in beta, and have been running XP for a year-plus with no complaints or problems. My system is a P4 1.2ghz with 1gb memory, and a 64mb geforce. Everything runs great.
Even after bitterly complaining about the "fisher-price" look. I tried it out for awhile, just to see what MS was thinking, and it actually works pretty well.
Once you get used to it, and learn to open your mind.
_________________________
...all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

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#175519 - 17/08/2003 10:04 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: fusto]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14119
Loc: Canada
What do you do when you upgrade your hardware wholesale, as Tony has done (new motherboard, video, everything) ?

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#175520 - 17/08/2003 10:51 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: mlord]
Jerz
addict

Registered: 13/07/2002
Posts: 634
Loc: Jesusland
What do you do when you upgrade your hardware wholesale, as Tony has done (new motherboard, video, everything) ?

As far as activating? If that's what you're talking about... You probably just call the 1-800 number as I have done when installing Office XP to a desktop as well as a laptop and just tell them what you are doing. From my experience the activation thing is no big deal at all.

But if that's not what you're talking about please disregard.

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#175521 - 17/08/2003 10:59 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: mlord]
fusto
addict

Registered: 27/12/2001
Posts: 504
Loc: Lummi Island, WA
I'm covered under an academic site license (I used to work full-time but now do contract work for Brandeis University). And the versions of XP supplied to us by MS dont require activation.
Guess that does make it a bit easier doesnt it?
_________________________
...all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

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#175522 - 17/08/2003 11:37 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
mtempsch
pooh-bah

Registered: 02/06/2000
Posts: 1996
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
DOOM 3 ... BFG Tech

Somehow that strikes me as appropriate...

/Michael
_________________________
/Michael

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#175523 - 17/08/2003 13:44 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Well, Tony, you may have seen all the problems I was having running games on my machine recently. Ever since I built it last year I've had problems. But as I posted, these all came down to the BIOS version (for some reason). Now my machine is rock solid.

I would be extremely suprised if Doom 3 did not run on 2K. Every game I've tried that was made at least a year after 2K came out has worked on it. Worms: Armageddon does not work (unfortunately- that's a great game), but Grand Theft Auto 3 does (and Vice City). I can now run these games just fine, and at very high resolutions (haven't tested how high yet). I don't see any reason to get XP, especially if you can get ahold of a 2K license

So, I don't see any problem.
_________________________
Matt

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#175524 - 17/08/2003 17:17 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
Nice impulse buy!!! I am impressed!!! No hard drive, power supply or case, though???

Already got all of those, and they're fine.

You will need to go through and disable any of the services you do not need (by hand) on server.
That is among the things I normally do when installing any NT-based OS, so I should be all right in that respect.

There are a number of cool features of server that are nice (Terminal Services, for example), but make sure you lock it down properly.
Agreed, TS is one of the reasons I was considering installing Server instead of Professional.

I would not recommend the upgrade path, though. If you have rebuilt everything else, you might want to take the time to build the W2K from scratch.
Absolutely agreed.

Although, now I'm considering the possibility that I might not have to rebuild at all. I just now got the system to boot using my original installation of Win98 (non-SR2) and everything is working again. The system was refusing to boot in Win98 for a while because of an error with NDIS.VXD, but a google revealed that the original win98 NDIS.VXD will have this problem with any CPU faster than 2.something GHZ. So copying the SR2 version of that file over the original version took care of it.

If the tips Mark linked (thanks Mark!) about how to get a gig of RAM running under Win98 will work for me, then there's no reason to do the nuke and pave at the moment. The RAM was the only reason I was even considering Win2k on this box.

If the RAM works, I have only one remaining problem:

I need to install the Intel chipset, USB2, and mobo-soundcard drivers for the new motherboard. Those installers refuse to run under 98-retail but will run under 98SR2.

Now you might say, "Just upgrade to SR2 then", but I've (a) not yet seen any problems on 98-retail that I couldn't solve with some time and effort, so I've never had to install SR2 before, and (b) I've faked out SR2-only installations before and not had any trouble at all. So I think I'm going to try faking out these installs and seeing if they'll work.

If that's the case, then I don't see a reason to nuke and pave as long as the system remains as stable as it's been.

Thanks for all the help and advice everyone!
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175525 - 17/08/2003 17:18 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: mtempsch]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
DOOM 3 ... BFG Tech
Somehow that strikes me as appropriate...
I will sheepishly admit, that was also a factor in my decision to purchase that card over the competitor.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175526 - 17/08/2003 17:22 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
For the TS piece, have you thought about PC Anywhere or VNC variations for your 98 environment?
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#175527 - 17/08/2003 17:29 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: pgrzelak]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
I already have experience with PC Anywhere and like it. However, it is not a requirement that I need to remotely control this PC, I was just looking at it as a future option.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175528 - 17/08/2003 17:38 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
System now boots in 98 with a gig of RAM. Thanks, Mark, YOU DA MAN!
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175529 - 17/08/2003 19:38 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
Glad to hear that you got it sorted.

