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Raven
September 22nd, 2010, 05:54 PM
Obviously plain DOS will run very quickly on these machines, but what runs the best as far as more complex OSes go on this sort of hardware?

I'd imagine that for earlier Pentiums, i.e., 60-166Mhz, 95 is faster, and that for 200-300Mhz boxen, 98SE is actually faster due to optimizations and such and the capability to better use the memory that a faster system usually comes with.

I have no experience with OS/2 on any box, or Linux on a Pentium box. I've seen that older versions of Linux run well, and obviously someone wouldn't wanna throw Ubuntu 10 on there - would it even handle that?

What do you all use on your Pentium boxen and why?

I'll start:

I use 98SE on my later Pentium boxes, because it provides a combination of DOS compatibility, modern compatibility (i.e., can run fairly recent software and communicate with modern boxes easily), and speed. I've been questioning this lately, however.

I use DOS on my older Pentium boxes, usually 7.10, and it runs quite well and of course does all the things one is accustomed to from DOS. The nice thing about DOS on a Pentium is that the hardware is overkill, so you never need to worry about slowdowns, and it can run every game ever made for DOS, so you don't have to worry about system specs.

Unknown_K
September 22nd, 2010, 06:04 PM
OS/2 warp 3, BEOS of some variety.

Chuck(G)
September 22nd, 2010, 06:05 PM
With sufficient memory Win2K runs very well.

Raven
September 22nd, 2010, 06:06 PM
With sufficient memory Win2K runs very well.

I can't imagine that it would have any advantage over 98SE for speed or compatibility, unless you wanted to use a more recent PCI card than 98SE supports or something.. 98SE crawls on a 200Mhz Pentium when you start multitasking... at all.. and that's with 128MB RAM.

deadcrickets
September 22nd, 2010, 06:18 PM
I can't imagine that it would have any advantage over 98SE for speed or compatibility, unless you wanted to use a more recent PCI card than 98SE supports or something.. 98SE crawls on a 200Mhz Pentium when you start multitasking... at all.. and that's with 128MB RAM.

Windows 3.x, WIndows 95, OS/2 Warp 3 would all be my choices unless you can get hold of an old version of Linux such as Mandrake Linux 5.

Chuck(G)
September 22nd, 2010, 06:30 PM
I can't imagine that it would have any advantage over 98SE for speed or compatibility, unless you wanted to use a more recent PCI card than 98SE supports or something.. 98SE crawls on a 200Mhz Pentium when you start multitasking... at all.. and that's with 128MB RAM.

When using large partitions, Win2K is substantially faster on (NTFS) file accesses. There are many packages that require the NT platform to run also. Networking in general is a lot better. And waaay more stable.

NT 4.0 is also a good choice and substantially faster than 2K.

Remember that L1 cache can make a huge difference on P1 systems.

Raven
September 22nd, 2010, 06:33 PM
From the sound of the mention of "require the NT platform" it sounds to me as though you're not familiar with KernelEx..
http://sourceforge.net/projects/kernelex/

There's a similar layer to provide XP API support to 2K for similar reasons - not part of KernelEx though, and not relevant, just thought I'd mention it since you use 2K.

Is it NTFS that's faster on large drives vs FAT32, or do you mean NTFS on NT3/4 vs NT5? If so, that could explain some of the speed problems I've had on my Presario 3020 - I have an 80GB drive with a drive overlay and large FAT32 partition running 98SE at the moment (I also have 95 and 3x on it, if I boot to DOS I could start any).

Chuck(G)
September 22nd, 2010, 06:42 PM
Tried KernelEx and found it didn't support a lot of packages requiring 2K/XP. In particular, some EDA tools that I use don't run on 98SE even with KernelEx.

I also tried to get Chrome to run under 2K using the CHrome2K package. Never could get it to run without crashing. Perhaps the patch only works on very early versions of Chrome.

glitch
September 22nd, 2010, 06:47 PM
OpenBSD runs very well on Pentium machines...I built a thin client out of a laptop using a 100 MHz Pentium and 40 MB RAM. I could run remote X applications from my desktop with very little lag. Slackware does too, especially with a 2.4 kernel. Debian is also pretty quick with an older Pentium system and 64+ MB RAM, even with X -- I ran Etch with a custom monolithic 2.6 kernel for years on a Toshiba Libretto as my main portable computer.

Raven
September 22nd, 2010, 06:50 PM
http://win2kgaming.site90.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7

This is the API wrapper for 2K I mentioned (site is great for 2K stuff, they get all kinds of stuff running).

I never really considered early NT (3/4) on my systems because I mostly use my old machines for gaming - usually DOS gaming.

Can you install/boot NT3 or 4 from FAT32? If so I'll totally throw them on some of my Pentium boxes and give them a try to compare performance and see if NTVDM is friendly with DOS games. Perhaps a multiboot of NT and DOS would be ideal, who knows (whole new world just opened up at this thought, lol).

Chuck(G)
September 22nd, 2010, 07:02 PM
Here's a VFAT driver for NT 3.51 and 4.0 (http://www.chat.ru/~ashedel/fat32/fastfat32.rar). I don't know if you can jigger the installation of NT to get it to boot from a FAT32 partition however. I'm inclined to think that the boot has to be from FAT16 or NTFS.

Has anyone tried to boot NT 4.0 or 3.51 from an HPFS partition? Can it be done?

Raven
September 22nd, 2010, 07:05 PM
FAT16 would be OK, I'd prefer to not have a separate partition but if I'm gonna have one it would be nice if it were natively readable from other OSes, so FAT16 should be ok. That way I could hop on the 'net in NT3/4 and then play a game under DOS that I downloaded using NT without having to save it to anywhere in particular.

I'm going to take the rest of this NT discussion to a PM since it's getting a bit off-topic for the thread/forum.

Dave Farquhar
September 22nd, 2010, 08:15 PM
I don't want to drag this thread too far along, but on marginal hardware, there's fat you can cut from any OS (even my beloved OS/2) to make it run better on a sub-200 MHz Pentium. I really did write the book on doing that with Win95/98 (like most obsolete computer books, it's available on Amazon for a penny plus shipping; search "optimizing windows farquhar" to find it). Similar hacks exist for NT4; cutting the fat from 2K is easier since nLite works with it. Omit the stuff like IE, the MS Mail client, MSN, and that kind of stuff, and you can get the base OS install way down (I think Win95 slims down to about 17 meg) and save some registry space and maybe a little RAM, but just as importantly, you save precious directory entries. The more files that are in a directory in a FAT filesystem, the slower performance gets. Microsoft actually warned against this in the DOS 5 manual, but by the time Win95 came along, they were ignoring their own advice.

One of the first things I always do after a 9x install is to delete all the .txt and other similar junk files from C:\windows, then defrag, to get the number of directory entries down. I don't believe NTFS experiences this directory slowdown.

95/98 have some other things you can tweak of course like the CD-ROM cache. But I do think a slimmed-down Win2K isn't a bad choice. Fantastic stability and hardware support. Some general tricks: preformat the HDD NTFS beforehand, using 4K clusters. Sticking with the earliest service pack that still supports your hardware helps a little too; later SPs tended to bloat up the memory requirements quite a bit. In its early days I ran W2K on machines with 128MB of RAM routinely, and even 64MB was tolerable. Of course I preferred 256MB, but at the turn of the century I think a 128MB stick cost $200 so going too far beyond 128MB was a tough sell.

NT4 benefits from the same tricks as 2K does.

I'm rambling. But I believe W2K and anything earlier can be made to run acceptably on first-gen Pentium systems with some tweaking. The question is really what you're after. You can build the dream machine from 1995-96 and run Win95 or NT4 on it, or you can try for as much modern convenience as possible.

