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Do people ever write their own chipset drivers? Is it possible?

#1WarGreymon77Posted 2/14/2014 1:46:42 PM
For the past few years, I've been dying to use Windows 98 on compatible hardware, no emulation (aside from a glide wrapper for certain games), no virtual machine, and preferably no DOSbox. I have a Windows 98 CD, and I would like to put it to good use.

I had kept my original Windows 98 machine from '99. Somehow, the old thing got corrupted, so I had to format the hard drive. I reinstalled Windows only to find out several issues. It's an HP, so the case was made extremely difficult to change anything. It's cramped; there's metal & plastic everywhere; the USB, floppy, and both CD-ROM drives had died, and there was no way for me to remove them. What a nightmare.

Then I tried my Pentium 4, originally a Windows XP PC. This one turned out better, and I was able to use my good ol' Radeon 9800 AGP. Everything was starting to go fine other than the fact that my MS-DOS era fossil of a joystick had quit working, and Windows gave me the old "It is now safe to turn off your computer" message instead of shutting down. I was going to buy a replacement joystick and finally play some old games I hadn't played since 2001. New problem. I plug in the power supply, green light on the back comes on, I push the PC's front power button, nothing happens, light turns off. I don't know if it's the power supply, motherboard, or what. If I unplug the PC and plug it back in, the light comes back, but the computer won't turn on, no fans or anything.

I've looked for old parts to build my own "new old computer", but that's impossible. I look for "vintage computing" sites and they're all talking about 1970s/80s stuff. It would be so easy to build my own PC with brand new parts, but then the compatibility issues would make it a paperweight, hence the title of this thread! I could also buy a new power supply, but I've never changed one before. As a last resort, I could buy a computer from the same time period, but it'd be a gamble. I'd have no idea how difficult it'd be to change parts, there are different types of AGP slots, the PCs wouldn't come with drivers or manuals.

I'm sorry about the wall of text, but this is very important to me, and I haven't found anybody willing to help me.
#2SlaynPosted 2/14/2014 1:55:47 PM
Seriously, this is pretty stupid.
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#3foodeater4Posted 2/14/2014 1:56:48 PM
Why do you need an old computer for? Are you trying to play old games on a modern system?

You can download dosbox for that.
#4The cranky hermitPosted 2/14/2014 2:34:40 PM(edited)
First of all, whatever you're trying to do, there's an easier (and probably better) way to do it.

Secondly, it's not even clear what you're asking. The topic is asking about writing chipset drivers. The body of your topic is barely tangentially related to that question.

I *can* tell you that if you're trying to play DOS games in Windows 98, attempting to do this with a machine produced long after the age of Windows 98 (such as a Pentium 4) is going to be a crapshoot. The sound card alone will give you headaches - typical P4 era integrated sound hardware has flakey DOS support, and many don't even have that. And there are dozens of hardware and software configuration issues that you may have to contend with - sound cards are just the most tangible of them.

I can also tell you that Glide wrappers need a beefy computer. A P4 probably will not cut it.

What are you actually trying to accomplish here?
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#5WarGreymon77(Topic Creator)Posted 2/14/2014 4:04:31 PM
I just want to install Windows 98 on a desktop computer and get everything to work without resorting to a virtual machine or emulation. It can't be THAT hard.
#6PokenubPosted 2/14/2014 4:06:10 PM
WarGreymon77 posted...
I just want to install Windows 98 on a desktop computer and get everything to work without resorting to a virtual machine or emulation. It can't be THAT hard.


Why though.. If you just want to install Windows 98, get a old laptop, hook it up to a monitor, run everything from that.

I still don't know why you'd want to do this..
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#7ClouddxPosted 2/14/2014 4:08:00 PM
Quote:I just want to install Windows 98 on a desktop computer and get everything to work without resorting to a virtual machine or emulation. It can't be THAT hard.
@WarGreymon77

Why? A virtual machine at this point is easier and prob will net you better results than installing and using older hardware.
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#8PokenubPosted 2/14/2014 4:08:27 PM
And if you want to build an old new computer, look around eBay and such. Even better, if you know a game from around the era you're after, look at the recommended specs. Then use that as the baseline for your computer. adding or removing what you don't want.
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#9The cranky hermitPosted 2/14/2014 4:19:28 PM
I just want to install Windows 98 on a desktop computer and get everything to work without resorting to a virtual machine or emulation. It can't be THAT hard.

Yes, it can be that hard. It wasn't a picnic back even in the day - I was there, and you have no idea how much obscure computer vocabulary I developed out of necessity - obscure computer vocabulary which is now obsolete and pointless to know now that DOSBox can abstract 99% of it all.

Suppose you succeed. What then? How is your life going to be improved by having an obsolete computer running an obsolete operating system? It really sounds like you don't know - you are hoarding a Win98 disc, and are assuming that if you can install it, the reasons for having it will become evident.
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#10LvthnPosted 2/14/2014 4:26:12 PM
What purpose does this possibly serve?

If you want a vintage machine...I guess eBay vintage parts and build it? If they're even available? Otherwise I guess try to find some old lady with an ancient machine, I see them all the time.

Why are you set on Windows 98? It...wasn't all that great, and it's not going to open up any new gaming vistas for you that you couldn't do on modern hardware.

Basically if you're doing this out of pure nostalgia and just want an authentic late 90s rig, then doing anything other than 100% authentic parts is defeating the purpose, and if you just want to play games made in that era and before, there are so many other ways to accomplish this that it seems like an utterly directionless thing to do.