FWIW, my HTPC that doubles as my only gaming machine runs Win2k. Black&White, Quake3 and RTCW all run fine, as does the (now free) original GTA. Maybe there is a mild performance hit, but I prefer stability any day. (And NTFS is _so_ much better than FAT/FAT32). The only thing that I did have issues with was the BF1942 demo not running. I assume they fixed that in the released version.
_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

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#175530 - 18/08/2003 04:05 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2091
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Through extensive testing and fairly aggressive criticism (as I pretty much despise Windows and only use it because I have to) I have to go with the multiple boot route:

For games which will run on Windows 98SE, use it in preference to XP or any other as it is much more stable and fast, and with reference to Mark's link - obviously can cope with sensible amounts of RAM.

Win2k can't cope with quite a lot of my favourite games, and is bizarrely unstable with a few games which should be no brainers!! But as an OS it is much more sensible (for a sysadmin) than any of Microsoft's other OSes.

My non-techie siblings love XP, the techie ones hate it - apparently it's reasonably good for those computer illiterate types who just wish to install and play games, but I can't get it to do the same thing twice. Setting up networks - jeez, just don't talk to me about it.

When will Crossover get all my favourite games supported on *nix?
_________________________
Rory
MkIIa, blue lit buttons, memory upgrade, 1Tb in Subaru Forester STi
MkII, 240Gb in Mark Lord dock
MkII, 80Gb SSD in dock

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#175531 - 18/08/2003 08:25 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1094
Loc: UK
Well, I have a dedicated games machine which is running Win2K SP2 with directX 9, and pretty much everything I've tried runs fine. The list includes:

GTA3
GTA:Vice City
Quake3
Quake2 (openGL version)
Doom and Doom2 (classic fun)
BF1942
BF1942 road to rome
BF1942 desert combat
RTCW
Wolfenstein enemy territory
Red faction
Flanker 2.0
Unreal Tournament + lots of mods
UT2003
bzflag
Unreal
Unreal II
etc.

There's at least a dozen more that I can't remember offhand. In fact, the only one I so far haven't been able to persuade to run under Win2K is Hexen II, which is a shame because it's a nice game.

Many of these games also work with the VR headset you saw in Amersfoort, which is fun.

pca
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#175532 - 18/08/2003 08:45 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: pca]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
In fact, the only one I so far haven't been able to persuade to run under Win2K is Hexen II, which is a shame because it's a nice game.
Perhaps one of the recent code-ports of the Doom source code will run the Hexen 2 wadfiles? Such as Doom Legacy?

I haven't run the original code for any of the Doom variants in a long time, I've been running Legacy or Zdoom. I seem to recall reading in their dox that they supported the Hexen games too.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175533 - 18/08/2003 08:47 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: frog51]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
I have to go with the multiple boot route
I understand your reasoning. I'd like to avoid dual booting, since (at the moment) I can do all non-gaming tasks that I need to do in win98 as well. So if I can get 98 working properly on this box, then I don't need the dual boot.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175534 - 21/08/2003 21:44 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Well, as an update and to test for you, Tony, I just played a long session of GTA3 Vice City at 1600x1200x32. To get the maximum strain I could, I loaded the trainer so I could go on a nice, 20-minute long vehicular rampage that eventually brought out the army (I had 4 flat tires through 4 wanted levels ).

There was a little jitter at first, and if I dropped down one more level, I'm sure it would have been smooth as could be, but your processor is much more powerfull. The main point, for my system, was that there was zero instability, and I was actually able to exit the game into Windows! (a rare occurance before the BIOS update).

So my verdict would be that Win2K has no problems playing these games. Your mileage may vary.
_________________________
Matt

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#175535 - 21/08/2003 23:18 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks for that information. So at least I know GTA3 works fine under Win2k.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#175536 - 21/08/2003 23:26 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: Dignan]
ricin
veteran

Registered: 19/06/2000
Posts: 1495
Loc: US: CA
GTA3 and GTA: Vice City are two different games, aren't they?
_________________________
Donato
MkII/080000565
MkIIa/010101253
ricin.us

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#175537 - 22/08/2003 05:23 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: ricin]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Yes and no. They are two seperate titles, but no real advancements were made to the gameplay or graphics between the two, which is why it took GTAVC so little time to come out after GTA3. Small additions like the ability to ride mopeds, motorcycles, airplanes (more easily than in GTA3), and best of all, helicopters There are also several buildings you can go into, and several you can/have to buy.

VC isn't really an expansion pack, because it doesn't require the other game to work, so they're basically two different games. Very fun, though, if you want to go out and blow a lot of stuff up, and listen to Quiet Riot while doing it
_________________________
Matt

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#175538 - 22/08/2003 05:27 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: Dignan]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
The stuff you listed and the fact the colour palette has gone all pastal

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#175539 - 22/08/2003 05:50 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: Dignan]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5620
Loc: London, UK
no real advancements were made to the gameplay or graphics between the two

They apparently optimised the PC graphics/sound engine between GTA3 and VC, because the performance on GTA3 sucked really badly, but GTA VC is (apparently) playable.

I wouldn't know -- I've got the PS2 versions.
_________________________
-- roger

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#175540 - 22/08/2003 06:13 Re: The Plunge Has Been Taken. Games and Win2K? [Re: Roger]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Ah, well if you mean for the PC versions, then yeah, I can see that. GTA3 was pretty buggy.
_________________________
Matt

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