Raven
September 22nd, 2010, 08:23 PM
Is there a difference between 98SE and 98FE for performance/resource usage, like the SPs for 2k? I haven't used any older SPs of any OS once the SP is released, same deal with 98SE vs FE. I have noticed an odd slowness with machines that should be able to run things fine being slow, and perhaps that's the cause. Next time I have some cash I will look to see if I can find a copy of your book. :D

I also always install all of the updates, perhaps I should stick to only those updates that I desperately need to keep things minimal then..

tezza
September 22nd, 2010, 08:30 PM
I don't consider all the technical issues but somehow Windows 98SE on my pentium just seems "right" :)

Lord Moz
September 22nd, 2010, 09:18 PM
98SE supports WDM drivers, which opens up nearly all Win2K & WinXP drivers, although sometimes you have to force things and tweak/edit the .inf files and get your hands dirty. WDM support allows you to use much newer peripherals than the original CPU was designed around. USB support is one of those features, as USB support really came into its own on 98SE. WinME has even better drivers support, but isn't welled loved by many, although I never had any issues besides the removal of the "Restart in MS-DOS" mode, which could be hacked back in.

On my main system in the day, I moved to Win2K very soon after it was released and was happy to leave Win9x behind. At the time I was doing telephone (call center) technical support for an outsourcing firm in Beaverton (Stream Int.) and had more than my share of Win9x during the work day. Win2K really runs best with at least 256MB ram in my experience, while XP needs at least 512MB. I've booted both to a desktop in 64MB though...

OS/2 Warp 4 runs great on P5-6 class systems, although I didn't spend much time with the retail release. I was in the Warp 4 beta and was bummed than IBM didn't feel inclined to give their beta testers release copies. I still have the beta CDs & papers though.

With my distaste of Win9x, I was running RedHat Linux 5-6x just before I went back to Windows as my day-to-day OS (I got sucked into Ultima Online...).
I remember bragging to my MS-fan-boy friends how I could be booted to a Gnome desktop faster than Win98 and be only using ~30-40MB ram on a 128MB system.

Gosh... all the memories :D I still have my K6-2 400 that I ran Win2K on, too. I think I put a fresh copy of Win2K on it, but I think I'm gonna dual boot it with Warp 4, unless I can score a copy of Warp Server for eBusiness 4.5...

__
Trevor

saundby
September 22nd, 2010, 09:32 PM
I've mentioned what I'm running on a couple of my Pentiums here (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?21983-What-linux-should-I-install&p=152730#post152730). They're both in the 100MHz range. I also have some P/166MMX systems that don't get used much, simply because they just got set aside when they were retired and I haven't done as much work making them "retro-useful" as opposed to the "daily use" state they were in.

Beside the OSes I list in the other post, I have productively run a number of Linux distros based on 2.0 and 2.1 kernels on Pentiums. Slackware 3.4, SuSE 5.3, Red Hat 5, etc, etc. For NT I've run both 3.51 and 4.0. Which one is better depends on your specific hardware and use. 4.0 is a big step forward in many ways, but it's also considerably more demanding, especially of graphics hardware and memory. I have run Win95 and Win98 on these as well. For lower end Pentiums, I find the last Win95 OEM-only release to be a somewhat better choice than Win98. Later Pentiums will run Win98 just as well as Win95, usually.

As far as Linux security, even the old distros can be made secure if you're a programmer. Usually it's just replacing insecure library calls with their secure replacement. Aside from that, turn off services you don't use. To be honest, since I don't do anything critical with these machines, I don't worry about security beyond just making sure they're not zombies. If I'm suspicious, I keep a second drive around that I do a dd to every so often that I'll do a restore from.

Caluser2000
September 22nd, 2010, 10:17 PM
I liked the last OEM Win 95 as well. Also had a system with Win98FE on it with absolutely no major issues at all. Of course SE has better support. Best OS on a Pentium? That really depends on the use you have for it. Why settle just one ? :)
Raven you a appear to be a tinkerer, if you haven't given Linux a shot yet you really should. Who knows may like it. Even if it just gives you an insight into *nix like enviroments. It might be a good learning experiance.

Shadow Lord
September 23rd, 2010, 01:16 AM
From the sound of the mention of "require the NT platform" it sounds to me as though you're not familiar with KernelEx..
http://sourceforge.net/projects/kernelex/

There's a similar layer to provide XP API support to 2K for similar reasons - not part of KernelEx though, and not relevant, just thought I'd mention it since you use 2K.


Hey, thanks for this. I am going to have to try this out and see if it'll let me run my monitor caliberation tools on on 98SE. Right now I have to use another computer that boots 2K to do this. Also, do you have linkage for the XP API Support? Thanks!

Ole Juul
September 23rd, 2010, 02:18 AM
P1s are the perfect box for serious everyday DOS users and I have 4 P1s set up like that. Two are regular users and one is on 24/7. However, for other than DOS and to make it interesting, here is my take:

- DSL (or similar) for non technical users
- BSD for technical users
- Minix for experimenters

Yes, Minix 3 (http://www.minix3.org/) is coming along nicely. Tanenbaum and his students have been busy. The requirements (http://wiki.minix3.org/en/UsersGuide/HardwareRequirements) are:


MINIX 3 runs on Pentium-class hardware or later. Other Pentium-compatible CPUs are also supported. MINIX 3 does not currently support 64-bit x86.

The standard installation needs 28 MB of RAM, but it can be squeezed into 8 MB. Recompiling MINIX 3 currently needs 64 MB of RAM.
Sounds perfect for old P1s doesn't it?

In case someone is not too familiar with V3, here is a little piece from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINIX):


Version 3.1.5 was released 5 November 2009. It contains X11, emacs, vi, cc, gcc, perl, python, ash, bash, zsh, ftp, ssh, telnet, pine, and over 400 other common Unix utility programs. With the addition of X11, this version marks the transition away from a text-only system. Another feature of this version, which will be improved in future releases, is the ability of the system to withstand device driver crashes, and in many cases having them automatically replaced without affecting running processes. In this way, MINIX is self-healing and can be used in applications demanding high reliability.

Raven
September 23rd, 2010, 04:18 AM
Hey, thanks for this. I am going to have to try this out and see if it'll let me run my monitor caliberation tools on on 98SE. Right now I have to use another computer that boots 2K to do this. Also, do you have linkage for the XP API Support? Thanks!

I'm pretty sure I linked to that earlier in the thread, too (If I didn't, http://win2kgaming.site90.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7)

Most of the cool 9x modernization stuff I know of comes from the MSFN 9x Member Projects forum, and the 2K stuff comes from the forum at the link I posted for the XP API wrapper.

As for what Old Juul Posted, MINIX sounds interesting, and I hadn't considered BSD, good ideas.

Shadow Lord
September 23rd, 2010, 08:11 AM
I'm pretty sure I linked to that earlier in the thread, too (If I didn't, http://win2kgaming.site90.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7)

Most of the cool 9x modernization stuff I know of comes from the MSFN 9x Member Projects forum, and the 2K stuff comes from the forum at the link I posted for the XP API wrapper.

As for what Old Juul Posted, MINIX sounds interesting, and I hadn't considered BSD, good ideas.

You indeed had. I was the one who missed it. I'll try installing KernelEx this weekend. I am hoping I'll be successful as the program should run win98SE (no reason for it not to) as long as the drivers install.

Raven
September 23rd, 2010, 08:14 AM
I've had pretty good luck with KernelEx so far, the only app I haven't had working that I wanted to is Chrome, but that won't even work on 2K, heh.

mark66j
September 23rd, 2010, 10:11 AM
http://win2kgaming.site90.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7

This is the API wrapper for 2K I mentioned (site is great for 2K stuff, they get all kinds of stuff running).

I never really considered early NT (3/4) on my systems because I mostly use my old machines for gaming - usually DOS gaming.

Can you install/boot NT3 or 4 from FAT32? If so I'll totally throw them on some of my Pentium boxes and give them a try to compare performance and see if NTVDM is friendly with DOS games. Perhaps a multiboot of NT and DOS would be ideal, who knows (whole new world just opened up at this thought, lol).

