Upgrade 98 to XP Is it worth it?

  gel 07:26 05 Feb 2005

I have been asked by a friend if it is worth upgrading from windows 98 to windows xp.
I only have experience of xp since I had my first PC in November 2001 just as xp was being introduced.
My friend is happy with windows 98 and only uses it for essential banking and communications. However it is thought that 98 will not continue to be supported by Microsoft for ever and may be it will become essential to upgrade.
Neither my friend or I are fully confident in carrying out the upgrade but we could try.
Would it be possible for a comment as to whether XP would be better (I have heard it said that there are many who have stayed with windows 98.)
If we did decide to risk all and upgrade (may be with a reference back here if we are in trouble) what are the precautions and considerations that we should look for?
Quite a lot but we shall be very appreciative of any contributions.
Thank you

  octal 07:43 05 Feb 2005

You haven't mention the specification of your friends computer, because if its got 98 on it it maybe fairly old.

The sort of things that are needed to know are:

Amount of memory RAM

Type of processor

amount of available disk space.

If you don't know, this program will help you identify the specs: click here

  octal 07:47 05 Feb 2005

By the way, the file size of Belarc is small enough to put on a floppy disk if your friend is not connected to the Internet.

  Gongoozler 08:41 05 Feb 2005

XP can offer many advantages over Windows 98, but in my experience you will need a processor of 400MHz or above and a minimum of 256M memory. You will also need to allow 2G hard drive space just for Windows XP before any programs are loaded.

If the computer is doing all that is needed already, then there you will get no great benefit in upgrading. The lack of Microsoft support is irrelevant. If the Windows 98 is working now, it won't suddenly stop working, just make sure that you have a good working disk in case you have to reinstall Windows 98, as well as any patches that you are using. What is more likely to happen is that hardware manufacturers will eventually stop producing Windows 98 drivers and software producers will stop writing software with Windows 98 compatibility - that is already happening.

One of the great features of Windows XP is that it includes an enormous range of drivers, so it is very likely that you won't need to install any yourself.

  jack 08:42 05 Feb 2005

As has been mentioned already it is to do with the reason for computing.
Yes new PC's are XP- that is because there is no real alternative commercially{ there is Linux but it is a special issue and you have to computer knowledge to use it]
If the needsw are modest as you stae then stick with what you know.
Although M/S are not comtinueing to support their old products, this forum will.

I am in the process in fefurbishing a P11 machine with Win 98se for my daughter. Her needs are modest
also- There systems can be had for a song [ or in this case for nothing] and still have a usefull life.
Dont be seduced by Technology.

When it at is at is best they phase it out - then is the time to get interested.

The same with Cars and Washing machines

  Andsome 08:46 05 Feb 2005

Many people have upgraded with no problems. A good many others though have had a lot of problems. The real answer is a brand new XP machine, then you know that everything is OK. Personally, even though all the scans may show that a computer is XP compatible, there are too many pitfalls, one of which is a compatible machine, but with incompatible drivers. This means a lot more work getting and installing suitable drivers.

  gel 14:28 05 Feb 2005

Thank you very much for all your contributions They will be most helpful.My friend and I will discuss what you have said and we will decide what to do.
It could be that we will be back for a little more help, but in the meantime -many thanks

  jack 17:31 05 Feb 2005

One last point which I think was not made absolutly clear.
If you go the XP route some external devices that run with 98 may not transfer to Xp this is in particular with Scanners. XP drivers and other 'upgrades' have made availble but not always successful - this is because with scanners inparticular - they have their 'processors' inside them that know win 95/98, but do not recognise the XP file system in all cases.

  ACOLYTE 17:51 05 Feb 2005

There should be a compatability wizard on the disc if you run this it may give you an idea of what needs updating it may only be the drivers,but as said xp is in my opinion a lot more resource intensive this is not a bad thing but if you go the xp way i would get at least 512Mb ram it will run with 256 even 128 but you will see more speed with more ram,just my opinion anyway.

  kjrider 19:13 05 Feb 2005

If you are happy with W98 there is no need to upgrade.

Win XP is fine, but you will have to buy a copy at £xxx.

If W98 suits you, don't upgrade for the point of doing so. Micro$oft may stop supporting W98, but so what? If they haven't got it sorted by now, there is no need to bother, and as long as you have a firewall + anti-virus programs, you should be ok.

My wife always complains when I try to upgrade her PC!


  kjrider 19:15 05 Feb 2005

PS. Have had XP working with a 100Mhz Pentium, but it is VERY slow!

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