The NTVDM was notoriously slow, I think because it actually is an emulation layer running 16-bit DOS. One of the big selling points for OS/2 at that time was that it worked much better with DOS programs, mainly because it provided direct APIs to the DOS subsystem, and also gave more options to tune the DOS box. (The same thing applied in general to 16-bit Windows applications). That's one reason it took MS so long to merge their OSes. I know a lot of people found DOS games to work well under OS/2.

Caluser2000
September 23rd, 2010, 05:05 PM
It'd be interesting to know what actually runs though on the earlier NTs and maybe compile a list of the ones that do run fine. Its a long shot but forcedos may help in some cases.

Raven
September 23rd, 2010, 05:11 PM
What's "forcedos"?

Edit: I'm an idiot and didn't try Google first - I'm surprised I wasn't familiar with this command...

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490640.aspx

Caluser2000
September 23rd, 2010, 06:12 PM
Its purpose is to force programs into dos mode instead of trying the os/2 subsystem.

1ajs
September 28th, 2010, 09:08 AM
xp ran nice on my 333 cyrix underclocked to 266 with 64megs of ran and a vodoo 1 16meg video carrd ran that beast till 04 when i got a amd 1100+ cause sim city 4 was to laggy lol

Chuck(G)
September 28th, 2010, 09:46 AM
Its purpose is to force programs into dos mode instead of trying the os/2 subsystem.

This is very useful when you're dealing with a "bound" executable written for a 16-bit version of OS/2 and you're attempting to run it on NT, whose OS/2 subsystem isn't completely compatible with OS/2. But note that this only applies to bound executables (where there are two versions of the same program combined in the same file).

Pepinno
December 14th, 2010, 02:43 PM
What do you all use on your Pentium boxen and why?

I run SCO UNIX, specifically OpenServer 5.0.7, on a Pentium 166MHz with 96 MB of RAM. It's fast and it's a real Unix with great Internet connectivity. I don't run X Window, however.

Ole Juul
December 14th, 2010, 03:46 PM
I have no experience with OS/2 on any box, or Linux on a Pentium box. I've seen that older versions of Linux run well, and obviously someone wouldn't wanna throw Ubuntu 10 on there - would it even handle that?

The previous release (8.04) will for sure. Try Ubuntu Server, it's a gas.

Recently I've found Debian 5.1 (the latest) to work very well on PI and PII machines. It is also under 300MB. The real killer is in the big programs. Just avoid the bloat of Gnome or KDE for a desktop and use Fluxbox instead - if you even want a window manager that is.

It is interesting that you specified the CPU and not the memory. The importance for running an OS is the other way around because in the end your limitation is going to be memory. CPU speed is not as important. That said; almost any OS can run with low memory, it is applications which can't.

michal
December 15th, 2010, 03:40 AM
I couldn't ever get past Windows 95 on a P1 (and match the speed)...
But you might try Windows FLP.

Tetrium
December 15th, 2010, 05:30 AM
But you might try Windows FLP.
If you can find it.

Personally what also is important is the amount of memory you plan on using. Most of the older P1 chipsets couldn't cache more then 64MB and I wouldn't recommend anything past 98SE on it. W2K isn't well suited for those older computers "for my taste" but in the end, it'll come down to what you want to use and what to use it for.
Yes, you can nlite a W2K-lite edition if W2K's what you want.
If you want "pure" DOS you'll probably be better off using 98SE instead of, say, W2K or ME.

Personally on a rig with 128MB or more I'll use ME as I prefer it over 98SE, but that's just me :P

Dave Farquhar
December 15th, 2010, 07:47 AM
The previous release (8.04) will for sure. Try Ubuntu Server, it's a gas.

Recently I've found Debian 5.1 (the latest) to work very well on PI and PII machines. It is also under 300MB. The real killer is in the big programs. Just avoid the bloat of Gnome or KDE for a desktop and use Fluxbox instead - if you even want a window manager that is.

One gotcha with Ubuntu server. If you want a static IP, set it up with a static IP from the get-go. I built mine with DHCP, then changed to a static IP once it was ready to go, and now it reverts to DHCP every so often. Not good. It's a known issue, but unfortunately I haven't found an authoritative fix for it.

As for Debian and older systems, yeah. I ran Debian on a P2-450 as my webserver for about 8 years. It wasn't as bad as it sounds.

Chuck(G)
December 15th, 2010, 08:43 AM
W2K isn't well suited for those older computers "for my taste" but in the end, it'll come down to what you want to use and what to use it for.


Ditto that--I started running 2K on a 100MHz P1 with 96M of memory and still run it on a 233MHz P1 with 128M. As long as you don't "lard it up", it's a pretty fast platform. But when you start adding software that was developed for later systems and CPUs, it can slow down quite a bit.

On systems with larger drives and more than 64MB of memory, 2K is substantially faster for most things than 9x.

On P3 systems, it's my OS of choice if XP compatibility isn't required. It still has a fairly lean kernel that has a lot in common with NT 4. It's all of those add-ons that bogs it down.

Pepinno
December 15th, 2010, 12:29 PM
As for Debian and older systems, yeah. I ran Debian on a P2-450 as my webserver for about 8 years. It wasn't as bad as it sounds.

My personal Intranet server (samba file server, samba print server, outgoing SMTP gateway and public SMTP MX with postfix, IMAP server with UW-IMAP, Squirrelmail web mail, BIND 9 server, SSH server and aMule daemon 24x7) is a Pentium-II with 256 MB of RAM and Debian 3.1 (yeah, I know it's ancient, but I customized it to my needs and works great so I don't feel like upgrading). Also, I'm running it on a laptop so it's **silent** machine!


$ uptime
21:22:07 up 373 days, 17:20, 4 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
$ cat /etc/issue
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 \n \l
$ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 256980 244516 12464 0 13232 81620
-/+ buffers/cache: 149664 107316
Swap: 987956 18400 969556
$ uname -srvmo
Linux 2.4.33.2 #2 dom nov 12 17:09:35 CET 2006 i686 GNU/Linux
$ dmesg | grep -i pentium
CPU: Intel Mobile Pentium II stepping 0a

Stable as heck. No X Window GUI, of course.

Edit to add: and it only reboots from year to year because the building's power fails for longer than its built-in laptop battery allows. Otherwise, I could get uptimes of several years... I just couldn't believe it if anyone would tell me.

Dave Farquhar
December 16th, 2010, 09:29 AM
Stable as heck. No X Window GUI, of course.

Edit to add: and it only reboots from year to year because the building's power fails for longer than its built-in laptop battery allows. Otherwise, I could get uptimes of several years... I just couldn't believe it if anyone would tell me.

I believe it. I achieved uptimes on mine well over a year, limited only by my utility company's ability to supply power. If it didn't struggle under the weight of a MySQL-backed webserver, I might still run it. But the hardware is getting questionable. It was the best I could get for $200 back in 2002. Oddly enough, I predicted when I put it into service that by the time it died, I'd be able to get a 2 GHz machine for $200. I was off. This summer, I turned down at least one opportunity to buy a 2 GHz machine for $20.

Ole Juul
December 16th, 2010, 03:30 PM
One gotcha with Ubuntu server. If you want a static IP, set it up with a static IP from the get-go. I built mine with DHCP, then changed to a static IP once it was ready to go, and now it reverts to DHCP every so often. Not good. It's a known issue, but unfortunately I haven't found an authoritative fix for it.

That's bizarre. I'm not a professional, but I've put Ubuntu server on a number of machines just to play with. I've also got a server which has been up for a year or so, plus an always-on desktop with fluxbox for regular use and those never showed any such problems. I just type "iface eth0 inet static" or "iface eth0 inet DHCP" into /etc/network/interfaces" and it stays there. I can't imagine what could automatically write to that file. Are you using some kind of configuration program or GUI thingie? I'm still amazed... going to google that right now.

Ah, rather than rewrite the above, I'll just post what I found:

This happens because you change your interfaces file first and then run ifdown. At that point, ifdown doesn't know that it has a dhclient running and hence doesn't stop it.

Operator error. :) Ubuntu server is widely employed for professional use and it would not be usable if indeed it switched to DHCP on it's own. I still suppose that if you run some GUI network manager program that all bets are off for reliability.

Dave Farquhar
December 17th, 2010, 09:54 AM
Good to know. That sounds like exactly what I did; change /etc/interfaces and then ifdown followed by ifup. Strangely, the problem surfaced after I had a power outage. Maybe it's just coincidence.

It's been OK now since Sunday, so hopefully the problem is solved. If it happens again I'll do an ifdown, edit /etc/interfaces, then do an ifup.

Thanks!

mark66j
December 17th, 2010, 11:05 AM
Good to know. That sounds like exactly what I did; change /etc/interfaces and then ifdown followed by ifup. Strangely, the problem surfaced after I had a power outage. Maybe it's just coincidence.

It's been OK now since Sunday, so hopefully the problem is solved. If it happens again I'll do an ifdown, edit /etc/interfaces, then do an ifup.

Thanks!

I haven't used Ubuntu server in a while, but I know that some recent Ubuntu desktop versions run NetworkManager by default, which will overwrite a lot of config files when trying to manage connections automatically. If you want a static IP you have to make sure it is not running.

Ole Juul
December 17th, 2010, 01:05 PM
I haven't used Ubuntu server in a while, but I know that some recent Ubuntu desktop versions run NetworkManager by default, which will overwrite a lot of config files when trying to manage connections automatically. If you want a static IP you have to make sure it is not running.

I am active on the Kubuntu forum and we get a lot of questions regarding a lack of network connection. No big surprise there, sometimes there are issues, but the standard answer is surprising: "uninstall NetworkManager." In 50% of the cases that's about all it takes. Apparently the developer has been notified but claims he is is still not aware that there is a problem, but it becomes obvious on a forum like that. Anyway, I personally prefer configuration files - it's quicker, easier, and it works - the alternative being slower, harder, and doesn't work. :D

Mac collector
December 17th, 2010, 07:30 PM
I have no experience with OS/2 on any box, or Linux on a Pentium box. I've seen that older versions of Linux run well, and obviously someone wouldn't wanna throw Ubuntu 10 on there - would it even handle that?
.

I tried running Ubuntu (actually Xubuntu but still similar) on a Pavilion 6530 (celeron 433 later I put a celeron 500Mhz in w/ 256 MB of RAM) and it was really slow. I put puppy Linux on it instead and it files. You could put DSL on it also (Damn Small Linux) Here are the requirements for both

DSL (minimum Req)
* 486dx or 100% compatible processor
* 16mb ram (24mb recommended)
* dual-speed CDROM (quad-speed or better recommended)
* 1.44mb floppy drive (for boot floppy, if needed)
* VGA monitor and video card
* a mouse (serial, ps/2, usb)

Puppy (Minimum Req)

* CPU : Pentium 166MMX
* RAM : 128 MB physical RAM for releases since version 1.0.2 or failing that a Linux swap file and/or swap partition is required for all included applications to run; 64 MB for releases previous to 1.0.2
* Hard Drive : Optional
* CDROM : 20x and up

I am by no means a Linux expert but I couldn't get DSL to work on my Pavilion it booted up and the graphics were all messed up and the mouse didn't work (well it did for 2 seconds then disappeared) So I used puppy.

Samir
December 20th, 2010, 11:08 PM
What do you all use on your Pentium boxen and why?It depends on three things--what I plan to use it for, how much RAM, processor speed and HD space available.

The most I try to put on them is 98se, especially if they only have 64mb of RAM. 64mb=98se, 32mb=95. I don't have any that have more, but I just found out that my slew of pp180s can be upgraded to 512mb, so that's interesting. Portable Firefox 1.0 works on 98se, so you can browse at a reasonable clip as long as the site isn't full of a bunch of javascript and flash--that will slow things down a lot. And that's where the most important thing comes in--the use of the system. If it's just going to connect to the network and just be a file server, 95 with 32mb of RAM is fine for that. I actually have a file server with a promise ata133 card in it and some ata6 drives. It will copy at 22MB/sec from one drive to the other. :O And network performance isn't bad topping out at about 3MB/sec. I only use it for writing small files, so this works quite well.

Another one of the systems was used for browsing under 98se until the power supply had an issue. It was a pp180 with 96mb of RAM.

I have a 486DX33 with 20mb of RAM that runs win95 and MS Personal Web Server v1.0 (the only version they ever made, lol). It connects to the file server using Lantastic and can serve out files at 500k/sec--fast enough for the web.

I actually have more Pentium class hardware sitting around that I haven't had a chance to put to work yet. I'm going to set up some for continuously comparing files over a vpn, mirroring files over the vpn, but that's all I can figure out so far. These systems will probably keep running 95 with 32mb of ram. There's no point in upgrading them to the 512 unless I can figure out more tasks for them to do. Maybe I could just set up a SETI farm.

Raven
December 21st, 2010, 10:10 AM
Getting modern programs running on 95 and 98 is a fun project, and upgrading the RAM in one of those boxen would assist in that. Also just wanted to pop in to say I'm still browsing this thread. :D

wolfie
December 21st, 2010, 07:54 PM
when it comes to older computer and operating systems i am stuck with windowz and dos because i don't know the old linux well enough to even install it. i usually use win98SE. i tried running Ubuntu on a p2 400mhz with 768MB memory and it ran pretty good. i kind of liked it. i just wish i knew it better.

Pepinno
December 22nd, 2010, 11:30 AM
I don't really feel the Windows 95/98 lure on Pentium. I mean, those operating systems were finicky and quite crash prone. They become painful as soon as you installed a couple of program outside of what was "in the box". Don't you remember the BSOD, several times a day?

On the other hand, OS/2 Warp, some ancient Linux like RedHat 6.2 (it was a major milestone in Linux world domination), SCO UNIX OpenDesktop, Windows NT 3.51/4.0, are more appealing to me: preemptive multitasking, memory protection, the whole advanced thing... on a modest Pentium.

Unknown_K
December 22nd, 2010, 11:58 AM
The lure of 9x on a Pentium was speed, and all the apps and games it can run that NT at that time didn't like (or didn't support the hardware with drivers). I never had a BSOD every day or week even, kind of a rarity (unless you had bad hardware or drivers). About the only issue I had with 9x is that if you installed and uninstalled a million apps and games you needed a complete reformat about every 8-12 months because the system started to get slow.

NT/Unix would be best on workstation/server grade Pentium hardware with SCSI drives and maybe multiple processors plus plenty of RAM.

You can also experiment with Desqview/X and BEOS for something different or figure out how to setup a Novell server.

ChrisRich
December 22nd, 2010, 12:16 PM
I tried running Ubuntu (actually Xubuntu but still similar) on a Pavilion 6530 (celeron 433 later I put a celeron 500Mhz in w/ 256 MB of RAM) and it was really slow. I put puppy Linux on it instead and it files. You could put DSL on it also (Damn Small Linux) Here are the requirements for both

DSL (minimum Req)
* 486dx or 100% compatible processor
* 16mb ram (24mb recommended)
* dual-speed CDROM (quad-speed or better recommended)
* 1.44mb floppy drive (for boot floppy, if needed)
* VGA monitor and video card
* a mouse (serial, ps/2, usb)

Puppy (Minimum Req)

* CPU : Pentium 166MMX
* RAM : 128 MB physical RAM for releases since version 1.0.2 or failing that a Linux swap file and/or swap partition is required for all included applications to run; 64 MB for releases previous to 1.0.2
* Hard Drive : Optional
* CDROM : 20x and up

I am by no means a Linux expert but I couldn't get DSL to work on my Pavilion it booted up and the graphics were all messed up and the mouse didn't work (well it did for 2 seconds then disappeared) So I used puppy.

Puppy you say?? I have an old PPro 180 and I wanted to milk the most of it to keep it around/used but the Win98se on it just pokes along due to a lack of RAM and I'm too lazy to troll for more.

Thanks for the tip.. I'll have to try it in my downtime over the holidays! ;)

Pepinno
December 22nd, 2010, 12:28 PM
NT/Unix would be best on workstation/server grade Pentium hardware with SCSI drives and maybe multiple processors plus plenty of RAM.
But a Pentium with a 20 GB IDE HDD is as fast as a Pentium with a 2 GB SCSI HDD, because of the higher data density. Early NT/Unix on PC usually ran with 2GB SCSI hard disks, but it's better and faster to use those Pentium machines now with a somewhat bigger IDE disk. Also, early NT/Unix on the PC didn't ask for much RAM, 64 MB would be more than enough.

Some early UNIX for the PC, however, asked for SCSI CD-ROM and didn't support ATAPI CD-ROMs (I'm talking SCO UNIX 4.x).


You can also experiment with Desqview/X and BEOS for something different or figure out how to setup a Novell server.

Novell is my idea of a dungeon. I prefer anything over running it, unless I get paid for using it.

Samir
December 22nd, 2010, 03:00 PM
But a Pentium with a 20 GB IDE HDD is as fast as a Pentium with a 2 GB SCSI HDD, because of the higher data density. The hard drive transfer speed might be just as fast, but you have to remember that the CPU utilization for the SCSI system will be much, much lower. It's why I always built SCSI-based systems during this era. You got more out of the system because disk IO didn't kill the CPU.

Unknown_K
December 22nd, 2010, 09:52 PM
Plus you can use a newer bigger faster 10K RPM SCSI drive instead of those older 5400RPM ones.

Samir
December 22nd, 2010, 10:24 PM
Plus you can use a newer bigger faster 10K RPM SCSI drive instead of those older 5400RPM ones.I wouldn't go larger than the 9 or 18gb models. And they were heavy duty on the heat and power. The one system I have with two 2nd generation 9gb Cheetahs had 17 fans in it. :O

TNC
December 23rd, 2010, 03:59 AM
Puppy you say?? I have an old PPro 180 and I wanted to milk the most of it to keep it around/used but the Win98se on it just pokes along due to a lack of RAM and I'm too lazy to troll for more.

Thanks for the tip.. I'll have to try it in my downtime over the holidays! ;)

Try to use a true 32 bit operating system. Windows 98 still contains a lot of 16 bit code, which the pentium pro only runs very slowly. If you want to stick with the socket 8 sytem, hunt for a pentium II overdrive.

Samir
December 23rd, 2010, 12:10 PM
Try to use a true 32 bit operating system. Windows 98 still contains a lot of 16 bit code, which the pentium pro only runs very slowly.Very good advice! I forgot about that. I bet win2k will run pretty nice on it with 128mb of RAM.

Unknown_K
December 23rd, 2010, 12:44 PM
Even with 16 bit code a Ppro 200 with 256K cache should outrun a P200 easily.

Samir
December 23rd, 2010, 01:01 PM
Even with 16 bit code a Ppro 200 with 256K cache should outrun a P200 easily.It's actually not as quick as you'd think. A 233 MMX is pretty much right there with it in normal usage. CPU intensive stuff like mp3 encoding is a bit quicker, especially if 32-bit.

Unknown_K
December 23rd, 2010, 06:53 PM
Well I was comparing CPUs at the same speed, a 233 is clocked 16% higher then a 200. With 32 bit code the difference will be even more in favor of the PPro. Granted at the time of sale a PPro would have cost a heck of a lot more then a P200 so it didn't make sense for somebody to pay the difference to run Windows 95 on a PPro. These days the price differential is not all that great unless you want a 512/1MB cache model PPro, and regular Pentiums are not that common at the scrapper (most of what I seen were MMX varieties of the Pentium in the plastic housings).

Samir
December 23rd, 2010, 07:20 PM
Well I was comparing CPUs at the same speed, a 233 is clocked 16% higher then a 200. With 32 bit code the difference will be even more in favor of the PPro. Granted at the time of sale a PPro would have cost a heck of a lot more then a P200 so it didn't make sense for somebody to pay the difference to run Windows 95 on a PPro. These days the price differential is not all that great unless you want a 512/1MB cache model PPro, and regular Pentiums are not that common at the scrapper (most of what I seen were MMX varieties of the Pentium in the plastic housings).I've run one of my PPros with 95 and with NT, and the difference wasn't noticeable. In fact, I never used NT on it again and went with 95 on the rest of the installs. I have a p3-300 that runs win98se and my 95-based pp180 feels just as fast on OS functions (can't run much more on it as it's a file server).

I just remember when I bought the ppros and expected them to be so much quicker at mp3 encoding than a p133, and I wasn't impressed. That's when encoding an album took 8hrs on the p133, lol.

Unknown_K
December 23rd, 2010, 07:30 PM
PPros systems with 2 or more processors running NT4 is where the platform shined.

Samir
December 24th, 2010, 12:16 AM
I'll have to try that. I have a bunch of IBMs that can take a second processor and they all came with NT, so I could re-install that. I wonder if it would be fast enough for some decent web browsing without flash? These days even the javascript takes too long to crunch. The client has to do a lot of processing on sites these days.

Unknown_K
December 24th, 2010, 08:21 AM
My PR440FX board has dual PPro overdrives (33mhz/512K cache), works great with NT4 (and the 1GB of RAM helps).

Tetrium
December 24th, 2010, 09:27 AM
The hard drive transfer speed might be just as fast, but you have to remember that the CPU utilization for the SCSI system will be much, much lower.

This is interesting info, thanks for sharing!
Too bad SCSI harddrives seem to be very loud, driving the owner mad! :P

Unknown_K
December 24th, 2010, 09:50 AM
Some drives are very quiet depending on the age. I have some 1.6" 72GB SCA drives that are very loud when they spin up, I also have some 36GB 10KRPM drives that are very quiet.

Caluser2000
December 24th, 2010, 11:17 PM
The lure of 9x on a Pentium was speed, and all the apps and games it can run that NT at that time didn't like (or didn't support the hardware with drivers). I never had a BSOD every day or week even, kind of a rarity (unless you had bad hardware or drivers). About the only issue I had with 9x is that if you installed and uninstalled a million apps and games you needed a complete reformat about every 8-12 months because the system started to get slow.Mirrors my experiance with win9x as well. Misbehaving OS/2 applications could be easy to trip OS/2 up at times due to it's single input cue. Had it lock solid on quite a few occasions and a hard reset was required. Kernal panics in linux wasn't uncommon either.

Chuck(G)
December 25th, 2010, 10:54 AM
This is interesting info, thanks for sharing!
Too bad SCSI harddrives seem to be very loud, driving the owner mad! :P

Really? It seems to me that Apple used SCSI hard drives for many years and no one complained. I've got a stack of Seagate 3.5" Hawk drives here and they're very quiet. In fact, the 9GB IBM 5.25" FH drive in my old 386 system is much quieter than any of the 5.25" FH MFM drives that I have. Some, such as the Maxtor XT1140 will scare the dickens out of you when it seeks.

My experience between 95 and 98SE and Win2K indicate that 2K is much less quirly with networking matters and when partitions get around 2GB, much faster at file access than 9x. When programs go south on 9x, the system often requires a restart; not so much on 2K.

I usually configure 98SE and 2K multi-boot on the same system. You never know when you'll need real mode to get something done.

saundby
December 28th, 2010, 01:50 AM
If has a lot of hours on it and it's loud, it may be that the static arm has dug a hole for itself that it's oscillating in. A tweak of the static arm to let it rest outside its divot can help quiet the drive.

Mike Chambers
December 28th, 2010, 09:34 PM
if you want Windows, NT 4.0 runs incredibly fast on a pentium 1. if you need to use software that won't work under that, Win2K is also very fast but you'll probably want to have at least 128 MB of RAM. i had a 200 MHz system i used for a long time with 2K w/ 128 MB. MS Word 2003 loaded from double-clicking the icon on the desktop to having a blank document ready to type in, in under 3 seconds.

if you have at least 256 MB, i've found that even Windows XP is pretty snappy after some minor tweaking! if you'd rather use Linux, you'll probably want to go with a 2.2 or 2.4 kernel. Debian 3.1 (Sarge) is quite responsive even with X as long as you don't bog the poor thing down with KDE or GNOME. try fluxbox, lxde, twm, etc...

if you don't have a heavy load on it, a higher-end pentium 1 will even acceptably run lighttpd+PHP4+mysql. it depends a lot on the PHP scripts you want to use of course, though. i've done that with phpBB3, and pages rendered in about 2 seconds or so.

Unknown_K
December 29th, 2010, 04:57 AM
XP with under 512MB of RAM is slow to me, so is Win2k under 256MB (and by slow I mean using some apps and having IE running not just booting the OS). Heck I didn't like running Windows 3.11 without 16MB back in the day.

On an older system with slow HDs the last thing you need is for the OS to be swapping stuff from RAM to the HD and back.

Samir
December 31st, 2010, 07:26 PM
Too bad SCSI harddrives seem to be very loud, driving the owner mad! :PI've never understood why people want everything so quiet. I'd rather hear it and know it's working. I never had a problem with hard drive noise. If anything, they're too quiet now. It's next to impossible to hear how much seeking is going on.

Samir
December 31st, 2010, 07:28 PM
Heck I didn't like running Windows 3.11 without 16MB back in the day.Yep, me neither. 16MB was the only way to go, especially with a 16MB permanent swap file.

Chuck(G)
December 31st, 2010, 07:38 PM
I've never understood why people want everything so quiet. I'd rather hear it and know it's working. I never had a problem with hard drive noise. If anything, they're too quiet now. It's next to impossible to hear how much seeking is going on.

Well, I can say that in the days of mainframes, the machine room could get pretty loud, even with the lids on the train printers down. After a night in the machine room, I'd go home with my ears ringing--it chewed at your nerves as well. The vacuum pumps in the tape drives were the worst.

I want my systems to be quiet--no fan noise, disk noise, nothing. Maybe a barely-audible hum is okay. I need to think and don't need more noise.

Maybe I'm different... ;)

Ole Juul
December 31st, 2010, 08:28 PM
I've never understood why people want everything so quiet. I'd rather hear it and know it's working. I never had a problem with hard drive noise. If anything, they're too quiet now. It's next to impossible to hear how much seeking is going on.

One of my DOS machines has a Fujitsu drive which has a loud whine. I'll replace it with another brand one of these days, but in the meanwhile I just turn the drive off and avoid using it when I can. That's what ram disks are for.

As for a lot of seeking, I don't generally allow that. If the HDD is continually being accessed, then either there is a lack of RAM or the OS is misconfigured. I've seen Windows machines doing that, just ticking away to beat the band, and wonder how long that drive will last. Pure paranoia and wondering what it's doing would send me to the nut house in a short while. :D Anyway it is indeed a good idea to know when the HDD is being accessed, and for that I usually attach an led. Big and bright is good.

Tetrium
January 1st, 2011, 07:20 AM
I've never understood why people want everything so quiet. I'd rather hear it and know it's working. I never had a problem with hard drive noise. If anything, they're too quiet now. It's next to impossible to hear how much seeking is going on.
I want the system I sit behind to be as silent as reasonably possible. After a couple hours near a loud wining harddrive it'll drive me mad!

Ole Juul
January 1st, 2011, 07:06 PM
Back on topic: Although not vintage, HAIKU (http://haiku-os.org/) could be a contender here. According to this FAQ (http://haiku-os.org/about/faq#11), it will run on pentium or better.

Samir
January 3rd, 2011, 09:29 PM
Well, I can say that in the days of mainframes, the machine room could get pretty loud, even with the lids on the train printers down. After a night in the machine room, I'd go home with my ears ringing--it chewed at your nerves as well. The vacuum pumps in the tape drives were the worst.

I want my systems to be quiet--no fan noise, disk noise, nothing. Maybe a barely-audible hum is okay. I need to think and don't need more noise.I totally agree with you. :) I didn't realize it was that bad back in the day!


One of my DOS machines has a Fujitsu drive which has a loud whine.

As for a lot of seeking, I don't generally allow that. Anyway it is indeed a good idea to know when the HDD is being accessed, and for that I usually attach an led. Big and bright is good.If it's loud that's a different story, but I think the pindrop silent phenomenon I've observed in the last decade is a bit silly. I mean you usually can't have high-performance and quiet in the same product (unless you're the Audi LeMans prototype--what a machine!). And what's with manufacturers hiding the activity LEDs? Or replacing them with ones that just generally flash regardless of the activity? I've got external drives that do that and are silent. Great, I have no idea how much I'm stressing the thing.


I want the system I sit behind to be as silent as reasonably possible. After a couple hours near a loud wining harddrive it'll drive me mad!I guess after reading all the responses that I'm a bit immune to the mechanical noise. I guess it's just me. I like an exhaust note on my cars as well. ;)

Ole Juul
January 3rd, 2011, 10:32 PM
. . .If it's loud that's a different story, but I think the pindrop silent phenomenon I've observed in the last decade is a bit silly. I mean you usually can't have high-performance and quiet in the same product (unless you're the Audi LeMans prototype--what a machine!). And what's with manufacturers hiding the activity LEDs? Or replacing them with ones that just generally flash regardless of the activity? I've got external drives that do that and are silent. Great, I have no idea how much I'm stressing the thing.

We all have different levels of comfort. Some cheap computers are unnecessarily loud. I put my own together because I'm cheap and want the best at the same time. For older stuff I put a resistor on the PS fan and don't bother with a case fan. Apart from the odd drive which has a whine, that's plenty for me.

I just put together a hot modern machine, with way more power than all my other kit put together, and it's quiet as a mouse. I didn't have to do anything special apart from spending $8 on a case fan with rubber mounts. So what I'm saying is that noise and power are not mutually exclusive. As for the hard to see or missing HDD light, well that's just plain rude.


I guess after reading all the responses that I'm a bit immune to the mechanical noise. I guess it's just me. I like an exhaust note on my cars as well. ;)

I like it quiet, but sometimes a bit of noise is OK. Logging trucks idling outside my door (literally) gets old really fast. Hot rods are sometimes interesting though, as long as there are quiet times in between. In my area you can actually get away with straight pipes. Wild west and all .... :D

EverythingIBM
January 24th, 2011, 11:44 PM
I use 98SE for my Pentium machine. It has 384 MB of EDO DIMMs, so, runs quite nicely (the Triton chipset it has can actually support 512 MB, so four sticks, but IBM only put room for three, ugh!). I can actually browse the web with it in Opera 10 with no issues, renders everything faster than one would expect. Youtube works fine, I just need to find an older flash version since the modern flash installers don't like win 9x.

If you're playing midis in the background with AWE64 or OPL3 (hehe), it can pause the midi file briefly since the CPU can sometimes get taxed for more extreme web browsing.

I'm quite satisfied with it, I get GREAT compatibility for DOS, can run office 2001 which actually loads instantly, run a lot of modern stuff, and so forth. But of course I mainly use it for teh DOS games. And maybe a little Theme Hospital (which runs blazing fast with all my three juicy 128 EDO sticks).

Caluser2000
January 29th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Here's a VFAT driver for NT 3.51 and 4.0 (http://www.chat.ru/~ashedel/fat32/fastfat32.rar). I don't know if you can jigger the installation of NT to get it to boot from a FAT32 partition however. I'm inclined to think that the boot has to be from FAT16 or NTFS.

Has anyone tried to boot NT 4.0 or 3.51 from an HPFS partition? Can it be done?No luck finding anything with regards to HPFS but it seems you can get NT 4 to run on a Fat 32 partition:- http://toastytech.com/guis/miscb2.html

http://toastytech.com/guis/miscbnt4fat32usb.png

Re Windows 98. Just put a pentium laptop back into service for the good wife to use in her workshop. Found that the USB mass storage drivers from http://www.technical-assistance.co.uk/kb/usbmsd98.php works fairly nicely with it. Prior to using them I couldn't access her pen drive.

Raven
January 30th, 2011, 03:02 PM
HPFS, if I remember right, was a precursor to NTFS.. right? I've never dealt with that FS.. IIRC they used it on Macs, and also on CDs...?

I'm pretty confident I could get 98SE to chainboot from an NTFS partition, if anybody cares to challenge me to do so.. ;D You'd need a tiny FAT16 (or other) partition to hold the DOS portion of the boot, and then after loading some NTFS supporting drivers you could proceed to hop into 98SE.. not that complicated, once I explain it like that, actually.. In a multiboot situation this might be an option to look at.

If somebody wants me to try that out I'll also write a guide with specifics.

deadcrickets
January 30th, 2011, 04:10 PM
HPFS, if I remember right, was a precursor to NTFS.. right? I've never dealt with that FS.. IIRC they used it on Macs, and also on CDs...?

I'm pretty confident I could get 98SE to chainboot from an NTFS partition, if anybody cares to challenge me to do so.. ;D You'd need a tiny FAT16 (or other) partition to hold the DOS portion of the boot, and then after loading some NTFS supporting drivers you could proceed to hop into 98SE.. not that complicated, once I explain it like that, actually.. In a multiboot situation this might be an option to look at.

If somebody wants me to try that out I'll also write a guide with specifics.

They used HPFS on OS/2. It was a very fast file system. They used to claim you would never have to defragment the system if you used it. When NTFS came out you had no way to defragment due to security reasons. You would simply wipe the system and re-image.

Caluser2000
January 30th, 2011, 06:47 PM
Differences of both file systems from the creator: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/100108
Of course you can ignor the note at the top re NT4 not being able to access fat32 or accessing HPFS drives ;). There's also HPFS386, also a MS developed file system, used primarily in server variants of OS/2 and IBM eventually ported their JFS to OS/2.

Apparently NT 3.1 and 3.5 can be installed on a HPFS partition.

Raven
January 31st, 2011, 07:29 AM
From what I gather from the link, my assertion that NTFS is, in at least some way, based upon HPFS, is true. Is the limitation of "performance degredation" on drives over 400MB serious? I.e., what about a 1GB disk? What about a modern 500GB disk? If the performance degredation isn't too serious, and/or isn't exponential with drive size increase, it could be superior speed-wise for a modern box.. If not (more likely, methinks), then at least perhaps worth a look for small embedded stuff, i.e., CF disk-based systems, portable USB, ZIP disks (for those of us who still use them... I do!). The wasted effort of my machine(s) on security I don't need or care about has long vexed me.

I shall Google about this...

Edit: The only information I could find in a quick search was that the driver you can dig up for HPFS only supports drives up to 8.3GB, but would function on OSes as new as XP (and thus we can infer 32-bit Vista and Windows 7, and likely 64-bit with some coercing). 8.3GB is enough for some applications.. but could it be booted from? *that* is an experiment worth investigating.. Is anybody here knowledgeable of HPFS, i.e., did you use it when it was current? I could use some advice in the aforementioned concept:

- Could NT4 boot from HPFS?
- Could 2k?
- How does an HPFS boot function, is it the same typical NTLDR->NTDETECT.COM->etc. routine?

If 2K could then perhaps we have newer drivers and possibly latent boot capability in at least XP. If it uses the same boot chain then perhaps a modern OS could be coerced into doing it via replacement of a basic component or two, just NTLDR perhaps.

If none of that is feasible, it's possible that you could chainboot like I suggested with 98SE on NTFS - do a tiny NTFS partition, boot the kernel up, and then load an HPFS driver and load the rest of the OS and run from an HPFS partition for everything.

Infinite possibilities! :D I love OS modification..

Caluser2000
February 4th, 2011, 10:53 AM
I've got os/2 v4 fp14 on a 4 gig hdd split into 2 x 2gig partitions. Functions fine. Just used it to test out that a machines cdrom was functioning correctly. The NT4 box wasn't accessing cds. Turns out I had to enable a few services, fresh install by the previous owner, which had me scratching my head for a bit. Got a Kingston usb pen drive being accessed using NTFS and FAT16 file systems. Yeah so some of the things spouted in MS KBs can't be taken seriously.

I guess the thing about using an OS on a file system it's not "natively" designed to handle/support is disk management tools. In saying that by all accounts NT4 is really a reshelled NT 3.5x (only Fat and NTFS in the installation routine of both though) so it's probably quite possible to fudge an install of that on to HPFS.

Edit: Just for the hell of it I loaded NT 3.51 on a fat16 partition an tried convert.exe to see if it would do anything, pinball.sys loading on boot up of course, but no joy. Next step is to see if converting it using Partition Magic 4.0 will work. Catch is I have to install win9x before I can load Partition Magic. Something I wanted to avoid.

Edit2: Hmm turns out there's a text partitioning utility on the PM 4.0 cd, pqmagict.exe that can convert to Fat32 or HPFS so will give that a shot.

YIP! Worked a treat! NT 3.51 booted up fine on the HPFS partition and shows up in the Disk Administrator as you can see as well as File Manager.

Samir
February 6th, 2011, 03:28 PM
YIP! Worked a treat! NT 3.51 booted up fine on the HPFS partition and shows up in the Disk Administrator as you can see as well as File Manager.Cool! Great research!

Caluser2000
February 6th, 2011, 10:21 PM
Its' easy enough to do the same to NT4(SP1). Once NT4 is installed you put NT 3.5x pinball.sys in the \wnnt\system32\drivers directory then run a file HPFS_NT.EXE. This is available in HPFS_NT4.ZIP It places the appropriate entry in NT4s registry. Reboot to make sure pinball.sys is loaded in Devices in Conrtol Panel. Boot to Dos, do the Fat16 to HPFS and you're away as you can see from the screen shot.

Just mucking around moving and deleting files. Comes up with an incorrect path error but still moves items to the recycle bin. Doesn't happen on the fat partition though. Wonder if some registry entry will sort that out? Of course when I installed NT it said the HPFS partition was corrupt or unformatted.

Raven
February 8th, 2011, 08:03 AM
I've always wanted to try getting DirectX running on NT3.5x, because I love the old Win3x interface but want to see games like StarCraft running in that interface.

Alternatively, downgrade NT4 to the NT3.5x interface to achieve the same effect. I did try this once, but at the time I barely knew anything about even modern NT internals, much less NT3/4. My knowledge of 3/4 is still lacking but I know far more about the driver structure and such of NT now.

What are your thoughts on those concepts, since you seem to be far more experienced with early NT than I am (I was using Win3x and 9x at these points in time).

With regards to your HPFS experiment, if shift+del exists in NT4 (I don't recall if the 95 interface had this or if it was introduced with 9x/NT5) does that work? If so you could probably (I say probably because my knowledge of the registry starts at 98SE/2K, and a bit of 95) registry hack the recycle bin out of the picture for a more seamless experience with HPFS on a system like this.

Caluser2000
February 8th, 2011, 09:52 PM
Shift-Del works fine with no error messages. Program Manager is avialable for NT4, it's well documented, but getting it to look exactly like 3.5x would take a bit of effort. I'd imagine someones given it a shot in the past though just to prove it could be done.

Raven
February 9th, 2011, 10:01 AM
Not sure why everybody always assumes I mean progman when I say "3x interface" - I mean the window manager and it's decorations. I realize you allowed for that in your response, just making a general statement..

I tried to do it with no success.. if anybody finds some documentation on this let me know.

Caluser2000
February 9th, 2011, 07:21 PM
Probably because Progman IS the 3.x interface/deskstop enviroment.

Just installed fresh Nt3.51 install on an existing HPFS partition.

njroadfan
February 9th, 2011, 09:07 PM
I think he is referring to the actual window manager.... how the windows + widgets are drawn. NT 3.51 was unique in that it was full Win32, but retained the old Windows 3.x look and feel.

Caluser2000
February 11th, 2011, 03:28 PM
It might just be a matter of running Progman along with some different dlls to change the way NT 4 displays widgets to get the 3.x look. But as I mentioned earlier though it may take a bit more effort. There were kernel changes between the two versions that changed the way graphics were handled.

deadcrickets
February 12th, 2011, 12:39 AM
I think he is referring to the actual window manager.... how the windows + widgets are drawn. NT 3.51 was unique in that it was full Win32, but retained the old Windows 3.x look and feel.

Maybe my memory is bad from years ago but I seem to remember the issues of Byte describing Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5 as being fully 32 bit as well when released.

Raven
February 13th, 2011, 07:07 AM
All Windows NT incarnations are fully 32-bit. "NT OS/2" as it was called was designed from the ground up to be a 32-bit OS and leave 16-bit behind, unfortunately for Microsoft and IBM, nobody wanted that yet (except those who ended up embracing NT server, but I'm speaking from a client perspective).

The thing is DirectX isn't designed to be installed on any older OS than Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. This means that without some sort of magic I've not got up my sleeve, getting DirectX and the 3x interface to work together is much more likely to work on the NT line (other alternative is Windows 3.x, and it isn't promising, as most games wouldn't be compatible with Win32s anyway), and I'd think more likely to work on the latest NT with that interface than an earlier one - i.e., NT 3.51. It's very close to 4.0, but I'm not familiar enough with it's internals (as I am with XP and above) to do such vast modifications - in either direction. The options are to get DirectX to work on NT 3.51, or to get the NT 3.51 interface to work on NT 4.0 - either way I've not been successful.

If nobody else is interested in that topic, perhaps I'll just have to do some brute force research of their internals, but that won't be too interesting, so I was hoping someone already familiar would give it a go.. :/

Anyway I recall changing out a few files on NT 4.0 to try to get the interface to shift, and only ended up breaking the OS. Perhaps it would be easier to get a DirectX installer and run it on NT 3.51, and continue to replace 3.51 files with 4.0 files until it ran happily, and then see if games will run (StarCraft in particular is my target)?

It's a shame that it's so much work to get an NT system to run on DOSBox, as compared to a 9x one, because then I could do some of this work on my little netbook-level-power slate, as DOSBox isn't as slow as a full VM on that hardware, and with DOSBox you can mount a folder, and use the real filesystem as your filesystem, meaning file replacement is simple as pie. That means it's relegated to desktop research, most likely, and the annoying manual replacement.. Although VHD mounting could make that easier.

On another note, I tried replacing the XP-32 NTFS.SYS with one from Win7-32. For the record of our minds and searchers everywhere, it does not work. It is detected as a corrupted file and thus isn't a drop-in replacement as I hoped. There's been too many changes. Will have to look into Longhorn incarnations, maybe there's one in there with some speed improvements that's still compatible (Longhorn is a treasure trove for XP modding).

pearce_jj
April 14th, 2011, 12:52 AM
Display drivers ran in ring 3 in NT3.51 (IIRC), so video was much slower than under NT4.

dracos
May 15th, 2011, 07:21 AM
Just picked up a Dell GMT-5166. Pentium 233mhz w/mmx, in perfect working order. Came with Win2k, which works great, but I plan on making it a OS2 3 or 4 server.
Gonna resurrect my old WWIV bbs, play some trade wars, brush up on my c++. Somebody stop me!

Unless I am mistaken, this is as good as the Pentium I ever got

Pepinno
May 15th, 2011, 09:31 AM
Just picked up a Dell GMT-5166. Pentium 233mhz w/mmx, in perfect working order. Came with Win2k, which works great, but I plan on making it a OS2 3 or 4 server.
Gonna resurrect my old WWIV bbs, play some trade wars, brush up on my c++. Somebody stop me!

Unless I am mistaken, this is as good as the Pentium I ever got

It's even too much: that MMX fad is not retro enough. :D

Dave Farquhar
May 15th, 2011, 02:30 PM
OS/2 will run really nicely on a Pentium 233. I even ran it a little on 233 and 266 MHz P2s, but that's as fast as I ever got. By the time the P2 came around, OS/2's time was just about done. I spent most of my OS/2 days with a 66 MHz 486 and 75 MHz Pentium.

Now you're making me wonder how OS/2 would perform on a machine with a >200 MHz CPU and a compact flash card for a hard drive. Hmm...

Caluser2000
August 16th, 2011, 01:32 AM
Any progress on the os/2 front guys? ;)

barythrin
August 16th, 2011, 10:37 AM
OS/2 is sorta still around with eComStation (http://www.ecomstation.com/). The only problems I had with my last attempt at OS/2 were drivers for newer hardware for the installer to work and detect the drive properly. Had to update a few files on the floppy disks although I think that's pretty well documented online. Later I ended up with nic issues but that turned out to be a bad network card I think not the drivers which surprised me.

Either way yes I'm sure it would scream on some newer gear. It's pretty light weight as it is plus it can run 16-bit windows apps. I wonder if one could get Windows 3.11 with win32s installed under it?

Cammy
August 17th, 2011, 12:05 AM
I would be interested to know how well Aros runs on the old Pentium, I've only run it on 1Ghz+ PCs with 256MB RAM or more, but I'm sure it will run in 64MB RAM, and it's pretty quick. You can download a CD or DVD ISO of the boot disc and load it up to see if it works, kind of like a Linux distribution, except Aros has nothing to do with Linux, BSD or Unix at all, it's a completely different Operating System written from scratch as a re-implementation of the greatest classic OS of them all, AmigaOS. We all know that AmigaOS had pre-emptive multitasking and a highly customisable colour GUI desktop back in 1985, which evolved until 1992 when Commodore went bankrupt and development ceased. An open source effort was started to recreate the AmigaOS on modern hardware at that point, while AmigaOS itself was picked up and updated several times and is still sold as a commercial OS for specific PPC hardware. Aros doesn't have anywhere near the developer support of Linux, Haiku and other open source OSs, but it's surprisingly usable and has plenty of programs to try out, and a decent web browser which just lacks a Flash plugin.

Anyway, the best distribution to try would probably be Icaros Desktop. It's a free download, and there's no risk trying the boot CD, and it can even be installed to a USB stick if your PC has a USB card in it, so it won't touch anything on the internal HDD.

Read more about it and download it here http://icarosdesktop.org/

barythrin
August 17th, 2011, 08:06 AM
Just curious, but do you do development for them or something Cammy? Seen it in your sig on another board that I don't frequent that often. It's always interesting to hear how folks find these alternative OS.

Cammy
August 17th, 2011, 10:10 AM
I would love to develop for Aros, but I'm only a beginner programmer myself so it'll be a while before I have anything useful to contribute. I've been an Aros user and enthusiast for a few years now, ever since I got my first PC, a red unbranded OEM netbook (with a blank HDD, no Windows or MS license). I installed Aros as my primary OS with Linux as a backup, but due to me being an avid Amiga user Aros is the system I prefer, even though it's like riding a bike without a crash helmet.

Since then I have built several PCs from scrapped components I found in junked PCs on the side of the road, and they also all run Aros. I've never been a Windows user so I've never had any real need to use it, no software loyalties for programs only available for that system, so for me it's normal to try other OSs on a PC because I grew up using many alternatives. I'm into computers as a hobby, not for a job, so I just have fun with them.

Caluser2000
August 19th, 2011, 01:36 AM
Not free, but QNX is another possible OS to install. IIRC it is very light on resources and can remember booting from a floppy disk and accessing the internet with it- http://toastytech.com/guis/qnxdemo.html Unsure where I got it from but a can remember installing QNX along side Win98 at one point.

nobug
October 15th, 2011, 06:01 AM
I'm pretty sure I linked to that earlier in the thread, too (If I didn't, http://win2kgaming.site90.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7)

Most of the cool 9x modernization stuff I know of comes from the MSFN 9x Member Projects forum, and the 2K stuff comes from the forum at the link I posted for the XP API wrapper.

As for what Old Juul Posted, MINIX sounds interesting, and I hadn't considered BSD, good ideas.

As the win2kgaming forums have moved, the correct url is now:
http://oldcigaret.info/win2k/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=7